Archive for January, 2009

Death Valley

Death Valley National Park is a favorite destination. It is the hottest, driest, and lowest piece of dirt in North America and has its own special beauty. Not far from Las Vegas at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains it is a long day’s drive from the center of the Great Basin. See the pictures! Here are three photo galleries added to the website.

SNU Death Valley Rally November 2008

November is a good time for a get together here.

Scotty’s Castle – Death Valley

One of the more interesting stories is about this attraction and its history.

Eastern Sierra Holiday July 2007 & Death Valley 2008

Don and Wheels show you some of the features and vistas to be found at Death Valley.

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BYO, Japanese style

After graduating high school, three Japanese buddies decided to follow their dream of a year-long cross-country road trip, from the northeastern island of Hokkaido to the southwestern one of Yakushima. But before they set out, the trio built one of the coolest road trip cars ever conceived, from a decrepit mid-80s Toyota Toyoace.

Take a look at the Build Your Own RV at Japanese Road Trip in Transforming Toyota Truck!

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Understanding Debit and Credit Cards

Jim has a good rundown of things you need to know about credit and debit cards. These are a convenient and safe way to pay expenses, especially while on the road. Here are the topics he covers:

Don’t forget to check out some of the links, too. That is what the web is all about – following the trail to fill in the gaps of your knowledge. These cards are tools and, like any tool, keeping them in good condition and using them properly can make getting the job done right a lot less hassle.

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Traffic cameras and tickets

Every now and then some troll posts a rant about speeders and safety on an RV forum. That nearly always results in a lengthy thread. Rachel Alexander says Don’t Smile for the Camera in an article about Arizona traffic monitoring cameras. Several points are made that every driver needs to keep in mind.

Government officials freely acknowledge that the purpose of speed cameras is not safety, but revenue generation …

In Arizona, speed camera tickets do not add any “points” to a driver’s record …

Speed cameras take police officers off the streets and put them somewhere else — leaving more drunk drivers on the road …

Speed cameras are less forgiving than police officers. In Arizona, the law defines speeding as driving at a speed that is above “reasonable and prudent” under the circumstances, and states that driving above the posted speed limit is only “prima facie” evidence that the speed is not reasonable and prudent; it is not decisive …

Another problem with speed camera tickets is they fail to give people proper notice as required by law …

The key issue is that traffic law becomes a game and not a matter of safe driving. That influences how you drive and how you can enjoy your travels on the highways. Be careful of your own perceptions and be aware that getting from here to there isn’t just a transport issue but also a social one.

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Avoiding harassment via telephone

Even cell phones are becoming targets for automated marketing. Hold those robo calls at InfoWorld provides tips about how to avoid harassment via telephone.

There are links to the The National Political Do Not Contact Registry that promises to tell campaigning politicians not to call is a free voice mailbox service that reroutes telemarketers to a trash bin. is where you can find out who is calling you.

Fending off unsolicited communications was bad enough with junk mail. Now it is getting to be an industry in itself to filter out and reject e-mail messages or telephone calls that you really don’t want to bother you.

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Vinegar, another useful household chemical

Karen describes 25 Ways to Clean with Vinegar at Keeping the Castle. As a mild acid, vinegar (Wikipedia) can be a useful solvent that will help remove stains, soap scum, or hard water (salt) deposits.

There’s even a vinegar institute, and a website devoted to vinegar tips. Look around and you’ll find a lot more.

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Other uses for coffee filters

Wayne and Roberta have a nice list of possible uses for coffee filters on iRV2

you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing.
Not just for making Coffee….

  1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters Make excellent covers.
  2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll Leave windows sparkling.
  3. Protect China . Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter Between each dish.
  4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a Wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
  5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to Absorb moisture and prevent rust.
  6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter…
  7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined With a coffee filter.
  8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on A kitchen scale.
  9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
  10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot With a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage Holes.
  11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in A coffee filter.
  12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows?? Use strips Of coffee filters.
  13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken Fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.
  14. Keep in the bathroom.They make Great Razor Nick fixers

That ought to be enough to get you started on your own list of ideas for where a circle of lint free porous paper could be useful. Do note that these ideas are talking about the basket type filters and not the cone type.

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What is a fair cost for health care?

Healthcare Blue Book claims to be able to tell you what a procedure should cost.

The Healthcare Blue Book is a free consumer guide to help you determine fair prices in your area for healthcare services. If you pay for your own healthcare, have a high deductible or need a service your insurance does not fully cover, we can help. The Blue Book will help you find fair prices for surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, medical tests and much more.

From the cost for determining blood type to a colonoscopy to dental procedures, this resource will provide you with a guideline you can use to evaluate what it costs you. The estimates include common variables. Blood typing, for instance, depends upon whether or not it is a part of other physician’s services. Colonoscopy is broken down to physician, facility, and anesthesia fees and whether or not a biopsy is performed.

This is an advertising site and its newness shows in that a few searches result in errors. If you have to pay some or all of your medical or dental costs, it appears that it can provide you with information to help you evaluate what you are paying for what you are getting.

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Audio sky tour – podcast

Sky & Telescope suggests you Tour January’s Sky by Eye and Ear!. The post has a link to their audio sky tour. You can sit outside looking at the sky and have a guided tour that tells you what you are seeing!

The evening skies this winter feature an amazing collection of bright stars — and one awesomely bright planet. They’ll be especially pretty a few days after full Moon, which is January 10th.

Venus has a remarkable showing that will last all winter. Orion is up and there is a lot more to recognize in the night sky.

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