Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

In This Post:

What’s New With Us: Vicki’s Birthday - Our Motorhome

Brief Article: Losing A Wallet

Vicki’s Favorite Recipes: Cucumber Dill Salad


What’s New With Us:

Vicki’s birthday was August 18th. But she managed to stretch the celebration over a full week. One evening our son Pat and his son, Daniel, invited us to their house for a birthday dinner, cake and ice cream. On another night our son Sean and his family took us out to dinner at Don Jose’s and followed it up with cupcakes and ice cream. Then Vicki’s dad took us to a restaurant for a birthday dinner. Add to that all the phone calls, cards and e-mails and Vicki was a happy person.

Our motorhome is almost 12 years old. As some of you know, for the past few years we have been slowly but surely refurbishing and upgrading it. A cabinet has been installed under the dash, sliding shelves installed in the kitchen cabinets, drawers built under the couch, and a head-whacking TV cabinet replaced with a shallower cabinet and a new flat-screen television.

Recently, we took a hard look at the motorhome’s exterior. Twelve years of sunlight had oxidized the cream colored gelcoat into a chalk-white surface. 200,000 miles and a number of attack trees had inflicted more than a few battle scars on the fiberglass skin. A sudden encounter with a roll of carpet on the highway and, later, a box of plumbing materials falling out of a truck, put cracks in the Lexan plastic shield that protected the front of the rig. And, during our most recent trip to Alaska, a piece of a wheel well was damaged when the edge of a rain-soaked road collapsed under the weight of our right-rear tires. Our motorhome looked like it had “been there, done that” and then some.

“How much to repair and paint the whole rig?” we asked. “About $17,000.00, maybe more.” was the reply. We were talking to Ron Campbell, the owner of Orange Coast Auto Body and RV in Fountain Valley, CA. Then Ron suggested an alternative. He would remove the front shield, fill and paint the resulting holes, repair and paint the wheel-well damage, spot-paint where needed, buff the oxidation away and then wax and polish the entire rig. For “only” a few thousand dollars.

We had asked professional detailers in the past if they could remove the oxidation and restore the cream-colored gloss. They said it couldn’t be done. “Leave it for a couple of days and I’ll demonstrate what we can do on the engine access door on the back wall of the motorhome”. We did. He did. We saw. He got the job. A week later the entire motorhome looked like new. The photo shows the new mirror-like surface.

Next project is the installation of a solar system. In a couple of weeks we will go to AMsolar in Springfield, Oregon. Our friends and solar gurus, Greg and Deb Holder, will do the installation. Look for a detailed description in this “Blog” and in a future Highways magazine column.

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Losing A Wallet
by Joe and Vicki Kieva

Do you know what to do if your wallet is lost or stolen? Who would you notify? How would you get along until the contents were replaced?

Take a look at the contents of your wallet. In addition to those cute pictures of your kids and grandkids you'll probably find cash, credit cards, driver’s license, Social Security card, health insurance card, library card, discount cards, membership cards, telephone calling card, and important phone numbers. The contents of your wallet provide you with the information you need to accomplish everyday tasks.

The contents of your wallet can also provide a thief with all the information they need to steal your identity, run up bills in your name and destroy your credit.

You can minimize or even prevent this kind of damage by preparing a list of the contents of your wallet and the phone numbers to call if your wallet is lost or stolen.

First, weed out and update the contents of your wallet. Get rid of those expired cards, old receipts and out-of-date discount coupons. And, think about it, is there any reason for you to carry your Social Security card in your wallet?

Next, place the contents of your wallet on a copying machine and make two copies of each side of your cards and documents. The front of your credit cards provide the account number. The back has an 800 number to report the card lost or stolen. The phone numbers may not be legible on the photocopy, so make a notation of them on the copies with a pen. While you are at it, make a note on the photocopies of the phone numbers you should call to replace each of the other documents (driver's license, membership cards, etc.).

The photocopies should also include the telephone numbers of the three national credit reporting organizations:

Equifax (800) 525-6285
Experian (TRW) (800)
Trans Union (800) 680-7289
and the Social Security Administration's fraud line (800) 269-0271

Put one of the copies in a secure place at home and the other in a safe place in your RV. You don't want the information on the photocopies to get into the wrong hands. Now, if you do lose your wallet, you can quickly cancel its contents, protect your credit, and arrange replacements by referring to the photocopy. You will also have a duplicate of any important papers or lists you carry in your wallet.

If your wallet does get lost or stolen, here's what you want to do:

Notify the credit card companies to cancel your credit cards. This should prevent anyone from using them.

Notify the three national credit reporting organizations to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. That way, any business that checks your credit knows they have to contact you by telephone before they authorize new credit or open new accounts in your name.
Notify the Social Security Administration to prevent identification fraud.

File a police report in the jurisdiction where the wallet was lost or stolen. Not only is it the first step in an investigation, it proves diligence on your part to the credit providers.

By the way, when you cancel the credit cards in your wallet you are also canceling those same credit cards in your spouse’s wallet. Your credit card company will quickly issue you new cards and send them to your home address. That’s fine if you are at home. But, what if you are miles from home on an RVing vacation trip? Will you be able to continue, even temporarily, without your credit cards?

Here's a thought. Most couples have both a MasterCard and a Visa card. Have one spouse carry the MasterCard but not the Visa card, and the other spouse carry the Visa card but not the MasterCard. If you have to cancel the credit cards in one wallet, you can continue to use the still-valid cards in the other wallet. If this is not convenient, or you do not have a travel companion, perhaps you can stash a backup credit card (that neither spouse carries) in your RV.

Hopefully, you won't need that precautionary list. But, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you'll be prepared.

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Vicki's Favorite Recipes

Cucumber with Dill Salad (Quick and Easy)
(From Vicki's book "My RV Kitchen and Favorite Recipes")

This is a pleasant change from the usual lettuce salad.

2 medium cucumbers, sliced about 1/8" thick
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh dill, snipped
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1. Place cucumber slices in a colander over a plate; sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand for 15 minutes stirring once. Rinse and drain well.

2. In a large bowl, combine the dill, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Add cucumbers and toss to coat.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.

Cucumber slices soaked in salted ice water for 30 minutes will make them extra crisp. After crisping, drain the soak water and rinse the cukes.

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