Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Holiday

I'm in Kansas City for the Christmas Holiday...  I squeaked the two days of travel in between two storms....  Following the last one but not catching it..  However the roads were still wet as I pulled into KC...

We are to get some snow yet tonight, so I started the Goldwing up and took it to the inspection station to get it inspected so I can transfer it from Arizona to a Kansas registration.  It was 32 outside so multiple coats and pants were the rule...  It wasn't too cold as I stayed under 40 mph..

My hands would have been cold if the ride was any farther....

But hey, I can still ride two wheels...  And no I didn't forget to put the kick stand down....


Retired Rod

And Yes Jana, I'm a black kettle................

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winkelman

We went on last week's ride this week....  And I guess it is just understood that if it is raining, the ride here in Arizona is off... because the roads are soooooo slippery when they are wet...  Say what?



I've never had anyone in the Midwest suggest that the roads are so slippery when they are wet that you should all stay home...  One guy even said he stays home in his car because its just too dangerous to go out on the roads when they are wet...   Our roads are wet in Kansas half of the time.... Just saying..

Well anyway, I found out that the Superior Loop is like I mapped out above...  We went on the   US 60 all the way to Globe..  This is a very scenic road with towering cliffs and rock spires..  It is striking if you haven't been on it before, but the bike guys are blind to its beauty and ride the curvy twisty road at break neck speeds... That equals fun...  The Goldwing folks aren't as guilty of this as the Harley group that overtook us, and seemed indignant and had to pass us at all costs...  They just don't understand that the 6 cylinder engine in those Hondas can pass them in a New York minute..

I was proud of our leader for maintaining 65 and letting them go on by...  We stopped for a few minutes for folks to use the facilities, and then pressed on leaving Globe travelling South on Az 77.  This is mountainous and even more curvy, but we came up on a school bus and poked along behind it..  They were teasing the leader about being so slow on the CB radios..

Eventually we arrived at Winkleman, Az where there is a truck stop with a Mexican ma and pa restaurant...  There were other bike groups there when we arrived and a ladies group that seemed alot like the red hat society, but I didn't see any hats....

So service was sooooooo slooooooow....  But they had lots of chips and the salsa was in squirt bottles like catsup dispensers....  And whooo boy, it was seasoned with Jalapeno peppers and some of the folks thought it was darned hot...  By the way, the ma and pa and their daughter who was the waitress were Hispanic...  Eventually I had a burito that was about as large as a small whale..

The ride back to Superior was on Az 177 and goes past one of the largest copper mines I have seen..  It might not be bigger than the ones in Globe, but it certainly isn't any smaller....  Again it was scenic as we went thru several valleys with more saguaro cactus than I have seen in one place as well.

They seemed to be in a big toot to get back to town, so they never slowed down anywhere all the way home...  These folks seem to be all about the miles traveled rather than the fellowship of the group...  But without them I would have been sitting at home on such a nice day....  163 Miles 10 AM  to 3 PM..

So I am not complaining just reporting the facts as I see them..

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Really cool stuff

Back when I left the house last spring with the Jeep, I left the A/C on...  Forgetting completely that it should be returned to 90 degrees..  Of course it dawned on me as I was driving, but by that time I was most of the way to Holbrook...  I vowed that I would have an internet controlled Thermostat before I left Mesa, again....!

I had to call the home security people and have them go over and reset the stat..  But I had no way of verifying that it was done, or what they had set it to... Nope not going to do that again...

I thought about purchasing a NEST learning thermostat, but it costs $249....  Beyond the cost, I wondered if I wanted to have the stat learning about visits from the security company while I was not here....  It would keep track of the motion of their presence, and try to keep them comfortable.... Nope that's not going to work....

So Honeywell makes a normal programmable thermostat that is controlled over the internet..  Has 4 Temperature times for every day...  And auto switches from heat to cool with another different 28 period group of settings for the cool side as well....  Besides, it was only $150,  at Home Depot..

This whole thing surrounds whether you have a common wire in your cable from the furnace...  Since this house is only two years old, I assumed I would.....  When I was trying to remove the old stat from its base, the whole thing came off of the wall...  It was barely mounded in plastic dry wall anchors... But here is what I had.....


The G wire was green and W was white and Y was yellow and R was red...  But the C for common was that blue wire in the center....  And sure enough the meter measured low voltage between that and the red one...

I took this picture to remember how it was before I removed the old base...  Can't be too careful..  And I did turn off the furnace breaker as well...  It wasn't too long and the new base was wired and fastened into the stud in the wall... No plastic hollow drywall anchors used....

With the wires matching their colors it wasn't long before the whole deal was wired and mounted...  When I flipped the breaker, the stat lit up....  Collective sigh of relief...  and the fan switch started the fan....


Here's the new one after the date and time were set, and its connected to the wifi...  Note the antenna and signal bars in the top right..

You take your computer and search for wifi connections with OS like you were finding a different router...  One will have the name thermostat and some numbers...  You connect to that, and start your browser on the 192.168.1.1 local ip address...  The stat answers you and offers links to all the routers in its view...  You select yours and enter the password...  It signed on and transferred my computer over to that router automatically...  It offered the web site to sign up for an account, verifying the email you enter with a confirmation entry...

And just like that, I was on the internet with the new stat...  I did download the app from the app store on my phone, and entered my newly set up passwords.. And........ I can turn up the heat from my phone.... Wowsers...  Of course I could be in Kansas and turn off the A/C just as easily...

So if your old thermostat has a common wire and you have an internet wifi connection, here's something else you can use that expensive cell phone for while driving in traffic.......

It was a really nice day, so I went after that new stat and some groceries on the motorcycle...  It saves mileage on the Jeep, but I'm fairly certain it will be more expensive putting miles on the three wheeler in the end....

Retired Rod

Friday, December 5, 2014

Washout

Yesterday's motor cycle ride was a washout literally.  I was out on the cycle on Wednesday traveling all the way over to Elliot road and the I 10 interchange...  That's probably 15 city miles over there, but I went on the interstate...

After going to the stores that I selected, I came outside to find it dark and sprinkling...  I thought that since I was in the footprint of the South mountain that traveling East would get me out of the rain...  But it didn't...  Just when I thought it was over, I drove into another patch..

I stayed on the city streets all the way back home to keep out of the tire spray on the interstate...  I stayed relatively dry..  The rain coat feature of my riding jacket was working but even my jeans seemed to not be overly wet...

I reasoned that it would be over by morning.........  Uh, wrong.....  At about 4 AM it began to rain in earnest...   Not a deluge, but coming right down for here in the desert..  I wondered if any of the riders would go on the weekly ride....

Back in Kansas, I would have been denigrated if I had wimped out and not gone or taken the truck...  They go out no mater what the weather might be...  So I wondered if the hard core riders here would  show up anyway....

So I put on my rain liner pants and the coat and headed out to the meet up point.....  I was about 15 minutes early..  And the end of the rain was out to the West of Phoenix.... And it was moving my way..  But I was the only rider that came... I sat there under an acatia tree realizing that Arizona riders are so used to sunny and 100 degrees, that any rain or weather under 60 degrees is considered unrideable...

They don't need to send out abort emails, because everyone knows that we simply don't do that!!

That is the difference in social settings of different parts of the country...  I guess it depends on what you get used to....

I didn't go home... I continued the ride back into the downtown area of Apache Junction...  I didn't see any other motorcycles..  But oddly enough, I passed a lot of bicyclists..  Most of them only had on light rain coats....

It rained well into the afternoon, so had we gone it would have been rainy all day...  Still I was missing my nice motorcycle lunch...

Retired Rod