Upcoming trip, making of a Jeep commercial, and health update

Not much has been happening since I wrote about my time at Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in May. Mostly, I have been reading books and getting together with friends for lunch. I did buy a different laptop, it has Windows 8.1 so I am trying to learn how to use it. My 17″ Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 still works, but I find that sometimes it’s a bit large to take into places to update my website. I bought a 10″ tablet last October, but I find that I cannot update my website with it and there are other functions that I cannot do on it that can be done using a laptop. I found a great deal on a 12.5 inch Lenovo laptop with Windows 8, so I installed the updates and put my pictures and music on it and I am getting used to it. There are some features that I like, but it’s a lot different than Windows 7.  It has a keyboard and also a touch screen so I can use it as a laptop or tablet, and it’s a smaller size to take places which is more convenient. It also has a twist screen which is a nice feature.

GtbRI’m planning on taking another trip beginning sometime the week of July 6th. The itinerary is to make my first stop in Longview, Texas, at the Great Texas Balloon Race. I have not been to this event before, but it looks like it will be interesting and quite a bit smaller than the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I signed up to crew on a balloon at the Texas Balloon event and I was told that I would be assigned to a special shape balloon. I have no idea which one yet. I looked at the pictures of what special shape balloons will be there and I recognized them from seeing them at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. I have crewed on a regular shaped balloon numerous times, it will be a new experience to crew for a special shape balloon. There are two concerts during this balloon event, Cooder Graw and The Oak Ridge Boys.

After leaving east Texas, I will stop in Fort Worth and Waco and visit friends there for a few weeks before heading to Albuquerque where I plan on being for about a month. I will be there about two weeks or so before the Balloon Fiesta begins so I can visit with friends there and also do some volunteer work before the event begins. In past years in addition to crewing for Scott on his Big Blue Balloon, I volunteered at the Balloon Discovery Center where I got to talk with people from all over the world and could answer their questions about various aspects of hot air ballooning. I found that having been at this event for several years that every year I know a little bit more, and by crewing I learn till more and can answer questions much better because I have first hand experience.

aibf pinBecause I can be at the Balloon Fiesta before it officially begins, this year my primary area to volunteer in is Pilot Registration. Most of their work is done before the Fiesta begins which works out great since I love to crew on a balloon. This also provides me with time to still volunteer at the Balloon Discovery Center. One of the other things I have been working on while here at home is contacting businesses to try and get door prizes for the volunteer lunch held during the Balloon Fiesta. When I get to Albuquerque, I will continue that project. I like getting to Albuquerque a few weeks early so I can get together with friends I have made there over the past few years that I have been there, and there are several stores and restaurants I like to go to as well. During the Balloon Fiesta they have a Music Fiesta, this year the main entertainment is The Band Perry. I also love to watch the five nights of spectacular fireworks.

A friend of mine in Vancouver sent me interesting links about the making of a Jeep commercial. I thought it would be interesting to include in this post. The shoot took place from June 14 to June 18, 2014. The set was built and produced three days prior to the filming of the commercial, on 400 Granville Street in Vancouver. Materials included: 1,000,000 pounds of boulders, rocks, and sand to break up water flow and give surface disturbances. 250,000 gallons of water, recycled using a closed water system that pumped water from the end of the street back to the top. The water was eventually discharged into Vancouver Harbor. 400,000 pounds of snow – the snowbank was made of snow blanket and fish-ice. Logs, sticks, moss, and 80 fir/hemlock trees lined/covered the street. The trees were boxed and returned to the nursery and other materials were also repurposed. Two wolves were on set. The domesticated wolves were made available from the Animal Insight for Film and T.V.A. representative from the American Humane Association was on set. Observers were able to take pictures with the animals. Check out these two videos, one version and another version.

Passport America Carol's StoryPassport America is a RV Club that provides members with a 50% discount at more than 1,850 campgrounds all over the USA, Canada, and Mexico. I have been a member for several years, every year the savings pays for more than the annual membership cost. I was recently asked by a Passport America staff member to write a short story about me and my travels for their electronic newsletter. At first I wasn’t sure about doing it or even what I would write. So after some consideration, I decided to write a story and I let them decide what content to include. Click here to read the story.

Recently I had a CT Scan done. My doctor wanted to see the difference in the size of my tumors since my scan last June. I could tell that the largest tumor has grown and also shifted position. The CT Scan confirmed it. In addition, there are several additional new tumors, none significant in size at this time. So it looks like I will still be taking my trip. I know it won’t be easy. When I took the long trip last year I had the same challenges and I was able to make the trip successfully, I’m anticipating the same thing this time. I know there will be days that I will not be able to drive long distances, and I will make frequent rest stops, but it’s okay.

I only have a few dates I need to be somewhere and I will leave enough time so if there are days I can’t travel or I can only travel a short distance, I will still get where I need to on time. As I travel, if I have Internet service, I will update my 2015 Travel Map button with my approximate location. I also text a few friends when I stop for the day so they know where I am at that point in time. When I travel there are usually periods of time that I don’t have Internet service, so I will add stories when I can.  I generally use my phone to answer emails while I am traveling. I am looking forward to this trip, which if I make it all the way like last year, will be approximately 4,500 miles.

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