The adventures of Me & My Shadow #5 in MD,DE & VA 11/19/97
Hi Everyone!, I'm back again. Thanksgiving is here and I'm still not down south, I have been enjoying Virginia beach. I have been busy working on the list of things to do, and like up in Maryland and on the eastern shore, the list keeps getting longer. I'll just have to leave some things undone till I come back with the temp. up in the 90s and I can enjoy life again.
To reflect on the things to be thankful for: I am thankful to be alive and living in the USA. I'm thankful for my motorhome that takes me to all parts of this USA. I'm thankful for Gertrude & Gus and the GPS programs that guide me on my trips, without them it would be hell. Yes Gus is the name I assigned to the voice in the new program. I got the name by replacing the "P" in GPS with a "U". Gus sounds like he has a head cold, I hope his voice improves when we get down south in a warmer climate. Shortly after naming Gus I met another Gus, he is a barber here in VA Beach, It was harder to understand him than my GPS Gus. He had an accent that I couldn't identify and the only way I could figure out what he was saying was to keep leading the conversation. I asked him what nationality he was and found he was Greek. Then I asked him how long he had been over here, he said 50 years. If he can't learn the English language in 50 years he may as well go back to Greece. He was a good barber and only charged me $7 so I'll see him again next time I'm here. I'm also thankful for all the relatives and friends that I have all across the USA. I'm thankful that they are all good cooks and are willing to feed a weary traveler. I'm thankful that some of them have a list of things for me to do and I'm thankful that I am able to do the things that need to be done. I am thankful for the price of fuel going down.
I got my defibrillator checked in Salisbury, MD on Nov. 5th. After reading my medical records the Doctor reminded me of how lucky I am to be alive. Everything looked good and I hope to be in Phoenix in February the next time it needs to be checked. Then in March it's GMC motorhome convention time again, One will be in Las Vegas & the other will be in northern Calif. I hope that Calif. knows that the price of fuel is down. Then its over to Boise, ID and back to Coleridge, NE & Sioux Falls, SD to have my defibrillator checked again before heading to Corpus Christi, TX to a Navy reunion in July. Then it's back to the east coast and the lists of things undone.
I must tell you more about Gertrude & Gus. Gertrude doesn't have to worry about Gus intruding in her territory, she is very precise and very accurate in her instructions. However, she is a BIG city gal and has no maps of the smaller cities. She has street maps of Washington, DC & Baltimore, MD but I have to use Gus down here in Virginia Beach. I think Gertrude could guide a blind person through the big cities if they would do just what she says when she says it. Gus on the other hand is more laid back, not as precise or as insistent as Gertrude is. I am waiting for some voice recognition software to use with Gus so I can talk to him rather than try to use the computer keyboard while driving. When I have this I'll be able to ask him where I am if I miss a turn, I think he can tell me how to get back on track. Gertrude is too pig headed to consider any thing like this. Gus also has maps of all cities, towns and the back roads in the 50 states. He will also let me have some input on trip planing. On the other hand, with Gertrude I have to tell her where I am and where I want to go and she figures out how to get there. Then it's do it her way or not at all.
If I go into Canada Or Mexico I have to use AAAMapnGo with only Hwy. maps and no voice. If I want voice, I have to invite Robin, an Englishman along, he will tell me where I am and how far it is to my destination but he is not too helpful. He does not have moving maps like all the other programs. I can not zoom in or out on his maps. I have to scan in maps with different scales, and have them all on my hard drive and change maps. He talks too much. If I tell him to "shut up" he has to have the last word and says "OK I'll be quiet" instead of just shutting up. The price for this program is right, it's free for downloading on the Internet at ( ) You can scan any kind of map in and use it anywhere in the World. It would be nice to have in a boat or aircraft as he gives distance and direction as the crow flies. He will say "your destination is 15 miles at your 2:00 o'clock" or what ever direction from you according to the hands on a clock with 12:00 being dead ahead. When you ask him where you are he will give you the distance and direction to the nearest population center. He does have a pointer that shows where you are on the map. If I had time to customize the maps it may be more useful. Some day I may work on it.
If you are wondering why I'm still here where the temps. are 10 to 20 degrees below normal when I told you I was going to follow the warm weather to the south. Well my niece here in VA Beach has invited me to a Thanksgiving dinner that I can't pass up. She cooks a 12 or 13 lb. turkey in less than an hour by deep frying it in Peanut oil 3&1/2 min. per lb. after she injects it with Creole butter and sprinkles it with Cajun Seasoning. This just sounds too good to pass up. I'll give you a report on it in my next letter.
Till next time, Dallas, or Dad if it fits.

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