Recreational Vehicles, RV Parks and RV Travel http://rv52.com An incredible listing of RV Parks, RV How To Vids, RV articles and fun places to visit Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:36:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Have you ever tried to sell a couch on Craigslist? http://rv52.com/ever-tried-sell-couch-craigslist/ http://rv52.com/ever-tried-sell-couch-craigslist/#respond Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:36:25 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39537 Could have been called “Get over your attachment to your stuff” (an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV) A lot of people paid really good money for furniture. Things like couches, love seats, ottomans, coffee tables, end tables, tables, and book cases. They agonized over those purchases – comparing costs, checking colors, checking […]

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Could have been called “Get over your attachment to your stuff”

(an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV)

A lot of people paid really good money for furniture.

Things like couches, love seats, ottomans, coffee tables, end tables, tables, and book cases.

They agonized over those purchases – comparing costs, checking colors, checking wood composition, scrutinizing manufacturers and so much more. They were going to make a really solid purchase.

So they plunk down several thousand dollars to get all this furniture.

Within seconds, an $800 couch new becomes a $10 couch used.

Used furniture isn’t worth much.

The more the potential “yuk” factor, the more money you lose. A couch – full of who knows what in the cushions can’t hardly be given away.

Craigslist shows you why:

Pasted Graphic 1.png

 

Notice all the things in red. These RED highlight items simply CRUSH the high dollar items that I didn’t highlight.

No one, and I mean NO ONE gives a ding dang dong what you paid for your furniture or that some really cool guy in a loft in New York designed it.

Worse, the chances the color scheme you picked for your house, works for someone else is pretty slim too. Probably ZERO chance, not just slim. So when someone is mildly interested in what you have, they probably aren’t interested in it enough to help you get all your money back on your item.

As much as you think you might have the best furniture on the planet, you are probably the only one that thinks so.

So to downsize from a house to an RV you are going to have to get very comfortable with the idea that your furniture is not worth very much money. Particularly if you want to get rid of it in a hurry.

Tweet This:@rv52 - You are wrong - you can make lots of money selling couches on Craigslist! - http://rv52.com/?p=39537
Tweet This:@rv52 - You are right - selling a couch on craigslist is yukky - http://rv52.com/?p=39537

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Cute little hummingbird is a bit of a couch potato http://rv52.com/cute-little-hummingbird-bit-couch-potato/ http://rv52.com/cute-little-hummingbird-bit-couch-potato/#respond Sun, 21 Sep 2014 01:59:59 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39974 Filmed on the RV52.com world headquarters property.  

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Filmed on the RV52.com world headquarters property.

 

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The So-Called “Free” Hot Tub – Learning how to reduce your monthly burn so you can RV http://rv52.com/called-free-hot-tub-learning-reduce-monthly-burn-can-rv/ http://rv52.com/called-free-hot-tub-learning-reduce-monthly-burn-can-rv/#respond Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:30:52 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39535 (this is an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV) The same friend who bought the pool – traded some stuff for a hot tub on Craigslist. Yep. Another great deal. I’ll spare you all of the details like I wrote in the story about his pool and skip right to the good part. […]

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(this is an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV)

The same friend who bought the pool – traded some stuff for a hot tub on Craigslist.

Yep.

Another great deal.

I’ll spare you all of the details like I wrote in the story about his pool and skip right to the good part.

Phone rings.

Sheri (my wife) answers.

Voice on the other end “Holy crap, the hot tub made my electric bill THREE times what it normally would be.”

Needless to say, the hot tub was shut off and he is searching for a lower energy hot tub.

So, when you wonder what some of the hidden costs might be for things, consider the daily operational costs, like energy. The increased energy use could even cause you to bump over a threshold and then cost you more across the board for all of your energy – which is like a double cost.

Don’t forget to add in the occasional maintenance too – like chemicals, repairs, and normal usage costs. You might be very surprised at the real costs involved with owning “things”.

So what if you REALLY do like to swim and use hot tubs?

Even assuming your usage is almost daily, join an athletic club. Some of these clubs have memberships as low as $25/month and you get access to their equipment, their pools, their saunas, their hottubs and so much more. Better yet, you just show up. They take care of everything. Not only do you save money, you lower your “complexity” level. Lower your complexity level, then you can give more attention to your marriage, or a real hobby.

It really is a big deal.

If your usage is very occasional or monthly, you can pay the club a one-time fee, or even go book a hotel room at a hotel that has the equipment. That might be fun for you and a great break.

But the important point is that ownership is simply not the end-all be-all in life.

Tweet This:@rv52 - You nailed it on the Hot Tub Bidness - http://rv52.com/?p=39535
Tweet This:@rv52 - Honestly Marlan, you are overblowing it on the hot tub expenses! - http://rv52.com/?p=39535

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RVing is a Tradeoff Between Time, Money, and Assets http://rv52.com/rving-tradeoff-time-money-assets/ http://rv52.com/rving-tradeoff-time-money-assets/#respond Sun, 14 Sep 2014 15:28:09 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39533 (this is an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV) All life is a tradeoff. But if you can make the right trades you can live a life at a level of fulfillment that exceeds the average. One thing that people might not think about is that you can actually TRADE some time, money, […]

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(this is an excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV)

All life is a tradeoff.

Tweet This:@rv52 says All Life is a Tradeoff! - http://rv52.com/?p=39533

But if you can make the right trades you can live a life at a level of fulfillment that exceeds the average.

One thing that people might not think about is that you can actually TRADE some time, money, and assets back and forth from each other. When downsizing from a house to an RV, you need to think in terms of converting Assets to cash or vice-versa.

For example, when you buy something, you convert cash into an asset. For me (not Robert Kiyosaki – author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad a book with some really useful ideas), an asset is something that has an innate value. It has been said that the PROFIT is made when you buy something, not when you sell it.

One of the best ways to eliminate regret when you downsize from a house to an RV is to make your COSTS of the transaction as small as possible. That means as much as possible, you want to only buy things that you can sell for close to the same as the purchase price. Ways to do this is to buy very expensive, very durable, high dollar items that hold their value. The downside of this is that you have a very small market that will buy your stuff. Another way would be to have very LOW cost items purchased perhaps very carefully second hand.

But the point is you are simply converting between asset value and cash value. So when you downsize, you are simply converting your assets to cash.

In general, cash is a better asset to have because it is the most simple thing to have.

Cash is simpler than an asset. An example of an asset is a refrigerator. While cash requires little to no effort to maintain, a refrigerator does. If it is plugged in it is way more complex. It takes energy. You have to make sure it is working. And so on. Owning and operating an asset by definition requires effort. So in this way, eliminating assets simplifies your life and increases your cash. You get rid of complexity when you get rid of the asset.

Continuing with the refrigerator idea, the refrigerator also requires time, partly because of its complexity. For example, when you have a refrigerator, you need to spend time to change filters, to manage the ice maker, to clean the refrigerator, to serve the refrigerator. Getting rid of assets frees up time.

So if you can get your mind into the mindset that you are simply shifting from assets to cash, from time to freedom, and from complexity to simplicity, then you are heading the right way. You simple decide ahead of time what time and complexity demands you are willing to tolerate and then move your cash into those assets. In other words, you can “dial in” the life you want.

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RV Life – Everyone is always on Vacation! http://rv52.com/rv-life-everyone-always-vacation/ http://rv52.com/rv-life-everyone-always-vacation/#respond Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:24:11 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39531 (short excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV) When my wife and I are in an RV park we noticed something really weird. Everyone is happy. In fact, they were all friendly, conversant, cheery, and just about every other sappy-syruppy word you can imagine. Once we switched from an RV park to a mobile […]

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(short excerpt from my book – The Spartan RV)

When my wife and I are in an RV park we noticed something really weird.

Everyone is happy.

Tweet This:@rv52 - I agree! Everyone Is always on vacation - http://rv52.com/?p=39531
Tweet This:@rv52 - I disagree! - http://rv52.com/?p=39531

In fact, they were all friendly, conversant, cheery, and just about every other sappy-syruppy word you can imagine.

Once we switched from an RV park to a mobile home park. The mobile home park just happened to be very close to where we needed to be with space for an RV.

The mobile home park had a completely different vibe. People were busy living their lives. They didn’t talk or really try to be friendly at all. It seemed an awful lot like real life. Yuk. Who wants real life?

The mobile home park allowed us to really understand that in the RV parks – everyone is on vacation.

For the most part, almost everyone is either retired or working mobile at what they love. They are just happy.

As you think about RVing, be prepared to deal with lots of happy satisfied people.

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Going from BIG LIFE to RV LIFE http://rv52.com/going-big-life-rv-life/ http://rv52.com/going-big-life-rv-life/#respond Sun, 07 Sep 2014 15:15:16 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39529 (This is an excerpt from my book The Spartan RV) We all have the vision. We can vision ourselves visiting all the amazing places in North America. Seeing it all, let alone, living immersively in it all, would take a lifetime. We lived our lifetime working. We spent our YEARS getting ready for the adventure […]

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(This is an excerpt from my book The Spartan RV)

Tweet This:@rv52 - Shucks, it really isn't that big of a deal paring down your life! http://rv52.com/?p=39529
Tweet This:@rv52 - You've hit the nail on the head - downsizing is pretty hard! http://rv52.com/?p=39529

We all have the vision.

We can vision ourselves visiting all the amazing places in North America. Seeing it all, let alone, living immersively in it all, would take a lifetime.

We lived our lifetime working.

We spent our YEARS getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Getting ready also meant, getting financially ready. Scrapping, scraping, living, accumulating, and if all goes well retiring.

All these places are on our list (this is just a sample, ok?): Niagara Falls, Carhenge, USS Lexington, Corn Palace, Mile High stadium, Yosemite. Any lake or place in Canada, Mall of America, Orlando, Orlando, Orlando, Grand Canyon.

The list goes on and on. It is as endless as the imagination of the adventurer.

A large portion of these people would like to visit these places with 1) No schedule, 2) No reservations, 3) No commitments, and 4) traveling as you see fit.

Doing it in a recreational vehicle (RV) seems like a perfect fit.

The largest RV that can legally roam the road is 399 square feet. I repeat for EFFECT: The LARGEST RV is 399 square feet.

The problem is that after 30, 40, or 50 years of living you accumulated some stuff. In fact, if you are AVERAGE, your house size has ballooned to nearly 2,500 square feet. [ See graph ]

Median House Prices 1973 through 2010

Almost 33% increase since 1973

Getting all that stuff from 2,500 square feet to less than 400 square feet is a reduction of 5 times. Oh yea, RVs don’t come with garages which most home do so the space problem between the two is even bigger.

Before ending this short chapter, do you remember when you were in your parents or grandparents house, perhaps in the 50′s, 60′s or 70′s or even earlier?

I do. I remember that those houses were really small. They were cozy little 3-6 room houses on modest lots. What they lacked in size, they made up with character, quality, and little touches like porches and outdoor areas. This is what we’ve gotten far away from. I imagine the jump from those little houses to an RV wouldn’t be hard for the people that lived in them.

So the BIG question is… how do you go from 2,500 square feet to less than 400 square feet while simultaneously having everything you need to experience North America fully?

That my friendly reader is the idea behind the book: Going from BIG life to RV life.

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Why did I pick Sparta as the name for my new idea in my book? http://rv52.com/pick-sparta-name-new-idea-book/ http://rv52.com/pick-sparta-name-new-idea-book/#respond Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:09:57 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39527 Truthfully, this book was going to be called RV Zen, but that was already taken. Then I looked up Zen. It had nothing to do with this book’s main idea. Nothing at all. How many words do we think we know what they mean, but have no clue. [ I once had a friend that […]

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Tweet This:@rv52 - I think the Sparta concept for you book wasn't too bad - http://rv52.com/?p=39527
Tweet This:@rv52 - I would have liked a different overall concept than Sparta - http://rv52.com/?p=39527

Truthfully, this book was going to be called RV Zen, but that was already taken.

Then I looked up Zen. It had nothing to do with this book’s main idea. Nothing at all.

How many words do we think we know what they mean, but have no clue. [ I once had a friend that thought “platonic” mean sex without commitment because the girl he spent many hours with kept saying they had a platonic relationship. True story. ]

Penultimate is a word like that too.

To me, that sounded like the BIG ultimate, the MAIN ultimate, the ultimate above all ultimates.

I would tell people “The software we’re making is the PENULTIMATE in development software.” I used that darned saying for a year or two.

One day, I’m telling someone that our software was the PENULTIMATE way of doing some little thing that seemed important in that meeting. One of the engineer that I’m good friends with says to me “Did you really mean to tell him that our software is the 2nd best?”

Then I looked up the word penultimate. It literally means second best. I was mortified. I had said that word in that context to 1000’s of people!

So I looked I better look up ZEN. It has a whole lot more to do with meditation and intuition than anything. All good stuff – but not what this book is about.

Zen is absolutely NOT the way to lesser stuff. Althooooough lesser stuff MAY be a path to Zen.

No. This is more about minimalism. But minimalism cannot be about simply doing without.

It has to be a state of mind.

You see, you gotta get something in return for minimizing possessions. Sure – I’ll show you how possessions are terribly costly and that simply minimizing your PHYSICAL footprint on the planet can be good for you economically. But more than, I’ll show you how all that stuff actually has a gigantic negative toll on your psyche and spirituality.

So when I thought about a symbolic anchor that people might get I thought about the Spartans.

They were WAY above the idea of things. They put the idea of excellence, presence, team, & relationships above all else. I love that.

So the idea of Sparta, of a spartan existence balled together everything I thought should go together. It combined an ethic of excellence and utilitarianism with a symbol that to me, just makes sense.

Some of you may have a negative idea attached to the idea of “being Spartan”. I don’t agree with that idea. You choose to be Spartan because of the incredible integrity of your being. This is the real and inclusive meaning of “integrity” here – not the abbreviated version meaning “good morals”.

So in my RV, “we are Sparta”.

[ Sidenote: A really fun movie about Sparta and the Spartans is 300 [Blu-ray] from Amazon. Massively entertaining show! Another sidenote is that a book that starts to get at the heart of the mental state I’m descibing here is a book called The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. ]

Tweet This:@rv52 - cool book - everyone take a look at Marlan's book - http://rv52.com/spartanrv

 

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RV52’s big BBQ Problem – Awesome Opie’s and Reader Feedback http://rv52.com/rv52s-big-bbq-problem-awesome-opies-reader-feedback/ http://rv52.com/rv52s-big-bbq-problem-awesome-opies-reader-feedback/#respond Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:31:39 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39523   Before I get to writing, I thought I would make a “fun” little set of “Tweet this” choices. After the article they might make more sense. I went a little crazy, but I thought it would be fun. If you don’t know what “tweeting” is, just skip down. Awesome Opie’s I’ve had Opie’s before […]

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Outstanding Texas Smokers - Opie's BBQ (Barbeque) in Spicewood Texas near Austin

Opie’s BBQ (Barbeque) in Spicewood Texas near Austin. Underrated. Underreported. Undervalued. One of the few places where it is worth the trip JUST FOR THE SIDES!!!! Not to mention outstanding BBQ.

 

Before I get to writing, I thought I would make a “fun” little set of “Tweet this” choices. After the article they might make more sense. I went a little crazy, but I thought it would be fun. If you don’t know what “tweeting” is, just skip down.

Awesome Opie’s

I’ve had Opie’s before and I remember thinking it was good. But I was in a hurry and honestly, on that day it was “just BBQ”.

But I went back recently.

I was NOT in a hurry. Honestly, you should NEVER be in a hurry to eat. Why not make eating a JOY rather than a JOB. Just a one letter difference, but what a difference it makes.

I’m just coming off of a recent trip and short writeup of the City Market down in Luling. That City Market BBQ was outstanding and I had to admit it was some of the best.

But as I’m getting BBQ cracklins’ all over my keyboard from Opie’s, I might have given too much praise for City Market. That place is darned fine. Darned fine.

But Opie’s, I think, tops it.

That is right. I would put Opie’s ABOVE City Market. Maybe Opie’s had a great day (Like Nebraska Cornhusker’s victory over Florida Atlantic) and City Market was just having a GOOD day. But nonetheless – right now – mano-a-mano (sp?) I would pick Opie’s everytime.

Let dig into why…

Sausage – Honestly sausage is a tie. The Opie’s Jalapeno Cheese Sausage is crazy-good. Oh, I can hear the whiners and so called sausage purists saying you can’t put cheese inside a sausage. I know that they are thinking, the doggone thing isn’t kosher anymore. Or they might be thinking that cheese in sausage is too bourgeois. But come-on folks, this tastes AWESOME (cue sound of harps and angelic choirs).

Brisket – Holy cow. Did they drop a keg of pure butter into the thing? I’m not sure but the Opie’s brisket is probably the official post child eatery of the Atkins diet. Certainly it ought to be served in the cafeteria of Heart Hospital, right? It is melt in your mouth good.

Pork Chop – Super good. Reheats splendidly. Big, thick and juicy. Standard pork chop so it can’t be Perry-class pork chop, but for standard pork chops, LOVE IT. Love the smoke in it – and not metallic like the overrated place down in Lockhart (name withheld to protect RV52 from flat tires).

Pork Ribs – Dangest thing happened. I looked at it. The meat JUMPED off the bone. I hadn’t even touched it yet. Yes, they even had a delicious light BBQ sauce taste along with the delightful smoky flavor. Better yet, this wasn’t some Paleo skinny pig that was only allowed to smoke pot, listen to classical music, and eat kale. No this was an all-American pig that listened to rock-and-roll, ate piles of fat and nasty corn, rode his bad-arse Hog and made himself the pig we all wanna eat. This was good stuff. Kudos to Opie’s pork ribs.

Turkey – super good. But I lets move on.

Sides – Opie’s has lots of sides. But two caught my eye. They were spicy corn and tater tot casserole. Keep in mind, I’ve had some darned good hash brown casseroles. If you like the cheesy hash brown casserole from Cracker Barrel let me help you with a comparison. Cracker Barrel’s is good. But Cracker Barrel is like the all-girls 7 year old YMCA basketball team and Opies is like the San Antonio Spurs. The stuff reheats well so buy a gallon or two. You’ll thank me that you did. Your heart surgeon thanks me. Your Lipitor sales person thanks me. Your gastro doc thanks me. If you are going to die, this is the way to do it. If I ever get sentenced to death, maybe I’ll ask them if I can select the technique. Death by Opies tater tot casserole. Good stuff. Buy it. Don’t ask questions.

I go to Torchie’s Tacos once a week. If not more. I love the place. They made a VERY SPECIAL side called “street corn”. You’ll never have a better side of corn. Or so I thought. I now believe that the Torchies people have a true competitor in Opie’s spicy corn. WWWWOOOOWWWW. Just get it, ok? WARNING – It is spicy. It reheats well. WARNING – it gets spicier as it ages. You’ve been warned.

Long and the short — I would go back to Opie’s solely for their sides. The BBQ? That is just major upside.

Tweet This:@rv52 - About darned time you got out to Opie's - Good review - http://rv52.com/rv52s-big-bbq-problem-awesome-opies-reader-feedback/

Reader Feedback on BBQ Story

A reader (Tom) recently called me out on my last story because I put Rudy’s on the list. Hats off to Tom for calling me out. So I owe it to RV52 readers everywhere to characterize Rudy’s correctly.

He said it is overrated. I agree with him. I think Rudy’s get a lot of attention because it is everywhere and for the MOST PART you get what expect, and it is very serviceable BBQ. So I guess I’m saying that Rudy’s is the McDonalds of  the BBQ world. That is good for Rudy’s in some ways. But if you are going for the BIG DOG BEST BBQ, then it probably should not make the list. Kind of like a BBQ bridesmaid (y’all can have some fun with that analogy).

Tweet This:@rv52 - You aren't being fair to Rudy's you big meanie - http://rv52.com/rv52s-big-bbq-problem-awesome-opies-reader-feedback/

So I got to thinking – why do I go to Rudys? Well, whenever the choice is BBQ A vs Rudys, we go to BBQ A. That means whenever people are going to have BBQ and they are thinking about which BBQ place, they’ll choose something other than Rudys – not all the time, but most of the time. Keep in mind, I go to Rudys.

But when the choice is “other food” versus Rudys, then many time, Rudys wins out.

So you see, Rudys is good food, but average BBQ. I think that is fair.

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RV52 Under Attack! But keeps on fighting http://rv52.com/rv52-attack-keeps-fighting/ http://rv52.com/rv52-attack-keeps-fighting/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:19:37 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39448 RV52 is TRULY under attack! While at RV52 HQ, I am being attacked by HUGE green monsters that are threatening the RV52.com food supply. They are relentless creatures. I’ve appealed to the authorities and it looks like the authorities are not going to be any help. The so-called-authorities aren’t taking this seriously – perhaps these […]

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RV52 is TRULY under attack!

While at RV52 HQ, I am being attacked by HUGE green monsters that are threatening the RV52.com food supply.

They are relentless creatures. I’ve appealed to the authorities and it looks like the authorities are not going to be any help. The so-called-authorities aren’t taking this seriously – perhaps these creatures have an insider?

This could possibly be worse than a zombie apocalypse. At least zombies don’t eat food. They just eat you. You won’t starve if you can avoid the darned zombies.

Not true with these beasts.

But the things attacking RV52.com, if left unchecked threaten to cause RV52 to die a slow painful lingering death.

What to do?

One good thing is that while they grow fast, the don’t move fast. I was able to get a picture for RV52.com readers:

 

tomato hornworm attacking rv52.com homebase food supply

tomato hornworm attacking rv52.com homebase food supply

 

Of course, this is a little bit in jest. All true, but hardly a catastrophe. But doggone-it, my heart dropped onto the ground when I saw that thing on my plants. I had such high hopes when I started this project.

I’ve NEVER grown a garden or a plant of any kind in my life. So all this is new to me. I continue to realize I don’t know anything about tomato growing and/or these worms.

On one hand I had some pretty good growth.

IMG_2264

 

On the other hand, my plants seemed to stop thriving. Over a three day period they were looking skinny. That was when I saw “it”.

It looked like a funny fat branch on my tomatoes.

But it wasn’t a branch.

It was “the beast”. Then I saw there was more than one “beast”.

Then I started looking critically at the plants – not just rushing through to put water on them, but really LOOKING. My tomatoes weren’t just ragged. They were completely stripped of foliage! Wow.

I should have noticed that before. Aarrrrgggh!

So I thought I would amuse you with some things I have learned so far – knowing I have a long way to go.

  • After you pick off those worms, the plants start leaping to the sky!!! (again).
  • Fire ants LOVE LOVE LOVE the hornworms. I’m going to get a timelapse video of that. Very cool.
  • Yes it is cruel to drop a hornworm into an ant bed. Oh well.
  • Note: I think hornworms do indeed feel pain. When the first fire ant hit the thing, zowie, it about jumped 2-3 inches in the air.
  • If you do the hornworm check daily, you’ll get good at it. I can spot the babies now. I think I have them under control.
  • Finally, a praying mantis got onto my plants. Go get that hornworm you lazy mantis!
  • You’d thing the birds would love those delicious little green fatties. Bird crap everywhere on my planters, but worms seem to have free reign.

So I’m sure you’ll feel really sorry for me now, knowing the full inside scoop on the attack story.

If you got one, story that is, send it in or post it in the comments. It is what they are here for! (I cannot seem to keep from ending sentences with prepositions)

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Off the chain BBQ – Worth the trip from anywhere in the Texas Triangle http://rv52.com/chain-bbq-worth-trip-anywhere-texas-triangle/ http://rv52.com/chain-bbq-worth-trip-anywhere-texas-triangle/#respond Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:29:34 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39454 Unlike most Americans, you might have ignored the food bits of the headline and wondered “What is the Texas Triangle?” The Texas Triangle is the geometric shape of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. That triangle also hosts several large cities like Austin, Waco, and Temple. This triangle makes up a very potent economic region to […]

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Unlike most Americans, you might have ignored the food bits of the headline and wondered “What is the Texas Triangle?”

The Texas Triangle is the geometric shape of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. That triangle also hosts several large cities like Austin, Waco, and Temple.

This triangle makes up a very potent economic region to contend with in many large industries.

Inside the triangle are some pretty good BBQ places.

Texas likes to think of itself as a BBQ expert. The type of BBQ tends to be smoked meat with a hint of seasonings and sauces. Brisket is the big dog with sausage and pork ribs in the mix. The Texas joints typically avoid heavy sauces (like Kansas City BBQ) and the crazy adornments (cole slaw on pulled pork). For the record – I haven’t met BBQ in any flavor and arrangement from any state I haven’t liked.

I’ve hardly been to every joint in Texas, but I’ll list a few here with my opinion. If you search through the list, you’ll get a sense for my tastes which will help you know if my tastes map into yours.

  • Salt Lick – Austin, TX – solid BBQ – super sausage – very unique and delicate potato salad. (I was challenged to combine the word potato salad and delicate into a single sentence. Yay – I won the bet)
  • County Line – Austin TX – solid BBQ – oddly BREAD is their specialty.
  • Coopers – LLano (I think) – heavy smoke in brisket YUM – Pecan crisp dessert – off the charts
  • Myers in Elgin – Ok. I don’t think I was impressed.
  • Kreutz – Lockhart – Didn’t like it. Had a metallic taste in their pork chops
  • Blacks – Lockhart – Nope.
  • Chisolm Trail – Lockhart – Looks like a dump, but DANG they make good brisket. Stick w/ the brisket.
  • Rudy’s BBQ – everywhere – Super solid – they do turkey better than almost everyone.

There are others, but you get the picture.

But out of all of them, I think I met the one that I would put at the head of the class. Sure I haven’t tried “Franklins” in Austin yet, but I’m not going to stand in line like a bunch of sheep waiting for BBQ. Not going to do it.

This new one, I found, with Sheri’s help, down in Luling Texas. Once again, a good BBQ place should be ran like the Seinfeld soup nazi episode. Don’t talk, don’t ask questions, don’t be funny, order your BBQ and move on down the line.

The place is called the City Market.

It was once voted one of the 101 best restaurants in America in Newsweek or some news magazine. I think it definitely deserves honors.

I’ll give you a run down here.

Brisket – Scary tender. And the cut it thick. Heavy smoke flavor – and JUICY. That darned stuff will make a mess o-yo-face pretty dang quick. Outstanding. Can’t wait to make a brisket sandwich with the leftovers.

Pork Ribs – Perfect. Not too dry. Nice gentle hint of a KC-like BBQ sauce on the ribs. Goes very well with the smoky ribs. Super tender.

Sausage – loose packed which I don’t like so I was going to really pan it… until I tasted it. I must admit it was different from every sausage I’ve had before. Even though it was loose packed, it didn’t become gritty crunchy like most peoples. It was more like ground brisket and pork with a really nice flavor. More like a sloppy joe in a sausage than anything. But without all the sloppy joe sauce. So overall – I recommend their sausage.

P.S. – The do sell out. Done is done. So get their early. Pictures are below…

Outside of the City Market Luling Texas

Outside of the City Market Luling Texas

Check out the grub at the City Market in Luling

Check out the grub at the City Market in Luling

Don't touch my BBQ - Sheri at City Market

Don’t touch my BBQ – Sheri at City Market

 

Pit is behind the wall and line at City Market

Pit is behind the wall and line at City Market

You WILL stand in line at City Market too

You WILL stand in line at City Market too

 

Happy BBQ-ing.

P.S. RV52.com kindly accepts cold packed BBQ sent to RV52.com world headquarters. ;-)

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RV52.com finally produces a book worth reading! The Spartan RV http://rv52.com/rv52-com-finally-produces-book-worth-reading-spartan-rv/ http://rv52.com/rv52-com-finally-produces-book-worth-reading-spartan-rv/#respond Sun, 10 Aug 2014 20:01:11 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39473 It only took me the better part of 2014, but I finally answers some of my readers questions. A few of the readers of RV52.com wrote in and said that they struggle with downsizing their lives. So instead of writing 1 or 2 lame sentences, I took the easy way out and wrote a 200 […]

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It only took me the better part of 2014, but I finally answers some of my readers questions.

A few of the readers of RV52.com wrote in and said that they struggle with downsizing their lives.

So instead of writing 1 or 2 lame sentences, I took the easy way out and wrote a 200 page book!!!!

Crazy, I know.

I’m sure it is a confusing read, but I still think it is some of my best work yet (other than the cool SW tools I make for RVers – see the Goodies section)

Check it out and tell me what you think: The Spartan RV Book

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A great photo from a true amateur – hummingbird http://rv52.com/great-photo-true-amateur-hummingbird/ http://rv52.com/great-photo-true-amateur-hummingbird/#respond Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:23:24 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39446 Many RVers take pictures, lots and lots of pictures. I take lots of pictures. Lots and lots of TERRIBLE pictures. But recently, we had a little hummingbird at RV52.com world headquarters. And I got the little sucker on “film”. No big deal for a pro, but for an amateur like me, I was pretty excited. After […]

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Many RVers take pictures, lots and lots of pictures.

I take lots of pictures. Lots and lots of TERRIBLE pictures.

But recently, we had a little hummingbird at RV52.com world headquarters.

And I got the little sucker on “film”. No big deal for a pro, but for an amateur like me, I was pretty excited. After all, I’m “pimping” RVer information on my site, not my photography skills.

But I thought I would pass along what I did on the off chance it helps someone.

That little stinker was skittish. No way I could get close to him (or her) and take a picture. Whenever it came close by, it took too long to get the camera setup, even when the camera was close. Very frustrating.

So, I plugged my camera in, kept it switched ON, put it on a tripod, prefocused it, and then had a remote shutter button.

I then poured a cup of coffee and waited.

After waiting patiently while drinking my Keurig coffee, I got him.

What do you think?

Hummingbird at Feeder

Hummingbird at Feeder

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Comstock Nebraska – Centennial Garden http://rv52.com/comstock-nebraska-centennial-garden/ http://rv52.com/comstock-nebraska-centennial-garden/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:45:46 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39364 Earlier, I wrote a post about RVing in a place where time might not go to fast, Comstock Nebraska. I wrote about the Dowse Sod House, and I mentioned a garden called the Centennial Garden. As tourist attractions go, Centennial Garden would be considered very small. But if you look at it objectively, realizing that […]

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Earlier, I wrote a post about RVing in a place where time might not go to fast, Comstock Nebraska. I wrote about the Dowse Sod House, and I mentioned a garden called the Centennial Garden.

As tourist attractions go, Centennial Garden would be considered very small.

But if you look at it objectively, realizing that it is a volunteer project in a very small town, then you can see that the Centennial Garden is a splendid project. On a per capita basis, it is a HUMONGOUS project.

I know how things GROW and get out of control in a garden and this place looks great.

Since we’ve already established that if you are going to visit/RV in central Nebraska, you are going to slow down and smell the roses, why not have your morning coffee in Centennial Garden.

I’m sure you can walk through it in about an hour. But what if you use the place as a place of peace and stopped and sat down in the Friendship area of the garden. Maybe if you spent some time here as part of your morning routine – you just might find a deep well of power you didn’t know you have.

I took a few pictures… enjoy…

Centennial Garden Weeds for Sale - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Brick Path to Gazebo - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Donation Bricks - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Site to Behoed - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Signpost - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Metal Bird - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Friendship Patio Panorama View - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Powerplant Switchbox - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Friendship Patio Entrance - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Friendship Patio - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Windmill - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Footbridge - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden The Bird Houses and Feeder - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden The Thinker - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Brick Design Edging - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Flowers - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Martin House - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Tea for Two - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Bottle Tree - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Old Car Planter - Comstock Nebraska Centennial Garden Entrance - Comstock Nebraska

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RV52 strikes again with an RV Sales Contract Generator – for FREE! http://rv52.com/rv52-strikes-rv-sales-contract-generator-free/ http://rv52.com/rv52-strikes-rv-sales-contract-generator-free/#respond Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:54:27 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39414 For those of you that know RV52.com (well it is just me, Marlan) you know that I am a tinkerer. When I sold my Open Range 399BHS this spring, I looked around for a good RV sales contract or bill of sale generator. There were a few examples, but there really wasn’t anything. They are […]

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For those of you that know RV52.com (well it is just me, Marlan) you know that I am a tinkerer.

When I sold my Open Range 399BHS this spring, I looked around for a good RV sales contract or bill of sale generator. There were a few examples, but there really wasn’t anything. They are kind of a pain in the rear to gin-up using your word processor and unless you are comfortable with making up rules, they tend to be a little skinny.

Now I’ve made different RV tools before. So I like to play around on my site (http://rv52.com) and see what I can come up with. Here are some of my earlier tools and tool-like pages:

  • http://rv52.com/rvparks – That might not seem like much to you, but I actually had to “code-up” a database, programming my wordpress using a computer language called PHP and creating a custom database type called “RVPark”.
  • http://rv52.com/rv-types/ –  RV Teaching Guide – less programming, but I arranged my RV pages so it is like a guided tutorial. I think that would be SUPER useful to newbies to RVs.
  • http://rv52.com/alinks/what-rv-is-right-for-me/ – Some of my BEST EVER work. This is a 9 or 10 question lifestyle quiz that helps you think about the RV that makes sense for you. It actually uses non-linear math and does some super cool scoring to give the reader a recommendation. Check it out.

But TODAY, I’d like to show you my RV Sales Contract Generator page. This thing lets you put in the buyer and seller information along with the price and all that biz. Then when you are done, it gives you a sales contract that you can either copy and paste or just print. I’ll send an email with a link so you can get back to the contract you created too.

Well anyway, tell me what you think: RV Sales Contract Generator by RV52.com

Thanks!

 

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Hydroponics at Industrial Country Market http://rv52.com/hydroponics-industrial-country-market/ http://rv52.com/hydroponics-industrial-country-market/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:33:08 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39381 2014 is shaping up to be a wetter and more normal year in Texas. Last year when I stopped by the Industrial Country Market along Hwy 71, their hydroponics area was turned off due to the severe drought in Texas. This year when I stopped by the hydroponics area was in full swing. I’ll keep […]

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2014 is shaping up to be a wetter and more normal year in Texas. Last year when I stopped by the Industrial Country Market along Hwy 71, their hydroponics area was turned off due to the severe drought in Texas.

This year when I stopped by the hydroponics area was in full swing. I’ll keep this article short, but this is such cool stuff.

If you don’t see the pics, click on the title of the article and you should be able to see the pics.

If you are RVing in Texas, this is one of the coolest places ever… ok, it is at least pretty cool. Worth the stop.

Industrial Country Market - Rockwool Plant Starts Industrial Country Market - Hydroponic Tomatoes Showing Clip Closeup Industrial Country Market - Hydroponic Tomatoes Showing Support and Clips Industrial Country Market - Hydroponic Growing Tubes Industrial Country Market - Hydroponic Herbs Industrial Country Market - Succulents in the Greenhouse Industrial Country Market - Hydroponics Tomatoes Climbing a String Industrial Country Market - Hydroponics Tomatoes Industrial Country Market - Hydroponics Lettuce Industrial Country Market - Using Roofing Material as Weed Block

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Comstock Nebraska – The Dowse Sod House http://rv52.com/comstock-nebraska-dowse-sod-house/ http://rv52.com/comstock-nebraska-dowse-sod-house/#respond Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:23:27 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39341 I wrote earlier about the virtues of central Nebraska and I named Comstock Nebraska and the Dowse Sod House. The links are from Comstock’s town web site and from Wikipedia. They say so much about the Soddy that I can’t say much more. When we saw the simple little sign on the main highway we […]

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I wrote earlier about the virtues of central Nebraska and I named Comstock Nebraska and the Dowse Sod House. The links are from Comstock’s town web site and from Wikipedia. They say so much about the Soddy that I can’t say much more.

When we saw the simple little sign on the main highway we decided to go see the Dowse Sod House.

It did NOT disappoint.

First, you have to drive 2-3 miles down the road. The road is paved which is pretty cool in deep rural Nebraska. Even cooler, the road is not a thru road. Go PAST the Dowse House and before long you are ending your journey right up next to the Middle Loup River. Unlike state parks near larger cities, where people live, this particular end of the road you’ll ONLY hear the river and the wind among the tall Cottonwood trees.

Back at the Dowse Sod House, you’ll sign a guest book where the last person to sign it was several days ago.

It is one of the best examples of a sod house you’ll ever see. It is chock full of neat artifacts and you can take all day to view them. My pictures don’t do it justice.

If you decide to go, bring a picnic lunch. Bring a blanket because there are no fire ants in Nebraska. It just isn’t that hot in Nebraska so you should be able to enjoy a very nice picnic.

So enjoy the peace and take some time and really imagine yourself back in the time of the pioneers.

Dowse Sod House Comstock Nebraska Dowse Sod House Comstock Nebraska Southern Exterior Wall Dowse Sod House Comstock Nebraska - History of the Name Dowse Sod House - National Register of Historic Places Plaque Dowse Sod House - Handwritten History Dowse Sod House - Antique Organ and artifacts Dowse Sod House - Historic Artifacts in Display Case Dowse Sod House - Historic Nebraska Map Dowse Sod House - Panorama of the Living Room Dowse Sod House - Prairie Scene in Needlepoint Dowse Sod House - Wood Stove in Back Room Dowse Sod House - Family History Dowse Sod House - Short Personal Family History Dowse Sod House - Back Room Dowse Sod House - Panorama of the Back Room Dowse Sod House - The Poem called The Homestead Dowse Sod House - Panorama of the Master Bedroom Dowse Sod House - Wood Cooking Stove Dowse Sod House - Panorama of the Kitchen Dowse Sod House - Exposed Sod Underneath the Eaves Dowse Sod House - Showing Sod Over the Front Entry Dowse Sod House - External View from the Southeast corner Dowse Sod House - Antique Farm Equipment Dowse Sod House - Antique Farm Equipment Dowse Sod House - Antique Farm Equipment Dowse Sod House - External View of the Front Door Dowse Sod House - External View Dowse Sod House - Nice External View

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Timing IS everything – The Disk Camera http://rv52.com/timing-everything-disk-camera/ http://rv52.com/timing-everything-disk-camera/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:12:24 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39368 When I was going to college there was no such thing as a digital camera. The camera was still a chemical affair – exposing a treated “film” to a glint of light through a lens and then a complicated chemical process of developing the film. My college was a wonderful place, with tall trees lining […]

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When I was going to college there was no such thing as a digital camera.

The camera was still a chemical affair – exposing a treated “film” to a glint of light through a lens and then a complicated chemical process of developing the film.

My college was a wonderful place, with tall trees lining sidewalks, blue skies everyday, and finely manicured green grass.

Naturally, I would want to chronicle such a splendid time and place.

As a kid, I never had much money, so any possession was the BEST possession because I worked hard to get it and whatever it was, it was a true sacrifice.

And so it was with my new camera.

This wasn’t just any camera. It was a Kodak Disk Camera, which was the newest hottest thing in the camera world at that time. At least for cheapo-kids it was the newest hottest camera thing.

I thought I was the bees-knees with this thing.

So much so, that I can remember CLEARLY the very first day I had the darned thing.

I walked to school – a chilly fall morning and along the way, I picked up a good college friend, who if memory serves me was Boo Boo Hahn.

I was going on and on about my new disk camera and at one point we were just standing on the sidewalk talking and I was showing him my camera.

And then a bird crapped on the shoulder of my coat.

Not your normal tiny baby wren or sparrow crap.

No. This was more of an industrial age, nuclear mutant, large bird, bucket load of crap in full color.

I look at Boo Boo.

Boo Boo looks at me.

Boo Boo says – “Hey Winter, mind if I take a picture?”

Timing is everything.

Got a funny bird poop story? It has to be true. Leave it in the comments.

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Willing to get off the beaten path? Consider central Nebraska http://rv52.com/willing-get-beaten-path-consider-central-nebraska/ http://rv52.com/willing-get-beaten-path-consider-central-nebraska/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:42:47 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39306 When visiting my 81 year old mother in a small town in central Nebraska (Miller if you must know), I found myself fading in and out of sleep on her incredibly uncomfortable couch. I was alone in the house. I had plenty of rest. So I wondered… why was I fading in and out of […]

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When visiting my 81 year old mother in a small town in central Nebraska (Miller if you must know), I found myself fading in and out of sleep on her incredibly uncomfortable couch.

I was alone in the house.

I had plenty of rest.

So I wondered… why was I fading in and out of sleep.

Then I listened.

And I heard.

I heard absolutely nothing… Nothing man-made. No cars. No lawn mowers (it was after lunch). No engines. No “road noise”. No yelling kids. Absolutely nothing.

What I did hear was the ebb and flow of the wind that is so ever-present on the Nebraska prairie. I heard the birds – tons of song birds.

It had been a long time since I had no man made stimulus. Just me and nature – ok – I cheated – me and nature from my mom’s couch with tons and tons of open windows. But there was nothing else. Honest.

It was amazingly restorative.

Which got me to thinking. Maybe all the cool places aren’t the ONLY places that are cool?

Consider Comstock Nebraska.

In a short afternoon, or maybe even an hour you could see the whole town. But that isn’t the point. The point is to literally stop and smell the roses.

Visiting Comstock this summer I noticed a little RV park. It wasn’t much, but the point isn’t that the park has to be the fanciest place on the planet – just a place for a little peace and quiet.

There are some really neat water features like the Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area where you can get some fantastic fresh water fishing without having to deal with any other people. Many fishermen know that it is hard getting to fish by yourself anymore. Well, it is still possible in Nebraska. Another closeby dam is Sherman County Reservoir.

Not only are there local lakes, there are two really nice rivers called the Middle Loup and the North Loup Rivers.

You would also have access to the sandhills which are pretty darned fascinating all by themselves.

Comstock itself has a yearly music festival (see the picture below) as well as the video gallery below.

The ladies (and probably some men) of the community have created an amazing community garden called the Centennial Garden.

Comstock also has a wonderful park with beautiful big fluffy trees that have wonderful shade.

Go see the Dowse Sod House. I mean really, a sod house. With a history and kept up by people who really care.

There are other things too – like a few businesses, but I really wanted to focus on the cool things.

 

The coolest thing

But the coolest thing is this… If you would be willing to forgo some of the fancy big-attraction things and spend a couple months in central Nebraska, perhaps just thinking, being quiet, being still, and enjoying the peace, then you might find yourself looking back at you.

Imagine mornings with moderate temperatures, crisp blue skys free from ozone haze, smells of summer, birds, and sometimes, just the ebb and flow of the wind. Imagine coffee from your Keurig (I still love mine), getting up with the sun and going to bed with the sun, stars so bright they hurt your eyes, and just imagine the power and energy of the natural energy of the universe seeping into your soul.

That was kind of what I was thinking when sleep and wake washed over me like waves when I was laying on my 81 year old mother’s couch.

What do you think?

P.S. pictures below.

Pictures (if you can’t see them, then click on the article title and then you will be able to see them).

 

Centennial Garden Comstock Nebraska Old Filling Station Comstock Nebraska Tree Lined Street Comstock Nebraska Antique Gas Pump Comstock Nebraska Signpost and Flag - Comstock Nebraska IX Apostles Bank - Comstock Nebraska Street Bench - Comstock Nebraska Dowse Sod House - Comstock Nebraska

 

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Texas Barber Provides Closest Shave ever (joke) http://rv52.com/texas-barber-provides-closest-shave-ever-joke/ http://rv52.com/texas-barber-provides-closest-shave-ever-joke/#respond Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:32:58 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39256 An old country western singer walks into a barbershop in Luckenbach Texas for a shave and a haircut. He tells the barber he can’t get all his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age. The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells the old cowboy to put it […]

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An old country western singer walks into a barbershop in Luckenbach Texas for a shave and a haircut.

He tells the barber he can’t get all his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age.

The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells the old cowboy to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.

When he’s finished, the old musician tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’d had in years, but he wanted to know what would have happened if he had accidentally swallowed that little ball.

The barber replied, just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does.

( Sent to RV52.com courtesy of a reader. If your joke is pretty good, I’d be happy to publish it. Let me know if you want your name in there or not.)

 

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RV Park Operator asks RV52.com Readers a Question http://rv52.com/rv-park-operator-asks-rv52-com-readers-question/ http://rv52.com/rv-park-operator-asks-rv52-com-readers-question/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:25:20 +0000 http://rv52.com/?p=39254 RV52 has been in operation for several years. This site gets 10’s of 1000’s of visitors every month. Honestly, I get more traffic than most people think. Part of RV52 is a directory of RV parks. In all this time NOT ONE, not a single park, has ever engaged me and had a frank discussion […]

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RV52 has been in operation for several years. This site gets 10’s of 1000’s of visitors every month. Honestly, I get more traffic than most people think.

Part of RV52 is a directory of RV parks.

In all this time NOT ONE, not a single park, has ever engaged me and had a frank discussion on how to improve their marketing or success on the world wide web.

…until this week.

I received a comment from Debbie, the manager of Crossroads RV Park in Mohave Valley, Arizona. I print her comment without any editing whatsoever. Why don’t you leave a comment and give Debbie some ideas?

Hello, I am the Manager of an RV Park in Arizona.  When looking at ways to make and keep your tenants happy and as comfortable as possible, I thought why not ask those who know best….  Other RV’ers.  (asked Tenants first of coarse)  So I would love to hear any and all suggestions and opinions.  Be it activities, way things are set up, communication lines and/or anything else you can think of that you either look for at/in RV Park or have experienced at an RV Park that was unique or different way that created a positive result.  I want to thank each and everyone of you in advance for sharing this information with me and all those who choose to read it.  Have a very Blessed Day! Belated Happy Fathers Day to all of you Fathers, Grandfathers or Fathers to be out there.

 

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