I have a new gadget. Indoor/outdoor digital wireless thermometer.
I intend to stay between 40 F (4C) and 85F (30C).
Not doing so well today. Elko NV.
This photo is of what I call the sand basin, north of where I viewed the eclipse, in open land north of the trailer park. It looks ideal for star gazing, if and when I get back to it.
All the things that I needed to have taken care of are done. Almost. The trailer’s brake wires were repaired, brakes checked, and tires rotated. That electrical problem with the 120v open ground reappeared Friday night and didn’t go away by itself. So today I purchased a multi-meter and will have a look at it tomorrow. The service department for the electrical management system will walk me through the testing if I need them. The solar panel is recharging the batteries just fine. The roller trackball mouse makes a world of difference. I am obviously very attached to my technology and being connected to the Internet. So I pay for it and live with it and am content. I am very close to accomplishing the first step in establishing myself as a resident of Nevada. In fact I thought it would have happened by now. A mail-forwarding service outside of Las Vegas caters especially to RVers who are on the move. There are a few considerations, but for most part this is going to work. It is kind of ironic that for the last 3 months I have had this really nice home, and no address to go along with it.
And an unexpected health issue to deal with. My Medicare was just activated 3 weeks ago, and I have not been able to purchase supplemental insurance yet. But this is a top priority to deal with. All the health care professionals I have come in contact with have been extremely pleasant and thorough. Soreness and swelling suddenly in my right calf. Two different ultrasounds have determined I do not have thrombosis or a blood clot. Just some form of varicosity. Not terribly serious, and somewhat treatable. It has not impaired the use of my leg whatsoever. It should be a good idea to do more walking and bicycle riding.
Had a nice visit from my cousins from eastern Washington who were on a road trip with their 6 grandchildren. They decided to swing by Elko and see how I was doing. How exciting! Real company! We got a chance to try out two restaurants in town. I think we made good choices. Good food and excellent service. Elko is turning out to be a very positive experience for me.
Regarding the eclipse, my first idea was to travel north on Hwy 225 which runs through Owyhee to Mountain Home Idaho. Still south of the zone of totality, but close enough for me. I was planning to drive until I starting encountering cars parked along the road and bunches of people looking up at the sky. But the more I heard about traffic jams and gasoline and food shortages, the less I wanted to dive into that craziness, or get anywhere near it. The local college was planning to sponsor a viewing party. That made more sense to me. Participating in a community event. At the last minute they had to cancel the program because the distributor of the solar eclipse glasses could not vouch for their safety. Ow. Failure. So I went off to this area north of I-80 I have visited before, and had my own solar eclipse party. Me, my truck, and a camp chair, a half gallon of water, camera, and solar shades. I was out there for the duration, nearly three hours. Incredible spectacle. 90% totality is pretty good. Only a thin crescent of the sun remained. The light was noticeably dimmer, and the temperature fell a good 10 degrees.
Now it’s time for me start thinking about enjoying some the landscapes around here. I am thinking about an overnight campout in Lamoille Canyon with just the truck. And a day trip up north into Idaho. We’ll see.
Now on to discuss the other problems I was facing. Sunday evening I noticed that my devices chargers were not drawing any current from my 120V outlets. My power monitor indicated there was no ground in my 120V circuit. I switched everything over to 12V and decided to wait until some time later to deal with this situation. My batteries were 90% charged before I went to bed. Well, in the morning, somehow the problem had fixed itself. The was no error code on the monitor, I switched on the 120V and the outlets were normal. Hmm. That was simple. My kitchen faucet had been leaking for a week. It has a pull-out sprayer and the water was dripping from the connection of the hose to the spray head. Unless I pulled the sprayer out, when the faucet was being used, water was leaking down onto the shelf under the sink, and making its way into the cupboards at floor level where I keep flour, grains, beans, etc. It had looked to me that there was no way to disconnect the hose from the head (similar to a situation I encountered in the shower). The local RV center had a faucet that looked suitable for $90, or I could order one from the Internet for $60. Only problem with ordering stuff is that I don’t have a suitable place to have them delivered to. On closer inspection Monday, after I had disconnected all the plumbing under the sink in preparation for removing the faucet assembly, I discovered that yes indeed the hose did unscrew from the spray head. A generous wrapping of teflon tape cured the leak. Ah so simple. That saved me a bunch of money and worry about package delivery. Ever since I arrived in Elko I have not been able to access the Internet even here in town. Out at the trailer park my signal is even weaker and I have had to depend on the park’s free WiFi. Sometimes it is so slow it is not worth trying. And it is not secure. I just acquired this expensive unlimited data plan and haven’t used any data since I left Salt Lake City. One of the stops I made in town on Monday was the Verizon store. The clerk took a look at my phone. Tapped a few buttons and brought my phone into working order. She explained that my phone was still trying to find a signal in Salt Lake City. Wow. I mentioned to her that I was considering purchasing a cell phone signal booster. She asked what kind. I told her. And she said Verizon just started carrying them 3 weeks ago. She could order this one for me and I could pick it up in the store by the end of the week. Wow. Another problem solved. Back at the trailer park I am now able to use my smartphone as a WiFi hotspot even without the booster. So nice. I like my new laptop for the most part. Except trying to use this pad as a mouse is very frustrating.Copy and paste. Select and delete. Moving images around in Photoshop. Not working very well. So I ordered a wireless track ball from Walmart and will pick it up this afternoon. Walmart is good for being able to order a wide variety of items and just have them delivered to the nearest store. And there is one more important problem that I will be taking care of next week. On my was across on The Pony Express Trail I tore apart connecting wires for the brakes to one wheel on my trailer. I was able to splice them together and hold everything in place with electrical tape and duct tape. But the RV center will restore everything to professional standards, inspect the brakes, suspension, and tires.
So the handful of problems I was facing on Monday have all been taken care of in a simple and inexpensive way.
I will be parked here for awhile to work out a few bugs in what I have and how I am doing things. Not going anywhere until the first Social Security check and the Utah State pension arrive. Meanwhile….
Monday I was facing several problems that needed immediate attention. Most importantly my right calf had become sore and swollen Thursday. Suspecting I might have an embolism, medical attention was a top priority. I have only been in Elko for a week. My Medicare kicked in just 2 weeks ago. I have been living with a very good health plan at the University and enjoying the wide range of hospitals and clinics available there. The choices here in Elko are very limited and I know nothing about them. From Google I picked a private urgent care clinic and arrived when the doors opened. I had about a half hour wait. The intake by the medical assistant showed that my blood pressure was within a very normal range. Retirement must be agreeing with me. The PA made some observations and asked a lot of questions. He suspected an embolism himself, or DVT, but needed an ultrasound to make a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately their imaging was booked up all day. He called two other centers and found a possibility at one across town. He was really concerned that this be done today and not wait another day. so I checked in over there and made an appointment for the middle of the afternoon. I ran a few errands while I was in town, then returned to the trailer park, fixed me something to eat, did a few chores, and headed back to Elko. The procedure went well. The tech was able to talk to the radiologist on the phone. She relayed his information to me. There was no blood clot. Well, that was encouraging. They were supposed to forward these results back to the urgent care clinic who would then call me for a follow-up. I hung around town for awhile, and then just dropped by the clinic to see if the PA was available or set up an appointment for the next day. He was able to consult with me. He wasn’t sure what was going on in my leg himself. He said it might be an effect of long-distance driving, of the fact that I had changed the height of my seat at my work table. He was treating it like phlebitis and gave me some instructions. At the pharmacy I picked some ibuprofen, a box of heat compresses, and a pair of white anti-embolism stockings. Two days later the treatment seems to be working. All in all this was a very positive experience. Everyone that I interacted with was very pleasant. Despite the circumstances, it was a positive way to get introduced to Elko. I am curious to see how much this is all going to cost me. I think Medicare covers about 50%. What to do? I haven’t established residency in Nevada yet so I can’t sign up for supplemental coverage. And this was absolutely something that needed to be taken care of.
Two weeks into retirement I need medical attention. It’s all good.
It seems the final pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. My last day of work will be Monday July 31. I will be leaving Salt Lake City on Wednesday August 2 heading for Elko Nevada. I have had a number of doctor and dentist appointments to make sure everything checks out. And it does. Orthopedic. Primary Care. General Surgery. Optometry. Got my dental implant Wednesday. A follow up with my regular dentist next Thursday.
Technology. Got a smart phone three weeks ago. Picked up a laptop Tuesday. Today I purchased a DC-AC inverter to run the computer and my printer from the solar panel 12V system.
A haircut next week and a visit with one of my friends.
And I will be on my way….
I am beginning to personalize the interior of my new trailer as I settle into a routine and get used to living in a really small space. I have made a few adaptations to facilitate daily life and am contemplating a couple more minor projects. I am very reluctant to start drilling holes or doing anything permanent quite yet. I am pulling things out of my collection and displaying them where they can be seen and incorporated into who I am and what I am doing. Along the edge of my bed under the rear window I have spread a small wool rug hand woven by women in Turkmenistan gifted to me by a neighbor some years ago. On the wall enclosing the shower hangs a piece of woven cotton textile I obtained from a University student from Kenya. At the table at the front end of the trailer sits my design of the Achaemenian lion. On one side is a print of Saraswati, on the other a reproduction of the I-Ching hexagram for Synergy. On one side of the table sits SpongeBob Squarepants. Opposite, hanging from the handle of the upper storage compartment is the Kokopelli bandana and the the scarf from the Rwanda Commemoration. In the handle of the opposite compartment rests a Native American dream catcher. By the door hangs a string of Tibetan prayer flags. Over my bed in front of the rear window hangs my Kokopelli ornament. One of the projects I will be working on in my journey is researching my family history. I have already got a good start on that. I feel that the nine generations of my grandmothers are travelling with me.
I have just moved into a monthly rental site at the local KOA. Much more affordable and much more of a conventional residential community. The other side was for the tourists and vacationers and way too expensive. I will continue working at the hospital until the end of July as I get more familiar with the ins and outs of trailer living. I have made choices to do things this way. Everything is going along as scheduled. There are some drawbacks, but this is all part of the process that will get me where I want to be by October.
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