Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Air Conditioner Works!, so did Leonardo.

4/2 - 4/14

Still spending time caring for Dennis’ mom. We have managed to see and do a few interesting things. We went over to the nearby Tampa Electric Plant to check out the Manatee viewing area. They have a very nice nature walk and museum set up there. While we did not visit the free museum we did walk out onto the pier in the estuary and then to the manatee viewing area. The manatees there are apparently not as numerous as they were during the colder weather, when there were several hundred in the area, but we were able to watch about a dozen manatees swimming around from the viewing platform.

We drove up to the Apple store in Brandon to pick up a new battery for Dennis’ laptop, which gave us a chance to play around with the new iPad. That is really an amazing piece of hardware and may be a real game changer when it come to the world of computers. Nancy compared it to automobiles - in the beginning a person needed to understand how they worked in order to drive them, today you just get in and turn the key. Here is a link to an MSNBC article on the impact of the iPad

Other than the apps though, our laptops generally will do everything the iPad does and do it better. We will stick with the laptops and iPod for now.

While we were in the area we stopped by the Camping World in Seffner and picked up a few things. One of them was two new snap-on screens for our Fan-Tastic Vents. We have three Fan-Tastic Vents, all of which are temperature controlled with rain sensors. Only the newest one though has the snap-on screen cover. The other two have the old style that require removing eight little screws to remove and clean the screen. Here at Sun Lake RV Resort we are backed up to a line of trees which give us delightful afternoon shade, but also drop a lot (and this time of year I mean A LOT) of debris on us. Inevitably some of this gets into the fans and starts to make noise. Life will be a lot easier now with the snap-on covers since Dennis needs to stand on a chair to reach the fan in the living room.

Since we were in Brandon we had to stop at La Septima for lunch, it was great as usual. When we got home we discovered that we had picked up the wrong laptop battery! Why didn’t you check in the store doofus! So....the next day we went back to Brandon (it is only about 15 miles away) and picked up the correct battery, played with the iPads a bit more, and had lunch at La Septima again! Might as well make the best of it, right?

We went in to Tampa to check out the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at MOSI - the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry. The Da Vinci exhibit was excellent, very interesting and well presented. It was not crowded at all as it was a weekday and we spent several hours browsing through the exhibit. We should note that this is a commercially produced exhibit that focuses on Da Vinci’s overall genius in science, anatomy, architecture, invention, and the fine arts, but it was not an art exhibit and there were no original works on display. It included models of many of his inventions and a very comprehensive, high resolution photographic analysis of the Mona Lisa, along with reproductions of many of his other works. Well worth the price of admission.

The rest of MOSI was a bit of a disappointment. It is mainly aimed at kids and what we saw of the exhibits (granted not all of them) they are far from the claimed “state-of-the-art” and actually a bit tattered around the edges. Other than the Da Vinci exhibit we would not recommend MOSI.

The price of admission did included one movie in the I-Max theatre, so we watched the new release of “Alice in Wonderland” which was enjoyable.

We have found a place nearby where we can catch a weekly yoga class, we have missed doing yoga since we arrived in Florida, so we are now going to Apollo Beach Yoga once a week to get loosened up.

As the weather is heating up here our smart car is a bit warm with it’s glass roof. The AC has always been marginal around town and barely adequate on the highway and it had now stopped cooling altogether. We located a local auto repair shop that was willing to take a look at adding refrigerant so we stopped by. Turns out the AC connections are not very accessible! One will need to remove the entire front panel in order to get access.

So we went back home and Dennis looked up the information on evilution. Sure enough, he had step-by-step instructions with pictures. So we made an appointment at Southshore Auto Repair. The morning of our appointment we parked the smart in the shade and proceeded to remove the entire front panel of the smart. Other than being a two person job to lift off the panel, it was not to bad, just seven clips on the grille and fifteen bolts on the panel and it lifted right off!

Kind of looks like a NASCAR car at Martinsville! Also makes us think of Wall-E!

Turns out there was virtually no refrigerant left in the system! No leaks, just gradual loss from sitting (the car did sit for better than a year while G&K was trying to get approval for their gray market conversion). Once Greg at Southshore Auto did his thing the AC was blowing at 40 degrees! Guess we should have done this years ago - the AC is working great now, even in the Florida sun! By the way, the folks at Southshore turned out to be good people to deal with.

Dennis’ Mom continues to deteriorate and it does not look like she will be able to move to the Assisted Living facility after all, so we have canceled the lease there and are just sitting tight, waiting to see what the next few weeks bring. We are really thankful that we have our RV and are able to live comfortably while we are here looking after her. We are also thankful for the great care she is receiving at Sun Terrace Health Care. This is where she started her rehabilitation after surgery and they are continuing to care for her. The staff has been very attentive, caring and supporting throughout her stay and we are very happy with the care she is receiving.

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