The final night of entertainment was tonight and it was very enjoyable. It was a series of musicals walking us through the 20th century big band era. It was well done but sadly ended in the mid fifties. I guess we didn't contract for the second half of the century!
The rally (GNR) has gone very smoothly. It was a bit of a rough start with some very cool weather, but then on Tuesday, it straightened up and the temperatures have been fantastic since. It's been nice sleeping and sitting in a seminar in a tent has not been uncomfortable (most of the time). Best of all, there has been no rain.
Going backwards, my second seminar presentation (Boondocking) was this morning in a tent that only had 120 chairs, but Sandy counted 160 folks crammed in with people standing all around. Needless to say that even though we started it at 9 AM, it seemed to be just a bit warm for me. I guess that there were so many people standing in the tent openings (sides and rear) that very little air was moving. Of course, there was no real breeze outside either.
Before we started, I briefly visited with a couple and noticed that they had a small dog in a papoose like bag hanging on the side of the chair. Pets are not allowed in the seminars, but I decided to not mention it or make an issue of it. However, about 30 seconds after I started, the hound opened up with some sharp barking. (Apparently from a dog outside of the tent.) Anyway, I abruptly asked the owner to remove the dog and not come back. And while I was at it, I also warned the cell phone users that if they left their cell phones on and got a call, they also were asked to leave and not come back. I was told after the seminar was over by several people that it was obvious that many of the folks wanted to give me a round of applause for taking a firm stand on the issues. It is the rally policy that cell phones are to be turned off when in a seminar, but many folks ignore the request, which really irritates me. I guess I got my two cents in!
This noon, we had the 365 club (full timers) annual meeting and luncheon. Thanks to the caterer providing a little extra, I was able to have a seconds on the main course and later on the cheese cake desert. Did the lasagna taste good, as did the two pieces of cheese cake. Of course, the real desert was that the local insurance company was providing free ice cream at 2 PM, so naturally we had to make a quick exit from the lunch (everyone did) and made sure we didn't miss out on the ice cream. We were on time and enjoyed a serving of ice cream plus some extra. (Tonight I noticed that the belt has slipped a notch.) Oh, the price of feasting once in a while!
Of course, I've been feasting every morning after my usual oatmeal breakfast. Our usual fair is to have some type of bread, such as toast, muffin, half a bagel or similar after the oatmeal. Here at GNR, Winnebago provides morning coffee and a bread from 7 to 9 AM. We've had muffins, bagels, or rolls each morning. Needless to say, the price is right, I have the time and there seems to be plenty of food, so I've indulged in one or two extras. They do taste good. So after tomorrow morning, I'll be back restricted rations again. (Isn't it an old farmers saying to "Make hay while the sun shines?", so I'm eating while available.)
I'm not sure what is going on, as Sandy wanted to tour the new models on display yesterday. I thought we were very happy with what we have and after seeing the new units, I'm more convinced than ever that we'll stick with what we have. Besides, we have the bugs all worked out I think. The only advantage of a new unit would be the HD digital LCD TV.
Yesterday I went on a factory tour of the chassis weld and assembly area. The tour leader was an engineer so I took advantage of our mutual profession and asked a few more questions. All told, Winnebago must have about 20 plus new models each year and they custom build a model of each one in their model shop. With that number of models, he said that models are being built over the entire year and brought out for showing here at GNR. When we toured the production line, everything was still 2009 models. It was also very apparent that production is really down from two years ago. The amount of vacant space on the line was unreal. He also said that it takes 17 days to build a new unit, that is the time from when an order is entered into the system until production drives the unit over to the delivery lot. As a comparison, when we ordered our unit 3 years ago, we had to wait over 65 days for delivery.
Tomorrow is the last day of the rally. GNR provides us with rolls and coffee from 7 to 9 and then it is closing ceremonies and retirement of the flags. A few folks have already left and most will depart tomorrow. However, parking is free on the grounds until Monday noon, or three extra days. It does make a difference when the host company is also owner of the rally grounds.
Tomorrow, to Williamsburg, IA to see family (mother) and friends, plus check out the crops.