Saturday, May 19, 2018

Alberta Oil Shortage

Who says we need Alberta oil to keep RVing?


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

One of my most memorable meals was Linguine with Red Clam Sauce. It was many, many years ago, decades actually and I have no memory of where it was. My memory includes a gangster era dark, wood paneled restaurant with small candle lit tables with red checkered tablecloth. The red wine flowed and the jazz singer crooned!

I thought we had found an ideal spot in Vegas last year. The Bootlegger is a Vegas favorite that was favorably reviewed by CNN's Anthony Bourdain.  It had the requisite sultry jazz singer but the restaurant turned out to be over-lit and the tables were outfitted with white tablecloths. The paneling on the walls was not the dark shade I wanted. The food and service was "pretty good" but not good enough to replace my old memories of that long ago great meal. The Vegas meal included a glass of wine each and a coffee and liqueur after. The bill was $128 Canadian!

Tonight I found a recipe for this Red Clam Sauce and discovered I had all the required ingredients on hand. The recipe feeds six and there was only me as Norma hates garlic and I refused to leave it out. There will be plenty of leftovers.

It turned out to be delicious. Not too garlicky, not too tomatoy, just about perfect. I even had french bread to go with it. The total cost was well under ten dollars, a much better deal. No sultry jazz singer but I guess we must make the occasional sacrifice!


Thanks Mastercard!

I received notification this morning that a charge of $175 had been made against my Mastercard. This is a backup card that has not been used in some time so I called mastercard. They asked if I had been using an online gambling site with my credit card. I told them no, I certainly had not! They said their computer had noticed the unusual transaction and had refused it. Good deal!

The amount never appeared on my account and they have now cancelled the card and will send a replacement. They are looking after me.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lots Of Nothin'

We have been doing a lot of nothing or at least not very much, lately. The weather is so much better, short pants and t-shirt temperatures. Norma and her friend Kelly have been busy in the flower gardens and the new lawn cutting service has the horsetails on the back bank under control. Flowers are starting to peek up from the dirt.

I have been struggling with a bad back and was pretty much flat on my back for a couple of days but I am feeling much better now, maybe 80% back to normal. If it had not improved by today I was going to go to the chiropractor.

I have been fighting with one of our Garmin GPS units that was due for a map update. It informed me that the 4 GB micro SD card I had in it was too small and had to be formatted before the new maps could be loaded. I told it to go ahead and format it but it said it could not (?). I went down to London Drugs and bought a new card but the Garmin could not find the card (!) I then tried to format the original card using the computer but again, it refused, I guess the card is shot, the computer seems unable to determine the size of the 4 GB card. I eventually found an old 32 GB micro SD card I bought on eBay some time ago, formatted it in the computer and put it in the Garmin. The new maps downloaded and installed! Success! We now have two updated GPS units.

I am getting ready to Game 2 of the second round Winnipeg Jets hockey game tonight. They did really great against the new Las Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night so I am hoping they can persevere again tonight. Anyhow, that is my evening planned!




Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Expenses, Last Winter vs This Winter

Around this time of year I usually do a cost breakdown of our winter's travels. We did not travel this winter so I thought it might be valuable to explore the difference in costs staying home vs traveling.

It is a big difference.

First, one of our biggest costs last winter was my dental work in Mexico ($6,500) and I will take that out of the equation.

So the bottom line is, after taking out the dental expenses, we saved around $16.250 by staying home! The dates I used were November 1 to April 30.(6 months).

The big expenses we had last winter that we did not have this year were:

Medical insurance       $4,300
Motorhome Fuel          $2,000
Motorhome insurance  $700
Dining out                    $1.600 last year and only $220 this year
Groceries                      $4,700 last year and $3,400 this year
RV Park Fees               $3,500
Ferries                          $700
Hotels                           $300

RV, dolly, vehicle repairs  were $4,500 I excluded this in my calculations  It was an unusually expensive year in this category.

RV park fees were kept low because we got long term rates in Mesa, AZ.

There were lots of other minor expenses but these are the biggies. "Groceries" in the US includes booze. In Canada it is separate and I hardly buy any in Canada (still have left-overs from the US).

We have pretty much been hermits this winter and hardly went out for dinner at all.