Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction

Tom Week – Ocala to Pine Island

duck not in Ocala

1/18/20 – Last Day in Ocala

We stayed here in Ocala for a week because I was hoping to get a Dr. appointment right away. Didn’t happen. So we had to just hang out in the land of malls for a while. A nice park, but not much for scenery at our spot.

1/19/20 – The Unpronouncable City

We are in Thonotosassa Florida. Even the people who live here disagree on how it’s pronounced. Today was hot, humid and occasionally rainy. Tomorrow is going to be 20 degrees cooler. Winter winter go away.

1/20/20 – Suspect Neighbors

Drug dealers, Trump supporters, people living in school buses and a guy who switches the magnetic signs on his pickup truck a couple times a day. I love this place. The ducks are cool too.

1/21/20 – Go South Old Man

This is the furthest south we’ve been in Florida. This is what I picture when I think of Florida. Tiny shacks of businesses lining the road. Much funkiness. Too bad it’s so very cold.

1/22/20 – Pine Island

When people talk about not being able to find a campground in Florida, what they mean is the southern third of Florida. I just spent 90 minutes finding nothing that didn’t cost over $100 a day. Turned back north and found a $40 spot with WIFI and cable TV.

Called one park that wouldn’t let us in because we have three people. That’s a new one.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 22, 2020

Tom Week – Into The Warmth

gnome is warmth

1/9/20 – Warmth Returns

Today was not cold. Yee Haw! Got to ride my bike for the first time this year. Just ten miles but it’s a start.

1/10/20 – Starke Again

The full moon, the wolf moon, is watching us. It hit 80 degrees today. Back in the real Florida.

Ed Kookie Byrnes is dead and I can’t get the song out of my head.

1/11/20 – Too hot and humid

It’s really all that hot, but the transition from a 30 degree morning two days ago to an 80 degree day with 100% humidity is a bit severe.

Didn’t sleep last night because I was obsessing about my crushes video. This morning I made some changes and I’m happier now.

1/12/20 – Ocala for a Week

Time to find a new doctor. We’ve been here before, but only for a couple days at a time. This time we’ve been put on the other side with the long-timers. No highway noise over here. Because of a tree we have a large lot. Nice.

Stopped at a McDonalds today. I ordered Pat’s fish sandwich, but they were out of fish. So I ordered McNuggets, but they were out of those too. So we went to the next McDonalds. While I was waiting in line I overheard the assistant manager on the phone, “How the hell do you run out of McNuggets?”

1/13/20 – New Doctor

I made an appointment for a new doctor today. Unfortunately, since he’s a good doctor, he doesn’t have an opening till next month. Guess we’ll be wandering around Florida for a while.

1/14/20 – Strava Cheating

I rode ten miles on my bike. The Strava map of my ride looks like a backwards outline of Nevada. The leaderboard shows that I have the 41st best time for the only segment on the ride. The fastest is a guy that did the 2.5 mile segment in 2.5 minutes. Yes, that’s 60 miles per hour, on a bicycle. Apparently cheating is allowed.

1/15/20 – A Tale of Two Goodwills

First, the Ocala Goodwill Supercenter: A very upscale place with aisles of brand new stuff. No good junk.

Second, the Ocala Goodwill Outlet: A big room full of bins. Everything, clothes, books, housewears, all in bins. Nothing really good, at least for me. VERY nice people though.

1/16/20 – Critters

The pond here in the park is full of all kinds of birds and fish.

Did a nice bike ride today. Lots of hills.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 17, 2020

Tom Week – Alabama and Beyond

alabama shack

12/26/19 – Alabama

We’re in Lillian Alabama and nobody in the park got arrested today.

11/27/19 – Biking to Florida

Alabama seems to not like bikes. There are no bike lanes. There aren’t even shoulders on the roads. So I crossed the bridge back to Florida. Sixteen miles of nice wide lanes.

11/28/19 – Baby Yoda is Safe (for now)

Watched the last episode of The Mandalorian. Even if you don’t like science fiction you should watch this episode for the scenes with the biker storm troopers. Hilarious.

Today I finally got around to working on the stuff on my todo list. Turns out that maintaining the todo list takes more time than actually performing the tasks on it.

12/29/19 – Forgotten Travel

Missing a few days of my journal. The new update of the journaling program crashed and wiped out my files.

12/30 /19 – Got my files back

I filled in the blanks above which you never even knew were missing till I told you so why am I even telling you?

Oh yeah, we’re in Biloxi MS.

13/31/19 – Bay St. Louis

We’re spending New Years Eve at a casino in Mississippi. Not too white trash or anything. The casino’s RV park is next to a little waterway full of jumping fish and at least one alligator.

1/1/20 – Happy New Year

Last night I went to the casino for their New Year’s Eve party. Not so much a party as a regular night at a casino with a bunch of extra people. I didn’t last long among the smoke and country music. The highlight of the evening was the men’s room. Beside the sink, right next to the paper towel dispenser, was a biohazard sharps receptacle that was half-full of used needles.

The highlight for today was that I managed to misspell the word intellectual. Irony overload.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 1, 2020

Tom Week – Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach Police

12/18/19 – Panama City Beach

Not Panama City, Panama City Beach, there’s a difference.

Similar to other beaches; Virginia, Myrtle, etc. It seems to be a big spring break location. One of the few places in Florida where camping rates are lower in Winter than Summer. It’s currently very cold but should warm up later in the week.

On the way here we got caught in a passing tornado watch. We pulled over and sat out the storm in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot.

12/23/19 – Star Freakin’ Wars

Saw the new Star Wars movie today. I enjoyed it very much. Sometimes it was like watching a movie in fast forward, but if they slowed down the pace the movie would have been four hours long. The best advice to help enjoy the movie is to not have any expectations.

The most interesting thing was the development of supporting characters which were obvious setups for the next movie. (Yes, there will be more movies.)

12/25/19 – Merry Christmas, You’re under arrest

As I was getting ready to go for a bike ride there were suddenly police cars everywhere. No, they weren’t looking for me. They were after the drug dealer two spaces down. They were here for a couple hours. He eventually came out of his trailer and was cuffed and put in a police car.

Now I feel like I’m really in Florida.


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Tags: ,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: December 25, 2019

Tom Week – Dolphins and Stuff

dolphins are out there

12/5/19 – Dolphins

Yes, dolphins. I was sitting in the Big Yellow Truck watching the water and three dolphins swam by. I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to catch them. Dolphins swim fast. One neighbor says there’s also manatees.

Sitting here we’ve seen all kinds of birds; Hawks, vultures, cranes, pelicans, seagulls and many smaller unidentified birds. This is now my favorite campground ever.

It’s also great for riding. No hills and a wide off-road bike path. Lovely.

12/6/19 – Orlando

Well, we are in Orlando, but we are nowhere near anything in Orlando. We are tucked into the southeast corner as far away from downtown you can get and still be in town.

This is a nice park. Not as nice as the last one, though here we have cable TV.

There is a nice fenced-in dog park. Abigail made some new friends today.

12/7/19 – Hot day in December

Went for a bike ride. Flat and straight.

12/8/19 – Hospitals don’t like me

I was on a bike ride and rode past the VA hospital. As I did my phone made a weird noise. My ride-tracking software had reset. Then it happened again as I passed the children’s hospital. This has never happened before. It happened one more time in front of the county hospital. Weird.

12/9/19 – Lucky Again

A picked today’s RV park based on distance and price. Not looking for anything special. Well, once again we are parked on a river bank. Allegedly there are manatees, but haven’t seen any.

The park is also a marina and there are all kinds of boats, big and small.

We are also across the road from the dog park. Abigail is very happy about that.

12/10/19 – It got hot today.

The guy in the houseboat across the street might have seen a manatee, but it was gone before he could get his camera. Pat saw something moving in the water but isn’t sure what it was.

12/15/19 – Fun Park Names

We stayed two days at Moonshine Acres. Today we are at Ho-Hum RV Park. We are on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico on what is called the Forgotten Coast. We get sunrise and sunset over the water. We are just up the road from Tate’s Hell State Park.

There are warnings about bears and sharks. There are also puffins here. Wikipedia says they don’t come this far south but the Audubon website says they started showing up here in 1988.


old house

Wonderfully spooky house in an otherwise boring neighborhood

Perry police station

The coolest police station I have ever seen. Perry Florida.

high tide

High tide on the Gulf Coast

low tide

Low tide on the Gulf Coast

ho hum rv park

How could we NOT stay here?

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: December 18, 2019


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