Sunday, July 27, 2008
Diary published weekly since 2001
Read this Issue on line HERE
Due to lack of Internet access on the 19th This post was not added....
TIPS THIS WEEK –
NOTE: Tips/Promos from Issue 30 (post of 26 July) will be added Monday 28th to avoid confusion
ADD A USA ADDRESS TO A CDN (USA) CREDIT CARD: This is a tip mainly for Cdns but it may also work for Americans who spend extensive time in Canada. A letter in a recent RV Times magazine may be a good solution to a major problem. Many Cdns (& vice versa) do not carry a USA (Cda) credit card – as a result we do not have a ZIP (Postal) code to insert when pumping gas etc. Yes it is possible to open an account in a USA (Cdn) bank but since many of us travel around to various places and we choose not to do that. BUT if you have a semi permanent address in another country (of the park you regularly visit or a USA (Cda) mail forwarding service like us) your Cdn (USA) Cr Cd Company may add that location to your file. We did this last week to BofM MC. It does not change any aspects or payments or anything else with our Cdn Cd but it is supposed to allow us to punch in a ZIP code so we do not have to leave our Cr Cd in an office while we pumping. Although we added our address, at this point we have not had a chance to test it. This should work for on-line sales as well. For us that would mean Wal*Mart (previously we had to buy a store card) or Verizon (better deals for customers when we buy on line) etc. I hope this works out – at least I now have a USA address on my Cdn BofM Cd.
FLY J DISCOUNTS. We all know Flying J is going through discount changes. On the present program if you spend money in the store one month you worked up to a higher discount for next months gas/propane. But this program has been very confusing. For instance Cda’s 64+ locations are not giving discounts for any D purchases even if you spent money in the store/restaurant the previous month – gas/propane-yes, diesel-no. Many of us go to Fly J for a number o reasons – RV Island, small D pumps, dump station etc. but in this era of extra high gas/fuel prices any discount is appreciated. FMCA negotiated a special $.01 cent p/gal D Jun-Aug for its members if you had an FMCA Fly J card. Well now FMCA members can call Fly J at 888-438-3537 and they will add that discount to your original card if you share your F#. Fly J is again planning to offer the $.01 cent discount on D as of September if you use any RV Real Value Card. Not sure where the new rules stand ref gas/propane.
HELPFUL WEBSITES. In the July issue of the Fulltimers News two websites caught my eye.
***SIMPLE WEATHER offers relative weather right now – hour-by-hour daily forecasts plus a brief 5-day prediction. No extras such as maps, highs and lows, etc
***LOCATE FREE WI-FI HOTSPOTS IN USA – Listing of free hotels, resorts, coffee shops, stores, eateries, etc.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Read this entire fully loaded edition of P&J's Weekly Diary on line HERE
TIPS AND PROMOS Together this week
**** More info than a TIP - Our BORDER CROSSING last Monday was our SLOWEST ever. We usually cross at Sarnia/Port Huron but this time we were on the Bridge for 20 minutes and over an hour waiting to get through the gate. We did not realize the agents might have been on an Orange Alert because it was the day following July 4th weekend. At any rate when we got to the checkpoint, the Agent studied our passports in the greatest of detail beside his computer. He only asked us 3 Q – 1) Where are we from? 2) How many on board? 3) Where are we going? He couldn’t care less if we had food on board (of course we got rid of everything) or if we had the dog’s papers or anything else. Although there were 7-gates open on one side and 6 on the other, we sat at his gate a good 5 minutes. They even had extra staff along the bridge directing drivers into one lane or another. When he finished at his computer he gave us our PP’s back and said “Have a Good Day!’ I have relayed for a long time that we RVers can no longer hide, but after last Monday morning I am convinced that every detail of our last 75+ crossings were on the screen in front of him.
**** MAINTENANCE HICK-UPS keeps this lifestyle interesting. While checking into the park in a small community of Utica IL on Tuesday John discovered we had completely lost the pull rod/handle to the gray tank and the plastic handle on the black rod disintegrated when he touched it. No RV service facility was in the vicinity – and without parts we couldn’t dump. However all was not lost because a Wal*Mart Automotive Tech sent us to Midway Truck Parts at the next exit – they sell trailers, but mainly the combo style for farm animals – IE horses/camping etc. Guess what? Even though their RV Section was limited, they had the parts we required. Soooo never hesitate to search in unlikely places for things you may need.
**** But our MAINTENANCE EXCITEMENT was not over as yet, mainly because around suppertime on Wed – no water would come out of any hot tap. Guess we have another check valve problem – our valve seems to go every 4- 5-years even when quality ones are installed. That evening I phoned our friend Les Doll, a working RV Tech and Webhost of the progressive RVerscorner.com– and by our symptoms we need a new check valve. Oh well we’ve lots of water and a microwave/stove to heat water to wash dishes. All the places we go to have showers – so with our busy schedule we’ll cope till Coach-Care appoint on 21st. Not much more than a minor clitch in day-to-day living. At FMCA we are camped for a week without hook-ups anyway – life still goes on with or without hot water on board.
SPAM POSTS continue to plaque my inbox and I am sure yours too. Just tonight I got the email telling me I had a POST CARD from a family member. This is a VIRUS – do NOT click on anything in the email. Delete it immediately!!! I also receive numerous email to ‘Undisclosed Residents’ or ‘TO’. Or ‘even to a wrong email address’ that supposedly come from Pay Pal accounts or my Bank etc. – PLUS many offer me millions of $$$$ if I answer. Delete ALL – they are SPAM and NEVER click on a link or open these messages. THEY ARE ALL BAD!!!
This Tip from last week if in doubt… One test is to HOOVER OVER a link and look in the TaskBar at the bottom of your computer. If the Taskbar website URL that shows up is different than the one in the email LINK, you know you have a SPAM email.
Bill shared this HARMFUL VIRUS info. A message with a subject line "US Army crossed Iran's borders" is also a Virus - do NOT click on the URL. He removed most of the link so no one could accidentally click on it, but it started with http://newsworldnow…’.
After the ‘kids’ got into my purse last week and tackled my camera, Carol our breeder, sent this WARNING ABOUT XYLITOL (USED IN SUGAR FREE GUM, ETC). It has been checked out on Snopes.com and it is true – entire story…
Many women carry gum in their purses and other dangerous things and that can be deadly to animals. The dog in her story did live but the weekend of touch and go Vet Treatment in consult with Poison Control was very COSTLY. The Xylitol causes dogs to secrete insulin so their blood sugar drops very quickly. Liver failure usually follows. According to Snopes raisins and grapes can also be deadly to dogs.
TIPS FOR CAMPFIRE SAFETY – so they don’t become a raging inferno that causes a major fire. Story is in the current RV Travel Newsletter.
*** Keep campfires small – completely extinguish them before leaving camp. The best method is to douse fire with water; stir the ashes; douse again. Ensure that all ashes are cold to the touch.
*** Charcoal should be soaked in water after use.
*** Smokers should light up only in areas cleared of all flammable debris. Cigarette butts should never be thrown from vehicle windows.
PROMO THIS WEEK
This weeks RV Travel Newsletter also relayed that Chuck Woodbury’s mother died this week. Chuck owns RVTravel.com. Unfortunately 2 days later his Webmaster Zoey Platt’s father died. Our Sympathy goes out to BOTH these friends and talented people. Our heart-felt prayers are on their way from John and I.
During a recent Seminar for Canada’s Explorer RV Club Rally in McGregor, Ontario, I shared Numerous RV Tips from my RV Packing Tips ebook. While researching this presentation I was again acquainted with the Hundreds of tips & cleaning ideas from Mary Findley (aka Mary Moppin's) owner and webhost of GO CLEAN.COM. Read a few of Mary’s fantastic hints HERE… - Follow her banner link for hundreds more RV tips.
RVLiving.net is loaded with valuable information and free articles. Yes I have my books for sale and I promote other items that I feel are worthwhile but much of MY ADVICE AND HOW-TO PAGE Info is FREE. While on this site, why not take a look at many of the other topics I highlight?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Diary published weekly since 2001
Read this Weeks P&J's Diary on line HERE
This week's post discusses - my FMCA Seminar "RV Travel to Cda"; Homemade Wine; Picassa Albums plus much more.
TIPS THIS WEEK
In my seminar at the Explorer RV Club Rally last weekend, I relayed the value of keeping a tub of either DAMP RID (American) or NO DAMP (Cdn) crystals in the kitchen and in the bathroom to combat excess moisture, but I also stated that not all stores carry them, especially in Cda, however most dealers do. On Monday, Joanne sent me an email telling me she bought Damp Rid in a Cdn Tire store. Thanks for the heads-up. By the way DRI-Z-AIR also works and it comes in a fancy but more costly container.
John and I spilled the one in our bathroom twice recently and cleaning up the oily residue becomes a real chore. The fancy container would have prevented this accident – however today I found a more stable smaller container in the Dollar Store – called DAMP-TRAP. It is not easily refillable but at a $1. each – throwing it out would not be a huge disaster.
Bill sent a story that ATM THEFTS were on the increase in the California Bay Area at 7-11 Stores. This can happen everywhere so Shoppers BE AWARE. Apparently the manufacturers had not properly encrypted the data. Security experts advise people to change their PIN often and shop with companies they know. It may be more advisable to use ATM’s housed in banks – OR better yet, we always take CASHBACK from stores such as Wal*Mart etc. John and I have not used an ATM for the past 7-years. Read story HERE.
Many already know I receive several newsletters by email. The June2008 - RV.NET EMAGAZINE was loaded with a selection of very informative blog posts. Read the full magazine HERE
One post by Gary Bunzer – ‘The RV Doctor’ included 5 Top Tips highlighting HOW TO RECEIVE THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICE at an RV Service Facility, Read Gary’s full story HERE
- Record All Identifying Numbers
- Organize a Repair History of the RV
- List All Add-on Components
- Look for the Obvious
- Document the Exact Specifics of the Symptom
Bill shared that Sacramento CA and Olympia WA have joined the NO CELL PHONE USE areas. Fines are heavy – other areas are joining the same-band wagon. If using a cell phone while driving is important to you, it may be wise to set up a hands free system.
PROMO THIS WEEK
Angie’s email warned of a ‘NEW Big Virus’ that is coming in the form of an email that asks you to OPEN A POSTCARD (MAYBE AN E-CARD TOO). The sender name is a generic description such as from a ‘family member’ or ‘friend’ etc. This virus in some form or other has been around for a while and according to Snopes.com it is real and serious – but apparently it is not the worst Virus ever release and it will not burn-up your hard-drive as the email states. So yes we all must be careful what we open. Read the full story HERE.
Suggestions – if you receive an e-card email, go to the associated website to enter the code number into the space to pick up your card – if it does not go through then you know it is bogus. BUT DO NOT CLICK THE LINK in the email to pick up the card.
Another test is to HOOVER OVER the link and look in the TaskBar at the bottom of your computer. If the website URL that comes up is different than the one in the email LINK, you know you have a SPAM email.