Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nat. Parks More FREE Days, 5th & 6th. Workcampers. Volunteers. Glass Frenzy

More free days slated for national parks, federal lands
By Russ & Tiña De Maris | April 22, 2010 - 10:24 am - Posted in government, national parks
"Washington, DC — We earlier alerted readers to the National Park Service decision to drop entrance fees at the nation’s parks from April 17 to 25. Now the Interior Department has announced more free admission days to round out the balance of the year. Here’s the schedule:
June 5 and 6
August 14 and 15
September 25 (Public Lands Day)
November 11 (Veterans Day)
The admission applies not only to all national parks, but also all national wildlife refuges, and many areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
For more information about these free admission days, visit these web sites: National parks at  , national wildlife refuges at  , Bureau of Land Management areas at

Hurray for the Volunteers!
"Arizona's first state park will not be closed as planned thanks to efforts by local citizens, who have so far raised $34,000 and agreed to staff Tubac Presidio State Park with volunteers."
Workamping, Anyone?
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is looking for RVers to serve as campground hosts for the summer at 14 state parks.
"Campground hosts receive a free designated campsite with hookups and a host sign, a host cap and name tag, and a recognition picnic at the end of the season. The requirements to be a campground host are the ability to commit to at least four weekends and pass a criminal background check."
More at:
The headline reads, “Campground Hosts: Volunteers spend summers on government’s dime” at the Camp George Mule Ears spring Verde Bugle. Citing a long-time volunteer in the Prescott National Forest, the article implies that Dave Underwood is getting a smoking deal for free! The article says, “For volunteering to keep an eye on things and make sure everyone is comfortable, Underwood is provided an RV spot, complete with running water, electricity, propane and sewage disposal — all free — from the first of May to the end of October.”
What the article doesn’t say is the value the government gets in exchange for their site. Not only that, not all sites have such amenities. Many lack electricity and propane is often not included either. If the government had to pay an employee to do the same tasks, it would far exceed the value of the site. At even $10 an hour for 40 hours (and many hosts are effectively on call 24/7), they would pay $400/week or $1730/month plus ante up extra for benefits. Is that site worth $1730 a month? Hardly. You could live in a resort with a pool, hot tub and bocce ball for less than that. (See”What is a campsite worth?” to see how value can be figured.)

How much is a campsite worth?  And the Infernal Revenue.
"The ad reads: "Work 20 hours/week in exchange for your site. Extra hours at $6.50/hour."
Working in exchange for a site, or even a free site, is often part of the RV worker’s (or Workamper's) offer. But what are you really paying for that site? Is this a fair amount?
Will you owe income taxes on its value? Answering these questions can help determine if this job will be a moneymaker, or instead, cost you money."
More at:

Sparky and Glass Frenzy!
Was it the right thing to return Sparky, my temporary foster dog, back to my SPCA boss?  I could have kept him and adopted him.  He loved me very much, I could tell.

When I woke up this morning, I knew I had done the right thing.  I always said I wouldn't adopt another animal, as it would outlive me, and then it would be looking for another forever home at an older age.  Chihuahuas are known for their longevity.  I do miss Sparky, but I am glad he isn't here any more.  I don't think I could ever replace my well behaved little Levi.  He was perfect.

This morning, I didn't have to quickly turn on coffee maker, grab a cordless phone, don a robe to put over my night clothes, a quick lick with a hairbrush, and take him outside in the drizzle.  As he wouldn't go outside by himself, I had to wait for him to wander around finding the right spot to do his thing, while I waited to do mine, with my legs crossed.  Then he would roll in the dirt and rub it off on my sheets and bedspread when he came back in the house!

So this morning, all I had to do was turn on coffee maker, open screen porch patio door, and let the foster cats saunter out of the grooming room to go their screen porch.  Bobcat was already waiting in the living room, at that door, first time in two weeks.  They looked furtively around to make sure Sparky wasn't here, but they were all much more relaxed. They took care of themselves while I went to the bathroom, drank my coffee, read emails, and got washed and dressed.

Then came the work!  First I stripped my bed, and washed everything, including my bedspread.  Then I went all around the house cleaning the doggie snout marks off 2 mirrored sliding glass closet doors, and 2 patio doors, and the 15 glass pane door to dog room.

When I worked for a solar window film company, they always used Scott paper towels, as they didn't leave lint, which could leave a little bubble under the solar film.  I couldn't find any when I needed them, so I got three different kinds. 
Now, the paper towel companies don't seem to want repeat business, as they don't mark the core with their brand name. So I got a marker and wrote around the inside of the core which brand they were, so I will know which ones work best.

Of course one thing leads to another, so that included my cleaning other mirrors, windows, and TV screens.

So my arms and wrist are shot for today.

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