Wednesday, May 28, 2014


As if I didn't have enough to do already... I started a new website and blog that is going through serious growing pains as I learn a whole new platform. I've been a bit unhappy with blogger (this platform) but that means learning a new one before I can switch over.

My new website:

So I decided to keep this one going while starting the new one. I just need so many more hours in a day and a body that will quit playing un-fun games with my health.

I so wish technology would slow down and let us all catch a breath. Every time I hear the words "update and upgrade" I just want to cringe. It seems to transcend across silly lines too. I was reading someone else's RV blog where they mentioned their 5 year old motorhome needed some serious upgrades because it was looking "dated". At 5 years old?

Well, I am living in a 20 year old motorhome that has seen scant few updates in decor. It it rots, I patch it...

My motorhome came with the original 1994 bedspread and pillow shams.
They matched the window valances that are still in use today.
Ironically it had a hibiscus print, a flower I saw in bloom nearly everyday in the Caribbean.
Sadly it was pretty rotten. Each washing just tore it up more.
But I upcycled it into pillow covers with some of the better leftovers before they finally gave way.

Luckily I chose a motorhome I found livable "as is". I didn't want to start off "updating" when what I wanted to do was recuperate, live and travel.
The 1994 bedspread material was duplicated in the guest loft privacy curtains.
I still use these today, in spite of them being 20 years old. Behind the curtains is my guest loft queen bunk.

Some days I get so frustrated with products that fail. I lived overseas for 23 years and didn't stay abreast of American ways. I had no idea until I moved back to the US in 2010 that we were now supporting the Chinese and all the flimsy junk they make and send over. Not all their stuff is pure rubbish, some of it is actually pretty good, but it seems the vast majority of it is built with ridiculous cost cutting corners that render the final commodity nearly useless or with such a super short lifespan I fear we are rapidly filling up our landfills with Chinese merchandise that had very slight or no use before it failed.

I've also been a consumer victim of things the Chinese built from photos and therefore built it from a mirror image without reversing the schematics. Such as my external fan cooler for the laptop. I like to type at an angle, the laptops can always use extra cooling, so buying an angled fan cooler seemed like a great idea. The latest one I bought, after the other 5 failed in very short order, I have to use upside down, because it doesn't work right side up. Duh... perhaps this might also qualify as stolen technology. Because I have to use it upside down, I had to modify it some adding felt pads to it because otherwise it would scratch the table or rip the flimsy outdoor tablecloth on the card table I like to work at in the great outdoors.

In the past few summers I bought several table fans to keep me cool outdoors. In many cases they had a loud noise and a lot of movement, the blades spun around, but the they had such an awful pitch, they weren't designed to blow any air.

What good is a fan if all it does is make noise but not blow air?

I met a crafts person who was dismayed to find the Chinese had photographed her crafts then duplicated her work, putting her unique ideas into mass marketing, but without her permission nor with any payment.

Another for instance... when I bought my motorhome, the previous owners left it "furnished" with their own accouterments. It was stuff they didn't want back and they knew I had arrived in America with no household goods, so they left all their RV stuff stashed in it. They weren't upgrading to a newer RV, so they didn't need much of the stuff anyhow.

One of the wonderful things it came with was a heavy duty flannel backed vinyl tablecloth. I used it for years on picnic tables then finally wore it out. I should have just cut off the bad parts and kept using the remainder. I had NO idea that heavy duty flannel backed vinyl tablecloths are no longer made. Now instead of 20-30 mil thick, they are 3 mil thick which means they won't and don't last long for outdoor use. I have one that is 6 months old,  claiming to be 3 mil thick and already it is ripping and tearing, but I can't seem to find that good old fashioned heavy duty ones of days gone by. Perhaps I should go retro and use oilcloth.

Lawsuits have also done away with nifty products. My 20 year old under cabinet built-in coffeemaker is no longer produced due to some sort of recall problem on newer models where folks got burned or something silly. I mean a coffee pot makes HOT liquid so one would think that common sense would tell you to handle with care.

Then again, I see so many idiot labels on things. Over the weekend my friends had a BBQ here. Someone brought some lighter cubes to jump start the coals, that had warnings in 16 languages but strangely enough no clear cut instructions for use. We figured it out, put them in with the charcoal then fire them up. But in 16 languages we were warned (A) they were FLAMMABLE and (B) NOT to eat them! AND (C) if you did eat them, not to induce vomiting.

Do people really get the munchies and decide to snack on charcoal lighter cubes? Doesn't that just sound positively delicious?

I have a tiny 200 watt electric heater and it came with a HUGE unsightly label super glued to the electric cord warning me the heater would get hot. Oh my gosh, and here I thought that little heater would make ice cubes for me.

Last year my doggy had emergency surgery on his ear when a dreadful prickly thing became embedded in his ear drum. He was given medication afterwards for his pain. At home I noticed the warnings on his pill bottle that (A) he should not drink alcohol with his pain pills and (B) he should not operate heavy machinery.

You mean my dog can't get drunk and drive the RV anymore since he is taking pain pills? Well, that sure takes the fun out of things. No wonder my poor little puppy looked so miserable. his driving privileges were temporarily revoked.

Some one gave me can of peanuts. Yum, I love peanuts. The ingredients were listed as "peanuts". And  ALLERGY WARNING: Contains peanuts.

Oh and back to the flimsy vinyl tablecloth... it warns me NOT to iron it.

That is how I ruined the heavy duty one. I was sewing outside. I covered the picnic table with the heavy duty vinyl table cloth because I wanted to cut the fabric I planned to sew without getting it dirty. Somehow I got the fabric wrinkled. Then I covered one end of the table with a thick towel folded over on itself. I ironed the fabric to sew. I unplugged the iron but like a fool, didn't move it.

While I was sewing, a gust of wind blew the tiny travel iron over onto the vinyl tablecloth and melted a perfect iron shaped whole in it. I surely felt like an idiot.

1 comment:

  1. Just realized your "little old motorhome" is actually three years NEWER than ours. We've got a 1991 Coachmen Leprechaun. But at 27', I think we're a bit longer.


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