Thursday, February 7, 2019

RIP - Tioga George

6:34 am - Thursday - February 7th - Winslow, AZ - 19º F, 63% humidity, wind 8 mph out of the southwest......clear today with a forecast high in Winslow of 41º F.  We will not see that high today as we roll our wheels in 3 hours.  The 20+ mph winds have finally abated overnight.

Before I get into Wednesday's shenanigans I wanted to take a few minutes to salute a fellow nomad Tioga George of 'The Adventures of Tioga and George' fame.  George was kind of a pioneer of RV blogging, and utilizing the internet for years using an expensive motorized DataStorm Satellite Dish ($5,000 at the time) to access the internet no matter where he was, and he camped in some pretty remote areas.  As cellphone broadband became better and better he gradually stopped using the DataStorm dish, and relied upon his cellphone hotspot.  I learned a lot about dry camping and boondocking from him.  He also utilized an array of solar panels (again, a sort of pioneer in the day) for his electrical source as his goal was to avoid RV parks at all costs.  He began blogging back in 2003 just after purchasing a used rental Fleetwood Tiogo Class C motorhome.  He had just finished a serious bout with cancer and decided he was not going to live the rest of his life fighting cancer.....he just wanted to live, and if that meant a shorter life so be it.  Well he lived another 15 years cramming probably 30 years of experiences into that time.  I began reading his blog back in 2004, and have read it every single day since then.  His blog provided a major source of monthly income, which he needed as his Social Security check was quite small, and he would averaged 100's of thousands of hits per day.  He was my inspiration for becoming a nomad, and I learned a lot from reading his blog.  Suddenly, about a week ago, his daily blog posts stopped, and I feared the worst, and then Wednesday it was confirmed that he had passed....I think he was 82 or 83.  He never stopped planning, and seeking adventure. At the time of his passing he was in the process of converting a box van to live in as he traveled.  He will be sorely missed by me and thousands of others.  Take some time to read his will be amazed at the wealth of information to be found there.

It was windy, and it was bone chilling cold Wednesday so what to do?  Well, I began working on our taxes a week, or two ago.  Back in my workaday life I, like most adults who own property, and are in business for themselves, itemized.  My Federal 1040 had about 5-6 schedules attached to it every year.  I've always done my own taxes.....well, I did go to H&R Block back in the early 70's to have my taxes done and guess what?  I got audited over $60.  Ever since then I have done my own taxes, and have not been audited even one single time!  At any rate there was just the Federal 1040 each year, and the California 540 form, again with schedules.  It would usually take me parts of two days....usually weekend days, to finalize everything once I had all my W2's and 1099's in hand.  Often there would be one,or two I did not receive by April 15th so I would almost always have to file for a 6 month extension.  I got in the habit of really doing my taxes in early October in advance of the expiration of the 6 month extension on October 15th each year.

Now that I have been retired for 8 years, and no longer own a home, or have a business I no longer have any schedules attached.  I can even use the California 540EZ form which takes about 5 minutes beginning to end as it calculates everything as you plug in the numbers.  What is not the same as my workaday life is we usually work jobs in other states than California.  In fact, in the year 2018 we worked 3 jobs in other states (Arizona, Maine and Kentucky), so I had to file 5 tax returns this year.......

......and there they are above.....whether or not I have income in California, since I still have my domicile address there I must file a return, even though I owe no taxes, and had no withholding in that state.  I wasn't able to finish my work back in January because I did not have any of my W2's.....I had to work off my final pay stubs for each job to get my total income and then await the W2's to be sure I had everything correct.  Well I finally got the last of the W2's a few days ago so Wednesday being my surgical recovery day was a perfect day to stay inside and rest as I was asked to do by my surgeon.  Within a couple of hours I had all the forms completed online, signed, dated, scanned, and all the W2's attached accordingly.  My favorite forms to complete were California and Arizona as they do all the calculations as you plug in the numbers....super fast and easy.  My least favorite ones were Maine and Kentucky.....way too complicated, and way too many pages for someone who is getting all their withholding back.

In the afternoon we watched an English Premier soccer match between Manchester City and Everton, won 1-nil by Manchester City.  It was a very good match, and could easily have ended in a 0-0 tie.

The surgical wound on my right buttock is doing great.....a little bruising, which is to be expected, but not much swelling, or redness, which is good.  Towards the end of the day, after the soccer match, I took a few minutes to move a couple of things around in the trailer, and then we (TLE is the one who actually drives the car into the trailer as I am too big to get out the door in the cramped confines of said trailer) inserted the VW in advance of our departure Thursday morning.  All that is left to do is unplug from the electrical and put our outside step inside the trailer.  Our Jello plan is to be on the road by 9 am up to Flagstaff where is is 6º F as I write.  We'll park at the Mall across the street from Findlay VW so we can drop off the car there to have the new seat belt buckle and air bag module installed.  We'll hang out at the Mall while the work is being done possibly taking in a movie while we wait.  When the car is ready we'll continue our journey down to Camp Verde which is at 4,000' elevation and much warmer where we'll spend a few days before heading down to Mesa, AZ for our annual Newell service.

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. We also were inspired by Tioga George . We never met him but traded e mails a few times. A very kind and gentle man who lived his life his way.RIP George Lehrer.

  2. Agreed George was quite the man. I have posted on his blog regarding the hope that his blog will live forever. His wit and wisdom need to be preserved. I spoke with George with a few days of his death - not sure now as to the exact date of his death as it was not stated.
    I was actually surprised at his passing because he told me he planned to post less frequently! I believe I likely talked with him possibly the day before his passing. It is sad that no association ever acknowledged his tremendous contribution to the RV lifestyle. Their loss. Rest in peace friend George... you are missed.