Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Welsh and Music

by Keith

We'll start by listening to the Welsh National Anthem, with lyrics in Welsh.

Seeing the words makes the Chinese and Russian languages look relatively simple!



I have always known that the Welsh were know for their singing, especially males singing, but had never heard the national anthem. Google and YouTube to the rescue, again. I believe this all started when the men of each quarry sang together, possibly to pass the time after lunch or on the way to the mine or—well, whenever! Then they probably had competitions which ended with a winner and then, undoubtedly, singing by all the choirs combined.

They love to get about a thousand men together to sing!

While the Welsh genes in my body do not carry the ability to sing, they do carry the ability to enjoy music, especially large choruses of men's voices. In two weeks, we will go to the Corpus Christi Cathedral and hear the US Naval Academy Men's Glee Club. We will enjoy it!

I will admit that the 30 minutes of singing the old hymns during worship at the Come-As-You-Are Worship Center, the songs with which I grew, up has improved my "singing" immensely. Perhaps with another 50 years of practice, I might be able to sing in public!

Happy St. David's Day, friends! Enjoy it and remember your heritage.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pancake Race Slide Show

by Keith

Here's a slide show, with 73 pictures taken before, during, and after the recent Pancake Race. It's less than 2 minutes long. Enjoy!



Pam and Dianne (Carlson) did a great job of organizing this event. It went off without an obvious glitch. That's a sure sign of a lot of hard work prior to the event.

Geoff and MC Tom also put in more than a trivial amount of work.

All did a great job and produced an event which gave us a little respite from the February doldrums.


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A Tale of Two Banks

by Keith

Some weeks ago, Pat needed quarters for the laundry. We were at Wal*Mart and the park office was unpeopled so I went to the branch of IBC (International Bank of Commerce) located at the front of the store.

A young man finally acknowledged my presence and asked what he could do for me. I told him I wanted to buy a couple of rolls of quarters.

"Do you have an account here?"

"No."

"Then I can't help you."

And so on. (I'll spare you the rest of the discussion.)

A week ago, we needed quarters. I walked into First Victoria Bank, near the DQ. A pleasant lady sold me two rolls of quarters with no questions asked and a smile on her face.

There's little doubt at which bank I'd open an account if I were going to open one here!


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Here's Where It Happens!

by Keith

Ladies Coffee and Planning Session
Because the Tuesday morning ladies coffee plays such an important role in our lives here at Rockport 35 RV Park, I thought there should be an article on it.

My first impression was that I had walked onto the set of the ABC program The View. But there was a difference: they only have half-a-dozen ladies all talking at once while this meeting had 20 all talking at once!

But that was before Connie arrived with her big stick. I'm sure she brought order out of what appeared to me to be complete chaos in short order.

The Park's Movers and Shakers
The serious business of the group is to set and coordinate the many activities held on the park for the enjoyment of all. Of course not everyone will or should participate in every activity but, hopefully, there will be some activity that each guest will enjoy.

The group meets each Tuesday at 9:00. If you're a guest on the park and a lady, show up and make sure your vote counts! No one person has all the good ideas. Your idea just might spark a new and fun tradition. Look what happened after Pam suggested a pancake race last year!!


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Monday, February 27, 2012

What Is It?

by Keith

This is the flag of the small country of Wales, land of my forefathers.

Wales, reluctantly now part of the United Kingdom, is on the island of Great Britain, along with England and Scotland.

People of Wales, Welsh, are known for their quarries. Many Welsh came to the U. S. and worked in or owned quarries.

They also have a very unique set of surnames, mainly a very small set! Names like Williams, Jones, Hughes, Davis, and Roberts are very common. And there are not a whole lot more surnames!

Similarly, there are few given names. A name with "w" and "y" in it stands a good chance of being a Welsh name, like Gwilym or Gwenyth.

As a result of the "name shortage," many people ended up with names like Robert Roberts or William Williams. My great grandfather was one of the latter. Because so many people had the same name, it was no surprise that nicknames developed so they could tell people with the same name apart.

In my little hometown, practically a Welsh ghetto in the early 1900s, there were at least three "John Hugheses." "Crazy John" and "Big John" neatly identified two of them; the third I don't remember. One of my great grandfathers was known as "Old Country Bill" and one of my uncles, Robert Jones, was known as "Bobby Short."

Enough on names.

Why is the Welsh flag flying at Main and Second St. at Rockport 35 RV Park?

Because March 1, Thursday, is St. David's Day. St. David is the patron saint of Wales. He died on March first, 589. This is a way to recognize that event and spread a little information about a little-known land.

I could recognize the other half of my heritage later except for two reasons:

  1. I'll not be here at the park on May 17, and
  2. I do not have a Norwegian flag.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Internet Restored

by Keith

If you are reading this, you probably are aware that the park's wi-fi system was not working for around 24 hours—2PM Thursday to 2PM Friday.

Connie's perseverance in contacting the players involved finally resulted in a solution.

Cobridge, the internet suppler, had a major outage yesterday. It was eventually fixed probably sometime today.

Because of that major outage, several parks were without wi-fi service even after the main problem was fixed, according to Tengo, our wi-fi sytem provider. That often occurs after such a major outage.

The bottom line is that Connie talked with enough folks at each company enough times that our service was restored about 2 this afternoon.

THANK YOU, Connie!


PS: I'm sure you all realize that this may have delayed my putting up more pictures of the pancake race by a few days  :- )

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pancake Race Winners

by Keith

Dianne did the math and pointed out that with 123 photos of the pancake race activities, an article with two photos written each day could provide articles for 60 days!

I did some math, too. If each article had three photos, it would only take 41 days to publish all of them. I'm trying for three photos today!

We'll start with the winners. Surely they are looking forward to being published on this blog!

Team 3 won the race.

The Winner: Team 3!

Dennis, Best Hat Winner!
The audience at the awards banquet selected the winner of the Best Hat contest. Actually, the results were inconclusive so all three were declared to be "the winner."

Many reported that they enjoyed the pancake dinner—some enjoyed it even more than the typical Friendship Dinner on Thursday nights.
Vi and Frieda, Best Hat Winners!
 One who certainly is a winner is Pam, for it is she who proposed this fun activity a year ago and pulled it together last year and again this year. Through her efforts in recruiting participants and helpers, the event increased in fun and attendance.

Dianne and Pam Demonstrating
Good Flipping Form
Thank You, Pam, for bringing this little bit of international culture to Rockport 35 RV Park!

And thanks to Geoff, as I am sure he did not get through this whole event without contributing behind the scenes!


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Now We Know---

---that it was Tom who was contracted to be the MC for the Second Annual Rockport 35 RV Park Great North American Pancake Race!

by Keith

Tom, MC
Tom, along with unnamed aiders and abettors, kept the crowd interested and entertained during the 45 minute process of selecting the best pancake flipping team on the park.

Several new features were added to the race this year. Most noticeable was the prominent First Aid Station right at stage center. There's nothing so special about a First Aid Station, but when a vivacious cute nurse is manning the Station, it takes on new interest!

Nurse Bev
It is not clear whether the Station was mandated by the local board of health or just deemed to be a great idea—given the age and general condition of some of the participants and most of the spectators.

Fortunately, Nurse Bev had little to do except smile. Oh, one person did walk in and claim that he felt "faint"—no doubt trying to play on the sympathy of Nurse Bev. Or maybe he had other ideas; you know how attractive nurses are!

Bev told him to get out of there; she was watching the race!

There was a great crowd on hand to cheer on their friends and neighbors who were racing.

This is but the first article following the race. I took 123 pictures at the race and at the awards banquet held at 6pm. That's over ten dozen pictures to sort through, crop, modify as needed, and figure out how to best display them so all can enjoy. That takes time and is the reason they aren't displayed here.

Stay tuned!


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11th-hour Negotiations Successful!

by Keith

Late last night, Pam reported that contract negotiations with the MC for today's pancake race have been completed successfully.

We will have a new personality as an MC for the race!

It has been reported that the negotiations were especially difficult, possibly because the yet-unrevealed celebrity comes from an area where deceit, dishonesty, extortion, and patronage are rampant in areas of contracting, especially with the government.

Pam assures me that no effort was spared in the negotiations and final contract to ensure that a totally fair and balanced version of the race will be reported this afternoon.

The event will unfold at 5 this afternoon at the corner of Main and Second St. Be sure to be there to cheer on your favorite racer and learn the identity of the MC.

You will have a good time, guaranteed!  Be there!


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Allison's Hospitalization

by Keith

As most of us on the park are aware, Allison, co-owner and office manager of Rockport 35 RV Park, has been in a Corpus Christi hospital for several days.

Yesterday (Feb. 18) she transferred to M.D. Anderson in Houston. There, cancer doctors will be evaluating her blood disorder and formulating a course of treatment.

Her absence leaves a big gap in park management so Tony is spread a bit thin trying to handle all the office and outdoor tasks. He commented that he appreciated your understanding, the help people are providing, and especially your prayers.

We wish you speedy improvement and recovery, Allison!


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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pancake Race Coming Soon!

by Keith  
Updated!!!

Tuesday, February 21, main street will be abuzz with activity! It'll be the second annual Rockport 35 RV Park Pancake Race!

I just wanted to alert you to this important and FUN! event so you could make plans to attend. More info will be posted here later.

Pam, Chief  Race Organizer
Here's Pam, perpetrator-in-chief, spelling out the rules of the game last year. Pam, by popular demand, has agreed to organize—and I use that term very loosely—the event again this year.

The barrier to entry is low enough that almost everyone will qualify. If you do not qualify, you will be assigned a front-row position in the cheering area. This will be a place where you can cheer your favorite on with enthusiasm and dignity.

We also need spectators to either spectate as offense (cheering on your favorite) or defense (trying to disrupt your favorites opponent.) Last year, it was a toss-up as to who had the most fun, the tossers or the yellers.

Be part of it this year!

After the five-o-clock event, a pancake dinner will be served. I thought that was a good way to not be wasteful, but Pam explained that the pancakes served for dinner will not be the same ones as those used in the race.

This video shows reasonably good form for the race:

video


BE THERE!

Domain Name Renewed

by Keith

In case you were wondering how this whole website thing works, here's a bit of information which you might already know, which you might find interesting, or which you might not care one bit about.

I'll use an example to illustrate. Let's say you have a company named ABC, Inc. You very well might like to have a website named "ABC.com." You can't just go to the internet and create a website called ABC.com. It just doesn't work that way.

You must acquire what is called a domain name, which in this case is ABC.com. There are strict rules and a few organizations who are charged with enforcing those rules and distributing the domain names.

There are many companies which have been authorized to actually market domain names. I choose to use Go Daddy, mainly because when I bought my first one they were the cheapest place to get them.

Interestingly, the founder of Go Daddy began his internet businesses in Cedar Rapids. He built a new building to house is business which I drove past every day on my way to work. Then he sold his business, the building got rented to others and probably sold a time or two. A couple of years ago, Go Daddy established an office in that very same building, right there in Hiawatha, Iowa.

Essentially, one buys the rights to use a domain name for one or more years. Cost varies but usually runs from ten to 15 bucks for each year. No one else in the entire world will have the right to use that domain name.

In the example case, after one purchased the domain name ABC.com, he could create a website and establish it on the Internet for all the world to see.

The domain name for this blog is 35rv.us. It was about to expire next week. Yesterday, I renewed it for two years. That means the first step in assuring this blog is available for the next two years has been taken.

You can help with the next step: supplying information or encouraging me to keep it going!

Note:
A careful observer might say, "Hey, Keith, the blog isn't on "35rv.us." It's on "http://www.rockport-rv35.blogspot.com/." And you'd be correct.

The blog itself is created on a site called blogspot.com. I've put code on the site at 35rv.us to send any visitor who comes directly to the blogspot site. That's called a "redirect."

And now you know!


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Unanimous Vote

by Keith

Gordon, best bacon fryer!
This morning at breakfast, our table took a vote.

We voted Gordon as the best bacon fryer ever!

The vote was unanimous. Good work, Gordon!!!


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The Info You've Been Waiting For!

by Keith

This Rockport 35 RV Park blog is here to bring you the information you need, when you need it.

Here's today's info:
Feb. 17-18 rain: 1.2 inches
I read that as 1.2 inches. It is as of about 11am today and includes all of the rain from yesterday and last night.

If I were a farmer, I'd love it!


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Friday, February 17, 2012

Live! Watch Linda's Neighbors!

by Keith

A pair of eagles built a nest just a few miles from Terry and Linda's home. There's a HD webcam trained on the nest so we can all watch!

As of this morning, there were two eggs in the nest. The sitter had moved off them temporarily so we could clearly see them.

Go here to see the eagles: alcoa.com/eaglecam/


Once you get to that page, click on the "Play" button (actually a big triangle) on the right side, down a ways from the top. You can make it fill the entire screen by clicking on one of the icons below the webcam picture.

The nest is on the property of ALCOA in Davenport, Iowa, and is near the Mississippi River.

Thanks, Linda, for telling me about this!


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Great Day!

by Dianne

The Doctors at University Hospital performed a procedure on Tuesday afternoon and found what they believed was the cause of Dick's bleeding -- a tumor in his liver bile duct. The success of their surgery would be confirmed IF his hemoglobin continued to increase on its own over the following 24 hours. We are thrilled to report that his hemoglobin is up to 13 this morning - a healthy range being between 14-16, I believe.

After three weeks and six days, Dick Carlson is coming home from the hospital. Rick left just minutes ago for the three hour ride to San Antonio.

We are happy beyond belief and want to thank all of you for your prayers for him and his doctors and most of all we thank God for his guiding hands and love for answering our prayers.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not So Newlywed Game, 2012

by Keith

Valentines Day! Always a great time to get together for a good time with not only your very own valentine but also with good friends and neighbors.

And here at Rockport 35 RV park, that's exactly what we did. The main event, for the second year running, was  our version of the Newlywed Game. It was ably master-minded by Carol and Rick. Of course Carol had a band of behind-the-scenes co-conspirators, as do all major productions in the entertainment industry. That made it easy for master MCer Rick; all he had to do was do as he was told. That's hard for Rick, but last night everything worked out wonderfully.

The audience had a great time and was very appreciative of the four couples who volunteered (?) to be the active participants. As last year when Geoff and Pam were participants, this year's contestants took an an international flavor as Bob and Marie, also from Canada, were in the lineup.

Dale and Tootie are from Minnesota and are spending their second year here. Tootie was rather surprised that Dale would chose Hawai as a vacation spot with his lottery winnings. She would have bet on a fishing cabin!


Sandy and Fran are former full-timers who have settled in Wyoming but still travel in the winter. 
"You said what?"

Wayne and Betty, our A1 source of pecans, hail from the SE corner of Kansas. Both agreed that their TV is on 24/7.








And the winners: Marie and Bob, from Canada! They looked quite dapper in their matching M&Ms shirts! And did well enough in the game to win the first prize!






You can see that not only the hall but the attendees were decorated in valentine colors! And you can also see that they enjoyed the live show presented before them!




Rick did a great job, and Carol is relieved that he got them through it. Special thanks is due Janet for providing the studs for his shirt!


Marv and Bev were participants last year, when Marv provided the laugh of the game with one of his answers. Last years winners were Brenda and Dennis. Marv kept a low profile this year and helped with the cleanup. 
Once a mover of furniture,
always a mover of furniture.

Help Wanted: Poet

by Keith

Is there poet amongst us? If so, I'd appreciate it if he/she would step forward!

I have an idea for a park-themed poem but do not have the ability to put it to verse.

Just in case the poet on the park whom you know is bashful and you fear he/she may not apply, please do not hesitate to volunteer them!!

Send an email (just click on Comment! below, in most cases) or stop by Site 80 and sign up.


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Monday, February 13, 2012

We're Wondering Too

by Dianne

Wondering what the heck is going on with Dick? Well, we are too. Here's what we know and it's not much. The medical wheels are turning slowly. He did receive 1-2 units of blood last night and the bleeder seems to have stopped, maybe. He did swallow the camera capsule first thing this morning. Late afternoon he had another VQ scan, the first one at this hospital. Results are not back from either test. He is still on a liquid diet and scheduled for another artery-type test in the morning. Hopefully we'll have tests results along with a solution some time soon. Will keep you posted; until then.....

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Change in Plans

by Dianne

Due to the bleeding and drop in blood pressure, they will stabilize him for the night and proceed with the camera capsule procedure in the morning. So.... we will try to get a decent night's sleep. Until tomorrow....

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A Brief Update

by Dianne

Rick received a call from his mom about an hour ago. They will be taking Dick into surgery as soon as they can assemble a surgical team. He has an active bleeder which needs immediate attention. She will call when he is out of surgery but we are not sure what time that may be. Until then......

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brrrr! It's Cold Up Here.

by Keith

For those who are not aware, Pat and I left Tuesday morning for Council Bluffs, IA (across the river from Omaha.) We came to attend the funeral of Pat's 39 year old niece.

Here's a picture taken his afternoon.

BRRR!
Pat's ready to come back to the park! We plan to do just that, starting Saturday morning.


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Catching Up with Dick Carlson

by Dianne

For those not currently at Rockport 35 RV Park, and those who are, here's to catching up with Dick Carlson and his long journey to locating those elusive bleeders that have been plaguing him since admission to Christus Spohn in Corpus on January 21st. He was released on the 25th but ended up being readmitted on January 30th to The Heart Hospital in Corpus. He's undergone multiple tests from EGD's, Colonoscopies, VQ Scans, MRI's, and a few other tests - all without an answer to where he is bleeding internally. Both of these hospitals have exhausted their resources with no results. Today he will be transported, by ambulance, to UTSA University Hospital in San Antonio, TX. Hopefully, they will have the advanced technology/equipment needed to identify the origin of bleeding and put a stop to it. To date he has had 23 units of blood.


As you can imagine, it is beginning to take a toll on Dick's sense of humor and easy going spirit. We are asking that you join us in our prayers that God our Father will guide the doctors to the source of his medical problems and allow his healing and the return to his family.

If you want to send a card to Dick, you can address it to the Rockport 35 RV Park address -- 4851 N. Highway 35, Rockport, TX 78382.




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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rain Amount

by Keith

The amount of rain reported by my John Deere Weather Station was 1.66".

We were not inconvenienced by it and I'm sure the farmers were thankful.

Calallen: Where is it???

by Keith

One of the subjects covered by the after-icecream group tonight was the town of Calallen. We all hear it mentioned on the weather and news broadcasts, but what is it and where is it?

The atlas on the back table was no help. We couldn't find it.

Google to the rescue!

Here are some of the pertinent parts from an article The History of Calallen:

"The community of Calallen is on the Nueces River in the north central Nueces County. It is approximately 16 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas. You will not see a sign that says "Calallen" along IH37, nor will you see it on a highway map. .... 

"Calallen did not bother to incorporate until they were threatened by annexation by Corpus Christi. The same day that incorporation vote was taken and passed so did annexation. Annexation took precedence over incorporation, so Calallen became a part of Corpus Christi in 1970. Since then, the area has again become a thriving community. ....."

The map below answers the question as to where the non-town of Calallen is located:


Calallen isn't a town but is here!

So now we all know.

This information is provided as another service of the Rockport 35 RV Park blog.




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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wood Carver's Show

by Keith

Ann, first-chair ticket seller!


Two Award Winners 
From Rockport 35 RV



This is the the big weekend for our in-park carvers—John, JW, Gordon, and Dale! You still have a chance to see the displays from 11 to 3 Sunday, the 5th. 

Judging was just getting a good start when we left, but a bird category in which both Gordon and JW were entered had already been judged. Their winning entries are below.
JW's Painted Bunting


Gordon's 2nd Place Cedar Waxwing


John had several entries. This one featured a very unique mounting—a tripod of cattails!


The neat hummingbird in nest was also carved by John.

Here, John and JW discuss some of the finer points of wood carving.



Old neighbors from 5th Street

The show isn't just about carving! It's also a great place to run into friends from previous years, including Ted and Katie, Bob and Rhonda, and Rob and Pat. Many current residents of Rockport 35 RV Park attended to "cheer their team on."


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