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The Expanse Renewed for Another Season

The Crew of the Roci

Say what?

If you’re not a fan of the SyFy channel TV series The Expanse, bear with.

But for fans of the show . . . Amazon — in fact Jeff Bezos himself — announced tonight that there will be a 4th season of this futuristic television series. Two seasons of the show (and a 3rd in progress) have aired on the SyFy channel.


However, SyFy cancelled the series about two weeks ago. But fans of the show (like yours truly), signed petitions, wrote letters, flew airplane banners over Amazonsent a miniature spaceship into space , and George R. R. Martin in an attempt to save the show.

It worked!

What fans love about the series is its excellent writing. The show is based on a series of novels by James S. A. Corey. In addition, the ensemble cast brings the books to life with the most credible dialogue I’ve listened to in years.

If you’re not a fan, give it a try. Watch episodes on SyFy or iTunes. Here’s a fan-made trailer for The Expanse . . .

Product Review — Hughes Power WatchDog

The Box

At first blush, Hughes’ Power WatchDog looks like a great way to remotely monitor your RV’s power pedestal hookup.


In fact, the Power WatchDog smartphone app (iPhone in my case) monitors the voltage and amperage on both power legs (L1 and L2) plus the total watts your RV is using. Very slick.

Smartphone App

However, there’s a catch: Since the Power WatchDog uses Blue Tooth (and not WiFi), its range is limited — about 200 feet maximum. If you go any further (or even sometimes when you’re in range), you’ll get this smartphone app notification:


FYI — I received this message so often that I turned off the sound for Power WatchDog notifications . . . which essentially nullified any protection the device offered.

The 200-foot maximum range caught me by surprise. I knew the Hughes device used Blue Tooth networking, but I thought there might be a way to connect it to the Internet via WiFi. Because, for me, with a range of only a few hundred feet, the Power WatchDog is useless.

Consider: while the Power WatchDog will alert you if it finds an electrical error (see NOTE below), it can only tell you that there is a problem. It can’t disconnect your RV from the power source like a more expensive Surge Guard (now Southwire) or Progressive Industries unit both of which offer remote displays to monitor power conditions:

Surge Guard (Southwire) Remote Display


Progressive Unit with Remote Display

However, at $144 for the 50A Hughes Power WatchDog model, it ain’t cheap. Instead, I would suggest the Hughes $15 voltage meter :

It works

NOTE: Like previous Hughes documentation I’ve read, the Power WatchDog’s 1-page manual (PDF) is short on details. It doesn’t tell you what electrical errors will trigger a smartphone notification.

New Window Installation

Out with the Old

We ordered a new side window about a month ago because our current sliding window refused to slide. We tried everything to make it move — silicone spray, powder spray, muscles . . . but it took two hands to slide the window open a few inches. Enough was enough.

The New Window

The replacement window from Newmar cost about $500 which included shipping. The replacement window came from Hehr who originally charged us over $600 until Newmar stepped in and lowered the cost back to $500. Kudos Newmar!

Removing the old window was fairly easy. Unscrew about 15 screws from the inside frame and push. The window should have had butyl tape caulk holding it in place, but there was none. Apparently, when this window was removed for our Residential Refrigerator Upgrade a few years ago, the fridge installers (Master Tech RV) failed to replace the butyl tape.

Putting the new window in required some brute force as Tom had to really push the window in place as the window was nearly an exact fit — no wiggle room . . .

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Splendor in the Grass





We gave Flirt a shearing for Summer. She should be more comfortable, but, alas, Flirt has lost some of her super powers.

Sabrina Lake & South Lake Day Trip

Sabrina & South Lakes Jeep Trip

We went to Lake Sabrina (July 2015) and South Lake (July 2015).

Today we repeated the trip. In 2015 the area was in the midst of a severe drought, but since then there has had much more rain and snow.

Plus, it was much cooler in the mountains . . .






Before & After (click to enlarge)