November 13, 2016
The trailer dad seemed a little cool toward me yesterday in a way the others in his family didn’t. Yes, I did a “French leave,” i.e. I didn't say good-bye two days ago (while he was rigging the sheet for the movie). Yes, it was rude, but only because they’re not French.
I stopped for a propane top-off at the park before I left this morning. My next RV park doesn't have propane, so I deemed it prudent and expeditious to fill up before leaving (even though I would have to pay with my precious cash). The kid who did the fill-up liked the size of my RV. When I said it was good for one or two people, he replied, "I wouldn't want to travel with more than one other person, and I don't like traveling with my family." He went on to tell me that he had graduated from high school this summer, but added that he isn't old enough to travel by himself. He’s old enough to drive, marry, and die for his country. He’s old enough to smoke in most states. He’s not old enough to drink (21) in or rent a car (25) any state. So, in what regard is he NOT old enough to travel by himself? I wish I had asked that follow up question, but I think I was shocked that ANY teenager would think himself too young to do ANYTHING.
I debarked post top-off for what Google Maps told me is a Bank of America (BofA) ATM at the Royal Farms just off Chincoteague Island. (I needed more precious cash.) Perhaps it was a BofA ATM once, but it no longer is. Google Maps then told me I could find a BofA ATM in Waves, North Carolina, but again to no avail. Google Maps, you suck at BofA locations! Lesson learned: search for “Bank of America,” click on the results which do NOT include “ATM,” and look at the photos to verify that the location actually is a Bank of America retail establishment. Arg.
I arrived at my RV park in Rodanthe on the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina around three thirty. I asked for a site close to the Clubhouse since the Wi-Fi is best there and the laundry is adjacent to it. I was easily accommodated because there are 400 sites and the park was 90% empty. I drove to my site and discovered that it was unsuitable for accessing my rear storage after I deployed the slide-out. So, I returned to the office and asked if I could move to the adjacent spot. Yes. I moved, completed my set-up, and then I realized that the electric hookup didn’t work. I pulled out all of my 25’ power line and connected it to the electric box at my first site. I walked to the office and informed the manager of the situation. He said that my solution was fine and that he'd have the maintenance guy troubleshoot my site’s electric hookup problem tomorrow. It was sunset, and if I had to move again, it would have taken me another hour to do so, and it would have been executed in the dark. Lesson learned: test the site’s power first, then make sure that the fresh water flows, otherwise I have to move.
It is the perigee-syzygy tomorrow tonight, but it was damn close tonight. If had arrived an hour prior, and hadn't had to move sites, and hadn't had an electrical problem, and had I known that the moon was going to rise over the Atlantic, I could have taken the most fabulous photograph of the rising moon at four-something this afternoon. Ironically, it is only because I had those problems that my ignorance of the locus of the event was almost overcome: that is, I almost saw the "super moon." Now, it looks like it always does.
November 12, 2016
It was 35 degrees outside at six-thirty this morning when I got up and put on the heat. It was 48 degrees inside BOB. I had let the dogs sleep with me so we could keep each other warm during the night. The heating system continues to blow ambient air once it hits the temperature set on the thermostat, and I neither like the sound of it nor the feeling of room temperature air blowing on me, so I don’t use it. The dogs were happy – especially Addison who curled up as close to my face as she could.
I've read several articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Atlantic offering postmortems on the election. The consensus seems to be that the Trump campaign focused on identity- rather ideology-politics. The white working- and middle-classes want better paying jobs, lower taxes, law-and-order, and fewer immigrants, so they hired a silver-spooned white boy who has never looked for work, who has skillfully avoided paying taxes, who has had a series legal entanglements, and who identified immigrants as the threat to their jobs and security, to do their bidding. The irony is obvious, but the logic prevails: they see Trump (his socioeconomic status at birth notwithstanding) as the embodiment of the American Dream. These are the same people who rail against estate and inheritance taxes although most of them will never be subject to them. They believe, however, if given the opportunity (by the government?), they will achieve tremendous wealth and they don't want their heirs to pay those taxes. I also don't believe in estate, inheritance, or capital gains taxes. If I pay income tax on my wages, why should I or my heirs pay further taxes because I was able to increase the value of my after-tax wages by investing in real property or stocks and bonds? That really doesn't seem fair to me every time I pay capital gains taxes.
Leonard Cohen died this week. I became familiar with his music when I was in business school. A friend had the 1975 "Best of Leonard Cohen" CD which I subsequently purchased. "Suzanne," "Famous Blue Raincoat," "So Long, Marianne," and "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" are on my iTunes playlist. I would have picked Cohen over Bob Dylan for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but no one asked me.
The cabinet beneath the kitchen sink is wet again. It hasn't rained, I haven't filled the water tank, and I haven't moved BOB. This time there was water beneath rubber liner. I spent an hour trouble-shooting the leak. Again. I can't remove the rear vertical panel because of the pipes and I can take the pipes apart. When I unscrew the rear panel I can slide it up about three inches which is enough for me to get my hands behind it. Some of the wires were wet, but the floor wasn't soaked. Again, I ran both the hot and cold water in an attempt to replicate the leak, but I neither saw nor felt any water. The hot water heater was off, so I really wasn't running "hot" water. Perhaps the leak is caused by condensation? It seems unlikely. My next experiment is to turn on the hot water heater and not run the water for one or two hours and see if the cabinet gets wet from condensation. If it's dry, I'll do the dishes and check the cabinet again.
The shower stall started leaking again, too. I don't care about that.
There isn't a real grocery on Chincoteague Island which is pronounced "Shincoteague" by the locals and Jincoteague by Donald Trump. I went to four shops looking for heavy whipping cream, but I had to settle for half-and-half. The guy at the shop was great and he told me where I could buy bourbon. I haven't had bourbon since June, and the cold air aroused in me a desire for brown liquor. Virginia is one of those ridiculous states which controls the sale of liquor through "state" stores. When I lived in Philadelphia, I would go to New Jersey to buy booze (because Pennsylvania is one of those ridiculous states), in spite of the fact that I didn't own a car. Only states which have no borders (Alaska and Hawaii) can get away with that crap. Maine, the only state which borders only one other, borders New Hampshire, a state which says that you can live free or die, and which abolished its state liquor stores in 1991. I didn't have a backpack with me so I stuffed the half-and-half inside my coat and departed for the state store. Once there, the prospect of buying a 1.5 liter bottle of bourbon was daunting because my coat couldn't hold it. I stared at the 750ml bottles of Woodford Reserve for a while when I noticed the 200ml bottle of Maker's Mark. Sold! It would fit in my other pocket! Good thinking, Maker's!
November 11, 2016
There is an older travel trailer behind me with three women, one man, and two mid-sized mutts. When I went to bed last night, they were sitting outside listening to Seventies music. Across the driveway from them is a couple with their own mid-sized mutt and three little boys, all of whom were sleeping in a tent. It was forecast to be in the thirties overnight, with high humidity, and winds exceeding 10mph. I was worried about being cold inside BOB, so I can't imagine being in a tent under those conditions.
After dinner tonight (meatloaf and mashed potatoes which I made and froze when Tom, Steve, and Meredith visited me in Delaware), I moseyed over to the neighbor’s site since they were standing outside their trailer conversing. I took a glass of wine, and I discoursed with nearly everyone, surprising myself at being such a gadfly. The RVers are parents with teenage daughters, and the mother is a cousin of the women whose family is in the tent. Another female cousin arrived while I was there, and other cousins will arrive tomorrow. I guess it’s a family reunion of sorts. I departed their company as the dad rigged a bed sheet as a screen for the movie projector. I was already too cold.
Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.