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May, 2009

Friday, May 1 - Wednesday, May 13

Wow, I canít believe how quickly this month is flying by.  Here it is already the middle of May and Iím just getting some blogging done.  Weíve been pretty busy as you might guess so Iíll update the blog now.
 
This is the busy season for Macís job and heís really been putting in the hours at work.  The netbook that he bought back in April has really come in handy.  He loves it.  We can go to the casino and I get to play and heíll go to an area that is quieter and work.  Of course, he also gets to play but he doesnít play as much as I do so this netbook is really handy for him to get work done, read and respond on the forums that he likes, etc.
 
Iím not saying that we spend huge amounts of time at the casinos.  We typically leave around 3 in the afternoon and play for a couple of hours, have dinner and usually go home after dinner.  The days that we can spend more time playing are on the weekends.  On the weekends we discuss where we want to go or what we want to do for the day and for the past several weekends one of us has not felt up to going to either a museum or other interesting places to visit so weíll usually get some stuff done around the RV and then go to one of the casinos in the afternoon to avoid the heat and get some play time in.
 
I have managed to hit a few thrift stores this month.  I think Iíve been out twice so far this month and found some great bargains.  My book stash was totally deleted and I found a few books to read.  I havenít been reading as much these past few months so the 4 or 5 books I found should last me for a few weeks.
 
Weíve been to the Palms, the Aliante, the Tuscany, and the M casinos this month.  Iíve hit one royal for $1,000 so far this month.  Hopefully, Iíll hit some more before the month is over but even if I donít Iím still up on my play. 
 
Last week Mac was feeling sick with a cough, runny nose, etc. and by Friday the eighth he had a fever.  We were a little concerned with the swine flu so we went to the doctor and he had a sinus infection.  He was put on antibiotics for 5 days and has finished his medicine now but weíre still waiting for him to feel 100%.  Hopefully heíll be feeling better soon and we wonít have to go back to the doctor again. 
 
The temperatures are starting to rise, itís getting closer to the 100ís now.  I think on Monday it was 99 and this weekend is forecasted to be 100.  Our swamp cooler is doing a great job though of keeping the RV cool.

Thursday, May 14 - Monday, May 25:

Iíve mentioned before that Survivor is about the only show we watch any more on TV.  In previous years if we missed a show I could go online and read what had happened in the show we missed.  This season weíve missed quite a few shows and the first time it happened I went online to get an update on what happened and found that we can now  watch the full episode right on our computer.  In some ways itís even better than watching it on TV.  There are fewer commercials for one thing.  We can stop it at any point during the show to get a snack or bathroom break of even discuss whatís happening.  I love how technology keeps improving and making it easier for us.
 
This year the humidity seems higher than when weíve been here previously.  I think the past few weeks there have been days were the humidity is not in the single digits.  When itís hot those single digit days just donít seem as hot.  But when itís up to 15% range or higher and the temperature is in the mid to high 90ís it just seems even hotter. 
 
Because it seems hotter this year we decided to move over to hookups before we were required to move.  We can run the swamp cooler while weíre gone and the RV will be cool when we return.  While we were dry camping we didnít run the swamp cooler when weíd leave for the afternoon and it was very hot in the RV and took a long time to cool it off when we returned in the evening.  So now we can leave the swamp cooler on, just adjust it some to where it doesnít run constantly while weíre gone and when we return it will be comfortable inside.  We moved on the 19th.  Not going to enjoy the higher rent but itís still cheaper than it would be off base.
 
On Wednesday May 20th we went to the Paris Casino and stayed for 2 nights.  Iíd received an offer to come and stay with them and Iíd receive a $300 Sears Gift Card.  We had a great time while there.  We walked around the Strip and enjoyed the lights and the souvenir stores.  We also enjoyed the food that we ate while there.  We ate lunch one day at the buffet at Paris and it was HUGE and so very good.  We also rode the shuttle down to the Rio Casino and took advantage of a coupon we had for 2 free buffets.  It too was a huge buffet and very good food.  We ate at the Paris cafť twice and once had breakfast and one had lunch splitting a pastrami burger.  Weíd had one of those last year and enjoyed it and this year it was just as good.
 
Saturday afternoon we went to one of the Sears stores and shopped.  We only found a few things that we wanted so not much of the $300 was spent.  I see many shopping trips in the future using the card.
 
Also on Saturday we went to the Dead Poetís bookstore and traded a bag of books.  We both found a few books that we wanted to read so future trading material was obtained.  I think they give 15% of the value in trade and then when you buy a used book you pay about half for the book.  Itís not too bad, Iíve had worse trades but Iíve also had much better trades.  Itís was nice to get rid of a bag of books too, cleared out some space in the RV.
 
Sunday the 24th we drove over to Lake Mead and enjoyed looking at the water.  We didnít do much but drive around and admire the views.  I had caught some bug and was just tired and didnít want to go for a walk or even go down to the water and stick my foot in.  You know I feel bad if I donít want to stick my foot in the water!
 
On Monday the 25th we drove up to the Valley of Fire http://parks.nv.gov/vf.htm and admired the park.  It really is a pretty place, so unusual looking.  You drive through the desert and see brown hills all around and then all of a sudden there are these beautiful red hills and rocks all over; so pretty to see and visit.  We plan on camping there next year in the RV.  I think it would be lots of fun especially in the late evening and overnight to hear the wildlife in the area.  I love hearing coyotes sing.

Valley of Fire Photos

I added Twitter to our blog (it's on the main blog page only).  I often think of things that I'd like to comment about but then fail to make note of them, or I don't write them for the blog.  Maybe Twitter will help me overcome this by posting random thoughts as they occur.  We'll see.  I may also look into other ways of getting quick random comments onto the blog.  After using Twitter for an hour I'm not thrilled with it.  I've sent 3 posts via SMS text messaging and only 1 of them has been received and posted.  I'll keep messing with it and we'll see how it goes.  Update; although instantaneous posting is their goal Twitter posts are often far from instant.  All the texts from my phone eventually came through; some of them out of order!  Just a glitch tonight? 

Tuesday, May 26 - Sunday May 31:

Tuesday was the last day of Memorial Day sales at Sears.  After work we drove over to pick up our mail and then headed to another Sears store to look around at bargains.  Mac got some replacement blades for his electric razor and he found a shirt he liked.  Out of all the sales though I only found 2 pair of slacks that I bought.  We still have a lot left on our Sears gift card so I see more shopping in the future.
 
While we were picking up our mail we also shipped out Macís new netbook computer.  It kicked the bucket this weekend; I think it was on day 31 of owning it.  The hard drive is defective.  
 
I mentioned that Survivor is about the only TV show that we watch any more.  Who has time to sit around and watch TV when there is so much great stuff to see and read on the internet?  In the winter season when days are shorter we did have DirecTV with almost every channel available.  We didnít use it much and Mac changed it to the bare basics several months ago. 

Itís really amazing that when we were kids we had only the 3 major networks and perhaps an independent station and all of them stopped at midnight.  Now there are hundreds of stations and yet there is nothing interesting to watch.  We still occasionally watch a DVD movie.  But since weíve been here in Vegas I donít think weíve watched as many this year as we did last year.  By the time we get home from an evening of play and dinner we get on the computer to check our emails and other items of interest the evening is gone and itís time for bed.

Poor Customer Service
 
I have trouble with confrontation of any kind.  If I get upset, mad, or whatever I tend to shed tears which make it even harder to have a debate or argument with someone.  Iíve mentioned before that here at the RV Park on base there is a laundry facility; there are actually 2 different ones but the one we prefer to use has front loaders.  On Friday I took 2 loads of laundry over and put them into the washers.  I then came home and set the timer to remind me to go get them.  We always set the timer to allow plenty of time so that the clothes are not sitting in the washer.  I know itís aggravating to someone who wants to do their laundry to have to sit and wait on a washer. 
 
I had already loaded one load into a dryer and was waiting on the second load to finish when two employees of the park came in and told me that they had to take the money out of the machines and policy says no one can be in there while they do that.  I said I had two minutes left on the washer and one man repeated that the policy states no one can be in there.  I left the room and went outside to wait.
 
While waiting I got pretty mad; mad enough that I was crying.  I was mad at myself for allowing them to kick me out of there when I only had 2 minutes left on the washer.  I felt they could have waited those 2 minutes then Iíd be out of there.  While I was waiting the park manager came around and I told him about what was happening.  He went in and talked to the 2 men and when they finished emptying the dryers of money they came out and said I could go in and take care of my washer.  This was at least 20 minutes later; thatís when I started watching the time on my phone.  I was good-and-mad by then and proceeded to tell them that I thought it was rude that they could not have waited the 2 minutes; good customer service says they should wait on me not the other way around.  One guy was a total A-hole about it and we had some words.  Then a woman employee shows up and joined in too.  I was so incredibly mad by this time and the tears were flowing and I was shaking.  I finally just told them I would take my business elsewhere and never spoke to them again even though I really wanted to tell them that I thought they were complete jerks and maybe even say a few curse words at them.
 
When I got back to the RV and told Mac what had happened he got dressed to go to the office and complain.  But we got sidetracked with our propane delivery coming.  By the time the propane tank was filled it was time to go get the first load out of the dryers so Mac went with me to do that.  I could see that they were still there so Mac opened the door and was told we couldnít be in there and he said ďI want to talk to you can you step out here please while those other 2 men finish up?Ē  It was the park manager who had stopped by again.  So Mac started to tell him how upset we were and he agreed that they should have waited.  I still was not very happy about the whole thing though.  I told him that even though I understood that it was a new policy and they were just trying to do their jobs I still felt that they were totally lacking in politeness and customer service.  I never really felt warm and fuzzy about the situation after it was over.  I really feel that the guy owed me an apology but I donít think it will ever happen. 
 
I was madder at myself for allowing them to push me around at the beginning.  I should have stuck up for myself and told them that they could wait on me for 2 minutes.  I hope Iíve learned from this experience and that I wonít allow something like this to happen again!
 
I mentioned that we had propane delivered on Friday.  We last had propane delivered on April 3.  We went through a lot of propane it seems in a short time.  That was another reason we moved over to full hookups so early.  With the higher temperatures Mac thinks our refrigerator was using a lot of propane to cool.  Now that weíre on hookups we wonít be using any propane for keeping the refrigerator cold.  Now the propane is used for heating water and thatís only for about 10 minutes till itís hot enough to use and then we turn it off; and the stove for any cooking we may do.

Harrah's Cruise Offer
 
Friday afternoon we picked up our mail and I received an exciting offer from Harrahís.  If we come stay with them for 2-3 days in July we would receive a free 7-day cruise.  There was a list of various cruises we could choose from and my first choice was Alaska!  Mac checked it out and itís really a great deal for us.  Heís already booked us our stay at Ballyís to receive our gift and weíre just too excited.  Since weíre choosing Alaska and the dates for this year are not a good match for us weíre going to go next summer on our cruise.  It may turn out to be an even greater gift if gas prices keep going up.  Right now I think the cruise we want is around $1,400 for the 2 of us.  How great is that for a ďfreeĒ gift!  I say ďfreeĒ because of course I am expected to give them my money in casino play in exchange for this gift.  Hopefully, Iíll hit a royal or not lose much money if I do lose. 
 
Iíve been having fun going online and checking out the cruise.  Iím also planning what excursions we may want to go on.  There are so many interesting things to do and see.  Itís going to be hard to wait for a year to go on this cruise.
 
Saturday, after spending a few hours on the phone talking with various members of the family we finally got out of here for the day.  We stopped at the Aliante Casino for lunch at the buffet.  I had plenty of watermelon.  I really love that many of the buffets have a large selection of fruits and I load up on the ripest melon I see.  Being in the desert we always seem to be thirsty and a cold slice of juicy melon hits the spot!
 
Mac wanted to go to Home Depot (we have a gift card for there too from the Palms Casino) to pick up an expansion tank.  He can explain how that will be used.  While he was doing that I was visiting a thrift store and only found a couple of books.  I think when Mac came to get me he looked around and found a couple of books too.  Right down the street is a Goodwill store so we stopped there to look and no books that we wanted were found but I did find a mug for me that was only 33 cents! 

e-Bay
 
Iíll tell you the story about the mug.  Iíve mentioned before that while Iím shopping at the thrift stores Iíll also look for stuff for various family members.  My mom is now the one I shop for the most.  She canít get to the stores like she used to and she loves the stuff I bring her.  While we were in Tampa this winter season I had found a few pair of vintage earrings for my mom.  February when we were in Livingston I gave them to her and she loved them.  She then showed me all her jewelry and what she had bought from various catalogs.  I went on ebay and found some beautiful vintage earrings for her while we were there and she loved those also.  The quality is so much better too with a good vintage piece.  The stuff they have in the stores and catalogs now is frequently cheaply made, low quality and looks it.  They seem to make the jewelry to last one season now; unlike the vintage jewelry that seemed to be made to last and last.  Also Iíve found many nice pieces for her that I havenít paid much for at all.  Many times Iíve paid less than $10 and that includes shipping.  What store can you find a great quality pair of earrings for less than $10?  So Iíve been on ebay quite a bit looking at jewelry for my mom.  Iím enjoying buying it for her and sheís enjoying receiving the packages in the mail.  Itís like Christmas for her opening the packages. 
 
Anyway back to the roadrunner mug story.  While looking around on ebay I also looked at Otagiri mugs.  I love Otagiri mugs but they arenít made any longer and they are hard to find; especially since a lot of their items had a paper label on them so many people donít know who made the mug theyíre selling on ebay.  I found a roadrunner mug and a quail mug for Mac and have only found a roadrunner mug for me and am still looking for a quail mug in my size.  I like the taller mugs since I use milk in my coffee and Mac prefers the shorter size since he drinks his coffee black. 
 
We have several mugs that are themed now for our stay in Florida and weíve come a long way on a collection of mugs for our stay in the southwest.  For Florida we have mugs with seashells, sea birds, etc.  Now for our southwest stay we both have a roadrunner mug and Mac has a mug with a quail on it but I havenít found one yet for me in the taller size that I use as I mentioned.  When I found the roadrunner mug at Goodwill I just had to get it especially since it was so inexpensive.  Mac asked if I was planning on selling it since I already have one and I said no.  Iím keeping it.  It may go in storage but Iím keeping it.  Many of my mugs have broken so it will be nice to have a spare one if my roadrunner mug breaks. 
 
While at the Goodwill we donated 3 large bags of clothes and misc items.  Mac has been doing a great job of losing weight.  Heís gone down a whole size so he went through his clothes and got rid of lots of them.  Iím not losing weight as fast as he has.  Iíve lost a little but not as much as I would like to.  Iíll have to get more serious about this weight loss program if I want to look as good as he does. 

Granddaughter Amanda graduated from High School this month.  Back in March while visiting Disneyland we bought her a really cool graduation cap.  At the right is a photo of her wearing it.


 Continue reading -- June 2009

What did we do in May of years past?  Click below to see.

 

May 2008

May 2007

May 2006

May 2005

 

 

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