My schedule has evolved around our RV lifestyle and writing about it
My schedule has revolved around our RV lifestyle and preparing a daily article relating to the RV lifestyle. And now, here I am with 1,500 posts under my belt.
In the process my hair has gone from brown to gray and my energy level decreased by 30 percent―maybe more―due to my advancing age. No complaints, though.
If I were a race horse I’d be around the final curve, headed to the finish line.
When we began our RV snowbird lifestyle back in 1997, I had no idea that over 25 years later we would still be at it. Amazing!
I cannot express how wonderful the last 25 years have been.
I would love to be around for another 20 years but I’m not counting on it. But I vow that I won’t abandon this amazing online project until I’m no longer able to put intelligible words on a blank page.
Thank you for being such a loyal reader of rvingwithrex.com. I appreciate you very much!
You may not know this but I produce rvingwithrex.com with a staff of only one. Yes, just one! And that would be me. I work seven days a week to get everything done, not because I need to but because I want to. It’s a labor of love!
RVing with Rex is a dream, come true for me. Decades in the making but now being lived out like one giant movie, seen through the wide expanse of our RV windshield as North America rolls on by. We can stop anytime, and explore anywhere. And I share it all with you on this blog.
I have posted 1,500 articles on my website and each year I publish 365 RVing articles, one each day of the year including New Years, Christmas, and my birthday.
The goal then and now is to share our RV lifestyle. I have to admit, I am not very mechanical. This blog is only partially aimed at tinkerers and mechanics. It’s about the RV lifestyle and the great things to see and do out there on the open road—and how to stay safe.
By background, I’m an educator. I love learning and delving into history, and seeing new things, enjoying God’s awesome creation. Taking pictures and using said photos to tell a story. I’ve written for a Western Canadian-based RV magazine and Good Sam blog and annual North America Campground Directory.
Typically, we’re on the road six to seven months a year. We’re not fulltimers. We return to our Alberta home (Go Oilers Go) for the summer.
We also like to attend RV rallies and events. While Alberta directors of the Newmar Kountry Klub we hosted club rallies and caravan tours.
I truly enjoy being immersed in something I love. The blog is a labor of love. It is all my own work. No one tells me what to say or what not to say.
As I said, I love to travel and write about our experiences. It’s in my DNA, I guess.
The RVer in me is upset at all the bad information being published today about RVing by websites, blogs, videos, and on social media.
It’s bad because we have entered the era of writers who write to fill space strictly for money. The more sensational or controversial their story (click bait works great), the more valuable they become to publishers.
Some publishing experts predict that by 2025 more than 90 percent of the content on the Internet will be written using Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s already happening (but not with me).
Keeping my content relevant is increasingly challenging. I do not hire content creators—freelance writers who crank out articles by formula. The best way I can set myself apart from such fluff is to write the most valuable, useful, informative, accurate, educational (and sometimes entertaining) articles available anywhere—written by a real RVer (that would be me!), not pretenders.
We should all be grateful that Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, Henry David Thoreau, and William Shakespeare didn’t aim so low.
And now, along come the robots—inexpensive online services where writers with only minimal talent and subject knowledge can crank out articles all day long. An article that once took a real writer a few hours to write can be written in a few minutes. The results are sometimes accurate but they are very often superficial and just plain wrong. Read my article, Ghost Wright: On the Future of AI and you will see what I mean.
I will NOT post articles written by AI!
My pledge is to provide readers with the very best, most accurate information available anywhere about RVing.
All that said, I hope you are safe and making the best of our challenging times. Be wise. Be careful. Don’t take needless chances. Be kind to others because right now that goes a long way to comforting people who are nervous, scared, or otherwise emotionally hurting over the dramatic upheaval in their lives. Design your life in a way you enjoy your days and you will have a good life.
And thank you for reading.
Be healthy. Be safe. Have fun. Enjoy the RV lifestyle. Keep reading.
Meet Ghost Wright, my new writer. His first article appears below. But before I go on, let me be honest with you (as I always am). Even though Ghost Wright is a fairly capable writer (more on this later), I detest him. I loathe him. Okay, I mean it: I detest and loath Ghost Writer.
Here’s why: Ghost Writer wants to make me and all my writer friends, go the way of the dinosaur. He wants to put us out of business. And he is no friend of yours, either, which you may figure out as you read on.
Ghost Wright is, indeed, a writer (of sorts). He (or “she” or “it”—pick one) writes articles on any subject a writer or publisher requests for a dollar or two (I used the free version) each using artificial intelligence (AI)—10 times faster than a human, maybe 20 times faster. For example, for a story about how to back up an RV, I can write it myself, or “Ghost Wright” can do it in a few minutes for a fraction of the time required to research the topic and write the first draft followed by several revisions.
Ghost Wright only exists in cyberspace. At this very moment, I bet he is writing thousands of articles for publishers, bloggers, advertising agencies, and “content creators”—anyone who needs editorial or advertising copy. I call him Ghost Wright because he/she/it is a ghostwriter on steroids. And, I’ll tell you a little secret. When starting down this AI road, the first task I assigned to my still unnamed “ghost writer” was best name for an AI writing tool using a “friendly tone”. The Blog Post Wizard generated close to a dozen friendly names including Publisho, Scribbly, Write Out Loud, Ghost Write, and Blog Fast. As I kept coming back to Ghost Write the bells chimed and the angels sang sounds of praise. Returning to Earth, Ghost Write seemed the perfect name for my phantom writer. But he doesn’t really have a name because he does not exist in real life.
Ghost Wright at work
To give you an idea of Ghost Wright’s skills, I asked him to write an article with this headline: “Learn how America’s national parks got their names”. Below is Ghost Wright’s lead paragraph exactly as he “wrote” it in minute or two.
“National parks in the United States were created by acts of Congress and named by local people. These names usually reflect the natural characteristics of an area such as a river, mountain range, or gorge. For example, Zion National Park was named after the nearby Zion Canyon in Utah.”
Following this lead paragraph, Ghost Write selected a number of national parks and spit out the origins of each.
“Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The park’s namesake, Ebenezer Bryce, was an early settler in southern Utah who had a large influence on the area’s development. He and his many descendants helped found natural landmarks like Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park (which was also named for one of Bryce’s grandchildren). Since its inception in 1923, this park has been visited by millions of tourists every year; it’s still a popular tourist destination today!
”Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona and established in 1919, is the fifth-largest national park in the United States. Stretching 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, it contains some of the most iconic landscapes on Earth. The Grand Canyon has been around for 4 billion years but only received its official name after being officially recognized as a national park in 1919 by Woodrow Wilson.
The name “Grand Canyon” was given by John Wesley Powell during his second expedition down the Colorado River through what is now known as Marble Canyon on August 27th, 1869 (and yes, he named it before he even knew how big it was). He described it as being “one mile deep”
“Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
The name of the national park comes from the mist that hangs over the mountains. The mist is caused by cold air moving over warm air, a phenomenon known as adiabatic cooling. In this case, it happens when humid air from the Gulf of Mexico moves northward into a region where temperatures are colder than average. The warm and cool air mix together to form clouds which produce fog or mist when they reach ground level.
This happens often in Great Smoky Mountains National Park because there’s plenty of cold weather surrounding it: In wintertime, temperatures can drop below freezing even on sunny days; whereas during summertime they may hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).
“Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
This park is named for the petrified wood that can be found there. Located in the northwest corner of Arizona, it’s a great place to go hiking or camping. The park also offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, including bighorn sheep and black bears.
“Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located in California, a state that’s known for having some of the biggest trees in the country.
The park was named after the Sequoia tree and the Kings River. In fact, it was established only two years after Yellowstone National Park (which you may have heard of before), making it one of America’s first national parks!
A lot has changed since the park was established in 1890: now there are over 400 units across America! But these two remain special because they’re home to some truly massive trees like General Sherman—which is more than 1,000 years old!”
The facts and specifics produced by the current generation of AI models including Ghost Write are not checked or verified. While it may be okay sometimes, at other times it can be absolutely wrong or so wishy-washy you can’t figure out what he’s saying.
Future generations may integrate fact checking but it will be awhile for commercial AI to incorporate this. So every AI-produced piece of writing has to have every fact and statement checked for accuracy, relevance, and context.
Ghost Write is a writing assistant and not a fact-checker. I still need to go through and correct the truthfulness of Ghost Write produced content.
Fact checking of the above article generated by Ghost Write uncovered numerous inconsistencies, incomplete information, and errors.
Several examples follow:
There is no evidence that Zion National Park was named by one of Ebenezer Bryce’s grandchildren. Zion was named by Mormon pioneer, Isaac Behunin in 1863. He thought it so peaceful that he named it Zion, because, as he wrote: “A man can worship God among these great cathedrals as well as he can in any man-made church; this is Zion.”
“Since its inception in 1923” is a misleading statement and only partially correct. In fact, Bryce Canyon became a national monument on June 8, 1923 and on February 25, 1928 Bryce Canyon officially became a national park.
Grand Canyon is NOT the fifth-largest national park; it is the eleventh-largest at 3,021 square miles.
Many species of wildlife can be viewed in Petrified Forest National Park but don’t expect to see either big horn sheep or black bears. Some of the many species of animals found in the park include 16 varieties of lizards and snakes, pronghorn antelope, jackrabbit, bobcat, mule deer, and 258 bird species.
Standing at 275 feet tall and over 36 feet in diameter at the base, Sherman Tree is considerably older than 1,000 years. According to Wikipedia, it is estimated to be around 2,200 to 2,700 years old.
NOTE: This article was NOT written by a real live person. It was 100 percent written using artificial intelligence by a fictional writer I call Ghost Write. A human “content creator” with minimum writing skills and virtually no knowledge of the subject could turn out articles like this all day long, good enough for search engines to interpret as real. Alas, these “content creators” are doing it 24/7 with one purpose: to attract visitors to a website or blog to earn money. I decided from the get-go not to monetize rvingwithrex.com.
You may have seen their work. In articles about RVing, you may notice that something seems wrong. The “writer” uses an RVing term improperly or offers advice that you know is wrong or at least written awkwardly, not like a knowledgeable RVer would write it.
And, to a website publisher’s or blogger’s joy, the articles written using such artificial intelligence are done in a way that pleases Google, so they stand a good chance of ranking high in search results.
My articles at rvingwithrex.com, on the other hand, are thoroughly researched and written for RVers. They may be rated lower because I do not play the game “SEO first, quality of content second.” SEO = Search Engine Optimization, i.e., more traffic to a website or web page from search engines.
I have posted it here to illustrate how easy it is to populate a website or blog with relevant content that attracts readers but generally offers only mediocre advice and information.
So guess what you get when you search a particular subject written by artificial intelligence? You get low quality and often incorrect information.
Again, the above article was written in three minutes using artificial intelligence, not by a human. Would you have known if you read it elsewhere without any notice that it was the product of an algorithm? To read a real article on how national parks got their names, click here.
Okay, now the good news: Ghost Write will NOT write for rvingwithrex.com! Ghost Write will NOT run me outta Dodge! Be assured that all content on this site is researched for accuracy and written by the author.
True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.