Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stealth Van Dweller's Headed For The Space Coast!

That's it, I've had enough!  It's time for the Stealth Van to again blast off for new terrain!  The year isn't even over, but the winter blahs are already here.  Up to my ears in snow, bundled up like an Eskimo just to go get the mail, I surrender!  I'm headed south!

If Mary was able to retire, we would have been gone months ago. For me, using the excuse to reunite with a life long friend and shake hands with others I've known only through the internet, it just feels like NOW is a good time to travel!

Instead of shoveling endless drifts of snow, it will be long walks on a deserted beach.  The uniform of the day, shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and good old flip-flops on my feet.  I think they have a law down there requiring everyone to wear flip-flops.  For sure there will be nary a snowshoe to be found for thousands of miles.

Yes, I have been carrying snow shoes in my Jeep all winter.  The unusually heavy snows have required it to gain access to my cabin.  It's saying something when you can't make the 1/4 mile trip from the road with a Jeep.
Now the bed is re-installed in the van, and I'm packing for warmer climates.  Funny, it will take more clothes than normal for this voyage.  Leaving in weather that requires parkas and winter boots, it will be at least a two day drive before I can switch to shorts.

To assure adequate warmth until I get there, I have a sub-zero sleeping bag, and a 12 volt electric blanket. The Stealth Van has 2 house battery's providing enough capacity to run the electric blanket all night long if I need it.

January's forecast indicates warmer than usual temps. across the country.  I read that to mean the snow belt will end further north.  I hope so, there will be no love lost getting out of the Great White North.

I can wish it would all be gone when I return, but alas this is only a 2 week reprieve.  There will still be plenty of winter left to enjoy.....NOT!

Give me a few more years, then it will be adios to snowy winters for good.

For this year, I'm thankful for an economical way to get the heck out of dodge.  At +30 mpg, the Stealth Van will make the voyage comfortable, and most importantly CHEAP!

By the middle of January, I'll be down in paradise, working on my tan.  Hemingway was inspired by the South Seas surroundings of the Florida Keys. Who knows, maybe there's a classic novel locked up inside me too.

The only way to find out is to go where the trade winds are warm and the palm trees sway in  the breeze.

I'm really going to hate coming back to reality!





Friday, December 20, 2013

My New IRULU 10.1 Android Tablet!

Recently, while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, I noticed of the 12 people in the room, 9 where busy with their noses buried into some sort of electronic device.  I was as guilty as the rest, as I had brought my briefcase containing my Acer notebook computer, power cord, and assorted accessories.

The one thing everyone else had over me was, while I took up half a coffee table with paraphernalia, they had one simple handheld device.  I think it's time for an upgrade!

The lady sitting next to me had this handy sized tablet and was reading a book on it.  It struck me as the best size because I have big fingers and using smaller devices gets very clumsy and awkward real quick.  What I also liked was that it came with a case that included a very usable keyboard for times when you may want to create a more extensive document.

Though I was unfamiliar with the IRULU name, on line research  seemed to confirm that for the price it was a  pretty complete unit that offered plenty of usability.  It would also get me away from excessive support gear, definitely what I had in mind.

Van dwellers need to find WiFi signals where they can.  McDonald's is my favorite choice because when on the road, they're just about everywhere.  With this little jewel, I can easily pick up my breakfast, and take care of business while I eat.  Neat, clean, no cords or add on's.  No need to purchase cell service, though that is an option for those who desire it. Myself, I get by with finding free internet access, which is becoming more prevalent every day.

Though I've only had my new tablet for a day, I've already loaded up a number of apps.  Facebook, CNN, the local newspaper, and of course Gmail.  Though I've never been a gamer, I even uploaded Angry Birds, just for fun.

The touch screen responds very quickly and boot up time is about 20 seconds.  If you have it on standby, recall is almost instantaneous.

I'm sure this tablet will become my new best friend. Sure can't beat the price of $120 of  Ebay, it's well worth the money.  Now when I'm forced to kill time waiting, I  will blend in with the rest of those in the know about current technology.  I was surprised how little time it took to catch on to using it.  Good thing it's pretty intuitive, the manual is small, hard to read, and very basic.  Most things you need to know aren't even covered.  Play around with it, and in short order you can figure out how it works.