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Blues

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  1. I've stayed at only one campground on a military base, and that's where I encountered a dryer that had melted crayon in it. I'm glad I didn't look only for stray items on my pre-loading inspection, because it was hard to see.
  2. I deposit checks by putting them in a postage paid envelope with the bank's address on it. There's always a rush to use the newest technology, and then later you find out what's really going on. It's mainly in the privacy arena (that we know of), but what's going on there doesn't give me any confidence in the financial arena. I'm still not 100% convinced that my money is safe and will always be available whenever I want it in accounts that have online access, but it's the only way I can function as a fulltimer, so I accept that. But I'm not going to compound the risk by putting it all in a device that gets carried around all over the place. The thing about alerts is that regardless of whether you find out one second or one month after your card is compromised, the card will still be cancelled and you'll have to figure out how to get another one sent to you (always a hassle if you're a traveling fulltimer). You're not going to have to pay for the fraudulent charges, so the early alert really doesn't do anything at all.
  3. Then I guess it was just us they didn't like, since we were rolling in a new 40' diesel pusher.
  4. We spent two months in an Escapee co-op park back when we first started fulltiming. We were 47 and 37 years old at the time. We went to a breakfast they were having, and didn't feel welcome at all. I can engage a fence post in discussion, and even I was struggling to get anybody to talk to us. So I talked at various people for a bit, and then we left. Then one afternoon we spotted a basketball hoop. We have a basketball, so we went and got it and shot some hoops. The next day, the hoop was gone. Another day, the 37-year-old was riding his bike around the fenced and gated park out in the middle of nowhere, and someone stopped him to make sure he was allowed to be there.
  5. And I am amazed at the number of people who have their financial accounts intermingled with their cell phones.
  6. Actually, I use a debit card at an ATM to get cash, not a credit card. And unless I give the merchant my phone number or email address, nobody's going to know it was me who bought whatever it is I bought. You can buy a gift card with cash, and use that to pay for online purchases. Of course, the purchase has to be delivered, so it can't be anonymous like an in-person cash transaction can be. And I, anyway, am not suggesting that anyone needs to never use a credit card. I use mine for pretty much everything I buy, knowing that I'm trading my privacy for the convenience and the cash back. But I do like knowing that if for whatever reason I don't want to have a given purchase matched to me for eternity, I don't have to if I pay cash. This might be a good idea if you use the same laundry each week but when traveling this would be just an additional step. Not only that, you incur a one-time charge for the card, plus I've been to ones where if you put too much money on it, they won't refund it. If you're not going to be there again, you're out that money. I just keep a bag of quarters in the glove compartment. It always has around $20 worth, and if I use them at a place where the change machine isn't working, I just make a point to replenish it next time I'm near a change machine. It's really not that hard, plus it means I always have $20 in cash in the car, in case I forget my wallet. Well, that's the thing. It's great until it's not great. I had my credit card locked down because I bought both diesel and gas at the same station (filled moho and toad), but nothing whatsoever got triggered when I had 65 Uber charges in just a couple of weeks, totaling over $2,000, even though I'd never had an Uber charge before (and in fact don't even have an Uber account).
  7. I don't care how good you are at tracking people, absent facial recognition (which was definitely not in use when the pregnant teenager got outed), if a customer pays with cash and doesn't use a loyalty card or give an email address or phone number or other identifying information, there's no way the purchase can be attached to a data file on that person.
  8. It became obsolete and foolish, as well as a huge waste of time. Right now the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is paying us back 6% on groceries (yes, six percent, not a typo), and 3% on gas/diesel. It would be crazy to use cash. And it takes longer to get it, and use it, and deal with change. Right now, cash transactions are anonymous. Not wanting every single thing you buy to be recorded in a database isn't necessarily foolish if you value your privacy, or at least as much as you can get these days.
  9. These were all notably unique to me. Since I have a washing machine, the number of laundromats I've been to is small compared to people who have to go 25 or 50 times a year. Plus it's a production to figure out which one to go to in the first place, and then load up the car and make sure I don't leave anything behind in a washing machine or dryer, or dropped on the floor (never did find that lost sock in Crested Butte).
  10. I ran into this at Smith's in Taos, New Mexico, a couple of months ago. There was a sign at the entrance about it, even though the policy had started back in April. Kroger first did this a year ago, at Foods Co stores, which are all in California. At the time, people worried that it was a harbinger for other Kroger stores, but so far, it's been only Smith's.
  11. I have a washer/dryer onboard, but every once in a while use a laundromat (16 years of fulltiming), and I have the same dispiriting experiences you do. Smokers right at the door, and even inside, they reek if you're within 10 feet of them. Slack-jawed people watching blaring TVs, or yammering into their cell phones. Screaming kids running around. Sound familiar? A laundromat in El Reno, Oklahoma, was the worst I'd ever seen. I'd taken the cover off my mattress, along with my bedspread, and turned around and walked out and put them back on the bed, unwashed. Fruita, Colorado, was also gross. And in Padre Island, Texas, my sheets came out of the washer with oil all over them. My takeaway was to be careful when in areas where there is oilfield activity, which all three of these were. But I've had some nice ones, too. The laundromat in Winter Park, Colorado, was just wonderful--clean, unpopulated, and a chill vibe. Three miles up the road, in Fraser, it was merely passable (but I did find a dollar in a washing machine). The one I went to in Boulder, Colorado, was also super--on a weekday morning, just a couple of college kids in there. Crested Butte, Colorado, has one laundromat, and at least half the machines are always broken every time I've been there over the years. Frisco, Colorado, has two laundromats, and the one I went to had a nice atmosphere (which probably just means there was hardly anybody else there, and they didn't have TVs blaring); the change machine ate my $20 bill, and there was a sign saying to call a phone number if you lose money and I did and left a message with my address and got a $20 bill in the mail. Harrisonburg, Virginia, had a nice new laundromat when I was there, but it didn't take coins--only cards, for which you had to pay $1 or something, and if you put too much money on it you didn't get it back. Not a great situation for people just passing through. These places with nice laundries are often fairly wealthy communities, and I think there's a correlation. Crested Butte's laundry is attached to the hostel, which uses those machines to wash bedding, plus the hostelers use it, which counteracts my usual experience with laundromats in expensive places. (And I just noticed that the majority of these are in Colorado. That's probably because we're usually boondocking in Colorado, or don't have sewer hookups, so we're more likely to use a laundromat.) We don't stay in RV parks that often, but I always check out the laundry room, and they're usually okay, although in some cases, the laundromat in an RV park is the public laundromat for that town. The problem for me is that there can be a limited number of machines, and often no double front loaders or the like. I don't really care for top-loading machines. I do know that timing can make a big difference. I avoid Mondays like the plague, and weekends are obviously crowded. I haven't really decided whether weekday mornings are good or not--they can be overrun with kids, but otherwise don't seem as crowded as evenings. I'm guessing Tuesdays would be a good day, because that's the day that I see laundromats running specials, like free drying. (You'd obviously not want to go when they have free drying if you want to avoid the teeming masses.) If I used the same laundromat all the time, I'd figure out the ebb and flow of people and work around it. And that, of course, is one of the problems with being a fulltimer--not being there long enough to figure out the ebb and flow, never mind take advantage of it. Yelp reviews can be helpful if you keep in mind that most people posting there are idiots whose main complaint about everywhere is that the service employees were cold or arrogant. But you can read between the lines and get a feel for whether the place is new or old, whether they take coins, etc., which can be helpful. To be honest, if I had to always do my laundry at laundromats, I'd rethink fulltiming. My washing machine can do a load with 8 gallons of water, and I've often used it while boondocking because I have a 75-gallon gray tank. It's great if we're mountainbiking a lot, because I can wash just those filthy clothes without going to a laundromat, and the front loader spins the dickens out of them, so they easily dry overnight.
  12. The "months later" worked for you because Les Schwab doesn't accept returns of unused tire chains until after the "end of the season." So it won't work for people just passing through somewhere they think they might need chains or are required to carry them.
  13. Actually, if you're looking for alternatives to a microwave, it sounds like you do have a use for a microwave. 😁
  14. Instead of putting forth what we believe, how about some facts? From the link Kirk provided, there's also this: The MSA plan is designed to do exactly what you believe it does not do.
  15. Actually, I think there is a government contribution. I clicked on some links, and for one plan, it says, "Medicare’s Yearly Deposit into Your Saving Account is $1,500." For another plan, it says there's a $2,250 "deposit," and for yet another plan, the deposit from the plan is $2,400. But I didn't see $3200 anywhere. Where did you get that number, Brian Boss?
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