Tips if you are buying electronics

Just a tip for my friends that may be buying an electronic device. Whatever you buy, might have an extended warranty and extended tech support plan. Some of these can be nice and some are not. But, you need to understand your options.

IPhone has a extended warranty, & extended support package that you must buy within 60 days of the original purchase. I was told this on the 65th day, and I’m really upset by that. So, learn from my mistake(s).

https://www.apple.com/support/products/iphone.html

Another learning experience was that my Android phone suddenly started requiring that I enter a password that no one knew. This happened the night before I was flying to America and I could not take it into the Samsung shop, three hours away by bus, because I had a flight to catch.

I spent hours on the phone with support in Turkey. I spent hours on the phone when I got to the US, with American support. I spent hours driving to several different brick-and-mortar places in Washington DC, and probably used up over 25% of my very limited time in America, with absolutely no improvement, and I got to pay for parking in several of those places.

It was still broken when I got ready to fly to Trinidad, and since it appeared that it was going to be necessary to return to Turkey to have any hope of repair, which would not be for many months, I bought a brand-new iPhone in Washington DC.

Immediately after I arrived in Trinidad, Robn took me to a Samsung repair place that was on the bus ride from the airport to the marina. I told the man in the shop the story and 10 seconds later he had it working. So, I just needed to bring my phone to Trinidad and they fixed it instantly.

There is a somewhat secret process of holding down certain buttons as you start the phone, and it reboots to the, ‘straight out-of-the-box configuration.’ I could have had the phone working in less than a minute of when it originally froze up on me. However, NOT ONE Samsung tech person had told me about it, or even acknowledge that it’s a possibility. Logically, some, or even most of them had no idea about it either. However, it seems inconceivable that with all the calls that I made that not one person told me how to fix it. What else have they not told us?

Once you know what to look for, there are many websites that explain the process. But, one must carefully follow the instructions, or it might be possible to permanently ruin the phone. So, make absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing.

As an example, if you reading some webpage about this sort of thing on your device, be aware that at least some of the webpages that tell you how to unlock your phone, do irreparable damage to the phone’s firmware.

That is NOT the case at all with the special reboot that was done on my phone. I’m just saying that some of the instructions that you find on the Internet are seriously dangerous. Be careful. Cross check it six ways to Sunday.

Everyone knows that Windows hardware and software is riddled with problems. Many people have assured me that Apple products are SUPER reliable and trouble-free. That has not been Robn’s experience, and I’ve helped her with several of these issues.

Happily, they have all been resolved much more easily than the nightmare I went through. But, she has had to reboot using the iPad version of this, ‘take it back to the out-of-the-box experience,’ several times. I think Apple is definitely better than Windows, but that is faint praise.

I hope that none of you ever need to know the above information. But, if you do, I hope I’ve helped. Just be super careful if you have to do these secret reboots. It would probably be safest, to take it to a professional, who is trained and practiced for that particular item.

Dave & Robn

Plan D

We sure are changing our plans rather frequently! I don’t even remember what plan A was. Plan B was to put Heidi on the Market, get my personal stuff off her, and move aboard Alegria. That didn’t last all that long. It was just too overwhelming. Sell her here? Or where? What to keep and where to put it. How to make her marketable – where to put dinghy, sails, life raft, fenders, etc. so that she looks spacious. Would I stay with her or leave her in the hands of a broker? How do I come to terms with parting with her?

So Plan C was hatched to prepare her for an ocean crossing and sail her East, berth her in Finike where I would be able to be with Dave and Alegria while dealing with all these issues and save the high rent here. This, too, was proving daunting, since that meant lots of chores to be completed in short order. The hurricane season officially starts June first although most people don’t worry much until July. Trying to leave here and exit the hurricane risk area before July didn’t leave much time, and things were going slowly.

The welder had promised to finish the pulpit, being made to replace the one destroyed last October, by mid February. I was not surprised that it didn’t happen by then, given the reputation, here in Trinidad, for no work being done when one isn’t here. It is now mid May, however, and it is still not finished. To be fair, two or three weeks of that delay was due to our own schedule and activities, but still. It was simply too tight a schedule to maintain safely. So Plan D came to be, with several variations.

Plan D acknowledges that we were trying to do too much too fast. So we have returned to an earlier idea of flying to Puget Sound for a variety of reasons including relaxing and visiting along with possession sorting and moving and paper work. This we will do on June 8th even though it might mean putting active projects on hold simply because it does not seem to make sense to extend Dave’s Trinidad visa at the cost of a hundred dollars. Mine will need to be extended regardless, since it expires in another week and there is no way to get ready by then. So we plan to spend a couple months in the Pacific NW and then I will probably return to Heidi and continue the work while the weather is good (i.e. relatively dry). Dave will fly to Turkey and check on Alegria and put away things gathered stateside, and pick up his foul weather gear and such.

After a few weeks, he plans to rejoin me in Trinidad. We will then have a few months instead of weeks to finish preparations and, once the hurricane season is over – probably November, we can go sailing in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic. The best time to cross, East bound, is right now – May. We missed it this year since we really didn’t even think of making the crossing until late April and that big a passage takes more than a couple weeks of preparation – especially with pulpit and chain plates still in the shop! Next May is another matter.

Plan E will probably crop up at some point but for now we are on Plan D.

Yesterday, a dozen cruisers, including us, took Jessie James to dinner and added our personal thanks and appreciation for all he has done for the cruising community as acknowledged by the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) in giving him an award in London recently. Typical of Jessie, however, he gave back and provided the transportation for all of us and showed us Fort George where defenses were built way back in 1804 which were never used and decommissioned in 1846. The prison on the site was also never used except to store valuables when there was a scare. The place has a wonderful view and was certainly a good spot for cannon defenses as the elevation is quite high for so close to the water.

After dinner we visited the Silver Stars Steel Pan orchestra near the end of a practice session for some upcoming event. Might have been able to enjoy even more of it if it hadn’t been for slow service at the restaurant which at least gave us extra time to visit.

Several of our current projects require a great deal of planning. Trying to anticipate all the consequences of each part of each project. For example, the companionway hatch slides open under a ‘turtle’ and rides on Stainless Steel runners. Somehow it appears to have dropped down ever so slightly even though that doesn’t seem possible. Wood was getting chafed and varnish worn through. It was harder to slide and obvious that something wasn’t right.

We considered several options and finally decided to replace the runners with slightly thicker SS which would lift the hatch a bit and provide clearance where it was wearing. It seemed easier than trying to shim up the old ones and when those old ones actually cracked from crevice corrosion, that finalized the decision. So we made new ones and installed them. Later that day it was time to go and meet the van for the dinner with Jessie – and we could not lock up the boat! The latch parts no longer lined up. It was only an eight inch but it was enough to create an unexpected problem despite all our attempts to anticipate such things. It would have been obvious if we had ever thought to consider it.

Of course, my statement that we could not lock up the boat was not entirely accurate. It was true enough, so long as we did nothing about the latch alignment – which we did not have enough time to do a proper job of right then. We did manage to start the project, however, and got 2 screws on one part and one bolt on the other for the time being and locked up in time to go. We figured that the other screws and bolts would not make her any more impregnable.

I’ll post the saga of the new pulpit separately as it is rather lengthy and probably not of interest to very many of you.

For those of you in the NW, I look forward to hopefully getting a chance to visit.

Yours, Robn and Dave

Please help all of us.

To give you an example of how messed up the US government really is. The mega-companies like GMA & Monsanto are trying pass the federal Pompeo bill (HR 1599) in 2015, which would trump state law and strip states of the right to pass GMO food labeling bills.

Even if you believe that GMO is safe, don’t we have the right to know what is in our food? I think that the USA is the only developed country that is considering making it illegal to know what you are eating.

64 countries REQUIRE GMO labeling. Please, help America join them. Hell, if you like GMO, then you can be sure to buy it and not mistakenly eat some natural food. ;-)

Google the following phrase
>write your senators and representatives<
then email them. It really does make a difference.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/11/gmo-labeling-pompeo-bill.aspx?

Dave & Robn

The Pitchforks are coming

The Pitchforks are coming, and EVERYONE will loose big time. Please take 22 minutes to watch this important video. It has subtitles in 20 languages if English is not easy for you. Or read the transcript.

One of the richest men in America explains very well how America is on the fast track to a very unnecessary and counter productive uprising.

This is not a hoax. It is the real deal.

https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming?language=en#t-206826

journal entry

This is a letter that Robn wrote to her friends that she updates. I thought that you would enjoy it.

Date: Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:06 PM
Subject: journal entry

Well I sure got into a whole different pattern of activity once I got together with Dave. Before that I would spend part of most days checking e-mail and occasionally writing journal entries. Since then I have been rather preoccupied with figuring out how to make a life together with him and my communication with friends and family has been neglected.

As you should already know, I met Dave via e-mail at the suggestion of a friend of a friend and we hit it off immediately. Last November I flew to Turkey to meet him and confirmed that our relationship has a future. When I ran out of visa time in Turkey, I returned to Heidi and her needs. Dave planned to join me in a couple of months but couldn’t stay away that long and joined me after only a few weeks. Since then we have been considering options and doing miscellaneous chores aboard Heidi, while ever conscious of the pending hurricane season.

Two boats for one couple is not a very logical arrangement — at least not for us. If we were bigger spenders we might decide to sail Heidi in the Caribbean during the winter and Alegria in the Med during the summer! But that would involve a lot of storage expense and lots of flying back and forth. More money than we feel is justified.

Another option would be for me to sell Heidi and move onto Alegria. This is easier said than done. I had almost decided to do so but find I am simply not yet ready. Option number three, for Dave to sell Alegria and move aboard Heidi, is similarly not going to happen.

Dave is even taller than Gerhard was, albeit only by an inch, and Heidi was simply not built for such height. Even more important, however, is his attachment to Alegria which is understandably even stronger than mine to Heidi. Dave was involved in both her original construction in 1974 and her major rebuild in the 90’s and she has been his home throughout. Heidi has been mine since 1990 – sixteen fewer years. Unfortunately for me, Alegria was built with tall people in mind and shorty-me has a child’s eye view of her proportions! Time will tell how we make make the needed adjustments.

Since I’m not yet ready to sell, the chores continue:
My new pulpit, to replace the one that Captain Sergai gave the coup de grace to, was supposed to be ready to install by Feb 23rd but is still not yet ready! It was almost ready a week ago but problems were discovered that necessitated redoing part of it. The area supporting the anchor rollers were not spaced properly nor parallel, as we discovered while trying to fit the teak floor to the frames. Other caddywonker misalignment were not so serious, but this was too sloppy to accept.

Meanwhile, since Heidi had been on the hard for 5 months, we thought of having her topsides refinished while she was still dried out. The bids were coming in too high for comfort and I was having a lot of trouble understanding how the various bids differed regarding work intentions as well as dollar amounts. All three bidders wanted to give a quote for labor and have me supply the materials. But how much material they would use is unknown – only guesstimated. Plus, they have different preferences for what materials to use, etc.

Having been in the construction business, I understand that comparing bids is like comparing potatoes and grapes – anything but easy. I also understand that ability to communicate and appear trustworthy and diligent does not necessarily reflect ability to do the job properly. All three come highly recommended (but so did the welder mentioned above). Quoted labor prices varied from 3000 (or was it 2000?) to 4000 to 4500 US$. The lowest was from a guy reputed to be high priced, so I was surprised that the others came in higher. If those figures had been quoted as Trinidadian Dollars they would gibe with my understanding of their standard rates and work habits – 5 to 6 hour workdays at 300 TT per day for skilled labor and 100/day for "unskilled". The same figures in US dollars (6.4 times more TT’s) just sounds mighty high.

Plus, with the pulpit dragging on two months past the promised completion date, I find it hard to believe that a paint job could be done in time to depart Trinidad before the hurricane season. If we were in the middle of the job and it became too late to leave, then Heidi would be trapped here for the season – at a cost of a bit over 700US$ per month (~550 for space plus 170 for air conditioning). Anyway, if I can get across the pond to the Med, I can moor in Finike close to Alegria for only 200 per month (no air conditioning needed) either in the water or on land for 90 days. After 90 days on the hard, the cost would go up slightly but would still be only a third or less of what it costs here (even without the air conditioning it would be way less than half)! So I have given up the idea of painting her here. Instead I will concentrate on getting her ready for another ocean crossing.

By sailing to Turkey I can have my boat and my partner and reduce my expenses all at the same time. I can then sort through my stuff and decide what to keep and what to dispose of; do what ever preparations I desire aboard Heidi and put her on the market when I am ready.

So that is the current plan.

Robn & Dave

But, what do you do all day??

Our Saturday walk did not have enough people interested to justify renting a large minivan, which is required to get to the national park that we try visit each Saturday for a nice jungle hike. There is also a nice, clean, ocean beach there if you want to swim. And we almost always see red howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys.

Therefore, Robn wanted to explore a nearby peninsula.

This new exploration started out okay, but Robn was having pains in her calves, which we believe is caused by a spinal problem that she has, that occurs from time to time. So, she sat down on a rock and waited while Vicki & I explored the area.

Vicki and I started up a road that was shown on my app for my cell phone, and had a nice walk through the jungle, seeing many interesting things.

This particular, almost abandoned road, ended at the top of a small mountain, that has a radar station. My app showed on its map, a road going down the far side of the hill and getting back to civilization, with us circumnavigating most of the peninsula.

But, there was no road. It must be just down the hill a little…

There was, however, a small trail going down the far side of the hill in the right direction, that the map implied would get us to a more direct road. So, off we went.

It eventually became clear that this was the trail for the people that controlled a power line that supplies the radar station. They use the trail to cut down trees and anything that might grow up tall enough to interfere with the power line. Therefore, they did not use it very often and it was a difficult trail. I bet when they walked that trail carrying their chainsaw, they were not wearing running shoes or Crocs.

Some years ago Janet and I went on a hike wearing our running shoes (aka trainers) but, my cousin was wearing combat boots. On the steep, leaf covered hillsides, he could stomp his relatively small heel into the dirt, and had good traction. The large sole of the running shoe, tended to float on the surface and slide down the hill. This is probably the way ball bearings were invented.

The trail gradually became MUCH more difficult, with lots of slipping and sliding on the inclines, and the broom handle to baseball bat diameter trees, that one tended to grab in moments of stress, while sliding down the hill, were covered with large thorns. I am definitely a red-blooded America. Although I don’t have quite as much as I did yesterday morning.

The geometry of this whole expedition was perfectly designed so that as the situation became less and less fun, it still seemed easier to keep going, than to turn back, which would have meant climbing up this miserable portion of the trail, up a steep hill, to get back to the real road. The real road was a very unused, dilapidated track through the jungle. But, it was much better than the hassle we were going through.

Therefore, at each moment after the radar station, even though things were deteriorating rapidly, it still seemed preferable to try to make it out the other side rather than to turn around. Because we were, "so close now."

However, at one point, I voted to abandon this terrible trail altogether and just cut through the jungle on the shortest route to what I believed to be guaranteed civilization and a proper road.

I had a GPS map program on my smart phone, and Google maps with satellite photos. So, I was very confident that I knew where we were and how far it was. But, naturally, I didn’t know exactly how hard it was to cover the remaining distance.

We found a way down into a ravine, where a stream flows during the rainy season, and there was dramatically less brush. It was almost as easy as walking on a road. It was going downhill, which had appeal, and continued to average the correct direction, also good, so we were very optimistic. Even though we were also getting used to disappointment.

Of course, we were more than a little concerned that when we got to the industrial complex that we were aiming for, that there might be a giant electric fence. Or we might be looking down on it from the top of a very tall cliff. But we continued on.

We actually did encounter several tall cliffs, that, each time, we had to figure out a way to get around. But, we eventually made it to the commercial site, with an easy road out and back to civilization.

Most of the time I had cell phone coverage, and was able to keep Robn posted of our trials and tribulations. As Janet used to say the difference between an adventure and an ordeal is just attitude. Vicki, the other victim, was having a great time, and said several times that this was the most fun she had had, hiking in Trinidad so far.

Actually, Dave was wishing he had stayed at home.

When I finally got home, my cell phone said that I had walked 12,550 steps and I have long legs. I doesn’t have a good program for analyzing track that we followed, to see exactly how far it was. And, it was a WHOLE LOT less fun than walking along a road or a path, counting steps. But, we both survived, with no injuries, and Vicki was having the best hike of her time in Trinidad.

The primary reason that I have been not posting very much, is that we are hard at work on boat projects. Recently, we have been trying to change two chain plates. These are internal chain plates that are very long and go down inside a tight hole in the side of the boat. Not the easy ones that are just bolted on the outside.

They take a TREMENDOUS amount of force to pull. It must be like pulling wisdom teeth on a large elephant. But, we were able to extract one enough to make sure that it’s not interfering with anything, and on Monday plan to have a forklift come by and finish the job.

We also have been servicing the sliding hatch where you come in and out of the boat. This first required figuring out how you got it apart, which was not obvious. And, we have been installing some trim pieces on the overhead in the main cabin. This is complicated because there are no right angle corners and actually very few straight lines. So each piece of teak must be carefully fitted to the place where is going to live.

And we’re still waiting for the new stainless steel pulpit to be completed, that normally lives on top of the long wooden bowsprit. The original pulpit was smashed in a boat collision while Robn’s boat was on a mooring. A very large super yacht ran into it, causing catastrophic damage, and promising to pay for complete repair. But then leaving the area without paying a penny.

And lots of other things are going on. But, we still make time for a Saturday hike, and walking back and forth between the different Chandleries and the boat, puts a lot of miles on my cell phone.

Dave & Robn

Dave joins Robn in Trinidad

I think I’ve recovered enough from my journey to finally write an update. Not that I’ve been sleeping the whole time since I got here, but we’ve been jumping on the bus to go off to get the telephone fixed, running off to immigration to extend the 48 hours I was given at the airport, and other urgent errands. The days have been pretty full.

Things are good here. There is lots to do, but I’ve been working into that slowly as I was still pretty exhausted. And a nap helps.

As some of you know, Robn flew back across the Atlantic on 16 February. With a brief visit to a cousin of hers in Arkansas. Where, much to everyone’s surprise, she almost got iced in.

They had had a series of spells of bad weather. Then it got better and Robn arrived. But then they were predicting an ice storm. Which to those of you from more comfortable parts of the world, means you don’t need to worry about running into black ice, because everything on the surface of the planet is black ice. No one drives 90 miles during those conditions. And it looked like she would be stuck there a week or more. Kiss her ticket to Trinidad goodbye.

Sorry but this triggers Dave to make a rant about airline logic. When we were originally trying to get Robn a ticket from Trinidad to Houston, I discovered that United has a direct flight. However, back in October, it cost about US$700 as I recall. Yet, if you flew through Miami, or other plane changes, it was only a little over US$300, but it took a lot longer. Actually the cheapest way, as I recall, was something like flying from Trinidad to New York, to St. Louis, perhaps to Dallas, and then to Houston. Understandably that took like 20 hours and was a little bit cheaper.

So, Robn flew to Miami, waited a few hours, and flew to Houston, for something like $320.

Upon her return to the New World, since she wanted to visit someone near Little Rock, Arkansas, at first we were going to have her fly from Houston to Little Rock round trip on one ticket and then another ticket from Houston to Trinidad. But, we discovered that she could fly from Little Rock to Trinidad on United for about $345. All these numbers are approximate.

You guessed it. This $345 ticket, had her fly from Little Rock to Houston on United, then change to the United direct flight to Trinidad.

Robn just corrected me that at least in February, she remembers the United direct flight to Trinidad as being ONLY $500, not $700.

We don’t know when we will leave Trinidad. But, I was looking at flights from Trinidad to Seattle, choosing dates in the end of May and early June, it was about $345, on United. The infamous direct flight to Houston, and then another direct flight from there to Seattle. This all may seem logical to you but it baffles the hell out of us.

And not that anyone cares, but another chapter in Dave’s ‘computer related nightmares.’

Literally the night before Dave was to fly to Washington DC, while he was trying to install software on his new Samsung Galaxy S5, smart phone, in case his luggage got stolen again, that he could render the phone useless to the thief, and probably even recover it.

Lojack now exists for laptops cell phones and other items.

Not at all to be confused with the vicious lie perpetrated by ESET that claims it can do that, but when they find out that your laptop is actually stolen, they refuse to tell you, or the police, anything about it. Even though they know pretty much where it is, and know a great deal about the thief. But they refuse to tell the police. Go figure.

Anyway, no big surprise that while Dave was talking with Samsung Turkey tech support, and they were instructing him on how to do a factory reset of the phone to clean off some problems that he was having, the phone totally locked up. It suddenly refused to use the fingerprint ID, and kept asking for a PIN that no one has been able to figure out the answer for. It is certainly none of the several PINs that anyone has used on the phone.

Samsung Turkey finally gave up trying to fix it over the phone, and said just take it into the Samsung store in Antalya, Turkey.

I pointed out that I was getting on a plane tomorrow and there was no way to have time to go to a store en route.

Just to add to the excitement, my passport and other important documents, were laying on top of my backpack as I was leaving the boat the next morning, but somehow in getting the suitcases and backpack out on deck, the passport and documents got left on the settee. The bad thing being that I had no idea of this, until I was about an hour into my bus ride to the airport. When I suddenly noticed that I did not have it and began frantically searched my backpack. I was able to jump off at the next stop, in the city of Kemer and I hired a cab to take me back to the boat and then to the airport. Which, except for the money and the acid indigestion, worked fine. I got there in plenty of time for my flight.

I had to wait 12 hrs in Moscow. Did you know that few have any English there? Signs, menus, etc. Funny that they only use their own language, right? <wink>

When I got to Washington DC, I spent probably a day and a half of my only three days fighting with my locked up Samsung cell phone. I only wasted so much time because they kept telling me that they could easily fix it if I would just go to the next place in line. By that I mean each place that I called, said that, "Oh, if you contact so-and-so, or drive over to such and such, THEY will know how to fix it." But, none of them did. This included many calls back to Turkey for Samsung and Turkcell support. Since everyone kept passing the buck to someone else.

The conclusion I came to, was that I would have to wait until I could walk into a Samsung shop in Turkey, which will not be for four months or more. And, it was not lost on my tiny little brain, that every single one of these, "Oh, just take it to who’s it and they will fix it right up," had been wrong. So what are the odds that I could get it fixed in Turkey?

However, Robn showed me a Samsung place in a mall about a half hour away from here. We walked up to the first guy we saw there, explained the problem to him, and he had it running fine in 30 seconds! This is the first place we tried once I got here. So, if you’re having cell phone trouble move to Trinidad.

He also tried to explain to me how you reset it by pushing a secret combination of keys all at the same time. Then follow some instructions that you will find there.

I’ve been trying to get the exact information on the Internet, because if you do it wrong it actually can permanently kill your phone. But, as far as I can tell the phone is now absolutely fine, although I need to reinstall some things on it. You can be sure that I’m not going to reinstall the things that I believe caused the problem.

Because I believed that I had done due diligence, and my Samsung Galaxy S5 was going to be useless until I returned to Turkey, I took the plunge and bought an iPhone 6 Plus while in DC. Interestingly I had previously spent weeks trying to figure out how to buy an unlocked, international, Samsung Galaxy S5 from any US source, but could not discover a way to do it. They said they were unlocked, but then it turned out that you had to be one of their customers for six months and then they would unlock it. I wanted a phone that would work today. Not in six months.

But, happily the Apple Store was only too thrilled to sell me a very expensive, totally unlocked iPhone 6 Plus. And it mostly works fine. No one seems to know why the hotspot feature doesn’t seem to work. That’s on my to do list for today.

Robn has been using a Mac laptop and an iPad for several years. Dave has now become AC/DC, and perhaps it is just Dave’s black thumb when it comes to computers, but Robn has also had many annoying problems with both her Mac laptop and iPad, beginning before I knew her. Dave has already had several seemingly idiotic problems with the new iPhone. We live in an imperfect world.

Dave’s world might be a little more imperfect than most. Several times in the last three weeks I have called tech support for various products and their computers have gone down while they were talking to me. Often repeatedly during a single conversation.

When I tried to rent the car in Washington DC, the agent’s computer went down, and he had to have me go over to the next desk to successfully rent the car.

The car was just over $18 a day. (And it had wheels and doors and seats. It was just a really good deal that I found online.) The optional Garmin GPS navigator, like a Tom-Tom was $11 per day extra. But without it the car would’ve been pretty much useless. Since I did not know my way around the area well at all. Even though it routed me through every little back alley it could find, I did always eventually get where I was going. It only got right and left confused a few times.

I would be looking at the route on the little map, and it would say turn right but clearly the purple line turned left. Often this was near one of the stupid little "roundabouts" that they seem to love in Washington DC, where, in order to turn left, you actually DO have to turn right. So the first time I fell for it, but later I just faked it.

The final indignity was trying to return the car, when I was already running very late in order to make my flight. Like so many airports, you can sort of drive in a circle, and do it again until you get it right.

Between the, in my opinion, terrible signs above the highway, and the little purple line on the GPS, and the lady’s voice telling me to "turn toward Advantage," I went around three or four complete cycles, including a tour of the inside of one of the garages, before I was finally able to return the car. Good thing I had unlimited mileage.

And part of that confusion was because a nice police lady, who after two times around I asked for directions, specifically told me to go into ‘Daily parking A,’ as that was where Alamo was located. Too bad she was wrong. But I made my flight, and did not lose my sense of humor. I will let you go back to what you were supposed to be doing today.

Every day is an adventure. Presently, ‘My Adventures’ are in a warm lush, tropical paradise, with the woman I love.

A big hug from Dave and Robn