Friday, August 28, 2009

All the way to Fire Lake

We are at the Firelake Grand Casino, about 25 miles east of Oklahoma City on I-40 (map). I am not, however, wearing my gypsy leathers.

I wrote here yesterday that our goal for last night was Oklahoma City, where diesel could be had for $2.459, and we knew we could find parking and a place to grab dinner. While we were on the road, a comment came in for that post on my Blackberry from long-time readers Steve and Carol, suggesting that just 25 miles further down the road was this place, with free 50-amp hookups, and $2.439 diesel (with players club card) to boot.

Now I was really not keen on going further than OKC, especially considering we'd have to plow through it at rush hour. Plus, if we decided to angle north, I-44 would be the favored route. However, I am above all a cheapskate, and the lure of free hookups, cheap diesel, and discounted casino food easily overshadowed another 40 minutes of driving, which is what it took by the time we muddled our way through traffic. We did better than anyone westbound, though -- freeway construction had traffic in every direction but east at a complete standstill all the way through the city.

After we got settled in and hooked up, we headed inside for players' cards, a free three-day RV parking pass (renewable, apparently, indefinitely), and a nice prime rib dinner at the steak house. After dinner we met Steve and Carol over at Odyssey for cocktails, conversation, and show-and-tell. We had a nice evening, and really enjoyed meeting them after several near-misses, including one wherein we literally rolled right past their photography studio in Meeker a couple of years ago.

Carol is a very accomplished professional photographer, and she insisted on coming over this morning and taking a few casual portraits of us. Later, Steve dropped off a CD with all the shots, which make our feeble efforts with our little point-and-shoot Canon pale in comparison, rank amateurs that we are. I liked this one, with Opal:

Photo: Carol Dwyer Photography

Now that we are here and enjoying unlimited air conditioning, I have to say I am at a loss as to where we should head next. Danny is fizzling out; the current track has it missing the Outer Banks by a fair margin, and it will likely be only a depression if anything at all by the time it reaches New England. Whereas the fires in the west are picking up in intensity, with 500 homes evacuated this morning in southern California, and new threats in Monterey County. Where we sit right now, we are almost squarely in the middle of the country, and could be on either coast in a matter of two (long) days.


  1. Hello Sean and Louise, I can't believe we are SO close to you folks. I've been reading your blog for over a year and follow it regularly. We left our home in Memphis today and we were going to try and make FireLake (not realizing you were there) but we stopped in Sallisaw, OK, at a KOA. It was just a little too far to make Shawnee today.

    We are on our way to our home in Palm Springs for a couple of months, the Coach will go into storage until we head out later in Oct.

    Mark G.
    Monaco Dynasty

    PS. I'm impressed with your technical and repair abilities. I didn't get that gene. LOL!

  2. If it were a couple weeks earlier I would have suggested you come to the Iowa State Fair - our state fair is a great state fair! :)

    Nice photo!

  3. Sean as an ex bell labs person I would have thought that you would be a linux fan.

    But when i tried to sign up for my at&t retirement it would not accept anything but explorer and windows.

    uncle ned

  4. @Ned,

    I keep hoping (and I have stated here in the past) that my "next computer" will not have to have Windows of any flavor on it. And, yes, I would choose generic laptop hardware with any one of the better Linux implementations; the Acer Aspire One I just bought is descended from an earlier model that actually came with Linux pre-installed out of the box.

    Unfortunately, platform- and OSindependent software is not where it needs to be. While many of my favorite and most often used applications are available on (one might even say optimized for) Linux, such as Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, Sumatra PDF, and a raft of others, there is a good deal of software I use on a daily basis that only runs on Windows.

    Foremost among these is DeLorme's Street Atlas and Topo USA products, which I use on a near-daily basis to do route planning. Next in line would be the Blackberry Desktop software, which is the only way I have to back up and sync my cell phone. And the dedicated tools I use to manage our DataStorm satellite Internet system are Windows-only, including the tool I use to generate and post map links here.

    Beyond that, the American Red Cross is still a Windows shop, in no small part due to the fact that the folks in Redmond donate most of the software we use, in addition to cash. In particular, we use XP Professional in the field, and all our document collaboration is done in Office 2003. So I need to keep my XP skill set sharp, and I need to have Office available, notwithstanding the fact that Open Office will open most of those file types.

    And yes, like you I keep a copy of IE (currently v6) available for those web sites that absolutely refuse to adhere to standards, and won't work in anything else. The Acer unfortunately comes with IE7, and I understand that it is impossible to downgrade on an SP3 system unless IE7 was installed over IE6.

    I discussed our hardware and software environment extensively in this post:



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