Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time: An Interesting Concept

We have so many different sayings when it comes to Time.

What time is it?
Where did the time go!
How much time will it take?
Time for bed.
Can the day be any slower?
What time do you have?

Well I guess you get the idea. It is interesting that they say "everybody has the same 24 hours in a day." Which is true but to some it is measured differently, some how. When you look at a clock and say, "Wow, where did the day go?" or "You mean to tell me that it is only 3 o'clock?, you have two different concepts of time.  One, of course, is fast and the other slow. Time is constant until you look at your clocks and realize that they are running too fast or too slow.

How can this be when plugged into an outlet, (unless it is battery operated)? Normally at your house you usually don't have a problem with your clocks. Plug them in, set the time  and there you go. In an RV when plugged into the generator you may find this to be interesting to know that your clocks may run faster or slower.

In my previous post I was plagued with a problem and I figured out why this happens. I will try to explain this as best I can.

If you were to take any one of your appliances and look on the bottom you will see 120 volts ac (120VAC) and 60 hertz (60hz). So what is a "hertz"? Go and get a piece of paper and a writing utensil, I'll wait..........................Oh you're back.

On the paper make a straight horizontal line........... Great looking line. Now on the line towards the left, start upwards and then make a curve downwards, pass the line and then start to make a curve upwards and stop at the line. What you have just drawn is a "sine wave". Now if we were to measure from start to finish in seconds then we would have one cycle per second or one hertz per second. Electricity is measured in hertz per second which happens to be 60 cycles per second or 60 hertz.

OK enough of the theory so let's apply this to a generator. Generators are a great tool to have in areas that frequent power losses. We went through Hurricane Ike when the power to the house was out for 2 weeks. We lived in our trailer, in the driveway, on a generator, even ran our washing machine as well. Generators run on engines which maintain a constant speed controlled by a govenor. Now that's a whole different story.

From what I have learned is that generators are measured and set at half load. This will produce about 120VAC at about 60hz. Notice that I said "about" in the last statement. So let's take a typical day in the trailer running on a generator. During mid-day we have the TVs on, the a/c is running and you are cooking something in the microwave. The clocks seem to be just fine. Now it's time for bed. The generator is running with a much lower load which means that it is running faster and so are the clocks. When you wake up you may notice that they are a bit fast and have to reset them. In general, when the generator speed is running faster so are the clocks and visa-ver-sa.

I hope that this makes sense to you all and helps explain why the clocks do what they do on a generator. If by chance that my information is not correct, please do not hesitate to let me know so I can correct myself. If I am wrong let me know, we are all learning and I can take criticism.

Until Next Time.................................Be Safe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Time Creeps Slowly or Speeds Up

We have been full timing now for about three years. We also have had some interesting jobs. From feather dusting the outside of a bath house to cleaning rooms at a lodge and cabins.

When we were at these places we were plugged into their campground power, no problems.
For the past year or so we have been using a generator. Now I don't mind using a generator but it has some interesting features. Can I run everything that I want? Well as stated in one of my earlier posts the answer to that question would be no.

I consider myself to be somewhat educated and knowledgeable about most things. But there is one thing that has baffled me lately that I just can't get a grip on. When using the generator the clocks in the trailer may run faster or slower. But never on time. OK I guess you all know what the next question is? Why does this happen?

This much I know for sure, 120 volts ac at 60 hertz. This is the same power that you would normally have in your house. A generator's voltage is based on how fast the engine runs. The faster it runs the more voltage of course. Since voltage can fluctuate on a generator, does the hertz do the same? This is the only thing that I can come up with. I know one thing for sure is that I will be researching this out in the near future. I just hate it when I don't know something.

Well kind of a short post today and food for thought.

Until next Time...................................Be Safe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Can I Say, What Can't I Say??

We arrived in Whitsett yesterday, not a bad drive but that Texas Highway 72 coming from Yoakum could be just a little smoother.

After getting set up I went to the office to let them know we were here and I was given a two page letter. Sherry and I read the letter and it basically says that we are not allowed to give out any type of information about anything especially on the internet. I can't even take pictures anymore. OK I can understand this so far, I think.

I need to make an apology to some of my followers for getting upset about this.  I heard about this a few weeks ago and posted some comments on their blog, Sorry Debbie and Vicky. I do understand now since I have seen it in writing. We should be getting our assignment by Thursday we hope.

Now in the past, I posted a few things about the job but felt that it was general statements, nothing specific. I am not sure but I don't think I mentioned any names. I am getting old and the memory is short lived now a days. So what does this mean?

What this means to me is that I will not be posting anything about the job or who we work for and what we do. I will be posting our personal experiences and continue posting about our RV lifestyle and information about RVs in general. There is a lot to say about everything and anything, I just have to be careful on how to say it, which I am not very good at. I usually say what I mean and what is on my mind, I have been told that I have very little tact.

I have been following a couple of blogs about this lifestyle and now they have cleaned up their blogs that you won't find anything about this job. One blog doesn't even work for them anymore and won't be coming back either, but that's their choice.

I think that the internet is a great source of information and is a wonderful thing. I have purchased many items on the net, resourced items like my air conditioner, but it also can be a cruel tool. In this day and age posting or publishing anything on the internet is out there for good.I have a facebook page but don't really post anything there and I have no idea what this Twitter thing is all about and don't care to know either. My cell phone can make and receive calls and believe it or not that is all I do with it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I understand where they are coming from and will do my best to abide by the rules of the game.

Oh, what do you think of the new layout??

So Until Next Time...............................Be Safe.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us, Final Chapter

I left on in the last post, I think, leaving Nails Creek and heading to Fredericksburg, Texas. We decided to stay at an RV park called Oakwood RV Resort. Boy were these sites tight. I mean TIGHT. I had a hell of a time getting the 5ver placed where the side would come out and not hit any trees. Outside of the site the park was nice and we had a good time in Fredericksburg. When we left Fredericksburg we headed to a State park called Lost Maples and to get there we tackled the "hills" of the hill country of Texas.

This park was nestled inside a canyon with mountains and trees all around. We stayed about 4 nights and if you want to get away from it all this is the place, no internet and no cell service. It was nice for a change. We travelled to some small towns to see what was there and to our surprise we stopped in a town called Utopia.

What makes this town special is that the movie "Seven Days In Utopia" was filmed here. This film is about a golfer and starred Robert Duvall. One of our favorite actors. We had lunch at a cafe called "Lost Maples Cafe" where some of the movie was filmed in. We bought the movie but have yet to see it. Looking forward to it.

We left Lost Maples and went to a city called Bandera. A nice little city but stayed at a park called Pioneer RV Park which was not so nice. The park was nice but the managers we rude and mean plus they charge 4 extra dollars for an extra person. I guess I will never understand why they do this. In Bandera we found a county park for only 15 dollars a night and we moved there for about 3 nights before taking off to Inks Lake State park.

This was a very popular park for the locals and was busy when we got there. The first site assigned to us was a no go and received a much bigger site just across form the bath house. We tried a little fishing and had a good time there. Sherry and I decided that it was time to start to head back to the Houston area one more time before we head to a gate. So off to Bastrop State Park.

Bastrop State Park was involved in a major wildfire last September which consumed about 95% of the park. We stayed for awhile and toured the area and it was pretty bad. The park is a nice one but will take years for it to be as beautiful as it once was. The next State Park we went to was called Buescher which wasn't far.

We were able to get the camp host site which had sewer and that allowed us to stay for a week. A real beautiful park that has a small lake for fishing so we took advantage of that one day. One nice thing about this park is that the sites are cheap, only 15 dollars a night, not bad.

Our time was up at Buescher and off to Stephen F. Austin State Park. We were at this park once before many years ago when our son was in the Boy Scouts. We picked our site which had sewer and set up camp. One of our neighbors was a first time, brand new 5ver camper. They had problems, but that's another posting. Knowing that this is our last park before heading back to a gate, we went to Tomball where we are at now.

We visited with the kids and grand kids last night but our son and his family was not able to make it. Today we have laundry and a few things to pick up at the store before we head off to our gate adventure for the next three months or so.

So Until next Time..........................Be Safe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us Pt. 2

Let me see where I left off. I think we were leaving Amarillo and heading towards Wichita Falls, Texas. We stayed at a state park called Lake Arrowhead.

This park started out bad when we registered. The lady asked if we ever stayed there before and I said no and then proceeded to tell us to pick a site. For the most part this park was a hell hole with no shade and the power kept cutting out in the middle of the hottest part of the day.

The only saving grace this park had was a "Prairie Dog Town" that featured a small area of prairie dogs. It was pretty cool to watch.

Our goal was to head back to Houston and visit with the kids again. So we left Lake Arrowhead State Park and headed to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to another state park called Cedar Hill State Park. This park was real nice and shady. We went to Camping World one day and got caught up in a terrible rain storm on the way back.

Our next stop took us to Huntsville State Park. This is a popular park being so close to the Houston area. We had a nice site with plenty of shade but because of the trees we were not able to get a satellite signal, so DVD movies and antenna TV for our stay.

We are now in our favorite stop in Tomball which is where we are now. We visited with our kids in the north Houston area and then headed south to visit with our son and his family for a while. After that we wanted to head towards Fredericksburg, Texas. We were in Fredericksburg once before but only stayed one day so it deserved a few more days.

Before Fredericksburg we went to a state park called Nails Creek. There sites were very small and they gave us a site which had sewer but was a few dollars more. It was a bad park that we didn't like too much. I don't think that we will be back in the near future.

Wow, after looking at our log of where we have been I think I should stop now and continue later. I didn't realize that we have been to so many places this summer.......So

Until Next Time.................................Be Safe.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Almost Over for Us

Well unfortunately our summer vacation is coming to a close. We are at Stephen F. Austin State Park and will be traveling to Tomball on Monday. We will be there for about a week to see the kids and grand kids. After that we will be heading back to gate guarding in south Texas.

We have had an interesting ride this summer. We had a scare with Brianne passing out on us to watching a family with a new fifth wheel camping for the first time. Let me see if I can recap some of our most memorable moments.

We left the gate at the end of March and spent some relaxing time in Laredo. We  left Laredo and headed towards where our son and his family lives in Dickinson, TX for a bit. We went to Tomball for our daughter's wedding. Finally got her married off. Now the fun starts.

Went to the Alabama-Choushatta Indian Reservation to camp for a week and this is the place where Bri passed out on us. She is fine now and doing well. We decided to go to the College Station area to see the George Bush Presidential Library. If you have never been to one you really need to see one they are just fantastic.

A change in plans and a pit stop in Austin to see the LBJ Presidential Library. This library is under construction and very little to see. So we will make sure to visit again when completed. Now we head to the River Walk in San Antonio. We stayed just outside of San Antonio at a park which happened to flood out during a bad rain storm, no problem for us though. Our plan is to travel up to Amarillo, so off to San Angelo for a few days and then to Lubbock which was interesting.

While setting up I had encounter with a scorpion which stung me twice in the right thumb. Boy that hurt but ok now. Off to Amarillo now. We stayed at an RV park which was somewhat uneven and had rough roads. Here we had a lot to see and do. We went out to dinner in a limo, went to see the "Cadillac Ranch" and cruised Historic Route 66. Our main goal was to see an RV Museum there. it was free and very nice. They had the RV motor home from the movie "RV" starring Robin Williams.

After thinking about our summer I think this post may be too long so I will break it up into another post later on. So........

Until next Time....................Be Safe.