Just a quick, rather disjointed, update.
We’re still in Florida, parked in Kissimmee. Our location is ideal – a gracious friend is letting us park on his amazing land that has full hook-ups. It is such a blessing to have a safe place to leave our home, and a place to retreat to. Without worrying about the expense of a peak season priced RV Spot.
Kiki loves it here, as it’s the only place we let her go off leash for a bit, as there’s no predatory animals here to threaten her. She does amazingly well, and to her – this is Disney World.
It’s an easy hour drive to my parents place in Melbourne, where we’ve been splitting our time between the the bus and in their guest room. And with the MINI getting great fuel economy, the commute expenses have been low.
Our past month has mainly been focused on family, and getting my dad’s treatment plans off the ground. It’s been hectic and at times emotionally draining, of course – but it’s going well so far. I thank you all dearly for all the kind comments, e-mails and support.
For the month ahead, hopefully the hectic pace will subdue some and we can all get back to a bit of a routine. For us that means shifting attention back to work and bus projects, and doing a little bit of nomading around Florida. We’ll stay close to the area, as the next round of testing to see how treatments are going won’t be until March.
Here’s what’s generally on tap for us in the next month:
We are working on updates to both our apps, Coverage? and State Lines. Coverage? is due for a routine map refresh (we find our customers start complaining about the maps being out of date around 2-3 months) and we’re adding a new, frequently asked for feature.
State Lines will be a massive re-write with about double the amount of rules & regulations that affect US travelers, with an entirely new interface including iPad support. If you have a suggestion for info to add to the app, now’s the time to request it!
This is of course, on top of our normal workload and taking over some support tasks from my father in our shared software business.
We are potentially moving the bus over to the Tampa area next week, for a skilled family member to do some interior work for us.
We want to pull the oven/stovetop out of the kitchen and replace it with a cabinet for storing our portable induction cooktop and other kitchen gadgets that we actually use for cooking. We’ll eventually replace our microwave with a combo convection oven style for our very occasional baking needs.
We’ll also have the countertops replaced in both the kitchen and bathroom, as our temporary paint job we did back in July is starting to show wear. We may even do some modifications to our dual desk set up to make it even more awesome! We hope to consult on what cabinetry modifications will need to be made to swap our propane/electric fridge out for an energy efficient 12v one (such as a Novacool).
We actually did tackle a couple of small bus projects last month – we recovered our valances in the bedroom, and installed a 22″ LED TV & Blueray player that streams over wifi (with many thanks to Chris’ folks for the awesome holiday gift!). The TV is on a swing arm over a nightstand, as we tend to watch content while snuggled up in bed anyway. It’s the first TV we’ve owned since we hit the road back in 2007 – but it’ll mainly be used for viewing movies, Netflix content and discs. For viewing movies in the living area, we use one of our huge computer monitors.
And we’ve started some research into approaching installing solar panels on the bus. In preparation for that, we did a comprehensive energy evaluation on all current systems by taking measurements of each device, light fixture and appliance. This will help us focus on our needs, as well as where to concentrate on improving our efficiency.
Moving up in the World
We’ll be moving Technomadia.com (this blog) to new hosting. In January, we had a record breaking month for traffic (we’re up to over 30,000 page views a month these days, and nearly 19,000 unique visitors). This, despite having a fairly slow month for new content as we switched our focus to family.
We’re blown away by this, particularly since we never set out to be ‘bloggers’ and don’t put effort into building traffic.
However, the increased traffic is starting to tax our current cheap shared hosting solution on Dreamhost. We’ve turned off just about every plug-in we can, but still encounter slow load times and frequent timeout related 404 and 500 errors when trying to update/write posts. The other evening, it took me 2 very frustrating additional hours to get our Purging Stuff post polished and scheduled – just fighting these errors.
If we’re going to continue upkeeping the site, which we do mostly enjoy, it’s time to move up in the world. We were researching other solutions (other shared hosts, switching to VPS, etc) – when our friend offered to let us have some space on his scaleable Cloud Services account with Rackspace that is way underutilized. He made an offer we couldn’t refuse that doesn’t increase our costs to keep providing this site. So, over the coming week or so, we’ll be trying it out and moving.
Hopefully we can do this without interruptions, but – in case we fail, now you know why.
So, next week might see us over in the Tampa area for a bit, which will let us visit Chris’ folks who are still wintering in Spring Hill. After that, we’ll be taking it one step at a time, and perhaps doing a little bit of meandering around central Florida while we await the next round of tests for my father to know what is next.
If you’re around and would desire a meet up, have bus parking, have a hot tub, ideas for interesting things to see & do in the area, etc. – let us know!
We imagine we’ll be returning the Melbourne and/or Kissimmee area by the end of month, as that’s when the next set of appointments is and my brother is coming in town. After that? Too soon to know.
One thing is fairly certain – our bid to ‘win’ a Burning Man ticket in their new lottery system was a fail. We, and several other core Camp Nomadia members, received confirmation last night that we did not win tickets. So, like last year, we’re not making plans around attending the burn this year. If it happens, it happens. Which means, we’re not contemplating a cross country transition to make it to the playa in late August. It also means, we’ll not be organizing Camp Nomadia. And with very few core members making plans around going, it’s too soon to tell if there will be Camp Nomadia. We suspect many other veteran camps are in the same position.