Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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Know When to Fold 'em
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
 Know When to Fold 'em
 Know When to Fold 'em
 Know When to Fold 'em
 Know When to Fold 'em
 Know When to Fold 'em
 Know When to Fold 'em

My cell phone won’t stay charged up; when it rings it’s almost always a telemarketer, and now it won’t shut off. I have no interest in being a screen slave, like all these crazies that have it in front of their faces as they walk, or now I see them even riding a bicycle as they stare at the screen.   I don’t need it. It’s nutty and off it goes!
I’m on my way to Stock Island for a change of venue, especially since I stretched the rules to outside the limits by charging my truck battery at an electrical outlet at the Truman Annex Water Front in Key West during this third week of January 2014. I should not have done it; the parking cop saw what I was doing, and could’ve written me a ticket, but he just said leave, and I did. A couple days ago I thought, I probably should start the truck engine to charge the battery since some stuff in the nest (slide-in camper on my pickem up truck) draws current from it and it’s been idle for a couple days over the long President’s Day Weekend, so I tried.  The battery was dead. My positive battery cable has refused to stay tightened, so the alternator/generator can keep it sufficiently charged when the engine is running; so the battery ran down several times. The battery I use to jump start the truck also had enough and would not do that anymore.  Not good. I had two rundown batteries.  Not a crisis, though. I have two marine deep cell batteries that my solar panels charge with reddy kilowatts collected from the sunshine. The smaller one pinch hit and started the truck engine with no problem.  Then I saw those outlets where I could plug in my battery charger and charge up the rundown batteries. That was just too tempting, so I did. I got one charged yesterday and was doing the same today, but the guy was doing his job and made me pull the plug. He was reasonable. He’s a good guy; most people are. He could have written me a ticket, but he didn’t. There is also a sign there that clearly says no RV parking. Is my slide-in camper on a pickup truck an RV (Recreational Vehicle)?  What’s the legal definition of an RV? I don’t know, but he said leave, I was in the wrong, so out I went. I know when enough is enough and to fold my cards. On my way I stopped in a shopping area to buy groceries, trade in my empty propane tank that powers my refrigerator, and get a supply of ACBS. Well, there was a V-cell phone store right there, too. I may as well go in and see if they can help the insane phone situation. I tell its story. The guy examines the battery and says probably it needs a new one. He doesn’t sell batteries, though, but he searches through the ones he has, but can’t find one that matches mine. He suggests I go to the store next door that he says may have one. I do it. They don’t have a battery, but sell the same make and model as my cell phone. It costs $20 including a battery. I paid nearly seven or eight times that for the phone a year and half ago! This is crazy! But buying another phone gets me a new battery and I’ll need another phone eventually. Hopefully the technology or marketing won’t make it obsolete before I need it. 
I check the price of a 20 lb. cylinder of propane at the grocery store, megamart, and the big box hardware store. While I’m doing that I check the prices of the ACBs in the nearby stores. One has a 24-pack on sale for $18, but the regular price of an 18-pack is $12. That’s a better deal than the sale price of a 24-pack! Crazy again! The grocery store’s propane was $2 less than the others. That two dollars is 2 dollars I can spend somewhere else!
Such is life. Lots of crazy stuff, but you got to roll with the punches and know when to fold ‘em. I’d been parked overnight in the County Court House Parking for weeks. It’s worked very well for me, but I’ve rode that horse as far as it’ll go. Time to move on!
Of course I have a place to escape to and it’s close by. Stock Island, the island across the bridge from Key West, is it. I can park for free near the Hog Fish Grill on a private street, where I’ve never been questioned. They have the best HH in the Keys with $1.34 16oz. PBRs and many $5 seafood specials. There’s also several other good restaurants including the Rusty Anchor, which has the best steamed shrimp I’ve ever tasted. Plus, there’s lots of places to ride my bike and many places to launch my kayak.
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