Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cold Front


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 80, low 50)


The coldest weather of the season is predicted to arrive in Florida tomorrow night.  They are saying we could get into the high 20’s to low 30’s.  brrrrr

We have never needed to use the furnace on this coach. So far our heat pump has done a wonderful job even with temps down into the upper 30’s.  We know it won’t work when the temps get too low, so we need to make sure we don’t run out of propane.

Several years ago, we bought an “extend a stay” propane kit for use on the old motor home.  It allows you to attach a spare propane tank to your system via a connection.  Since the propane tank on a motor home  is not removable, you have to pack up and move in order to fill your propane tank.  That’s a bit of pain, so this extend a stay kit will allow you to attach another propane tank and run off of that. When the extra tank is empty, you can easily get that filled and save the onboard propane for a back up.  If you have to run your propane furnace, the you burn up a lot of propane.

It looks something like this when attached.

extend a stay

and like this when you get it. Sorry for the grainy pictures.  I borrowed them from the internet.


Hopefully, Al can find our old extend a stay kit.  I’m hoping he remembered to remove it from the old motor home.  



I ended up getting a Samsung laptop.  It has the i5 processor like Rick advised.  It has 6gb memory and 750 hard drive (if I remember correctly)  It also has a numeric keypad, which was something I had to have.

Rick gave me some suggestions on what to look for and recommended a Dell computer.  I really wanted to get a Dell, but I couldn’t find one with the numeric keypad,with the right processor and  right memory, and with a 15.6 inch screen.  Plus it would have been two weeks arriving.  I really can’t  be without a laptop that long.

So….I decided to look at Sam’s Club.  Since my previous laptop lasted just over a year, I wanted to buy an extended warranty this time.  I remembered Sam’s Club offers reasonably priced extended warranties, and I felt they would probably still be in business a few years down the road, as opposed to some of these electronics stores that are dropping all the time.

Anyway…. Samsung was not my first choice, but I understand the main components are all made by the same companies anyway, so hopefully it will be okay. One thing I really like is that it has a matte finish display. You can rarely find the matte screens anymore,  and since we live in a motor home with lots of windows, there is always glare.  I also like to take my laptop outside where there is even more glare.  A matte finish works well for me.

I paid $499 for the laptop and $39.85 for a 3 year extended warranty.  Since we’re “plus” members, we get an additional year warranty.  I hope this will take care of me  for a few years.  It’s a real pain setting up a new laptop how you had your old one.

Right now, I am dealing with Windows Live Writer.  I always write my blog on Live Writer and since I’ve installed it to the new laptop, it’s not right.  It doesn’t look right.  The icons are not where they were.  I can’t find the little gadget that asked me what size of a picture I wanted.  My word count thingy is gone.   What’s a girl to do?   Oh….where is my smiley face thingy?    Crap!

I hope the blog will post.

Windows 8

Rick likes the new Windows 8 operating system, so I decided to give it a try.  Actually, I decided to give it a try also because that’s about all you find out there.  I was prepared to have a big learning curve….and I did.    There is no start button.  You have to figure out how to get the “charms” to appear in order to find a button that will eventually allow you to do a shut down.  It’s not where I would expect it to be either, so that’s a pain.  You can go back to a version of your old screen, but still there is no start button. 

There are a few other things I’m missing as well, but I guess I’ll get used to it.  I understand there are some really great things about Windows 8 under the hood, but so far I am not a fan.


  1. Good luck on the new laptop. If Rick recommended it, I'd say you are going to like it. He's a smart and generous guy with his technical expertise! I have asked him a lot of questions and he's come through every time. Hope you weather the cold front OK!

  2. It seems like everytime Windows does an upgrade, the common sense items that made everything work so easily are moved or removed. That's progress?

    Hope you find the Start button (so you can tell me when I have to upgrade to Windows 8).

  3. I've had an extend-a-stay for years, and use it whenever I'm at a place for more than a couple of days. Good luck with the computer.

  4. Always a learning curve with every new technology that comes out. Good luck with your new toy.

  5. The extend a stay sure does come in handy at times. We have a Mr. Heater to help out on cold weather uses a lot les propane than the furnace.
    Aren't computers fun?

  6. Hi Karen, sorry to hear about your computer troubles. I can help you right now with a few of them. Here's a link to my blog about setting up your icons for easy use:

    Simplify the Conversion to Live Writer

    Here's another blog post on Live Writer Picture Sizing:

    Live Writer Picture Sizing

    As for the word count, just click in Live Writer on File > Options > Preferences and check the box marked 'show real time word count in status bar'.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Craig would rather run the propane furnace than the heat pump. I would too because it makes so much less noise.

    We are driving down the coast. All is well.

  8. Can't help any with the laptop technology. We did learn something we were unaware of regarding the heat pump. Ours would not work because we were out of propane. Didn't know that being out of propane would cause a fault in the thermostat for running the electric heat pump. We have been full time for 16 months in all kinds of weather and have only filled our propane two times. We do sleep under a warm down comforter when it is chilly outside. Never thought about having a back up for the propane. You are well prepared for anything!

  9. Might be a bit late to bring this up, but if you had purchased the old computer on a credit card, might they have put an additional year's warranty on it?

  10. Rick is definitely the go to man :)....I gave up trying to learn things on the PC when I upgraded from one to the the last time I ran for a macbook..and have never looked back....I love it...

  11. I hope the cold front does not bring the low temps I experienced yesterday in Orlando (see my latest blog). Thanks for the laptop info.


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