Saturday, January 31, 2009

Something for Everyone

Photo of donut shop sign 

Here's a picture of the rear of a donut shop along Business Highway 35 in Aransas Pass.
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Gordon Report

Janet and Robin just returned from spending the afternoon with Gordon.

They report that he is feeling much better and is feeling more like the Gordon we all know. Hopefully, this will be the last night he needs to spend in the hospital.


Poker Report

Nine players enjoyed the first game of the season today. A few viewers stopped by for varying periods to see what was going on and offer a bit of advice to the players.

David and Gene went head to head at the end, with David finally taking all the chips. Congratulations, David!

Thanks to Gene for providing professional quality table tops and chips, thus providing a first-class setting for the game.

We plan to play again next Saturday at 1:00. Please join the group, regardless of your experience level.


Saturday at the Park

Today is another beautiful day in South Texas and especially at Rockport 35 RV Park. The sky is clear, with not a cloud in sight—as it was yesterday. It's headed to 68° or so, with only moderate winds.

A near-perfect day in my book.

We've already enjoyed breakfast at the clubhouse, cooked up by our great volunteer cooks. Today's crew consisted of Terry, Ron, Tom, and Bob and possibly others at other times.

Then there's Marv, our conscientious and tireless maitre de, but that's a whole 'nuther story.

Pat and I dined with Dianne and Al, newcomers to the park from Tulsa. They were quite amazed that the cooks were "just ordinary guys" from the park, volunteering their services.

There are lots of jobs which get done at the park by volunteers, just because they like to help people. Next time you see a kitchen worker, a chair arranger, a whatever, let them know that you appreciate their help.

At 1:00 today, there'll be the first poker game of the year in the clubhouse. If you've ever played Texas Hold 'Em before (or even if you haven't!) show up and give it a try! Sixteen players can be accommodated in complete comfort!

And I'll bet there'll be a lot of walking and visiting on the streets today. I've found it's always good to walk about the park around five or five thirty; by then the great barbecue smells are filling the air!

The day will end with a few tables of die-hard card players, the usual bunch of Trash players in the dining room, and a few pool players.

Just another great day at Rockport 35 RV Park!


Infection Hospitalizes Gordon

Gordon's heart procedure went well and he returned from Austin Wednesday, as planned.

Unfortunately, he developed a high fever and was taken to Doctor's Hospital in Corpus Christi Thursday evening, where he remains.

The fever is due to a bladder infection. There are no known complications from the heart surgery itself, which I view as good news.

We're hopeful that he'll return to Rockport 35 RV Park this weekend.

Here's a note from Robin, their daughter, who, thankfully, is here with Janet and Gordon during these stressful days:

"Please keep your prayers strong as Gordon had to go to a Christi hospital on Thursday. We are not sure yet when he can come home, but the reason for his stay there is related to an infection. We are hoping that he can get back to the Park on Sunday! - Robin"

We all wish a speedy return for you, Gordon!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Plenty of Pickle Factory Pictures

Photo of caravan about to depart for the pickle factory.Gene marshaled about 45 eager folks for the trip to the pickle factory in Taft today. Sorry, but I didn't get a picture of Gene leading the caravan on his Harley.

I know of no one who was disappointed. Actually, it was not the factory which was so impressive. It was the owner, David Smith, the Picklesmith! His enthusiasm and personality were infectious so we could not help but to have a great time!

The pictures can speak for themselves; I'll say little.

There are a lot more pictures to come on this one,
folks, so please return.

Gordon's Surgery

About 4PM today, I talked with Janet regarding Gordon's heart surgery.

He was just coming out or anesthesia at that time. The Dr. reported that everything went according to plan and had every expectation that the procedure would be successful in returning his heart to a normal rhythm.

Janet asked me to thank all who were praying for them during this stressful period.

They, along with their daughter Robin, expect to return the Rockport 35 RV Park Wednesday.


Initial Announcement:
Poker in the Park

Texas Hold 'Em
Saturday, Jan. 31, 1:00 PM

Come and bring your friends
for a friendly game of poker with your neighbors.

This will be a fun game with
no money involved. All you can win is fame!

Questions? See Gene or Keith.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Session 2 of Beginning Beginners Computer Class

Session 2 of the Beginning Beginner's Computer Class will be held Thursday, January 29, from 9:00 to 11:45 AM in the clubhouse.

In this session, we'll do a brief review of what was covered in Session 1 (held one and three weeks ago). Then we'll move on to cover some subjects which will let you actually accomplish something useful. We'll concentrate on creating documents (letters, posters, etc.) with a word processor and handling them efficiently.

Participating in Session 1 is not a requirement for attending Session 2. However, we will not spend much time trying to "catch up" those who weren't at the first session.

Please make sure you have complete access to a word processing program. The most popular is Microsoft Word. If you're not sure you have it readily available, please try it.

If you need the "product key" and can't find it or don't want to use Word in the long term, please see me. I'll loan you a flash drive with on it which you can install on your computer at no cost. (These days, Microsoft gives you a 60-day trial use of Word, then you must pay for it or quit using it!)

Although not a requirement, you'll get more out of the class if you bring your computer. Also, please bring a power strip if you can do so conveniently. This will make it possible for more people to share the limited AC outlets.

If you have a memory stick (flash drive, thumb drive, jump drive ---whatever you call it) or CD or DVD on which you have files or want to use for storage, it might be useful to bring that, too.

I'm looking forward to another interesting and beneficial session!

Pickle Factory Tour

Photo of three pickles.Two days from today is the time for the trip to Taft and a tour of the tantalizing pickle factory!

There was a sign-up sheet, but I'm sure you will be welcome to go along even if you haven't signed up.

Departure is at noon from the office area.

This tour was arranged by travel coordinators Gene and Carolyn.


A Great Video----

There's a great message, great music, and great scenery in this video!

Take a look at Born Again American.

If I understand it correctly, you could write a new verse, perform it, submit it, and end up being viewed by millions!

Let me know when your version is added and I'll mention it in this blog.


Patriotic Concert

Photo of Ted's flags.

Several from the park enjoyed the 6th annual Patriotic Concert by the Rockport-Fulton High School Music Department Thursday evening.

The band and choristers, 240 strong, filled the stage at the auditorium. The students did a great job again this year in honoring our country and those who are or have served it through song.

The program started exactly at 7:00:00 PM, in true military style. Admission is free. A free-will offering is taken and is used to defray travel expenses of the musicians as they participate in music events in other cities.

If you enjoy such music or want a bit of a lift provided by young people, this is a great opportunity! Plan to attend next year; it'll be an hour well spent!

If you'd like a second opinion, just ask Ted.


Computer Help Available

Having trouble using your computer or need a hand with some program? Here at Rockport 35 RV Park, help is available!

First, there are the Tuesday at Two Computer Help Sessions at the clubhouse, moderated by Keith. Bring a problem, a question, or a tip and Keith or others will try to help you find an answer. Usually, there's a discussion on one or more topics which most find helpful or interesting.

In addition, classes for beginning beginners are being held. There's one left, which will be announced in a post above this one.

But wait, there's more!

Need a bit of help outside of class or the Help Sessions? It's available! David Enman, #92, has volunteered to help when he can. David, a computer professional, has helped with the classes and is a great asset for computer users at the park. He comes and goes from the park, so he's not available on-site every day or even every week. You can email him here:

And I (Keith, #80, am glad to help when I can.

Computers and the Internet are great tools for keeping us busy and communicating with our friends and family. But it should be more fun to use them than frustrating. If you think we might be able to help you, let us know!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Uncomfortable Around Computers? Here's Your Chance!

Session 1 of the Beginning Beginners Computer Course will be held again on Thursday, Jan. 22, in the clubhouse. Time: 9:00 to 11:45.

We'll start with how to turn the computer on and go from there! NO expertise required to attend.

If you have experience, you can help those who don't. One or two helpers are always welcome.

Questions? Stop me or email me at or ask someone who was in the class the first time around.


Who Would Leave This----

----for the great weather we are promised here at Rockport 35 RV Park this week?

Tom and Dianne, that's who. They left the Chicago area Saturday and may even beat this post here.

Welcome back!


Fun With Captions

First a little background to the story. I and two other guys, Wayne in CA and Gary in OR, administer a website for owners of NuWa RVs (Hitchhiker, basically).

Wayne "borrowed" the picture below from this site and invited readers to submit appropriate captions for the picture. Their suggestions are below the picture. Enjoy!

Photo of Keith trying to solve a computer problem.
"Just a little fine tuning of the Nuwaowners Forum. There, that should fix it."
Is this what is called tweaking the keyboard?

"Hit HERE to continue"

"Select File, option, TOOLS"

What do you mean you can't find the server?

"You just need the right tools to make Vista work."

Another way of performing "Ctrl-Alt-Delete"!

I know the "help" screen said that the
"solution would be wrenching,
but you will be able to hammer it out,"
but I still don't get it...

"I know that @#**#@ thing is in there somewhere!! I WILL find it!

Never use force. Just get a bigger hammer.

When all else fails, throw it out the window.

"If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed fixing anyways."

I know I had a blasting cap here somewhere!!!

Just a little more persuasion should do it!

"To a kid with a hammer, the world (wide web) is a nail".

"Don't mess with the Web Master"

"I will raise you one fatal error and show you a 'blue screen of death'"

OK, one more key to go and I've converted my keyboard from QWERTY to DVORAK.

"take that, bill gates"

What do you mean "File not found".


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Home Study Computer Course

The course outline for Beginning Beginners Computer Course Session 1 and Session 2 was borrowed heavily from a UK course I found on the web.

I'll give links to those courses. If you didn't attend or would like to review some of the things covered, these on-line courses offer a great way to do it on your schedule.

Here are the links:
If you master the subjects covered in the above links, you'll have covered everything we covered in Sessions 1 and 2. If you want a quick review of the material or want to study on your own, these tutorials are very good for beginners. They're not intimidating at all.

If there are other subjects you'd like to take a look at, just go to the homepage of the same site. You might find just what you were looking for!

Session 2 Went Well

Session 2 of the Beginning Beginners Computer Class, held Thursday the 15th, went well. About a dozen attended. Most had attended Session 1, held the previous week.

We used a word processor (Word, Works, or OpenOffice) as the vehicle with which to learn some of the basics of creating documents. Because Word has become the de facto standard, the actions used in this program apply to almost all other programs one might use. Because of this commonality, things learned in this lesson will be useful even if one never uses Word!

The picture at the right shows the instructor, Keith, and Roger and John concentrating on getting the right screen up. David, a part time resident at Rockport 35 RV Park and computer professional, assisted students and was a great help.

"Practice makes perfect" is an old but true saying. The students were encouraged to use their newly-learned skills for anything and everything. Using them will aid the learning experience and make it easier to forget what was done.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beginning Beginner's Computer Class

Session 2 of the Beginning Beginner's Computer Class will be held Thursday, January 15, from 9:00 to 11:45 AM in the clubhouse.

In this session, we'll do a brief review of what was covered in Session 1 (held a week ago). Then we'll move on to cover some subjects which will let you actually accomplish something useful. Likely candidates are dealing with email and creating documents (letters, spreadsheets, etc.) and handling them efficiently.

Participating in Session 1 is not a requirement for attending Session 2. However, we will not spend much time trying to "catch up" those who weren't at the first session.

Although not a requirement, you'll get more out of the class if you bring your computer. Also, please bring a power strip if you can do so conveniently. This will make it possible for more people to share the limited AC outlets.

If you have a memory stick (flash drive, thumb drive, jump drive ---whatever you call it) or CD or DVD on which you have files or want to use for storage, it might be useful to bring that, too.

I'm looking forward to another interesting and beneficial session!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Aerial View

Photo of Rockport 35 RV Park from the air
This picture of Rockport 35 RV Park was taken almost exactly two years ago. It's taken looking almost straight east.

The pipeline easement can be easily seen along the left edge. That leads to the shoreline, across the top of the picture.

Patterson's home is in the lower right corner. Can you find your spot?

A bit of bumpy air caused me to miss the SW corner of the park; sorry, folks.

The picture below is more of a straight-down shot.

Photo of Rockport 35 RV Park from the air


Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Sheriff in Town!!!

As repeat residents are well aware, Bill Jensen, generally recognized as Mayor of Fifth Street, has decided to enjoy the snow and cold of St. Paul all winter this year. While Bill is enjoying his position as Mayor Emeritus, it is rumored that the decorum on Fifth Street has degraded. It appears that there is truth to the old adage, "When the cat's away, the mice will play."

But there's hope! There's a new sheriff in town and she's here to clean up the street! Trash throwers and dog-let-losers, beware! Sheriff LaVerne, a veteran of the streets and classrooms of Bismark, will gitya.

The grapevine has it that she rode into town Friday night and set a group of rowdy Fifth-Street citizens straight right off the bat. She's quoted as saying, "I'm used to dealing with the toughies in North Dakota; surely these folks will be no problem at all for me!"


A Nice Morning and a Good Cup of Coffee

This morning when I came out of my trailer, Gene was sitting across the street doing a bit of writing and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

It was such a perfect picture of relaxing at the park that I deemed it worthy of a picture.

Gene and Vivian are from Little Rock. Gene's had at least two careers in law enforcement.

Welcome to Rockport 35 RV Park, Gene and Vivian!


Computer Class, Update 1

This week about a dozen park residents participated in the first Beginning Beginners Computer Class. Nearly all, including the instructor, consider the class a success.

One couple said, "We've been using a computer in business for 28 years and we learned new and useful things today."

The first session covered only a fairly thorough tour of the computer and how to do some of the basic things everyone should know for effective use of their computer. A second session will be held, tentatively scheduled for 9:00 to 11:45 on Thursday, Jan. 15, to cover some of the things one might want to do with their computer.

A repeat of the first session is tentatively scheduled for January 22, as there were several who couldn't attend the first one.

The Thursday classes are totally independent of the Tuesday at Two Computer Help Sessions held in the clubhouse. At these sessions, we try to cover a number of topics—often trying to solve specific problems which users are having.


Ted's Version of "Rear Window"

Photo of the sun coming up over Rockport 35 RV Park
Ted's 'rear window" faces east; that allowed him a great view of a sunrise over Rockport 35 RV Park.

Photo of deer and satellite TV antennaAnother day, he captured a picture of three deer from his rear window. Here's a picture of one of them. You've all heard of Dish TV; is this Deer TV?

Thanks for the contribution, Ted.


Wi-Fi Tip

From time-to-time, I've had trouble getting on Rockport 35 RV Park's Wi-Fi system simply because I couldn't get the log in page to be visible in my browser.

I suspect others may be frustrated by the same problem.

This might help solve that problem. Below, there is a link to the log-in page. Click on the link; that will take you to that page. Once on the log-in page, save it to your Favorites or Bookmarks or whatever your browser calls it.

Then, for convenience, move it to the very top of the list you see when you click Favorites or the star (in Windows XP).

Then when you want to log on to the Internet and the log-in page isn't automatically there, you can just go to Favorites and select it.

If it immediately appears, you are connected to the Wi-Fi system and all you have to do is enter the password, click the "Access the Web" box, and you should be on the Internet!

Here's the link:


More Articles Coming!

It's Saturday morning. I have several articles in mind for publishing on this blog today.

Check back later, as I think you might enjoy some of them!

Did you know that you can contribute to this page? You Can!!!

While this program doesn't let you publish things directly, you can send articles, pictures, news, etc., to me via email and I can turn it into an article and publish it. In fact, right now I have some pictures Ted sent me which I'll use a bit later today (hopefully!).

Keep those electronic cards and letters comin'! Just click here to email me:


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beginning Beginners Computer Class

A class for beginning beginners computer users will be held Thursday, Jan. 8, 9:00 to not later than 11:45 AM in the clubhouse. We'll start with turning the computer on; you need not have any experience using a computer.

If you're capable of creating spread sheets, making Power Point presentations, creating a website, or manipulating documents and files, you're probably not eligible to attend as a student. But you are most welcome to come as a tutor!

Who should attend? Those who generally feel uncomfortable while using a computer. You might be able to send and receive emails, but aren't sure what to do if someone emails you a picture which you wish to save. Or you might want to find the rules for a new card game but aren't sure how to find them on the Internet. Or you know certain documents, files, or programs are stored in your computer but don't know where they are or how to find them.

And you don't have a clue what to do when the computer acts a bit abnormally, which it will most certainly do sometime.

If any of the above sounds familiar, you will benefit from attending the class.

The goal of the class is to get you to the point where you feel fairly comfortable doing the things you want to do on the computer.

We'll introduce a subject and discuss and practice it for 20 to 40 minutes, then we'll take a little break. Then we'll move on to another topic for a short while, then another break, etc. We don't want students to get bored nor do we want them to feel as if they are drinking from a fire hose.

This format will allow us to cover a lot of ground in one morning session. That will give you lots of new tools to use immediately in the daily use of your computer.

Additional sessions can be scheduled if students wish to move on or if we simply don't get very far. Also, it is possible that not everyone who would like to can attend this first session; they deserve another chance!

I'll put a notice on the bulletin board in the kitchen. If you plan to attend, please sign up so I'll have some idea of how many to expect. (Or email me at

Bring your computer and something in which to take a few notes!



Junk E-mail

Some of you have good spam filters on your email systems so don't get much junk email. Filters can be created by you, or by your email supplier. Gmail, for example, is said to have a very good spam filter.

Others of you aren't so lucky and get tons of junk email. Here's something you can do to help the situation. It won't help in the short run, but will help all email users.

Many emails pretend to be from legitimate companies. Examples are Microsoft, your bank, my bank, Chase Bank, PayPal, etc. Some tell you your account has been suspended (even places at which you have no account!) and that you need to "click here" to get it turned back on. These sites are usually "phishing" for personal information from you! Don't give it to them!

You can "Forward" such emails to "" where "" is the real address of the real company the email is pretending to be, such as "" When you do this, don't clean out any of the headers; just forward the entire email as you received it.

Then delete it!

You can also forward suspicious emails to "". Sometimes I send to both; usually the company accepts one or the other, if not both. And usually they'll send you back an automated message confirming that the message you forwarded to them was indeed a forgery.

Here are the addresses again:

Be sure to replace with the real email address of the company.


Tuesday's Speed

As of about 10 AM this morning, the speed of the Internet appears to be back to what it was prior to mid-December. I've not actually used it, so don't yet know if the increase is apparent. It should be, and I hope it is!

Thanks to Adam, the support person at Matrix Networks, and Allison for getting this very frustrating problem resolved.

Regarding the little "meter" at the top of the page: I believe there is an error in its presentation. It appears that you need to multiply the download speed by 8 to get a number comparable to that which is given using other test methods.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Tuesday at Two

Tuesday at Two we'll have another Computer Help Session in the clubhouse.

Bring your laptop, if you care to. (It will probably be helpful.)

I have nothing specific in mind at the moment, but when the group gets together there are always plenty of things to discuss!

The goal is to solve problems that residents are having. Hopefully, every attendee will go away with something they find useful.

Last week, we had a great session with a dozen attendees. We worked so hard that I was ready to quit about 3:30. (You can leave whenever you wish, of course.) Sometimes we go until 4!


Internet Speed

Today I contacted Matrix Networks on behalf of all of us. I am confident that they are diligently working on the problem of slow download time which we all experience.

I added the little widget above; thought you might find it interesting. I've been getting download speeds (download is the one that really matters, usually) of about 400kb/s. But that is using a different meter than this one. This little meter reports a number w a y less than that. It could be due to differences in calculating the speed.

Because of this, don't get too excited about the actual number. You can use it as a relative measure.

A more normal speed would be about five times what we have now. You can see that we have a ways to go!

I'll leave this little meter up for awhile. If it causes too much confusion, I'll remove it and this post.


Great Weather, Great Friends, Great Fun

There's more to life at Rockport 35 RV Park than just eating! Saturday was a beautiful day and people were out and about, enjoying themselves.

Here's a picture of just that happening at Rob and Pat's rig on 4th Street. A good time was had by all!

Photo of international group on 4th Street
Photo of Palmer playing poolLater in the day, the action was in the clubhouse. Calvin and Palmer were quietly practicing their skills at the pool table, while others were busy at various card games. These guys are good, so beware of hustlers!

Photo of Calvin playing pool

Someone introduced the card game of Trash to the park last year. The park hasn't been the same since! The pictures below show some of the hard-core Trash players hard at it.
Photo of Janet, Orla, and Jeanie playing Trash

Photo of John, Linda, and Ted playing Trash
The bottom line:
Come on out and enjoy the fun!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Computer" Speed

Many people at the park comment to me some version of "My computer is slow."

First, I am fairly confident that in most cases your computer is probably OK and working normally.

Second, the Wi-Fi service—the service through which we get our Internet wirelessly—is agonizingly slow. Therefore, most who complain about "slow computer" probably are really complaining about slow Internet service.

Our Internet supplier is Matrix Networks, phone number 1-888-438-9434. Allision has suggested that each resident who has slow Wi-Fi service call them and I agree. Please call them. Their office is in Portland, OR, and I have found the support people to be polite, knowledgeable, and generally people of action.

As I write this, I am sitting in the Rockport DQ where they have free Wi-Fi. I have done some tests and have found that the speed here is nearly twice as fast for uploads and from four to ten times as fast for downloads compared with speed at the park.

Clearly, there is room for improvement.

Today or tomorrow (Monday), I plan to contact Matrix and seek their help in determining the cause of the problem and doing something about it.

You can do the same. Numbers help!