2019 Rays Baseball 10 strikeouts Promotion

Well the Kanes 10 strikeouts is back, but they've tightened up the rules. No more stockpiling of the taco meals. 

If the Tampa Bay Rays get 10 or more strikeouts, you'll get 1 FREE taco, chips & a medium fountain drink from a participating TIJUANA FLATS. Participating locations: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Naples, Orlando, Daytona, Gainsville & Ocala Florida Markets. No purchase necessary. 

WITHIN 3 DAYS of the 10 strikeout home game, bring in one of these qualifying items to any Kane's Showroom and get a FREE Tijuana Flats coupon:
Ticket Stub
Seat Locator Receipt (for Flex Pack Cardholders)
- Web voucher from www.KanesStrikeOut.com (printed or on phone)

 IMPORTANT: Limit one coupon per person, per web voucher, per game. For seat locator receipt or ticket stubs, you may receive up to (4) coupons given that all seats are together. You must be 18 years of age & you must redeem your ticket stub/receipt/web voucher at Kane’s within 3 days of the 10 strikeout home game date.  No purchase necessary. Participating Florida locations, see coupon for details.


#Baseball #Kanes #Rays #Free #TijuanaFlats #Freetaco #Tampa #Promotion

Frugal Florida State Fair

 This year the Florida State Fair in Tampa, FL had a bargain day for us frugal folks. It was $2 after 2 pm, plus selected rides were $2 and most food vendors offered an item of their menu for $2. There were $2 cheese curds (from Wisconsin), hotdogs, corn dogs, sautéed mushrooms, lemonade, cheese fries, water, pizza and veggie pita. We still spent over twenty bucks but it was actually nice to just get a sample size of something. Definitely a diet buster day.

I started out back near the Equestrian center to see the Moto Maniac show, and happened by the #FairClysdales. These beautiful horses are having a nice time in Florida where amazingly it was an 80F day. And Sunny. Too bad for the rest of the nation where weather pretty much is typical winter.
 The ferris wheel
 The Lady Houdini was impressive, she stayed in that tank for 2 minutes unlocking locks and chains and padlocks while submerged in water.
 The Zaji #amazingacrobats was my favorite show, There was lots of activity, skill and fun.
 Plate twirling - not a single plate toppled.
 Amazing to watch 11 people climb on this bike while one dude was riding it.
 The circus has changed over the years, no more dogs, elephants or horses. The only animal act is the camels walking in circles, no riders. Still entertaining show though.
 All these aerial performers do their acts without nets or safety lines. Quite scary.
 The Clydsdales friendly pet, Bud
Night time for the horses, the handlers were taking out all the braids in their manes and tails.
 Bello Nock and his kids performed, includes being shot out a cannon over a running helicopter.

 The beautiful ferris wheel at night, changing colors
Not quite as good as the Minnesota state fair, but worth going to. The Florida state fair really is missing out on sponsorship and local participation. The difference from a Midwest state fair is that there are no give aways of bags and junk. They could add local radio station booths, TV broadcasts, local celebritys, local companies like Publix, Hospitals, Sporting Teams, Tourists destinations, Busch Gardenss, Disney, colleges, local police and sheriff agencies. There is very little corporate involvement, other than the Fl Dept of Ag. There is so much opportunity here.

How to Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Clutter

I know this sounds like a morbid topic, Death Cleaning but it's an important one. Its the process of freeing yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter. This past year our beloved neighbor lady who treated my DH and I like her children, passed away. She had invited us to holiday meals with her family for the past twenty five years and we helped with small tasks around the house like taking out her garbage weekly. She lived a fabulous life and passed away peacefully in an afternoon nap. No pain or financial debt occurred which was a blessing.

However, the pain would come in the death cleaning of her lifetime home. When her husband died eight years ago, some things were given away to family, some things donated or sold second hand, and some things just thrown away. But the majority of their possessions remained in the home until she died.

The process of death cleaning in this particular home took less than 100 days due to the daily diligence of her daughter in law (DIL). The DIL already had experienced the death of her husband eleven years earlier, and performed a death cleaning there to move into a different home. I wasn't very involved in the death cleaning of the neighbors home, but we did help a little. We acquired the outside plants, one of which is the beautiful orchid pictured above, which is blooming now in November.

Seeing the process of the dismantling of a life history is sad. After her death, the family went through the house and tagged items they wanted with postit notes.  The DIL went through every cabinet and drawer and closet and organized like items together. Obvious junk was discarded in the trash. Furniture and clothing was donated or sold in an estate sale. Expensive items, antiques and collectables were sold on Facebook, Craigslist and Ebay by the DIL. I don't know if Charities were involved, but they will take household items and pick them up. Some photo memories were kept and stored with one of the family. I scanned over a hundred photos and shared w flash drive and online cloud account with the family members.  The automobile was over 20 years old and was sold for a small amount. The house had some code violations so it was sold undervalued to an investor.

I just read the book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and it makes me want to do a death cleaning next year. A death cleaning is something you can do many times in your life to help lessen the burden of your death on your family or executor. The guiding question to ask when Death Cleaning, it "Will anyone be happier if I save this"? Even if you think you will live many more years, it is never too soon to be prepared for death. If you are over 60, and don't live near family or grandkids, it is time for a death cleaning.

Here is a list of things you can do to help others deal with your demise after your death:
  1. Create a document with a listing or flowchart of all your finances. Where do you have checking accounts, savings accounts, IRA's, savings bonds, investments, etc. Include a list of all your credit cards and which ones are used to autopay bills (cell phone, television, electric, utilities, car payment, Netflix, etc). List your employer ID, your 401K provider. This is a working document that you need to keep updated for the rest of your life. I suggest using Microsoft Excel and make it a spreadsheet.
  2. Create a document with all your online accounts, your email signon and the password. At least do this for all accounts that have anything to do with money or subscriptions.  Include a list of all your email addresses, social media accounts, banking and vendors that have your credit cards. This also is a working document you need to keep updated. This one is helpful to keep on the cloud.
  3. Create a Will or Trust, and Medical Directive, and designate a Power of Attorney. List your life insurance policies here too. Keep these where they can be found upon disabling injury, illness or death. Scan this to the cloud, but keep originals in a desk drawer, not locked up.
  4. Designate a beneficiary for all your investments and note it on your finance document. These will not have to go through probate after your death. You can do this online for most accounts.
  5. If you have joint finances with a partner, be sure they know where to start with closing accounts and gathering documents. Show them your finance and online account documents and ask if they understand it. If they are not able to operate a computer, agree on a friend or relative who can help with this.
  6. Start with items stored in the closets, basement, garage, sheds, etc. Tell friends and family you're cleaning and getting rid of clutter in case they want anything you have. Even if you aren't ready to get rid of something now, you can tag it for them to get after you die.
  7. Make a list of your personal items that have value or you know someone who would appreciate having them. If the item is in a drawer or box, create a tag and write "For XX upon my death" and affix it to the item. You could also take a picture of the item and assemble a document for item distribution upon your death. This could be an appendix to your Will.
  8. If you have items that you haven't used in a couple of years, or since you last moved, or don't fit now - consider gifting, donating or selling them now. Why leave them for later when you're pretty sure you won't use them the rest of your life now. If you won't get rid of it now, and the item has value - at least take a nice photo of it to use in an ad to sell the item in the future.
  9. If you have photograph prints, these can take a long time to determine what to do. I would suggest scanning the best memories to your cloud storage if you have a scanner. If not send them to the family members who would appreciate them. If they are of your vacation memories and you can't scan to cloud, your best option is to do nothing or trash now. They will get trashed upon your death.
  10. If you never have guests eat at your home, and its just you and your partner - you can clean out your kitchen and pantry. Get rid of expired foods or items you no longer consume. You only need less than a dozen each of bowls, dishes, and coffee cups. Get rid of the fancy China set. Get rid of the gravy bowl. Get rid of the frying pans you no longer use that the nonstick is worn off anyway. Get rid of the roaster, crockpot, blender you never use.
  11. If you have a pet, make plans for its care upon your death. Make a box where you keep all the pets vet information, medications, toys, personal care items and leashes and collars. In this box, have a document that outlines what to do with the pet upon your death.

What Possibly Could Go Wrong? Our Toyota Sienna Service Experience

It started when I noticed that small piece of plastic sticking out of the front windshield of the Sienna van. We took a picture of it. I said to DH we can just fix it with some sugru. He said no, I want Toyota to fix it. This shouldn’t happen to a new van. I didn’t want to deal with the drama of going to the car dealer for something so incidental. It’s not like you can just drive in and show them the defect and they say, oh we have that part, let me pop it in place. No, that would be too simple. It’s going to involve calling and not being able to reach anyone who can actually do anything.

So, DH calls to find out what to do. Courtesy Toyota tells us to bring in the van for a look see. He asks can I email you a picture to avoid that trip to the dealer? No, they reply – a certified technician needs to inspect it to determine if it’s a warranty defect. So, we make an appointment on Saturday afternoon when we were kind of in the area on our way to another event. We stop by at our appt time, and the service advisor who we had an appt with has already gone for the day. Strike 1. The nice guy Kevin, helped us anyway and just took a picture of the defect, filled out a service request form and we were on our way in 5 minutes. That met my expectations. Ball 1. The dude said he didn’t know if they had the part, but if they had to order it in, it could be there in two or three days.

It’s Monday morning and DH gets a call from the original Service Advisor, Angie. She can’t find our van key. DH is confused. We have the van, we’re waiting to hear when part is in. Oh, She says, we  have the part. Ball 2. DH is like okay, lets do this. Make it tomorrow Tuesday. He talks me into foregoing my biking to work, so I have to drive the van to work and drop it off at lunch at the dealer. Get a shuttle ride back to work, then uber back to dealer to pick up van at the end of workday. Quite the hassle if you ask me, when I could have fixed it with a pinch of sugru.

Tuesday I drive the van, for about the 5th time since we’ve had its since January 2018. I just don’t drive much. Actually, I prefer the old Camry – don’t have to worry about dinging it up, not that I do. But, I digress. I get to the dealer and drive into the service bay where its crowded with about ten other cars. I get out and nobody approaches me by the van.  So, I go into office and the cashier tells me the service advisor Angie is around but she doesn’t know where, and tells me to just wait by my vehicle and someone will help me. When I get out there again, more people have arrived behind me. The service advisors are buzzing around directing cars in and out, writing on their clipboards and greeting others, including the guy who drove up behind me. But there I stand solitary. Looking around helplessly. Finally, a dude comes up and puts a plastic number hat on the hood of the car. Number 2. Five more minutes go by, cars are leaving the service area. The dude switches out my number to number 1. Goodie, maybe I’m next. Nope, the dude behind me is walking back with a service advisor and is exchanging information and getting his form on his clipboard filled out. I’m starting to get upset now, its been over 10 minutes. I start my yoga breathing to calm down. Breathe deep. Now another advisor is walking up to me, asks how I am. I’m pissy now. I tell him this is pretty unorganized here. Strike 2. He apologizes. Asks how he can help me. I show him the defect and explain that Angie has the part ready to install today, I’m dropping off van for replacement and I need a shuttle ride back to work, and I’ll pick it up after four pm. He’s quick and efficient as he fills out his form on the clipboard, and I tell him to call DH when its ready since that’s the phone number they have already (I don’t want to confuse them with too many different numbers).

Now its been over a half hour since I left work and I’m hating this stupid errand. I tell the cashier I need a shuttle ride five miles back to my office. She says the two drivers are out and there are three people ahead of me. It might be a while. So, now I have to yoga breathe again. I’m not sure if I should just Uber back to work (it will only cost me $1.24 since I have a $10 credit on Uber), but then I have to get back here later to pick up the van. So, I call DH. Tell him I’m at the dealer and waiting for shuttle. He can tell I’m upset. He asked if I talked to Angie. No, I didn’t. But I can see her through the window, she’s at her desk now. DH tells me he wants to talk to her. So, I go in there to her, ask if she’s Angie, she says yes, and I identify my self as Ms. Andrews and the Sienna. She remembered the discussion with DH and then I said "he wants to talk to you", handing her my phone. DH says to Angie “What’s going on there? My wife is upset". Angie assures DH that she has the clipboard and the van will be ready later. Not really sure what else was said, but Angie says to me “Well, we'll just get you a loaner car”. I’m surprised by this, but totally cool with it. So, she hands me back the phone, I tell DH "I’m getting a loaner, gotta go". Grounder, First Base.

I go to the rental car window and wait behind the guy who pulled up behind me and was served first and now see him getting a comp loaner too! Is it because he has a tie on, he got served before me? He didn’t have any expensive car, it was a little one, maybe a Scion or something. Maybe he has a personal relationship with the service advisor and when he pulled up he knew to just his guy hook him up quick. Anyway, it didn’t sit well with me. You know how sometimes, some places a guy gets better service than a girl? I felt the female discrimination factor was slipping in here at this dealer. I dreaded coming back.

Its been at least an hour now, but I drive away in a shitty little Corolla. It was a new car with only a few thousand miles on it, but compared to the van, it was a shitty car. I call DH after getting back to the office and tell him I dread going back. He offers to come to my office after work and switch out the car, and drive the rental to the dealer to pick up the van. I readily agreed.

I’m so relieved to be home after a stressful day with the stupid dealer. DH is not home yet, so I call and he answers; he’s still at the dealer. I ask "What’s happening there?" He is in the middle of a pow wow with the service advisor Angie and two of her managers. The technician fucked up.  And the service advisor fucked up. DH had turned in the rental, got in the van and was about to drive out when he glanced over and noticed the defective piece of plastic was still sticking up on the passenger side. Strike 3. Out.

There were no moving parts, and the van didn’t need a lift or any service that would require a master, genius tech. No. I think they probably put their least experienced guy on the job. The tech replaced the piece on the wrong side of the van. He took off a perfectly good piece of cowling, and replaced it. The bad one – still there.

DH gets out and calls over Angie. He is mad. How did this happen? She looks at the work order to see who did the work. She tracks down the technician and starts talking to him like he screwed up. He glances over at DH and says “I don’t have to listen to this” and walks away. DH tells Angie he needs to speak to her supervisor. She goes into one of the offices and starts talking to two guys, while DH stands outside looking in. He hates when staff people try to explain away problems to their bosses instead of letting him speak directly to the boss. He is mad, but a calm mad. He decided he needed to be heard, so he joined the little trio whether they wanted him to or not. They were in spin control now.

DH says “In case you can’t tell gentlemen, I am livid.” They could tell. “This is not the first screw up at your dealer. This sort of stuff happens every time I come here for service. I learn from past situations, and try to clarify my expectations before bad things happen, but that didn’t help this time. I want you to fix the defect and have your best guy do it. I don’t want to see any damage on my new vehicle from repeated attempts at the repair.” The repair on the driver side was noticeable, there was glue visible. The discussion continued, and they determined they have the parts in stock to replace both sides of the cowl.

Now for the CYA, please give me a five star review show. The managers tried to be all friendly and started throwing perks at DH. We’ll wash the van. We'll detail it. And we'll fill it up with gas. Plus we’ll let you have the loaner overnight, and we’ll deliver the completed vehicle to your wife’s office so you don’t have to come back again. How bout that? Angie says, will that get me a five star review?

Wednesday the van should be ready. DH calls the dealer to confirm the deal – clean it up, fix the defect and deliver it to my office. Supposed to happen before noon, and it does. Pretty anti climatic ending, the driver manages to find the office and park the van. It sparkles in the sun, cleanest its been since we bought it. The molding looks good, both sides. We switch keys, I point to the loaner car. He opens it, but then decides to have a smoke and watch the horses in the pasture a minute, enjoying the beautiful day. Then he's off like a thief in the night, speeding through the parking lot. I hope that's the end of Toyota in my life. At least until the van gets to ten thousand miles. Next year.

Adventure OTS Day 12 At Sea - Golf and Flowrider

Nice day on the decks. Partly cloudy, 24C (72F) with 8 ft seas, 23 mph winds. We had to make some last minute changes to our rental car in Port Canaveral the next day because RCL decided everyone disembarking had to do it by 9am. We were getting off the ship a day early in Port Canaveral, rather than going on to Ft Lauderdale to save ourselves from a 5 hour drive home on Sunday.

After making arrangements we decided to head up to the sports deck and join the mini golf tournament. I didn't do so well, but with practice became better. Scott got a hole in one.

After the mini golf we watched people on the Flowrider, a simulated surf. Mark decided he would try after watching some others, and figuring he might not get another chance. The flowriders are only on bigger ships, and there were no kids on this cruise so it was a good choice.

Mark, Scott & Marie watching the flowrider

Mark getting ready to try it again
Mark really made it look hard

Here's a live video of his first effort

Later in the day we met up with Wes & Karen from Victoria, BC in the Blue Moon during the happy hour.

The concierge had a special performance in the Diamond Lounge of juggling bartenders and special martini drinks. They also had the izumi chefs there to present platters of sushi and special appetizers.

Ended the day at the Quest game held in Studio B.

Well, that's it for our repositioning cruise. We settled up our account, paid our tips in cash to the staff who took care of us and packed up our stuff. We'll be back on another short Thanksgiving cruise for our 26th anniversary at the end of the month.

Adventure OTS Day 11 _ At Sea Skating

Woke up to an overcast day, partly cloudy with chance of showers with cool temps 16C (61F) with winds 35 mph, seas at 8ft.  The ship had a small swagger to it, or maybe that just me walking the hallways as if I'd been drinking already.  Nothing too bad, just a subtle shimmy like riding on a train.  

Breakfast in the windjammer, one of the servers Funjei.

We were invited to a backstage tour of the skating Studio B. It was pretty unorganized but what else did we have to do? Packing? We did get to see the mini Zamboni they use to prepare the ice.

The skaters have to buy their own skates at $1200 for the boots, and the blades are another $300.

We decided to try our own ice skating and managed to have fun and not kill ourselves, Scott and I didn't even fall. We pretty much had the rink to ourselves. Mark on the other hand was another story.

Dinner again, we had such a great time with these people.
Production Showtime was "Can't Stop the Rock" staring the singers and dancers.
Distance traveled 2,446 nm

Adventure OTS cruise, Boston, Massachusetts Day 10

Today our port of call was Boston, MA from 7am to 4:30 pm. It was mostly sunny, 14C (57F) with 25 mph winds. We were biking to Quincy Market area and going on a duck boat tour of the city. The duck boat cost $40 each.

 The Cheers bar in the TV show.
 A government building

 They asked if anyone wanted to drive the duck boat in the Charles River and of course Scott did.
 I decided I should drive too, when would I ever get the chance again?

A really old church. We toured all over the city for an hour - Beacon Hill, the Aquarium, Quincy Market, Granary Burying Ground, Boston Common, MIT, MOSI, and more.
Kilted Colin was a street performer in Quincy Market, he juggled and rode the unicycle while playing the bagpipes. Right at noon he wrapped up and another performer moved in. It is expensive to get permits to perform there, but they must do alright with the tips.

The Granary Burying Ground where many historical figures are buried including Sam Adams. Boston has many historical sites they have preserved in the city, they can be toured on foot by following the Freedom Trail.
 The city of Boston has great roads for bikers with marked lanes on the inside of parked cars. They were painting the bike lane green they day we were there. The drivers in the city are mean though. Boston does have a share bike program called Blue Bikes, they are $10 for unlimited 24 hour use for 2 hour periods. Use the app to check in and out. We'll do that next time.
After biking on our way back to the ship, we ran into our friends Mark and Jan on their way to have lunch. We stopped to join them at Legal Seafood on the water near the ship. They had spent the day with friends who live in Boston.
 Sailaway was interesting because we were tucked in a port and needed to back out quite a distance. It was definitely one of the trickier moves by the Captain. Approaching rain showers in the distance.
 Mark and Marie watching sail away from the Diamond Lounge

Fort Independence on Castle Island, one of a number of forts that protected the city of Boston.
 Kevin Johnson, ventriloquist with Clyde and Matilda was the headliner show for the evening. We remembered him from Summer Nights at Busch Gardens in 2008 and were excited to see him again. We skipped dinner in the MDR so we could see both shows at 7pm and 9pm. We ate in the windjammer which was the only night we did that, but it was really good. Our dinner friends were more fun though.  Anyway, Kevin Johnson did not disappoint.
 There was another event later in the evening, the Love and Marriage Show. It was funny on this cruise, there were no newlyweds, the newest married couple to be found was married 6 years.

This was our last port, so we could pack up our folding bikes now. Still two more days of the cruise.

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