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Reflections on June 8th, 2012:

Moving into the rest of our life………… Over the last several years Alice and I have been “wintering” with our motor-home at a campground i...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.....

Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid plunging sales, massive debt

Just another not unexpected headline for most, but for some of us whose life was actively intertwined with Sears, it's a pretty sad day.
For me it started in 1967.  At that time I was a branch circulation manager for the Hartford Courant in West Hartford CT, having just got back from Vietnam in 1965.  We had two branch offices in West Hartford, and the other manager (a Bobby Hull) told me he had just interviewed with Allstate Insurance and was going to take the job if offered to him.  We had pretty decent jobs with the Courant, health and retirement benefits, a company car, lots of office help...and I expressed concern that he was leaving for an unknown job in insurance sales.  Long story short, he sold me on the opportunity and got me an interview....and we both left the Courant and joined Allstate.  Allstate was then a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Sears, which was the largest and most profitable retail operation in the country.  Over the years, as Sears lost its footing there was many a year that our Allstate was the only bright light it seemed in corporate earnings, and it was our profit that was holding up the Sears Profit Sharing Plan.  Later of course Sears shuttered its catalog operation, spun off Dean Witter Reynolds and Coldwell Banker, and finally....Allstate.  I had a good run (34 years) and lots of good memories, especially at the beginning when we had a "booth" in a Sears store where we sold our insurance.  It wasn't until much later that we opened Account Offices, and much later when I purchased a building in New London and Alice joined me as a Licensed Customer Service Rep in our our Allstate branded Agency.  Our "booth" in Sears in New London was right next to Catalog, and I remember being amazed at the amount of business they were doing twelve hours a day.  Everyone thought those good times would never end....

October 17th, 2018:  This is one of the better editorials on the subject, from the Day in New London:

The irony of Sears’ demise

Ironic that Sears, the original retail innovator, proved to be so poor an innovator in the 21st century when confronted with both brick-and-mortar and online competition.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Sears was arguably a precursor to Amazon. Consumers across a vast and growing country thumbed through massive Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogs to order products to meet many of their needs — appliances, clothing, toys, medicines — and the list went on for hundreds of pages.
Much as Amazon employees do today, Sears workers in massive warehouses, the largest in Chicago, organized, sorted and mailed the products through the Postal Service to Americans who waited eagerly for their arrival on rural farms and in small villages.
As remote areas became fewer and the U.S. population spread across a vast suburbia during the post-World War II economic and population boom, Sears’ business model moved from its catalog to its growing number of stores, which by the 1970s were becoming the anchors for many a shopping mall.
Then the landscape changed. Walmart erected its massive super centers across the land, undercutting prices and stealing the working-class consumers that had made Sears such a retail giant. Big-box hardware stores Lowes and Home Depot competed for the consumers who had gone to Sears for their tools and appliances.
This first assault on Sears was soon followed by a second — the emergence of retail sales on the Internet, most successfully of course, by Amazon. Sears, which had written the catalog on direct sales to consumers, failed to successfully meet any of these changes.

Over the past five years more than 1,000 Sears stores have been shuttered, with company losses approaching $6 billion. Successful product lines were sold off, most prominently Lands’ End, a clothing line. On Monday, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York City, saying it faced $11.3 billion in liabilities against $7 billion in assets.
The filing is intended to provide a path to further shrink, reorganize and rid Sears of bad debt to save it. For the sake of its 68,000 workforce, and because many of its stores still anchor malls that are also struggling, it would be great to see this effort succeed. But the odds appear long, with a more likely outcome that Sears goes the way of Toys “R” Us or Sports Authority.
In this case, a part of Americana would pass into history.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Pat Richardson, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, retired Day editor Lisa McGinley, Managing Editor Tim Cotter and Staff Writer Julia Bergman. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

In this July 8, 2017, file photo, people walk into a Sears store slated for closing that is next to a mall that is being torn down in Overland Park, Kan. Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. The company once dominated the American landscape, but whether a smaller Sears can be viable remains in question. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Cutting the TV cord, October 1, 2018.

It’s been a LONG two years.  Like many of us, I’ve run the whole gamut of internet connectivity on TV’s…
.from  coax cable to Worldnet to At&t's U Verse….to complete frustration and
a switch, two years ago tomorrow, to Direct TV Satellite (also owned by AT&T).  
The DirectV experience has not been great. Contrary to what I was told even t
he threat of a storm knocks the satellite tv OFF. Yes, you can set up to go
down a channel and off HD and have a good possibility on continued coverage
BUT….it’s been a gigantic pain in the arse.  SO bad in fact I made a note on
my computer (Google) calendar to DUMP it as of 10-1-2018 when the AT&T
Satellite contract ran out….
Also, like many families we have a variety of TV’s in the house.  A modern
Vizio Smart TV in the LR, an older large screen Samsung in the BR, an ancient tv\
in the spare room that’s connected to an antenna since there is no HDMI input….

My first thought was to drop the Direct TV service and go to Hulu Live.  That would
give me the MSNBC news show we use, plus the few other channels Alice uses for
entertainment (HGTV ?).  Problem is, was, that Hulu Live does NOt work on our
Smartcast TV unless we CAST to it...it's not native. So, we found SLING Tv, and that
DOES work.  I purchased the latest and greatest Roku for the Living Room
(we already have it on the two upstairs sets)  Everything works smoothly...the cord
HAS been cut and iife is good. Msg me at r.payette2@gmail.com if you have questions,

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Beautiful launch this morning!

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches satellite and lands

After stormy weather cleared at Launch Complex 40, a Falcon 9 blasted off at 12:45 a.m. Monday with the Telstar 18 Vantage communications...

This is the view we had from our deck off the bedroom

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Our next campout will be to Rodman Campground....


We’ll leave August 12th for our monthly camping jaunt and as usual stay thru Thursday.  Of course our Florida State Park rescue hound Buddy will lead the way😄.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Fireworks and dogs....

Fireworks are legal here in Florida, and I don't like it.  There was a person who managed to blow off two of his fingers, but I'm sure there were thousands of dogs traumatized by fireworks in residential neighborhoods like our Titus Village.  I don't know if people don't think about it, or just don't care...but the pets cower, don't want to go out and do their business, and are just miserable.  In our area the noise didn't stop till after 11pm :(.  NOT a happy 4th for them, for sure.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The REST of the story on our new Ford Focus SE....

In the prior post we mentioned having blown the transmission on our tow vehicle (2011 Ford Fusion) while vacationing at Port Pickens in Pensacola.  Here's the highlights of a real SNAFU that turned out well:

  • Transmission blew on our tow vehicle while in Pensacola, which is 500 miles & 8 hours away from Titusville.
  • We had the car towed to World Ford in Pensacola. They pronounced the transmission and associated parts DOA and the cost to repair exceeded the value of the vehicle.
  • We told the salesperson that we needed to purchase a new vehicle that was towable four wheels down.  He showed us several, we picked one out and made a deal...he gave us a brochure on towing it, showed us how to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery etc. Alice followed me home in the new Focus  while I drove the motorhome.
  • A few days after getting home we called our RV service place to make an appointment to have a "base plate" installed on the car for towing.  They questioned if the car was towable...I assured them it was as I'd told the dealer it was the top priority.  We made the appointment.
  • The RV service place questioning of the towing on that car got me thinking...so I went to the Owners Manual, and the brochure/flyer the salesman had given me highlighting the specifics, and found he was referencing a different engine-transmission Focus than the one we were sold. The one we was sold was NOT towable except for short distances at slow speed.
  • I wrote a letter (email) explaining all this to the dealership General Manager with a cc to the salesman.  They immediately owned up to the problem, said they'd find a way to make it right.
  • A few hours later they called.  They had located the exact same car (color, trim etc) but with the correct engine-transmission that was factory approved for four-wheel down towing.
  • Since it is a 15 hour round trip from Pensacola to Titusville, we agreed to meet them in Alachua which is 2.5 hours out from Titusville, saving their driver five hours drive time.  We did that yesterday, and the new Focus SE 2.01l is now here.  End of story.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Returned yesterday from Suwannee River State Park and Fort Pickens....


Click the link above for stills and video clips from our recent trip to the Panhandle.  Trip was OK but....blew the transmission on our Ford Fusion while at Fort Pickens :(.  Cost to repair was more than the car was worth....ended up buying a 2018 Ford Focus
at World Ford in Pensacola.  Thank God Mel and Dotti Fringer were with us on this jaunt to haul us a bit while we sorted out our transportation issues!  Love the new car but not happy with how we had to end up with it...really liked that Fusion and hoped to get another 100,000 miles on it.  It had 83.500 on it with the transmission cooked.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Rainbow Springs State Park Campground April 2018

We just came back from Rainbow Springs Campground at Rainbow Springs State Park.  It was wonderful having several of our friends from the former Space Coast Sams camping Chapter with us. Here's a link from Google to some snaps and video from this event: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UmD2xzDPgJN7ylGI3

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Camping Reservations, Florida State Parks...Current

Updated May 4th, 2018:

Current Reservations

June 10th Update: NOTE:  We have cancelled our reservation for Saint Andrews State Park Jul 29-August 1, 2018. Decided it's too far a trip for mid-summer.

Robert Payette-r.payette2@gmail.com

Check the status of your current reservations. View past reservations.
Reservations: 1-11 of 11▲ Previous | Next ▼
Reservation Number
TypeLocationReservation DetailsTotal Fee:
Balance Due
Reservations: 1-11 of 11▲ Previous | Next ▼
2-34798677 FL
See Detail
SiteSuwannee River State ParkSite: 019Thu May 31 2018 - Sun Jun 03 2018 (3 nights)$43.00
2-34813161 FL
See Detail
SiteO'Leno State ParkSite: 004Thu Jul 26 2018 - Sun Jul 29 2018 (3 nights)$36.94
2-34813159 FL
See Detail
SiteSt. Andrews State ParkSite: 105Sun Jul 29 2018 - Wed Aug 01 2018 (3 nights)$53.74
2-34815216 FL
See Detail
SiteRodman CampgroundSite: 47Sun Aug 12 2018 - Thu Aug 16 2018 (4 nights)$55.54
2-34602170 FL
See Detail
SiteFort Clinch State ParkSite: 014Thu Sep 20 2018 - Thu Sep 27 2018 (7 nights)$107.71
2-35102420 FL
See Detail
SiteBlue Spring State ParkSite: 014Sun Oct 28 2018 - Thu Nov 01 2018 (4 nights)$60.70
2-35103244 FL
See Detail
SiteOchlockonee River State ParkSite: 023Sun Nov 04 2018 - Thu Nov 08 2018 (4 nights)$46.66
2-34726331 FL
See Detail
SiteAnastasia State ParkSite: 096Mon Dec 10 2018 - Fri Dec 14 2018 (4 nights)$68.58
2-35103262 FL
See Detail
SiteLake Louisa State ParkSite: 037Sun Jan 06 2019 - Thu Jan 10 2019 (4 nights)$59.98
2-34808870 FL
See Detail
SiteLake Kissimmee State ParkSite: 002Tue Feb 05 2019 - Fri Feb 08 2019 (3 nights)$40.30
2-35102421 FL
See Detail
SiteFaver-Dykes State ParkSite: 003Sun Mar 24 2019 - Thu Mar 28 2019 (4 nights)$46.48

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dave and Ashley got married today!!

David and Ashley got married today, in a civil ceremony at the Titusville Town Hall.  Here are some snaps and video from the event: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ysgRAKj8dij9Qbn52

Friday, March 02, 2018

Was he ever knocked out!

Between getting "fixed" and having his teeth done he was pretty much looped out....didn't take food or water until this morning, but he woke up cheerful, with appetite and ready for a walk :).  He also wants to lick the surgical area which is not good....trying the coller they gave us but he hates it... We'll go to Petco when it opens in a few hours to see if we can pick up one that's more comfortable for him.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Moving right along....

So, our Buddy missed his appointment to get fixed and chipped yesterday as he managed to steal 5 Krispy Kreme Raspberry filled glazed donuts...from the middle of the dining room table in a sealed box.  We seem to have gotten through last night with no repeats, so he's off to the vet at 0830.  We'll then head out to the rig in Christmas and turn the power and refrigerator on to cool off, as we're leaving Friday to visit good friends Dean and Joann Paradise on the West Coast....then off to a state park for four night (Lake Manatee State Park).

This will be our first camping outing with Buddy since we found him living free at Stephen Foster Cultural State Park  in White Springs FL last month.  So now we're armed with toys, leashes and leads, and some meds for car-sickness which seems to affect him.  We're hoping his "procedure" this morning doesn't take too much out of him.

update, 4;55pm:  Just got back from the Vet...Buddy has been fixed and chipped, teeth done etc but he's a bit swollen and not comfortable.  The vet said that if he gets any more swollen to call him immediately, so we've had to put off the first part of our jaunt to Joann and Deans :(. and stick around for a few days while he recuperates.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We didn't make it two years....

Well, we've always had dogs.  When we lost our wonderful Kincaid https://photos.app.goo.gl/6c6R0Pw5YVqx74CT2  on Feb 18th, 2016 both Alice and I decided that was probably it for us.  Then (because living without a dog is hard when you've been blessed with one) we tried to adopt another Cavalier...but that didn't work out.  So, we busied ourself with the Ring Neck Parrot Louie and the two cats (Gwennie and Ginger)...and thought our dog days were behind us.

If you've been following this Blog at all you know about Buddy who's adopted us.  I guess we're really Southerners now that we have a Tennessee Walker Coonhound in residence.  He's adjusting wonderfully and we are too....I'd forgotten  what it was like to share space with a needy, loving and cheerful duck-luck.  Enjoying him immensely!  We are blessed :).

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Moving along with New dog.....

So, I was a little worried about Buddy....slept a good 12 hours last night on the couch, wasn't too interested in eating...Took him outside and he promptly laid down and rested.  I shoud have expected it as he had a zillion shots yesterday and today we started him on flea-tick meds...tomorrow it's Heartworm meds.  Anyway, he got up a while ago, walked into the kitchen and did a great State Park Dog stretch to the middle of a counter and ate the cats food.  We then gave him some dry food mixed with a little canned food and he scoffed that up to :).  We'll have to figure out new cat-feeding arrangements with this hound duck running around....haven't had that issue since the Dalmation Lady who was known to stretch over a counter and eat an eye-round roast.
Ashley's father has been in intensive care...major issues with bleeding ulcers that had him on the Critical List////seems to be coming around now. Alice has been at the hospital with Ashley a lot..
Tonight we have a play here in town...a good comedy we've been looking forward to:The Complete History of America Abridged, TPI II .  

Buddy at home😄

From State Park dog to a home in town....

Moving along with our Buddy....

Well, busy days!  Buddy is acclimating nicely and as I type this he's sound asleep on the Forida Room couch enjoying his new life of domestic tranquility :)..
He's been to the vet, had a zillion shots and was given a good exam.  He (the Vet) thinks he has a stretched shoulder which is causing a small limp....should work itself out.  He's now on Heartworm meds, as well as flea and tick meds.  He'll be "fixed" on the 28th of this month, and while at the Vet will have his teeth cleaned and he'll be micro-chipped.  So, our loose as a goose in a State Park Buddy has entered the world of leashes, shots, and training.  Hope he's not planning his escape! :).

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Stephen Foster Culture State Park in White Springs FL AND....we have a new family member!!

Well, we've been adopted!  Had a nice week up at Stephen Foster Culture State Park in White Springs Fl.  On our 2nd evening there we were visited by a hound....stayed at the edge of the campsite, but with the aid of some cheese got him to get close.  Last night he came back (we were having a pot luck and he smelled the grill going?) and I got a collar on him....but he slipped it.  So, I talked to some campground hosts and they said he (they called him Buddy) had been hanging around the park since around December....they and others were feeding him but the Park Rangers had decided he had to go to the shelter soon if no one took him.  I told them we were interested and they managed to collar him this morning.  Don't know if he ever rode in a motor home before (or a car for that matter) but he did well in both.  He's very nervous and it's going to take some acclimation time.  He's a Walker Coon Hound, and we figure about a year old. VERY affectionate... Tomorrow we'll be making a vet appointment for his shots, getting him fixed etc.  So, we're hoping Buddy is happy here and likes camping :).  I need the walking exercise and this guy will see to it that it happens...he's rescued me.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Morning musing....

Alice is doing good after the orthopedic surgery on her left knee.  She's had her follow up visit and everything is looking good.  Next week, after we return from our camping jaunt to Stephen Foster Folk Culture State Park she'll have a physical therapy session.  Today we're meeting up with Duane and Nancy and Mel and Dotti and going out to lunch to celebrate Dotti's birthday.  Tonight we have a play "Menopause" at Titusville Playhouse, and then tomorrow early it's off camping for the week.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Alice's surgery Arthroscopy Left Knee

Alice had arthroscopy surgery on her left knee on Friday January 26th and everything seems to be good :)...she's feeling a LOT better than when she went in.  Today we'll hobble over to the Cocoa Village Theater and see 42nd Street....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Next up: Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park...

Stephen Foster cabinsNext up is Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park from Feb 4th thru Feb 8th (4 nights). There will be some friends from our former Good Sam Chapter meeting us there.  Since the Chapter folded we're camping as much, if not more, but instead of going to commercial (private) campgrounds we find ourselves going to the State and National Parks...and much further afield. Kayaking the Suwannee River by the Spring House

Song  Suwannee River (Old Folks At Home) (from YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S0keeGIgcY

Monday, January 15, 2018

New shoes for the pony.....

It seems like we've been running around since dawn.  Went to our tire place in Cocoa, talked to them about our tire issues, and ended up having four new tires installed and all six balanced.  Then we topped off the fuel, and the propane, for our next excursion coming up early February.  Our new modus operandi on tires is this:   FiVE years, not 6 or 6+.  Notation made in the computer calendar on that...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola Fl, January 2018 -With Robert & Nina Harnish

We went to Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola Fl leaving Titusville on January 7th.  1st night out we stayed at Tallahassee RV Park on i-10, then we spent four nights at Big Lagoon, leaving there on Friday January 12th for Travelers Campground in Alachua Fl (exit 399 off i-75) where we stayed two nights before heading home to Titusville.
On the way to Alachua we had a right-front blowout on i-10, about 40 miles before the i-75 interchange.  After a fashion we got a tire delivered and installed, and went on our way.....until we noticed a nasty front end vibration.  We had turned onto i-75 at this point and were within 25 miles of our next CG destination, so I slowed down a lot...trying to find a speed that was comfortable for the vibration.  Silly me I thought we were dealing with an unbalanced new front right tire.  We limped into the Travelers Campground, checked in and got set up, and i checked the front of the rig...and found the left front tire had a seriously nasty big balloon...we were VERY lucky it didn't blow, and if it had been warmer it probably would have.  So, the next morning we got a tire repair person out and the left front tire was replaced.

Good friends of ours, Dick and Melanie Baker, live in the Alachua area and they came by and took us out to dinner on Saturday.  It was wonderful seeing them and getting out of the rig for a bit!

Our trip home today was uneventful...thank God!  Total distance covered from here to the end of the Panhandle and back was about 1000 miles.  We love that area and have booked reservations for four nights in June for Fort Pickens National Campground, right on the Gulf....a lot of photos from there are on the following album.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Holiday rant....

New Years rant...

OK, it is January 1st, New Years Day....and personally I'm feeling a bit relieved.  I've never really been a big seasonal holiday person, and the crowds, expectations, disappointments and traditions generally leave me a bit cranky.  So, if I haven't responded instantly to your Christmas and New Years greetings, emails, messages and smoke signals please forgive me.  I promise to be more attentive in the next 364 days as soon as some semblance of sanity returns to my inner self. No one likes being a Grinch, but jeese....