Space Cadets


Now that we had over 2/3 of the driving done, I was packing up the car in the morning  at a leisurely pace when I noticed that our car didn’t really fit in with the locals:


But we didn’t have time to lollygag too much because we still had all of Tennessee and Alabama  to get through but we did have time for some stops and adventures

Let’s Go to the Space Museum!


So off we go the space museum in Huntsville Alabama which was about 2.5 hours south.

insert more driving here

But first, lunch. We had wanted to go get some soul food at this little hole in the wall, but it was closed, but  we did find farmburger which was really good. As usual, I just had a plain old burger and fries but BW had a burger with all the fixings:


and then once we had our burgers off to the space center we went. But before I share our adventures at the space center  I need to tell a quick story about BW losing stuff.

When we pulled into the parking lot of the space center we decided that BW would be the one to carry wallets/keys/etc so she went to get her laptop bag and use it as a shoulder bag.

Lo and behold, what did she find?


You see, last January just after BW went on the hook for 2 years for a brand new iPhone 7 she called me in a panic at the airport while she was coming home from a conference in Denver.

“Jimmy, somebody stole my iphone!”

I went online and tracked it and we thought it was gone because the tracking showed it went from the airport to some seedy airport bar across the street. I wiped it remotely and we both realized that it was probably gone for good.

As luck would have it, I had her mothers’ older phone on my desk as I was supposed to sell it on eBay and didn’t get around to it yet so I just went to the Verizon store  and had them de-activate the lost model and activate the new one where I met BW at the airport with her brand new old iPhone.

Then. As you can already guess by the photo.. guess what BW found in her bag? Her  thought-to-be stolen iPhone 7! Woo Hoo. (I still have questions about how the phone showed it was at a bar across the street, but whatever.)

This bag I tell you is magic. Last week, BW called me in a panic (notice a theme here?) that when she got to the border to go to Canada and she could not find her nexus card.

Guess what she found the other day in this bag? Yup, the nexus card.

The problem with this bag is that there are too many pockets and BW (obviously by now) keeps on losing stuff in them.

Anyway. Crisis (s) averted. We have her iPhone 7. It’s all good.  At least now we are making payments on a phone we still possess now.

Onward and upwards to

Space Photos!

The space center was actually nicer and more fun than I expected. Lots of interesting stuff to look at and learn about..

after we walked on the moon’s surface and avoided the gift shop attractions (actually, BW bought a mug) and saw what we could see at the center we then drove the remainder of the way to Mobile Alabama.

And finally, we had arrived here in Mobile.


until next time..

Hampton Inn or Bust


Well, she did it.

BW managed to get my sorry rear end off the couch, into the Honda and on our way for week without students or silverados to think about and now that  we have arrived, I must say we are having a very good time. 

Are We There Yet?

Friday morning we were on the road at 8am and started the loooong drive to Alabama. It was only a few hours into it when we decided that stopping for a break might be a good idea, so dear readers I present to you pee stop number 1:


This is where BW got to pet a dog and I was able to stretch my legs for a bit and then back on the road we were with the final destination of the day  being Bowling Green Kentucky for a night at the Hampton Inn. 

But between us and the inn was  lot of driving ahead of us so we just drove and drove and enjoyed the many sights that the great american road trip has to offer us :


and then we finally arrived in Louisville and had some excellent Mexican Food at El Taco Luchador which we would have never have found if it was not for  Yelp.  That app along with Google Maps has pretty much saved our bacon this trip.


After dinner, we hopped back in the car, booked into the hotel and collapsed.

to  be continued…

15" Apple MacBook Pro 2009 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM 250GB MC118LL/A

This used 2009 Apple MacBook Pro sells for about $400 on sale, but if you’re patient you can usually find one for less. This particular model seems to be in pretty good shap and it’s priced out a little more.

Replace the Hard Drive

This particular MacBook Pro comes with 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. The spinner hard drives on these models were fast in their day but you should add a SSD drive for much faster performance. A 250GB replacement SSD shouldn’t cost you more than $100.00 or so.

Add More RAM

This MacBook Pro ships with 4GB, but about $50.00 would get you double that to 8GB and max out the ram you can can use.

Replace the Battery

This is a 2009 MacBook Pro so chances are the battery has seen some use. 2009 MacBook Pro batteries cost about $35.00 for a third party battery

Need a Charger?

Some computers you buy might not come with a charger, but that’s easily remedied with a new charger for the 2009 Macbook Pro and will cost about $20.00

Total 2009 MacBook Pro Upgrade Cost

Assuming you paid $400 for the MacBook Pro the RAM, Battery and SSD upgrades would set you back another $185.00 bringing the total cost for a 2009 MacBook Pro to just under $600.00 for a maxed out model with a fast SSD. If you do need a charger then you are over that price by another $20.00

Shop for 2009 MacBook Pros

Retina 15" Apple MacBook Pro 10.1 A1398 Core i7 2.30GHz 256GB SSD 16GB HDMI

This computer costs about $850 currently and if you were to buy this model you really would not have to do a lot when it comes to upgrades. It already has 16GB of RAM and a fast SSD drive. I guess you could add a larger SSD drive but for my purposes the size is fine.

This is a 2012 computer so at five years old it might be a good ideal to replace the battery  but that should only cost you about $30.00 or so. An extra charger would cost about $150.00 if you need an extra power supply as the battery life on a a 2012 model isn’t as great than with a newer MacBook Pro.

Apple 27" iMac MC813LL/A [Mid 2011] Quad Core 2.7GHz CORE i5 2500S 8GB 256GB SSD

This computer costs about $600.00 (check prices)

Maximum RAM: about $100 for 16GB

Hard Drive Upgrade: Not needed really unless you need more space. I would be fine with this size.

It’s quite possible you could buy this iMac for about $600 and then just use it. If you needed  more ram you could add 16GB for $100 so about $600 or so would get you a very nice iMac with a fast i5 processor and enough ram and a fast SSD already installed