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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fresh Food Finder App

It tastes good to eat fresh food, it's good for you, and you're supporting the local economy as you travel. There is simply no downside to shopping at local farmer's markets, and this App will help you find them.

Fresh Food Finder for iPhone/iPad
Fresh Food Finder for Android
Both are Free

The Fresh Food Finder is the easiest way to locate farmers markets and locally grown food wherever you may be. You can select the option to search for a farmer's market near your current location, or enter a state and city or other search term to find one elsewhere. Once you've set your locale, you can view a map of the markets if you like, and you can get directions.

If the app doesn't have the information you need, like the hours of operation, there is also a link to the appropriate website.

We spent a delightful afternoon at the Cambria Farmer's market and bought baskets of blackberries, wonderful asparagus, and fresh, crisp salad veggies. The blackberries didn't even make it home!
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wantabe RVer asks: Can I Internet game and RV too?

File this one under the, "It takes all kinds," heading.

Recently an RV forum got a query from a "wantabe" fulltime RVer about some questions he needed resolved. We've seen all kinds of questions about the lifestyle before, but these were certainly new ones for us. Boiled down, here's the concerns:

'I'm a big fan of pc/console gaming [Internet computer game usage]. Can I run a high-powered desktop computer in my RV? Or should I use a "gaming" laptop? I'll need good Internet speed, and over 250 gigabytes of data a month. Where can I find fast Internet speeds and lots of data when I'm on the road? And can I set up to boondock, too?'

For you RVing computer sages, this has got to be a "Wow!" sort of question. For those of us who just try and keep up with e-mailing, Internet surfing, and the occasional Skype call know that the Internet and the RVing lifestyle aren't always the best of companions.

A recent survey of readers showed a huge number of respondents indicated that having WiFi available in an RV park was important. But if you've spent any time at all on the Internet in the typical RV park in Anywhere, USA, you know that just because the park advertises WiFi, doesn't mean it's going to be satisfactory. Can you imagine sharing an already-overloaded WiFi system with a "gamer," who's probably swearing at the top of his lungs as his game goes down the tubes for lack of speed?

One respondent suggested maybe he should consider satellite Internet. Uh, been-there, done-that. It's a long way from the RV park out to the satellite and back. The lag time between your "push the trigger" and the "see it happen on the screen" will see plenty of other players getting their licks in multifold time. And after being "throttled" by an Internet satellite company after just one afternoon of listening to "Internet radio," on our old sat connection, we learned in a hurry that you just don't get much bandwidth with satellite.

Today we're lined up with the 'modern' world of 4G networking, and in some places, it is fast – but in a lot of places, even where it's supposed to exist – even 4G isn't all that reliable. And on our plan, one of the least expensive we could find, tacking on an additional two gigabytes of data is an extra $10 a month. It'd take a pot-full of money to buy 250 gigabytes of "gaming" data a month.

'Nuff said about the connection. What about the power consumption? If you plan a boondocking lifestyle as a gamer, better invest in a good gaming laptop, a hefty battery bank, and coat your rooftop with solar panels.

Maybe the real solution here is Bicycle. No, not one hooked up with an alternator to charge your batteries while you pedal like mad. No, the "gaming" starts with 52, non-digital, but thoroughly colorful items. They take virtually no power, other than that of flying fingers. They store in a very small space, only about 3 1/2" x 2 3/8" x 5/8". They play a huge number of different games. Just drop into any Walmart and ask for Bicycle playing cards.

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