28 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Black Friday is upon us!  I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful day of family, friends and food.  Take it slow and easy today.
Let's do a quick recap of the goals, then check out camping photos!
  • Camping.  We went camping with the Full Moon Bus Club.  There was some last minute scrambling to get the bus ready, but camping in a bus feels extremely luxurious after years of tent camping.
  • Start a batch of Drifter clone beer. Fail.  However, I got some Chilean Malbec wine (kit) going this month that should be ready just in time for my birthday.  I can't wait.
  • Get dirt for my raised bed garden. Also fail.  But we bought supplies to make two more raised beds and I think dirt will be on hold until this spring.
  • Meet some new people.  So many new people!  We were accepted as family into the Full Moon Bus Club, and also met a few other new people this month!
  • Complete a class I started taking on Coursera.  I started two classes, for the first one I'm on track to watch my final lecture tomorrow, and the exam is more like an "exam" but we'll see how that goes.  My other class still has a couple more weeks left.
I also had a few "admin" tasks that I needed to get done, and I'm sorry to say I got those done...yesterday.  Still, done.  But only because I knew I had to report about it here.  Let's move on to December.
  • Christmas will undoubtedly involve travel!  It's always nice to have a trip to look forward to.
  • We've got visitors coming for NYE.  I can't wait to see them!  Who knows what the weather will be like, so I need to prepare some options for things to do.
  • Bottle the IPA that's been chilling in the kitchen for a while.
  • Bus stuff.  I think that I'm pretty well decided on the layout and color scheme, but I'd love to sketchup the whole thing so I have an idea of what it will look like first.  Also the front seats have no padding and the 40-year-old seat covers are starting to shred, so they definitely need to be redone.  I think I can do it myself?
  • Eat better.  I mentioned last month that I don't feel like cooking, and as a result I've been eating crappier food.  Oops.  Should have seen that coming.  Buy-two-get-three-free ice cream didn't help.  Nor did FOUR Thanksgiving potlucks.
  • Start thinking about our next big trip.  It's been a year since we went to Mexico, so it'd be fun to take an international trip sometime next year.
Heeding my mother's advice, I watched a documentary called "What Plants Talk About."  The film posits that plants behave like animals, when corrected for time (ie sped up, viewing a time-lapsed glimpse into plants behavior).  It's really fascinating stuff - first they have the wild tobacco plant, which completely changes its bloom's timing, scent and sugar content in order to attract different pollinators, then there are the spotted knapweed plants, whose roots give off harmful chemicals in order to kill off surrounding competition, followed by the sand rockets who recognize 'kin' plants and grow smaller roots to allow their kin to survive (or, conversely, grow much bigger roots when competing for space with non-kin sand rockets), and finally, the Douglas fir, who grows massive networks in the forest and transfers nourishing carbons to baby plants in order to help them survive.  If that isn't enough to pique your curiosity, you're also privy to the film's witticisms: "but the wild tobacco plant has more than one trick up its leaves..." and "the knapweed is the plant equivalent of the Terminator."  If the social behavior of plants sounds interesting to you, check this movie out - you can watch the whole thing for free on this site.
Other than that, I really didn't take any photos this month that weren't bus related.
The morning we left to go camping, Kyle built a frame for the back of the bus so that we could fit our spare bed's mattress in there and still have lots of storage space.  He did a great job.
This summer, we picked up both a campstove and a coffeemaker for a steal.  However, we never tested either.  Thankfully, they both worked great - the first night dropped to just about freezing, so hot coffee in the morning was sooooo good.
Of course, nothing tops a nice campfire when you really need to warm up.
I don't think we've met a single person who hasn't commented on the paint job on the bus.  I think Sixer was the best-looking bus there, although there were two Vanagons with really fantastic artwork.
It was a very interesting crowd, both bus-wise and people-wise.  It's a great community that I'm happy to be a part of.
On to December!  It's hard to believe we're here already, but...cada dia is mejor.  Bring it on.

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