Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Sue Year 2013!

Blogging has always been part of RV'ing but, 2012 has brought changes for Sue.  In the future, I'll be blagging- a combination of blabbing and blogging!

When I returned home from my 2012 trip in October, I immediately plastered the internet with ads to sell the RV.  I had decided, after spending two wonderful summers in Eureka, CA, that I wanted to spend EVERY summer there!   But, it was just a little packed in my sister's driveway with my RV and all the other cars...

Since my sister owns an RV park, it seemed reasonable to change gears and get a trailer to live in during the summer months.  This would also save me a boatload of money as I would not make loan payments, pay storage fees, insurance, repair/maintainance or fuel.  And, I would have my car with me while out in California.

So, it is with relief and sadness that I must report the motorhome has been sold.

Relief:  I took the financial hit and survived.  It is a fact that, once you own a recreational vehicle, you are trapped in a cycle of trading it in to avoid the punishing reality that these vehicles don't hold value like a normal vehicle and you are gonna get slammed financially some day.  That is true in "normal" times, and the current economy is not normal (hopefully).  Thankfully, I was able to make a bank deposit after the sales transaction.

Sadness:  This is the first time in 12 years that I have been without a motorhome and travelling (or planning to travel), an activity I learned to love with Frank.  This is a pic from our inaugural trip with Tofu in her jammies.  So, this is goodbye to a wonderful lifestyle associated with Frank, as well as a part of my identity as "MovinSue".

On the positive side, I will be looking at new and exciting ways to travel and include friends and family and took a fantastic Alaska cruise this year.  Next year, fam is planning a fall getogether in Lake Tahoe where many of the hotels permit and even cater to pets ("out-west" is much more dog friendly than east).

Other events of note in 2012:

My face went into the Repair & Restoration Shop.  I nearly went into shock one day looking at a photo of myself and decided it was time for some cosmetic self care.  I have never been much interested in hair style changes, makeup, skin care and all that but times change.  I was shocked and distressed to see the damage that time and stress had taken on my face. 

The tune-up was done in mid-June and was uneventful-nearly painless-and I was out in public two weeks afterwards.  Here is a Before/After photo taken 4 months after the procedure:

 I subsequently wrote a blog series on the clinic's website which can be read here:  Sue's Mexican Adventure

My doctor asked me to get a Glamour Shot for his website!  The prospect of being photographed scared the you-know-what out of me, but it was his dime so I said OK.  This turned out to be romping fun with Androgenous Aaron, who twisted me into alien poses throughout the session while I painfully reminded him that this was a conservative business appointment!   He called me Miss Sue and said I was pretty limber for my age.  Kids! 

Early in 2012, I fell out of love with the community in which I chose to live after leaving Cape Coral in 2009.  I adore my home, but will never again buy property in an HOA which is likely to be run by Despots and Dummies.  Many of the friends I made here have either sold, have their homes up for sale or wish they could sell!  It is an ongoing and sad transition.

I only bought two new gadgets in 2012 and returned one of them, so that really means I only bought  my Asus Transformer tablet.  I tried to get a new laptop, since my current one is squirrley and taunts me daily with sudden shut downs, has a dead CD/DVD drive and dead webcam.  I carefully researched the latest crop of laptops--the new hybrids and ultrabooks.

It is scary out there!  We have entered a major computering restructuring.  Not only has the operating system undergone a major change, so has the hardware!

There are many surprises in store for Windows 8 users who buy Windows 8 laptops--not the least of which is the demise of the CD/DVD drive in many of the Windows 8 laptops (the "ultra" means "light" which means they left out a lot of good stuff!).   The absence of it is not described in the specs as such and when referred to, it is called "optical drive", which some might not know is the CD/DVD player.  What this means is that you will not be able to make your own backup restore disks and you will be charged $40 for this service.   If you should fail to make or buy the restore disks and need to reformat at some future time, you will have to send it back to the factory for an OEM restore or risk dealing with an internet restoration service.

Also, you will not be able to play your CD's or DVD's unless you buy a separate CD/DVD drive--cheapest one around $25 on amazon and $40-50 in the stores.  That's progress???   Adding on a corded clumsy peripheral to play your media?  Wow!

Also, get this!  Many batteries are NOT user-replaceable--they are built-in and can't be removed and replaced without a congressional order or at least a trip to the Geek Squad!  Yikes!  My laptop batteries die in less than 2 years!

I learned that the touchpad has been modified for Windows 8 laptops.  The touchpads require new navigation behavior (swipe gestures) but this is not well-engineered; it is inconsistent and sloppy.  My swipe gestures were often ignored and cursor placement was bizarre.

And the new Win 8 operating system?  Don't get me started!  If you like not being able to talk to your computer, you might like it but I was extremely frustrated with it.   The problems went way beyond the discomfort of a learning curve, as the MS Developers would like the computing public to believe.

I read an article by an MIT computer scientist entitled ‘Christmas gift for someone you hate: Windows 8’.   After playing with it for a few days, I returned it and joined the escalating hordes of "haters" who hate Windows 8.   I am now starting over for 2013 looking through the remaining crop of Windows 7 laptops.  End of Rant.

My advice for 2013?  Don't lose your Windows 7 product key!

So, as with all years that I can remember, 2012 was a mixed bag of blessings (Family and Friends) and baggage (Windows 8).   Sue wishes for everybody in 2013 "May your blessings be bright and your baggage be light!"!   

Happy Sue Year!

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