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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Leaving Our Hotel In Bozeman

For the last 4 days we have been staying at The Element Hotel by Westin in Downtown Bozeman. While Lulu taught at Montana State University a few blocks away - I toured around town. The hotel has been outstanding. For $95 a night and $5 parking - they offer cute little suites - with kitchens. In the lobby they have a free extensive breakfast every day. Some days - I extended it to include lunch :-)  From 5 PM to 8 PM - they have happy hour - with free beer and wine - plus entres. It is right downtown a block off Main Street. I am trying to not be racist when I say it was certainly different being served by white young people. In many of the hotels we stay - they exist on immigrant workers. 

For the next 8 days we are on our own. We have a black Chevy Malibu - and will be touring all over the area - Montanta - Wyoming - Idaho. Canada is like 7 hours away. Distances are big up here and the speed limit is 80 MPH on the "autobahn."

It is sunny - 41 degrees - and clear blue skies. There was a little ice on our car this morning. 

We visited a museum yesterday during the rain. On campus - there is a fantastic Computer Museum - one of the nicest free museums I have seen.

This is Univac - the computer we used to power the mission to the moon. It had 32k memory and weighed 1100 pounds. The little musical chip in a birthday card has more memory now.

In 1984 - the first Mac Computer - we had one.

That plywood box is the Apple I computer. It sold as a computer board you assembled.

The Apple II - with disk drives - we had that too.

The famous Nazi ENIGMA coder and decoder. Little did they know Alan Turing broke the code and we could read all their messages.

This was a Merchant Marine Recruitment poster from Philadelphia. My grandfather - Roy Everhart - probably saw this and went to his death in 1942 on a Merchant Marine ship.

Here a Nazi soldier is using ENIGMA to decode a message.

Alan Turing was the father of modern computers. He devised the machine to break the ENIGMA code. Later - England prosecuted him for being gay. He committed suicide when they castrated him. Yep - we really did that stuff.

Montana Hall. This was the first building on the 1890 Montana State Campus. It is still the president's office.

About a block away from our hotel is Ted Turner's Montana Grill. We have one in Tallahasee and love ot eat there. Wholesome American. Buffalo - Trout - mashed potatoes - etc.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Lulu At Work - Montana State University - Bozeman

She had a great day at Montana State today speaking to three different groups about serving college students on the autism spectrum in libraries. Beautiful campus and scenery.

Montana has 1 million people - Bozeman had 45,000 residents - and Montana State has 17,000 students. 

Regardless the low numbers - Montana has 2 US Senators - like Florida - like Pennsylvania - like New York - like California. 

Bozeman Montana - It Is A Very Different Isolated Place

Football field - downtown - the Rockies.

On Main Street - Lewis and Clark passed thru here.
 Boseman is ranked as the 6th nicest college town in America. It is as different as it is nice. Having been here for 3 days now - I know just a little more about the place as you would know by googling - "bozeman montana wikipedia." The town has grown from 35,000 to 45,000 people in 10 years. I have found out from supper with a few faculty members is that the growth is from a budding tech industry - but the growth is largely from people having second and third homes here. It is a different more vigorious life style. 

We experienced two days of balmy weather reaching 60 degrees. Shirt sleeves and shorts were the order of the day under the giant dark blue sky. There is still plenty of snow on the mountains - one boasted to us that she has skied somewhere locally in each of the last 20 months. Sometimes she had to hike up 7 miles to the snow and then walk back. Downhill skiing - snow shoeing - and cross country skiing are ways of life. Lulu did not see a tie on campus all day and warned me that I would be overdressed with my one formal piece of packed luggage. Lulu also wore the only skirt. 

Starting today the highs will drop to 40 degrees and the overcast ceiling stretches all the way to the far horizon. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Our Weekend in Washington - and A $600 Bump on the Way Home

We had a wonderful weekend in Washington with the kids and grandkids.  Lulu just can't stand holidays away from the kids. So we had a two for one coupon with Delta and used it to fly north. Due to the weather we ended up flying on Saturday instead of Friday - but the Saturday flight was on time. It took from 6 AM to 10 AM to get here because we had to stop in Atlanta. Our two for one flights cost a total of $400. 

We stayed at the Hilton across the street from my son's house. Lulu is a VIP member and she got us a very nice room at a discount. The room was a little over $200 for the weekend.

We had three days of touring - playgrounds - parks - kids - Easter Egg Hunts - and cooking. 

I met a former student and her husband by the White House - Regina Butrie Kromer and her husband Leroy. We all gabbed for an hour or so. Just the perfect touch for the weekend.

On the way home - our flight left a very busy Washington Reagan Airport at 5 PM. The sky was clear and I got some nice pictures as we cruised over the monuments. We had a short layover in Atlanta - and went quickly to the gate for Tallahassee. It was very busy - and I asked the gate agent if he needed volunteers. He said maybe one or two. We volunteered. I bid $400 - and the agent said okay. They only needed one seat - so Lulu was happy to go home. She wanted to get home and to bed because she had a class to teach Tuesday morning. So it was a school night for her but I stayed. 

After the plane left - the agent said because I was such a patient volunteer - he would give me $600! I would fly 2 hours later. I got to Tallahassee two hours after Lulu. I got a cab and told him my story. He was happy about my joy - and I just had to pass if forward a bit. The cab was $20 - and I gave him a $20 tip! Too bad Lulu was not there to verify it. 

The $600 will easily cover our plane tickets and the Hilton Hotel. Monday morning my grandson came over to the hotel to have breakfast with us. That was a hoot. A perfect Monday morning.  

Wednesday morning - we fly to Montana. Lulu has a presentation there - we will extend it to a 10 day vagabond tour. We have a car booked - but no hotels after the conference. Three flights to Montana - three flights on the way back. Six chances to get a bump!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter Weekend in Washington - From the Air

We had a beautiful weekend in Washington with the kids. We just took off and on the way out I got some pictures.

This is the new air and space museum at Dulles airport. 

This is the national cathedral. 

The White House where Easter egg roll was today. 

The national mall - Washington Monument. 

The USA Capitol. 

I am sending this post with free T-Mobile from our flight to Atlanta. We will sleep at home tonight. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Washington DC for Easter

We tried to fly to Washington yesterday morning - but the weather was delaying all the flights. So we went home and waited until today. At 6 AM we left Tallahassee. First we flew to Atlanta - and then got to DC airport at 10 AM. 

After a Easter Egg Hunt with the kids - we checked into our Hilton Hotel which is across the street from my son's home. We got a real nice corner room because the hotel is pretty empty over holidays. We spent last Christmas here too. They are getting to know Lulu and gave her a nice corner room and a key to the executive lounge which offers free breakfast and free evening buffet and drinks. 

This hotel is famous for being the place where President Reagan was shot. I left my gun at home. 

We will fly home Monday night - then Lulu teaches Tuesday. On Wednesday we fly to Montana. I am excited because I have never been there. We will stay a few nights in Bozeman MT - where Lulu is doing a presentation. Then we will tour a week and come home. We may visit Yellowstone if the weather allows.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

$150 Million Project In Our Neighborhood

The city of Tallahassee recently built Cascades Park - down the street from our home. It quickly became the beauty spot of the city - hosting concerts - festivals - and other activities. It was originally a "brown site" where the city's former coal fired power plant sat. Today the power plant is an upscale restaurant.

Now - a $150 million project is taking place along the northern edge of the park. It will feature a Loew's Hotel - retail outlets - and offices. The project is expected to take two years.

Lulu and I enjoy taking walks in the park. We have attended a Beach Boys concert in the open air amphitheatre there. Of course some people do not like change. An old county prison was removed to make way for the project.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral And Lulu's Course in London

The west entrance of Notre Dame at sunset

Lulu and her class usually ended the day at the cathedral
For the last 10 years - Lulu has taught a course for Florida State University at their London campus. Usually we spend the month of July in London. One of the highlights of those sessions is a trip to Paris. Lulu would buy round trip ticket on the Eurostar - a train that goes from London to Paris thorugh the English Channel Tunnel. You get on the train in the center of London and get out on the streets of Paris a couple hours later. 

On some of these trips - we would stay a couple nights - but most of them were over and back on the same day. It was a lot of walking but the students got to go up the Eiffel Tower - walk thru the Louvre Museum - go down into the Catacombs - river cruise the Seine - and tour the Notre Dame Cathedral. After all that walking - many students slept the entire trip home on the train thru the tunnel - exhausted. 

It was so shocking to see the Notre Dame Cathedral burn. It built in the 1100's  - and it is surprising that such a giant stone clad wooden structure survived this long. There are older cathedrals - but this one along with the Eiffel Tower - symbolizes the City of Paris and the Country of France.

The east side of the Notre Dame Cathedral  

The cathedral is on the island at the right. The Eiffel Tower is on the green on the far left.  

The bridge connects the island to the Left Bank.

Construction on the main doors.
The view before getting on the train home

This portion of the cathedral was saved.

The view from the tour boat.

The west side
Lulu led several groups on tours of Paris

And I carried her bags.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

French Company Buying Roadtrek Brand

It looks like the Roadtrek recreational vehicle brand will be rescued from receivership.
Rapido SAS, a French company that produces the Westfalia brand of RVs, says it has signed a deal to acquire substantially all of the assets of the Roadtrek brand.
It says it plans to resume production of Roadtrek RVs in Waterloo Region and hire a workforce that could eventually grow to more than 200 employees.
"Roadtrek is a well established leading brand in the B Class segment of the RV market," Rapido president Pierre Rousseau said in a news release.
"Our priority will be to re established operations and further develop this famous brand in North America."
The future of the Roadtrek brand has been uncertain since former owner Erwin Hymer Group North America was closed and placed in receivership in February. The closing put 800 people out of work at plants in Cambridge and Kitchener.
Rapido said it intends to assume the lease of one of the existing Erwin Hymer manufacturing plants. It did not identify which one.
The company, based in Mayenne, France, noted that the deal is subject to due diligence and the executive of a definitive purchase agreement.
Rapido's roots go back to a cabinet making business started in France by Constant Rousseau in 1948. Over time, the business evolved into a caravan and motorhome manufacturer. It has 12 brands of RVs.
The family-owned company has more than 1,500 employees in four countries.
Erwin Hymer Group North America ceased operations on Feb. 15 after months of speculation about its fate. Financial irregularities were discovered as U.S.-based Thor Industries was in the process of acquiring German parent company Erwin Hymer Group last year.
Thor went ahead with that acquisition, but excluded the North American operations from the deal.
Roadtrek was founded in 1974 in Kitchener as Home & Park Vehicles. The business was acquired by Industrial Opportunity Partners in 2011. Five years, later Germany's Erwin Hymer Group bought the company.

From -

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Lovely Lulu Cover Girl

Roadtrek Lulu on Upham Beach St Petes. 

There is a newsgroup on Facebook called Good Old Roadtrek. For our spring break trip I posted a story when we were staying at St Petersburg Beach for the night. We just discovered that our front brakes were very hot. We decided to stay the night right there at Upham Beach. I posted this picture - the lot was empty in the morning. We called a local shop - Brake World - they said if we got the camper to their shop - 6 miles away - they would fix us up. We did and they did.

It was the first day of a lovely 7 day trip through Southern Florida. We had visited Tampa - St Petersburg - Sarasota - Sanibel - Fort Myers Beach - Bartow - Orlando - Casselberry - Winter Park. We spent all 6 nights in our camper.

GOOD OLD ROADTREK saw the pictures and is currently using it as their Cover. I always told Lulu I would make her famous. "They love me - they really love me."

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I Recorded A Motorcycle Wreck

My rear view camera
Our Roadtrek camper
On Christmas - Lulu bought me a rear view camera. I wanted it mainly for seeing all three lanes of traffic behind our camper. It is also great for backing up.

Today I was running errands in the camper. It was a beautiful sunny day of about 80 degrees in Tallahassee. Just a wonderful quiet day.

Then bam! Right in front of me a motorcycle went down. It appears the driver was tailgating a vehicle and hit his front brake too hard and lost control. It was not pretty - more like pretty scary. As they say - it happened so fast.

All the traffic behind him stopped and people were getting out to help. In a few minutes I saw the ambulance coming.

As I was heading home I remembered my rear view camera records everything.

Front View - check out the 2:30 mark

Rear view - check out the 2:30 mark.

So my new rear view camera has other uses I never imagined.

Rocking Cleveland For 4 Days

Lulu at Tallahassee International Airport
at 6 AM
Lulu has a conference in Cleveland for 4 days. I do not know the name of the conference - I do not even know the name of the conference hotel where she is staying. All I know is that I did not go along because a ticket for me would have been $650 - yes $650 to Cleveland. After looking at the weather - it will not be above 43 degrees there all day - I think I made the right choice.
Piggy back strap

Lulu also noticed that the new Everhart 10 bag also has a built-in piggy back strap. It looks like she will not need me to carry her bags anymore. Out to pasture I go.

The conference does include a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A long time ago - in 2001 - we stayed in the parking lot of the Hall of Fame in our camper. That trip included Cleveland - Erie - Buffalo - Niagara Falls - and Watkins Glen.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

I Sold Two Chairs

I enjoy selling stuff on Facebook's Marketplace. Adds are easy to post and remove. You can use unlimited pictures. The ads are free.

We bought these chairs in 2004 when we moved to Tallahassee. They are leather and were $850 then.  They swivel - recline - and rock.

I posted them for $200 each. They sold in 3 days.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Mimi Enjoying The Cherry Blossoms In Washington

Our friend Mimi - Melissa Johnson - is enjoying the cherry blossoms in Washington DC. She is there for an iSchool Conference. She said it was not warm - but the cherry blossoms were beautiful.

The cherry trees were given to the USA by the country of Japan on March 27th 1912. This week was the festival honoring the 117 years of that gift.

Melissa is a professor at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton GA - about 45 miles west of Atlanta. She teaches library science and was one of Lulu's graduates here at FSU.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

London Is Calling - The Month of July

Buckingham Palace - Queen Victoria Memorial
Parliament - Big Ben
This is the 11th year Lulu is teaching a summer course at the FSU Study Centre in London. It gets hot and humid in Tallahassee in July - and London is a great release from the summer heat. 

The FSU London Campus is just down the street from the British Museum. Her one month course will be attended mostly by students from Florida State. It is a series of field trip incorporating the sights and sounds of England in the curriculum. 

Lulu just booked a flight for me using frequent flyer miles on Delta Airlines. We will stay at an apartment near campus provided by FSU. In the past - we paid extra for a larger apartment. This year we will be staying in a standard apartment. 

In order to use my frequent flyer miles instead of cash - I had to fly from London to Detroit to Atlanta to Tallahassee. It will take a few hours longer - but it is always better to spend FF miles than cash. Also - I look on the positive side - 4 chances to get bumped. Lulu's flight is covered by FSU. Yes - she will be flying a straighter flight home. 

While in London - we are planning a 4 day weekend trip to Norway - and another one to Blackpool. Blackpool is an old fashioned seashore city near Liverpool. Norway will be a flight - but Blackpool will be a train trip.

Here are my flights - 3 flights over to London - 4 flights back.