Thursday, February 20, 2020

Day 13, 14, 15 - Harlingen, TX - TT

Tuesday (13) - Warm and sunny today. We had the RV washed and waxed today by a mobile wash company. They just drive around the park looking for business. We looked like prime candidates. Lots of road grime from the last couple of months. They did a good job. It hasn’t looked this clean since I picked it up in Georgia. It’s still windy but I don’t hear the slide toppers flapping wildly like they do in Arizona. This is a small pond within the RV park. Just on the other side is a bird sanctuary. We rode the bikes over to the other side of the park and took a look at their amenities. Nice pool and a huge jacuzzi. I tried the WiFi here at the park. It is provided by JabbaWiFi out of Arizona. I ended up talking to their support four times until I just cancelled the service. Slower than dialup.

 It’s 2pm and 87° so I’m at the pool (big surprise). A nice, gentle breeze at the pool. It’s actually around 22mph but the pool area is kind of sheltered.

Wednesday (14) - It looks like we brought some of the “cold” with us. At least for the rest of the week. By Sunday, the forecasted high will be back in the 80s (°F).

The dogs went to PetSmart and I walked to a Bass Pro Shop. I hadn’t been to one in a while and Bridget thought that she hadn’t been to one before. Then realized that it was the same as Cabella’s. It was fun to walk around the store looking at the displays. The aquarium caught my eye as did the weird mailboxes.

After exploring Bass Pro, we had lunch at Cracker Barrel then stopped to pick up a few more groceries.

Kind of interesting that the free WiFi at PetSmart triggered a bunch of security certificate warning messages on my phone. And it wouldn’t allow a VPN connection. Hmmm. Disabled WiFi.

Thursday (15) - This may seem silly but I’ve been looking for a small shelf to put things like my coffee cup ever since we picked up this RV. Every Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, ACE, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby we went into. I finally found one that fits and is functional. Most shelves we found were too wide, too heavy, or not very functional. This one works and the mounting screws are into the aluminum frame of the slide. Very sturdy. Maybe some Velcro for the remotes…

It’s 55°F and breezy with a little light rain all day. That means the pool is probably deserted. It’s a pretty nice setup. The jacuzzi must be 15’ in diameter with seats in the middle as well as the perimeter. And it was completely empty as predicted. I guess people don’t like the pool when it’s raining. The only downside is that it’s a little far to walk. Especially on a day like today. And, it isn’t that much nicer than the other smaller pool that I don’t need to drive to.


  1. I must confess some envy of the temperatures you have to endure. While the sky is blue and the sun is shining here, the 18F reading is just tiring. My aging body and increasingly whining mind combines to fashion a mental pity party. I suppose I should be grateful that it's almost March and I've not had to deploy the snow blower yet.

    I have a technical IT question for you -- my laptop and other computers never leave home. Do I need VPN or is my password protected WIFI at home safe enough? And my iPhone? Wondering how much risk I'm taking out in the world....

    1. I don’t look forward to freezing temperatures any more. In fact, below 50°F is starting to feel cold.

      As far as a VPN is concerned, using your WiFi at home is fine as long as you have WPA2 turned on so it needs a password. This is just to insure that you and your family are the only users. If you connect to any public WiFi whether it has a password or not, you expose your non-encrypted traffic to anyone else connected to the same WiFi. On cellular, not really an issue.

      On any network, your network provider could collect information such as websites visited etc. and this is marketable data for them. A VPN would eliminate their ability assuming you don’t rely on them for dns service i.e. manually entered dns server. I’ve noticed that some providers block dns queries to servers they don’t manage suggesting that they are collecting data. A VPN also bypasses that.

      In places like coffee shops, restaurants, stores, and especially airports, I always fire up the VPN. In PetSmart where the VPN was blocked, I would never use the network as they are probably marketing your information. This would be true even if it wasn’t personally identifiable.

      Always follow the money. If someone is offering something for “free”, what are they using to cover their costs...

  2. Thanks for the information Richard. I'll see what I can find in terms of a VPN for my iPhone. That's the only device that leaves home.

    1. Remember to follow the money. If a VPN service is free or really cheap, how are they paying for it.

  3. I've looked at NordVPN and CyberGhost, but I think the easiest thing for me would be to just turn off WIFI when I leave the house. Not sure I really need it for anything while I'm on the road. I'll try that first.