Browsing "Weather"
Mar 31, 2013 -

And the Thunder Rolls

It has been disgustingly grey out most of the time I have been here. Thankfully, there have been some nice sunny patches, but it’s mostly been icky and the humidity has been increasing. It looks like we will finally get some rain tonight. I hope it’s not too much or I will have to move to higher ground.

If I didn’t have my solenoid, I would have had to move back into the RV park by now. Between it and the weak sun, I’m holding steady between 30 and 40AH down. So I’m fine, but my batteries sure would like a full charge sooner rather than later…

Mail will determine whether or not I leave on Thursday. I still haven’t figured out where I’m going next. I’ve pretty much decided not to stop in Austin. I’ve been told several times that I need to check it out, but I’m not into the music scene and nothing about the city is calling my name while there are things I want to see in Dallas. But Dallas is even more of a challenging in terms of finding an overnighting spot, much less somewhere that I can stay for several nights at little to no charge. I may just have to bite the bullet and stay at an RV park for a couple of nights.

That said, if I end up staying here later than Thursday and into the weekend, I will consider going to Austin on a day trip. An extended stay here would put me really behind schedule, so then I will probably overnight somewhere before Dallas, stop in Dallas for the afternoon (as long as I can find a place to drop the rig), and then overnight after Dallas.

I can’t believe I absolutely need to be back in Canada in 45 days, but I am aiming for no more than 40. April is going to SPEED by.

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Communications & Electronics, Countries, Electricity, Itineraries, Law and Government, Mail, Preparations for Departure, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    6 Comments
Mar 28, 2013 -

An External Replacement For the MacBook Pro Superdrive

I would like to once again thank all my readers who shop through my Amazon link. It never ceases to amaze me how such a small thing that costs you nothing makes such a huge difference to my bottom line.

The SuperDrive (DVD/CD reader and writer) on my Macbook Pro has been increasingly fussy and it has finally decided to stop recognizing any of my DVDs. Replacing a SuperDrive is not really a DIY project and it is very expensive to have it done by Apple. The recommendation is to replace it with an external drive.

Thanks to my Amazon commissions this month, I was able to go ahead and order one this week without even having to debate with myself whether I can live without a DVD player for the foreseeable future.

My first choice was no longer available, so I bought a Samsung Ultra Portable Slim DVD+/-RW USB External Drive, Black SE-218BB/RSBS.

It is very small, barely bigger than a DVD and about as thick as a DVD case. Best of all, it is powered by USB only, so I don’t need to run the inverter to use it. Installation was easy. I just plugged it into the computer, popped in a disc, and started watching a movie. My SuperDrive has not recognized that disc in years!

Getting this replacement was perfect timing since the movie Lincoln just came out on DVD, too, so I picked that up as well. So you can all guess what I’m doing tonight. πŸ™‚

You can buy just about anything on Amazon, like paint to refinish the new cubbies you bought for the office. My Amazon commissions free up so much of my budget for other things. Thank you again to everyone who shops through my link.

In other news, the weather I’ve been experiencing in San Antonio apparently isn’t typical for this time of year. All I can say is that it has pretty much sucked for solar charging. I’m doing fine, but the forecast doesn’t give me hope of a full charge any time soon.

I just renewed for another six nights, taking me to noonish on the 4th of April. The weather up north is crappy, rent here is cheap ($5 a night), and I’m waiting for mail to come from Canada. Six more nights puts me at two nights past my original plan of two weeks, so I’m still on track with the original schedule. I’ll reevaluate next week. This is just such a good location. I feel so far from anywhere, but I’m less than five minutes from I-35.

A weekend-long project came in, so I’ll be pretty busy for the next few days, which suits me just fine since I had so much time off this week. I’ll try to remember to pop in with a proof of life at some point. πŸ˜‰

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Campgrounds, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Countries, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    No Comments
Mar 25, 2013 -

Downtown San Antonio, Including the Alamo, Riverwalk, and Mercado

The day was very slow to warm and I didn’t think I was going to end up going into San Antonio. We final hit double digits Celsius near noon and I decided to head out, wearing sandals, but also long thick leggings under my skirt and a long-sleeved top, and I stuffed my heaviest wool pashmina into my purse at the last minute. I wound up being very grateful for that shawl as I wore it all afternoon. It was warm in the sun, but absolutely freezing in shaded areas.

Teri, my host here at Hidden Valley had given me a detailed map with how to get to $5 a day parking downtown. I gave the map a glance before leaving and only noted the exit name… not that I had to get off I-35 and take I-10 to I-37, from which I would take said exit. So I wound up driving straight through town and had to double back! But once I was downtown, the parking lot was easy to find. It is at the corner of Bowie and Crockett, kitty corner from the giant mall.

First stop of the day was the Alamo! WOW! I can’t believe I’ve finally been to the Alamo!!! Wow! πŸ˜€

A number of people told me that I would be disappointed, but disappointment is all about expectations. No expectations, no disappointment.Β  From a purely pragmatic point of view, I could understand how someone who is only moderately interested in the Alamo might not get much out of the site. There is a very long line to get into the shrine, an even longer line in the shrine snaking through the sparse exhibits, and there is no photography permitted.

But if you know the history, you can close your eyes and hear the rifles and cannons and death gurgles of men drowning in their own blood. In the room where women and children sought refuge, you can hear their muffled cries of terror. Standing within the halls of this former mission, I could understand how it has become a symbol of Texan independence.

The exhibits are wonderful for a history buff; lots of old documents and maps with a few artifacts, like a book belonging to Bowie and a rifle belonging to Crockett.

Attached to the Alamo shrine, there is a museum (again, no pictures). You can also see a movie, but the line for that was really, really long and I was ready for lunch.

The Alamo (which means cottonwood) is free to visit. You can pay $6 for an audio tour, but I opted out.

My thirst for living history slaked, it was time to find some lunch. I had done my research and headed to Sushi Zushi on the corner of St Mary’s and Commerce. Don’t give me that look! I haven’t had sushi since the beginning of January!!!!!!

From the restaurant, I was able to head down into the famous Riverwalk, where it was really cold along the water. What a beautiful area! I did the entire main loop and a little of the newer branch that heads north.

After, I headed across town to the marketplace to see the Mercado, colloquially known as ‘the Mexican flea market.’ If you want to get a sense of what it’s like to shop in a Mexican border town without having a bunch of shopkeepers hassle you, you have to check out this place. I was underwhelmed by the same tchotchkes that I saw in Nuevo Progreso and Tijuana.

That was the end of my day. Public transportation is super cheap in San Antonio, but the city is very walkable and compact, so I ended up hoofing my way back to the truck, enjoying the exercise and sunshine.

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Countries, Museums, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    16 Comments