Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finally! Photos!

Finally, I am able to upload all the long-awaited for photos all my, uh, fan(s) have been waiting for. (Hey, I know at least two people who asked me for photos!)
  • Rest and recovery: More rest, recovery and fun following Robin's surgery. See some pictures from our road tip to Iowa, a rocket launch, our cruise to the Bahamas and what we can do with a 22 rifle.
  • Fantasy fest: Caution: Contains nudity. View at your own risk. Just so you know, here are some verbatim rules (yeah, right!) from the city of Key West published in the Fantasy Fest Event Guide: Nudity is illegal. City code specifies that body paint does not constitute clothing. Nudity is not allowed on public property or in public view. Please wear a cover-up to avoid exposure on city streets. Body painting must be done in enclosed or screened areas, out of public view. Drink from paper or plastic cups provided by bars and vendors. Open containers are allowed in the Fantasy Zone.
  • The move: Robin's last hurrah fishing at the fort, how you move 300 pounds of frozen fish 1,000 miles, a forewarning of a Nor'easter and more during our move from Key West to North Carolina.
  • Redneck revival: The winner of my family's annual Christmas Sock Contest, our awesome, completely furnished rental and some wildlife and scenery around Wanchese.
  • Wright Brothers: A celebration of the 106th anniversary of powered flight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rants and raves

  • Transportation: Our ghetto Jetta wasn't road-worthy enough to drive to North Carolina. Now, we bought a similar (only better) ghetto car. It's a Honda Civic and is getting 36 MPG! Plus, the air, heat and radio all work!
  • Medical madness: Now that we finally have a mailing address where we actually receive our mail, all the medical bills are coming in. Somehow, the chiropractor Robin saw last summer in Kodiak charged more than $500 for two, 20-minute visits. Because Robin has insurance, the chiro billed him $200, twice what the cash price would have been. That's after the insurance already paid over $300. That puts the chiro's hourly rate at about $750 an hour!
  • Working out: Dare County has a community center with a small workout facility. Originally, it was supposed to be for senior citizens only. But, they had to open it up to the entire population to legally receive the funding they lined up for it. The best part is it is free to use (especially helpful for one unemployed person in particular)! Based on the music they play, however, I am certain they are trying to drive out anyone under the age of 70.
  • Wired and wireless: We now have home internet service! Whoohooo! What a luxury.
  • Unemployment: My seasonal, temporary park service job ended in July. Since then, I have been unable to receive unemployment due to some weird government regulation. Effective this week, I can finally receive unemployment after 6 months of trying. (Hopefully, it will be short-lived and I will get a job soon!)
  • Weather: Wow, what a treat to not be hot and sweaty all the time. After an almost 3-week streak of 20-degree colder than normal temps, we are now in the 50s most days.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dangers of driving

North Carolina is a highly regulated state when it comes to driving. Actually, it's a highly regulated state for most things, as we are discovering.
  • To get a driver's license, you must have proof of car insurance. It does not matter if you have a car, however. If you don't have proof of insurance, you can't get a license. Period. We had to call Robin's car insurance, add me to it and have them fax proof that I am on the policy.
  • Unlike the state of Florida (who will let anyone drive), NC makes you take a written test to obtain your driver's license. The motorcycle test is way more difficult than the car test. Instead of 3 multiple choice answers for each question, you have to choose from 4.
  • We just purchased a second car (this area has no public transportation whatsoever). The problem is we can't drive it. The motor vehicle license and registration office says you can't drive your car without plates. If you purchase it from the owner directly (which we did) and not a dealership, the state says you can't drive it home until you get new plates. (We broke the law to get it home.) They have no contingency for a temporary tag from a private owner. Plus, you can't get a NC license plate until you have your NC driver's license. We are waiting for our licenses to arrive from the ever-so-safe-and-secure U.S. Postal Service. Brilliant!
  • On a side note, to obtain a library card, as always, is the most difficult. You can't get one of those until you have a state ID. Sheesh! They were nice enough to give me a "guest" card.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two-handed driving

is a must around here!

Wind gusts are 50 mph+! Talk about windblown.

There's salt spray all over the road and the windchill is 11. (At least it's 11 above zero and not below, like where my mom is.) Some of the edges of the water around the sound have even frozen.