Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Errands, oil change, and a baloon launch

Today was run around and get stuff for the upcoming trips.  I needed a way to hook the air compressor up to the city water system in the motorhome, in order to blow out the water for winter.

At the Johnson County Executive Airport

I went to Lowes and started piecing stuff together, until I had a industrial air chuck male, connected to a hose bib male.  I did it in three pieces, but it took a while to get there.  If I plan to connect the 150 psi air compressor to the water system, I HAVE TO REMEMBER, to turn the pressure way back to 30 psi or so, or risk blowing the pipes up.  That  would not be good.
Then in the middle of the night last night, I awoke with the thought that the utility trailer was not going to plug into the round RV light socket on the back of the motorhome.

I know they make converters for such things, but was really surprised to find the converter to the boat style flat four plug right on the wall, in auto parts
at Wally World.  I bought that quickly!

 The heat begins to rise! 

In the process of all this running around, the scooter turned over 1,000 miles, and that required an oil change.  I already had the one liter bottle of oil from the scooter shop, so in the middle of the afternoon I changed it out.

They all climb in

Changing scooter oil is not a big task, as it is one big bolt on the bottom, and the oil runs out.  Into my big butter tub that I had saved a while back for such things.
They're off

Next you have to pull out a bigger plug that has the oil filter screen in it.  You clean that with a rag, and an air hose.   Thats about all there is to it, except pouring in exactly 800 ml of new oil.

The wind brought them right to me

And as I was out test riding the oil change to see if it was all correct, I found these folks preparing to fly their balloon.  By the time it was inflated, they had attracted many on lookers, and some of us had our cameras out.  With the scooter, I was able to ride right out into the field, and get these shots.

Neat Pattern             

 I really didn't notice the swirl of the pattern until it flew right over me.  It was really kind of cool.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The rest of the radio project!

About every foot there needs to be a wire tie.  Laying on your back on the newly re asphalted street, the top of the frame where the wire loom is fastened to the frame is about 6 inches too far to reach without raising from the pavement.

Well wait a minute, how did we get to the laying under the motorhome part?  I did sort thru the many coax rolls I had in the basement and selected a 100 foot piece that had been used before but still looked new.

I decided that I would go get the motor home and bring it back to the house for this project since I couldn't anticipate what tools I might need.  The neighbors will just have to get over it.

Once back here, I hooked the wire up to the mount on the back ladder and snapped on one of the antennas.  Hooking up the meter, proved that the wire and the antenna were functioning correctly.

Then it was time for the crawling under the center of the rig. I inched my self ever so slowly forward threading the wire thru all the crooks and crannies.  I untangled the mess over and over.

I didn't fit under the rear axle, so I tossed the wire over and crawled out the side.  I went inside and put the slide to the outer most position, and crawled back underneath.  This time there was more room.   I could almost sit up, but the wire loom was on the inside of the frame next to the drive shaft.  I followed it along, placing my wire next to all the others.   I used tie after tie.

Next to the engine, I moved to the outside of the frame to get away from the heat.  The wire is jacketed, and shouldn't be effected, but I went up thru the wheel well just the same, away from the radiator.  The engine is a diesel so there is no spark plug noise to worry about.

I poked the wire thru the fire wall where all the others come into the dash, and put on a connector.

In a few minutes I had a contact with a fellow in Indiana on 40 meters.  Well I guess that means its going to work!  But it was already 5 PM, where did this day go.

I drove the rig back to storage, and returned with the car.  That's when I noticed that crawling on the asphalt street, under a motor home all afternoon, will make you a tad sore.

Grandma had me move the rig about 4:30, since she was taking Delaney back to her house.  Ben and Danielle and the older kids were back, and it was time to return our borrowed grand daughter.  She is a full time job, because she never runs out of steam.  But we sure do!

Retired Rod

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big mess in the garage.

I spent the day cleaning the garage out.  Since I couldn't find two of my antennas that I knew were here somewhere. When I started going thru stuff, the day kind of just went away.

I did find the antennas, as they were right under my nose.  But I couldn't see them for all the other stuff.  And the wire I was looking for was in a tub right on my bench.  Oh my!  Bunches of other stuff was piled on top of wire.

I never did go back out to the RV, since it warmed up to a balmy 87 degrees, I went and rode the scooter.  It was almost too warm, but it won't be long and we will be headed for the freezer.  So I'll get all the scooter time I can for now.

The grand daughter is still here again tonight, so we are busy reading books and working on learning about training pants.  Three is such a responsible age, you have to learn all the stuff of life, like dressing yourself.

Grandma Loyce loves this stuff, I'm a little slower at it.

Tomorrow will be another day to get after the radio in the rig.  We plan to leave for Des Moines on Thursday.  Friday we have to be in Prairie Du Chien for the wedding on Saturday.  We will be staying in a motel up there, so the motorhome will stay in Des Moines.  These plans are not set in too much concrete, but should be about how it plays out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

University of Iowa Football / Another radio project

I am ecstatic tonight!!!!!  My school, The University of Iowa beat Penn State again this year in football.  They were rated number 5, and we were not rated in the top twenty five.  We stopped them from going for a national championship last year, and I was sure they would extract large amounts of revenge this year as the game was in Happy Valley, PA.

I know not all of you are football fans, and won't share my love for the school of my graduation, but for this week, I am overjoyed.  Lets hope coach Joe Paterno can continue his coaching career and has another shot at the Hawkeyes next year.  He's 84 for those that are not up on these things.

Beyond that, we had another calm day here with our grand daughter  and I rode more motor scooter out searching for rear dual tire valve extenders.  I found some but they were the cheaper rubber kind that are not reinforced with stainless webbing.  I give up, and will order from the internet.

This afternoon was another electronics job, as I am assembling a HF station to go in the rig.  I have an older FT 900 Yaesu radio, and the antenna parts on hand to do the job.  Since the antenna is over eight feet long, it will only be mounted when the rig is parked.

Late in the aftenoon, I headed over to storage once again and mounted the antenna bracket on the roof ladder, at the very top.  I thought the wire was in the locker compartments under the floor, but was not able to find it.  Tomorrow I will have to decide which wire I will use from the inventory on hand here at the house.

So yet another communication mode will be added to the rig for the winter.  This is called HF for high frequency. Two meters is Vhf for very high frequency, and Uhf is Ultra high frequency.  Way back in the day, low frequency was used for ship to shore, and was under 500 kilocycles.  Mid band was what is now AM radio, from 500 kc to about 2 megacycles.

So high frequency was considered high in the 1920's, and went up to 30 megacycles.  Oh by the way the cycle was renamed the Hertz in honor of Mr Hertz that discovered all this stuff.   Our modern FM radio is between 88 and 108 mhz in the VHF band.  Vhf is from 30 to about 300 mhz.  Uhf goes from 300 to about a gigahz.  That's a thousand million cycles.  After that its called microwave.  Clear as mud?

Anyway, the HF is really a old fashoned mode on the lower frequencies that our grandfathers used, but it goes a really long way.  We also do the morse code on these bands.  Though it is no longer required to get a license.

I will probably leave the radio loose, and on the floor under the driver's seat, since it is too complicated to run while driving.

So I didn't get this project finished today but tomorrow is another day

Retired Rod

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sirius Radio / Ham Club

Things are back to normal today as the new road is already old hat to the neighbors.  To me it still smells like curing tar.  Hope that goes away fairly quickly.

The big garbage truck came this morning, and made divot marks everywhere it went.  So the road is already on its way to destruction and it isn't 24 hours old.

This morning I went over to the RV and fired up the generator.  Next I set up the aircard and router to connect to Verizon.  Once that was running, I set up the laptop and it began to boot.  All of this was so I could press the button on the serius website to download the subscription I ordered last night for the rig's serius radio.

Normally they ask you to go turn on the radio, which is in your car in the driveway.  Since the motorhome was at the storage lot 8 miles away, it was hard to turn on the radio for the customer service rep.

She spent a moment teaching me how to send the signal from their web site.  It took about three minutes before the code came thru, and I was holding my breath that it would actually work.  But it did and I now have serius radio in the rig.

The Allegro has all sorts of electronic gadgets, and they take time to get set up.  Mostly they have subscriptions, and that means working with the associated companies to get it going.  They all have web sites, with user names I can't remember, and passwords to guess at.  The serius account has been in use since 2001, now what username was I using eight years ago?

Happily the direct tv and serius folks are now up to date.

We have our almost three year old grand daughter Delaney here for this weekend, as her parents and older siblings have a funeral in a distant city.  So not much was accomplished during the day except play with her.  I did sneak off for a long scooter ride while she took a nap.

Tonight was ham club night for me, so I just came home from GodFathers Pizza, where a mini personal pan and lemonade found their way onto my tray.

Now its late and everyone went to bed, all except the old blogger....

Retired Rod

Friday, September 25, 2009

Street Resurface

The street was blocked off early, but they were letting folks out to go to work.  At exactly 8 AM they oiled the existing pavement, and blocked it totally.
At 10 AM this monster showed up.


Then the dump trucks came.  They had chip gravel in the hopper, water in the far tank, and hot tar in this side tank.  A conveyor began to dump the gravel at once.  A set of grabbers latched onto the truck by the back wheels and they moved as one unit, until the truck was empty.


This is a mixture of gravel, tar, water, and a hardener, that was in the bags up on top of the machine.  The guy up top breaks a bag every now and then when that hopper becomes empty.


Waiting for a new dump truck, the guys on the ground running the squeegees worked like dogs, leveling the mix into areas that the machine couldn’t reach in the round cul-de-sac.


The guy in the front of the machine hooks up the hoses to the water and tar. Then he shovels the last of the gravel out.


The supervisor seemed not to be nearly as dirty as the other folks, I wonder if he actually does anything but bark out orders.


The batch was never rolled with a roller machine, as it was wet like wet cement, and dried in about 3 hours.  It is quite hard tonight, as it did begin to rain on the new road about 5 PM.  There was not a drop of black run off.  We were allowed back into the drive at about the same time.

Not much else to report, other than I reached a milestone today.  I called and signed up for Social Security.  I would guess that makes me an official old Far!.

It was relatively painless, and the person in New York was very thorough asking why my income came and went during the years that I worked.  Of course, that is simple, because we worked for ourselves as accountants in a group of CPA’s, some years made a lot more money than others. 
I rode the motor scooter down the sidewalk, and out past the barricades to freedom in the afternoon, to the motor home storage place.  I needed the electronic serial number from the Sirius radio in the rig. 

After firing up the dash electronics, copying the number from the display, and locking the rig all back up, I rode the 8 miles or so back home.  That was just in time to have the street opened again.  I was skeptical that it was dry, so I rode on the sidewalk back to the house.  Let somebody else track tar into their place!!!

I’d be killed for sure, if I did it here!!!!

Retired Rod

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friends come to town

Life is kind of non exciting down here in KC! But, I had a good day with old friends today, and enjoyed it very much.

While I was working in Des Moines, I had the opportunity to work with our corporate pilot, Jack, and the purchase of the new company airplane.  Also a personal friend and a ham, Rich, was a pilot for another company in Des Moines.  Rich and I went  to a ham  luncheon together and I invited Jack to go along,  so Rich became friends with Jack.

Well, now they both work for Rich's company, and fly a Cessna Jet.   Today they brought their executives to Kansas City.  I knew they were coming, and received the call they were in town about 9:30.

The downtown airport is about 20 miles from us here on the South side, but I headed there almost at once.  We hung around the pilot's lounge renewing our acquaintance, and then headed for the luncheon.

Since we all like Bar Be Cue, I took them to the Jack Stack Bar Be Cue in the South side of Overland Park.  Man were we getting fat there.

I had the burnt ends luncheon, with the cheesy corn casserole, and the home made cole slaw.  I was stuffed all afternoon.  The cheesy corn has cheddar cheese, cream cheese, ham, onion,and other non disclosed seasoning. Its baked in individual dishes, and compliments the meat nicely.

Jack is a RVer, and has a motorhome, so we have much in common.  Rich is a ham as well as a pilot, and we circled from subject to subject.  It was never quiet.  I had to explain the scooter, and getting the full motorcycle license.  The hour passed quickly.

Once the guys were back at the airport, I traded the car for the pickup and hauled the lawn mower back to the hardware store where the tune up was done two weeks ago.  As I mowed last night the mower surged, varoooom va va va, varoooom, va va va.  Darned annoying for a $100 tune up, so I communicated this to the fellow.  I was nice, but tactfully made my point.

He said it needed an new carb jet, and installed it on the spot.  They normally clean out the old one, but evidentally mine didn't clean correctly.  No charge!  That was good too, since I had about 10 miles each way and two hours invested in the return trip.

Tomorrow is our day to have our street closed in front of the house for resealing.  Loyce parked her car over a block behind us so she can cut thru the houses.  I figure I will ride the scooter, and will just use the sidewalk for the block it takes to get to the new pavement.  It should only be closed for one day.  Time will tell, but rain may slow them up too.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No repair schedule on the RV/D Star study/Fuddruckers

I had to call the RV dealer today myself, as I would never have a response from them otherwise.  "Oh, ya I was gonna  call ya."  "Our parts guy is out today and he has to recall Tiffin to see if they sent the parts."  "I'll get after him first thing in the morning."

And if I hadn't called, it would be next week when they realized the parts were not arriving.  Out of sight, out of mind.

So much for Shorewood RV.

I took the utility trailer back to the non secure storage lot this morning, and parked it on its spot, in the mud.  Well sort of gravel, mud and weeds.  It will move to Arizona this winter, and that should slow its deterioration some.  Our midwest winters are really hard on equipment.  Especially when it sits in a snowdrift for months on end.

I have been re energized by the purchase of the D Star ham radio.  It is something new to learn about, without a lot of help on the subject available.  I have studied the internet listings on google, and the instruction book.  It spends a lot of time on the 10 ghz backbone operation, that ordinary folks cannot afford.

This means the implementation of the radios in practice is not what is in the instruction book.  I studied for a good part of the afternoon, until it put me to sleep.

This evening, I went out and mowed the yard even though it was still quite wet in the grass.  More rain is forecasted in the next several days, so it had to be knocked down.

They are resurfacing our neighborhood streets here before winter.  They almost had us blocked in today, except for one small lane thru the construction.  I hope we will be notified before they completely block us off.  Time will tell on that.

 Tonight we went back to Fuddruckers, yet again for their fresh burger, and more sweet potato fries.  We do that too much, but can't help ourselves.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rain and Trailer maintenance.

I got up this morning with the best intentions of going outside and mowing the yard.   But as luck would have it, rain began right after I was dressed and had some breakfast.

Really,  I hate it when the yard doesn't get mowed and the rain makes it even longer.  I end up with a mess to clean up when I do get it mowed.   Maybe tomorrow will be dry, but I wouldn't bet on it since it is still raining tonight.

We have decided that we will be taking the utility trailer to Arizona this year, with all the stuff inside, that we have hauled in the pickup in previous years.  Some of it could go in the underside lockers, but it is hard to get the ladder and bigger chairs, and table and Loyce's laundry cart underneath.

She didn't believe me that it wouldn't fit, until she had a go at getting it in herself.  And of course that means the motor scooter can go in the trailer too.
Which is a really big plus for me.

Last year, we had the car, and when Loyce was gone, I still had the pickup to use.  With the motorhome, the second vehicle is the motorhome itself, and packing that up to go out for a sandwich will not be as easy.   Like almost never!

So with the scooter, I can atleast head out to the local saloon for an attitude adjustment.  Just kidding, drinking and motorcycle riding are not a good combination. 

So in the rain, I decided to take the trailer over to KC Truck and Trailer, for a wheel bearing pack.  They are a Doolittle trailer dealer, so I felt they would know how to do the job right.

Also I have had a clearance light that has winked off and on ever since the trailer was new, and I asked to have that fixed as well.

Late in the afternoon, I got the call that they were finished, so I went to pick it up.   Its over an hour East of here in KC, Mo.  I paid my bill which was over $100 to pack the bearings, which is exorbitant.  But I knew the price in advance and decided that we have no place to deal with washed out grease here on the city lot.  You can't pour out greasy kerosene or solvent next to the neighbors fence, in the back yard.  They would call the law!

They said they had fixed the light too.    Wrong!  It blinked out in less than a block.  Rats!  I knew that unless they replaced the fixture, it wouldn't be fixed.

So this evening, in the rain, I went over to the local auto parts house and purchased another light, that didn't match, but had the same bolt hole pattern.  I cut out their repair wiring, and installed and wired the new bulb.
The lights on the trailer are light emitting diodes, but the replacement is a conventional bulb.  So it looks weird after dark, but at least it is lit up.

One step closer to leaving for Arizona.

Retired Rod 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cracker Barrel and Washing cars.

Since the grand kids stayed overnight, we were up again early today.  They get up with dawn, no matter when dawn comes.  But now that the days are shorter, they sleep in better.

We had planned to meet Chris and Melissa at Cracker Barrel at 9:30, and thought that would be no problem, but with the baby something always seems to stall us out.  We were fashonably 15 minutes late. LOL.

I ate the entire restaurant,  except what Chris ate!  Well it seemed like they should have been out of food.  We came back to the house and loaded all the kid stuff into their car.  They headed off somewhere about noon.  Chris had to fly out to his distant city by 5 PM, so we tried to not hold the up.

This after noon became a wash the cars day, as I ran the pressure washer for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

After washing the scooter, I rode over to Ben's to see how his family was doing.  We just hung out in the driveway, while his kids played in the neighborhood.  Some plans were formulated as they will be heading off on a trip next week.  We are the babysitter for their youngest, as she will not ride for ten hours as well as the older kids.

Tonight has been spent messing with the new d-star ham radio, to try and improve the learning curve.  I checked into a world wide net in the late evening, and it is still talking as I write this. I heard the lady who runs the net say they had 56 folks come in and say hello.  I heard England and Australia, but didn't listen all the time, as I had a phone call in the middle.

Nothing exciting, but the day is gone just the same.

Retired Rod

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hamfest in St Joe, Missouri

I was up in time to see the sun rise at 6 AM this morning, and off to the Saturday Hamfest in Saint Joeseph Missouri.  That is about an hour or more North of us here is South KCK.

It seemed kind of low keyed, but since I knew a bunch of the folks that did show up, I was busy talking all the time.  One by one I renewed old friendships, and built some new ones too.

But one of my Iowan friends had a new radio that he decided against for sale.  And I thought I needed it!  So money that I didn't plan on spending somehow leaked out of my jeans.  Damn I hate it when that happens!

I bought a new to Steve one month ago Icom ID 880 d Star radio.  I said I wasn't going to do it, but weakened in the clutch.

This is one complicated piece of equipment, as it is completely digital, sending your voice out as digital zeros and ones.  If you listen to it on a regular FM modulated radio, it is transmitting white noise.  This noise is converted and sent over the internet to a distant computer and radio system in the town that you program as a destination. Or the person that you program.

My knowledge is dangerous, but I have been spinning the dials ever since acquiring it.  Almost forgetting about the blog over it tonight as well.  That wouldn't be right so I'm trying to make up for it now.

I have been up for 18 hours, so I need to seek foregivness and blog more tomorrow, as we have had the grandkids this afternoon as well and I am killed.

Retired Rod

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Direct TV and the King Dome

I am retired and today I thought I would take advantage of that fact.  So I left the scooter in the shed all day.  I was on track to not start the car either, but that was spoiled in the late afternoon.

My younger son, Ben handed me a Direct TV receiver that he had taken from service at his house yesterday when I was over there with the scooter.  It is an HD model, and looked every bit of brand new.

The important part was that it had the red, blue, and green outputs of the component signal on the back that is the matching input of the Allegro TV system in the coach.

It also has the HDMI outputs, but our 2008 is set up for component.  That means the receiver matches the technology I needed.

This morning I began by finding all kinds of wires, and attaching the receiver to our dish on the Southwest side of the house.  For starters, I just hooked the old yellow video wire to the front of an ooold TV in the basement.  It came on, and booted but gave me no signal reports.

I messed and messed with it but could not get it to respond to the remote.  After the longest time, I decided that the batteries in the remote must be down.  That's when I discovered that there were no batteries in the remote!  Duh!

Once I had it responding to me, I called the Direct TV folks.  They wanted to ship me a brand new receiver, with the correct HDMI outputs.  And call back next week when you get it.  You can't use the old one since it isn't yours.  Its registered to a Mr. Ivers.  Ya, my son, I'm Mr. Ivers too.  After some arguing and discussion of parentage, he decided he could activate this older receiver.

I told him I was installing it in the basement, since he needed to know what room it was going in.  I guess they record that in their computer, so they know which receiver the lady of the house is calling about.

So after receiving its codes from the satellite, it began to work.  Not on HD of course, because the dish isn't looking at the HD satellite.  So I decided to move to the motorhome, and see if I could make it work over there.

That's when I drove the car. I then installed it into the overhead locker on the passenger side of the front TV.  I fired up the King Dome and it found the bird fairly quickly.  But I was having  problems when I would land on a HD channel, as the King Dome would begin searching in vain for the other bird.

But the component wiring in the coach worked to drive all three TVs and by switching off the search mode of the dome, I played quite nicely.  All of this was driven by the Onan genset.

I don't know if it is possible to have the dome switch to the HD satelite as you surf the channels, or how to even make the dome follow channels when you are driving, for that matter.  Yes I have read the book, but it is clear as mud.

At least I am now ready to see if the dealer can assist me in making some of this work.  Assuming that I ever get a call back from the dealer.  Not a peep yet!

Retired Rod

Friday, September 18, 2009

More tire stuff

I have promised myself that I am not going to ramble on tonight in a lengthy post about almost nothing.  Let's see how I do.

Today was another ride the scooter all over the place day.  Had to go buy another gallon of gas!  I did go buy another air hose to lengthen the hose in the rig, and went over to air up the front tires.  And it all worked.

I still can't get my big fingers in the little hole in the outside dual wheel to get the cap off the valve stem on the inside dual.  So they remain without service.

I took off over into Missouri, to the town of Grandview in search of some valve extenders, finding that nothing at any of the parts houses fit my application.  One fellow had some little hoses that screwed onto the rear stem and clamped to the outside of the front dual, but he wanted $50 for those, so I declined as they cost too much.

Once home, I tried to research a solution online, and fell off to sleep for a nap.  Another day gone!  At least this wasn't lengthy.

Retired Rod

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gassin er Up!!!!

I headed out to get a haircut this morning.  That wasn't too exciting, but I have made friends of the barbers I chose three years ago when we came to the South KC area.  And since it had been six weeks since I was last in, we had to go over all the stuff that has happened here in KC since I left to go on vacation.

Funny how most men's barber shops are about the same.  Cover all the recent sporting events, complete with opinions and projections of things to come.  Cars, and in this case truck engines, since they discussed the diesel in the motorhome being the same as the Dodge pickup.  Even though it is made by Cummins to those guys it was still a Dodge. Well if you say so!

So after several errands to look into possibilities for additions to the rig, I went over to see if the Porter Cable would fit in the back bay of the motorhome.

No problem it fits with room to spare.  I plugged it in where the vacuum cleaner is connected and started the generator.  I left the A/Cs off, since we could always turn them off if necessary and hit the compressor's on switch.  It fired up instantly, without any strain at all.  The 6KW generator will put out 50 Amps, and the compressor pulls less than 15.  But I have no idea how much start current it takes.  It ran normally and shut off at 150 pounds.

I then proceeded to air one of the dual tires, that had 90 pounds in it.  It took several seconds, but I had it up over 100 and the motor never started.  Wow I love it when a plan comes together.

I need one of those coiled plastic extension hoses to add additional length to the included hose, so I couldn't reach the front tires.  They need  additional air up to 110 pounds since they are not duals.  They carry about 5,500 pounds each at the maximum axle weight.  The rear duals, were probably ok at 95 to 100 pounds so I didn't air them up any farther.  But it had no problem at all working at 100 pounds.  Yea!!!

I couldn't just declare victory and go home though.  Since I had gone inside and started the A/Cs as a further test and they were now running, I started the main engine too, and decided to go get some fuel.  That would be a nice little drive, that would warm the oil up and stretch some legs, so to speak.

So I drove down to Belton, Mo. about 8 miles to the South.  That's when it hit me that my wallet was in the console of the Camry back at the storage lot.  Senior moment!  Well big deal, you were out for a little drive, so drive!  As in back to the storage lot and walk about 2 blocks inside the fence to get to the car, grab the wallet, and walk back to the gate.

After driving back to the fuel station, it was now almost 4 o'clock and there was now a line to get thru the single diesel pump.  Its out beyond the bulk tanks away from the car island.  Several dump trucks were off duty, and filling up.   I waited a while, and had to take the credit card in and let the cashier hold it while I filled up.

Almost all diesel vendors are so paranoid that you will pump and run, that you always have to go inside and make arrangements to pay first, before you can pump.  They know you can hold 100 or more gallons, and at the $2.499 price they were charging today, that's $250.  They need cash just to start the pump.

I only put in 30 gallons, for $75 which brought me up over half a tank.  But at least I could head out without having to find a local station now.  You do not take chances of running out with a diesel, as that causes priming issues.  Which takes a mechanic and costs $$$$$.

Tonight, we went over to Melissa's house as Loyce had the two grand daughters for several hours this afternoon.  They took naps for most of the time they were here, but as a reward, Mel made supper.  We had large pasta tube noodles, and sausage marinara.  Broccoli and salad rounded out the meal, which really hit the spot.  Thanks Mel!

Our son Chris flies back from Alabama tomorrow, and has been out since labor day, so the family is quite excited at his return.   We will probably have the kids again this weekend, if they decide to do the town.

So today I was out cruising in the Motorhome, without much of a destination.  Just driving along for the he!! of it.  Someone had to do it.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Newer Blogger Editor, and a new compressor.

Since I am still using Ubuntu on my old desktop, and I have never mustered enough energy to install windows from scratch under the virtual box session that I installed this week, I was more than interested in a proposal from Al of the Bayfield Bunch.

He invited us to turn on the new improved blogger editor client.  Well its not really a client that is installed on your machine, but rather their client on the website.  But at least it is newer and has more gadgets.  You have to go select it under settings basic at the bottom of the page.

I oh so wanted it to drop pictures right in your text where the cursor is located at the time, like windows live writer.  And I just tried it and it worked.  And,  you do have the choice to change size on the fly and location in the text on the fly.  This is better, and easier.

Maybe if I get off my backside, and install the windows prog, I can use live writer.  But that invalidates the reason that I loaded linux on the computer in the first place.  I wanted rid of ole bill g and his predatory buddies.  OK i'll get down off my soap crate, and go back to the hole in the ground where I live.

I spent the day on the scooter.  Drove all over town.  Stopped and looked at air compressors in oodles of big box lumber stores.  Logged about 60 miles on the scooter, and burned at least .7 of a gallon of gas.  Or perhaps about 3 liters.

I finally said heck man, make a decision!  So late in the afternoon, I went with the Camry and purchased a Porter Cable oiless, 6 gallon pancake, 150 PSI compressor to carry in the motorhome.  I still have to see if it will fit into one of the outside compartments. I sure hope so.

The reason I need yet another compressor, is that RV tires take over 100 pounds of air, and the old travel trailer only required 50 or so.  Up to now I have always purchased cheap Harbor Freight units that only go to 100 pounds.  They've done the job until we got the motorhome.

It is imposible to air a 100 pound tire with a 100 pound tank.  Or at least it takes for ever, and you never really reach total tank pressure.  So this bigger fellow will have 6 gallons of 150 pound air, to come closer to the 120 pound maximum that the motorhome tires are capeable of carrying.

It is a noisy fellow, as I had to hook it up and leave the drain open for 15 minutes of run in time to run in the new motor.  There was a big yellow sheet in the instruction book requiring this before closing it up to build pressure. It seemed loud while it ran for 15 minutes straight.

This unit runs $179 USD at the Home Depot, without any air tools, or comes bundled with three nailers for a much larger price.  I didn't want to spend that much!  But my riding from HD to HD here in the suburbs, paid off as I found one of the stores that had a coupon on the box for $25 off.  And also less sales tax as well.  So now we were back to $154.  Deal!   So I went back with the car to pick it up.

Tonight we went out to the local Cracker Barrel for grub.   This is a weakness for me, as I feel like I have to eat all the food and several plates of biscuits for dessert.  They keep bringing seconds of more, if you ask for more.  I didn't need the more part, but oh well!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pros and Cons

We can't seem to make up our mind about our upcoming winter adventure. I would go sit in the desert and come to town once a week when the sewer tanks needed attention, and my wife would find a five star campground with every amenity in the center of town and go shopping at all the malls every day.

So we can never agree on our destination. Once we get to these big cities, there never seems to be any RV facilities that are acceptable. Seattle was no exception. The RV parks were rat holes where indigent folks long termed in old junky trailers. So finding what my bride is looking for becomes a challenge, to put it mildly. Since the RV industry is largely for vacationers, and folks don't vacation in the center of the city.

As we have discussed possibilities for this winter, we are not sure we want to stay in one place as long as we did last winter, but then we had the car wreck, and I had the broken ribs, and we were glad that hitching up and driving the pickup and trailer wasn't necessary. I just paid for another month, and we hung tight.

In the process of all this analysis, we are mired in the mud of indecision. Time is passing, and we need to make a reservation if we are going to spend time in a formalized campground. Otherwise, we will boondock in the BLM ground. And that will be completely ok with me.

So since Mesa is in the city, and is a highly rated facility, I cast fate to the wind and made a Reservation back at Mesa Spirit RV Resort. Reserving three months and selecting a different site, closer to the main clubhouse, and important to Loyce, the laundry. She really likes to be able to head over and wash a few things almost every day.

Now we are discussing when we will go and when we will come back for the holidays. I made the reservation starting the 15th of November, and it will take us to the 15th of February. That will take us thru the heart of the cold part of the winter, and quartzite in the last of January.

We can make day trips all over the center of Arizona, and even take the motorhome to different places from Mesa as the home base. More importantly, it gives us a mailbox for the winter, and we can receive packages like our prescriptions and the like even if we are out and about for several days with the motorhome.

So the decision is made that we are going back to Arizona, and perhaps points beyond if we get bored in one place for too long. It will satisfy the boss that we are in a place that has fabric and quilting stores, and a campground with a quilt club, where she already knows some of the ladies. Yet it will be warm, and I can take the scooter with me and bop off to the desert for a quick ride or two!

I picked November 15 as a start date since it was on the weekend, but perhaps that will come under significant fire before we get the date set in something more solid than pudding.

On the second decision of the day, I contacted our RV dealer, and discussed our list of stuff that needs corrected on the motorhome under the warranty. We have nothing major wrong, as the basic coach is solid and the chassis seems to be mechanically fine. But the nagging stuff, where something doesn't work just right, or the wood has warped and the door latches hard now.

The switch in the vacuum cleaner remote port doesn't go off when the door is closed when removing the hose. The intermittent wipers are intermittent 100 percent of the time. They never come on. We do need the windows in the center of the coach hall replaced, as the seal between the dual pane windows has broken.

The list goes on and on, so I spent time this afternoon emailing the faults to the Des Moines office of Shorewood RV. They have promised to see about getting parts, and scheduling a date that will coincide with our trip to Prairie Du Chein at the end of this month.

Tonight, I made out the estimated payments for income taxes as it is the 15th of the ninth month as the law reads. Have you sent in yours? And for my Canadian readers, we get closer to having our health care be just like yours, and I am waiting to hear that we will be adding a VAT tax to fund it. I can't wait.

Retired Rod

Monday, September 14, 2009

Filling the bird feeder

Al of the Bayfield Bunch has said time and again, that us guys can pull some real brain dead things at times, and the gals (wives) often can't understand how we can be so dumb.

When we left the lake place last Monday, I fell into this trap! Somehow in MY hurry to leave, I forgot to turn off the Air Conditioner. Loyce was really busy, loading all the stuff into the car, and I was sitting around waiting for her to get ready to go. So, therefore it was me who wasn't responsible and failed at my assigned tasks.

So the AC has been running all week. It takes $250 or more a month to run the lake house AC, so you wouldn't normally let it run when you leave. Do you see where this is going? Ya that's right, I had to drive three hours each way today to go turn it off.

Loyce, of course, had to take care of the grand kids again today, so she wasn't about to ride six plus hours in the car to fix MY bad.

Actually it was a very peaceful ride thru rural Missouri. Upon arivial, I noticed that the humming birds had almost emptied their feeder, so I took it down and cleaned the flies and bugs out of it. Refilling it clear to the very top, it should be good to go for about three weeks.

So the story is, that I had to go fill the bird feeder today! And I'm sticking to it!

I did take a couple of large ice chests and clean out the freezer side of the fridge. We slowly take stuff down every trip, and what we don't use gets frozen. Eventually, there is so much stuff in the freezer it grows fur. I threw away lots of stuff, and brought home unopened things only.

Loyce wanted an inventory of what I tossed, but I told her she really had to be there to review my decisions. And since she was busy, for once a guys decisions were final! LOL

Retiored Rod

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Out and about on the Scooter, and the Ia vs Ia State game

Now where did today go? I'm not sure, but there was a lot of scooter time involved.

Lets be honest, with colder weather closing in on the season, and football in full swing, today was a ride the scooter kind of day. I went over to the storage lot where the Motor home was stored, and hung out in the rig for a while. The catch on the washing machine closet, was bent beyond recognition, by some careless would be customer before we bought the rig.

So that came off and was carefully straitened and put back on the door. No big deal, just kind of make work, while I was hanging out. I also took the Freightliner books back and returned them to the owners manual pouch. It is an expander file, that weighs twenty pounds and fills one of the overhead bins.

I went thru the whole rig looking for a tube of foot cream that we had purchased out on the road. Never found it, so next I headed to Wal Mart to buy another replacement tube. And of course once in Wal Mart, ?????? Why do we go thru all the isles, when riding a scooter precludes taking anything very sizeable home? I don't know, but I was in there for almost an hour. Still I never bought anything but the little tube of foot cream.

Since I was in Missouri, I bought a full tank of gas for the scooter. LOL, a whole 1.1 gallons. It uses premium, so it cost $2.81. This is high finance you know. I have 750 miles on this scooter, so I have purchased about 10 gallons since I bought the thing back in April.

Back here, I did some computer browsing, and fell asleep late in the afternoon. Loyce came down from her office and suggested we go for a Fuddruckers burger. So that was supper this evening. It s about ten miles over to old downtown Overland Park where the restaurant is located, and we did some nieghborhood cruising on the way home.

And the big news from Iowa today was that my alma mater, the University of Iowa went to Ames, Iowa and put a big knot on the heads of the Iowa State Cyclones. This is a big rivalry for us Iowans, and It was bragging rights for yet another year.

The series between the schools was revived in 1977, and the win, loss record is now Iowa 22, Iowa State 11. Iowa has also won 5 out of the last 7. State did win 5 in a row several years back, and the Iowa fans were hanging their heads, but pride has been restored here in the last two years!

Retired Rod

Saturday, September 12, 2009

911 and the ham club meeting

Today was lawn care day. I had the newly tuned up lawn boy running early in the morning, and followed it all around the yard trimming and mowing stuff in smaller areas. Followed by the rider tractor, to knock out the bigger parts of the yard.

Next the string trimmer, and then the blower. That took about until noon or so. I did some of the odd jobs, that seem to go with home ownership. You know the screen was off the window in the basement window emergency well.

I don't crawl into big window wells to well at my age, so that was a challenge. I managed to get down the ladder far enough to get the screen out of the hole, and washed it all up. After lowering it back into the window well, I went inside and down the basement to open the window and remount it in the frame it had come out of.

I thought at first when it was out of the frame, that someone had tried to pry open the window, but there is no damage to the frame anywhere, so now I think it is just the wind, or the neighborhood kids.

Tonight is the ham club meeting, and I need to leave here momentarily, so this will be the posting for today.

We spent some time thinking of the New Yorkers and peril from 8 years ago. Then I saw one of the actors on TV claiming that 911 was a conspiracy by our politicians. Where do they get ideas like that? Some of our society is whacko!

Without regard to political aspirations, I surely hope we do not forget how we lost 3,000 folks and became complacent towards our safety. If we do, it will surely happen again. I'm not sure how we could live it down a second time. Its not like we don't know about it now.

Retired Rod

Friday, September 11, 2009

I wiped it out!

I had a nice entry for today written last night, and it was posted for most of today, but, in my search for a blog editor that works with ubuntu, I ended up wiping out the entry for today.

Lets see if I can post this instead!

It posts, but this program, called Drivel, is not much or any better than the blogger editor you use in firefox. Oh well!

By the way had I written the entry with live writer, it would have been saved locally, and I could have put it back. If only Microsoft wasn't such a predator of everyone else in the business, some of their stuff is really good. Some is bad too like Vista!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogger's editor.

I have forgotten how awful using the blogger editor is when it comes to adding pictures. I have been using my desktop computer, which is a very old Dell, like over 10 years, and the Ubuntu distribution program of linux. I works super, except. You have Microsoft nothing!

That means you don't have Microsoft Live Writer. Ugg. You have to struggle with the blogger editor to do your blog. That's ok if all you want to do is text, but dropping in pictures is no where close to as easy.

Yesterday I ordered some new sandals. I order from, and they are here overnight. I assume before you have time to get buyers remorse, and take them back. So I wanted to insert their picture here.

And of course it put them in at the top of the page. Boy am I spoiled by live writer. I can control exactly how I want the picture to look, and the exact size and placement, and drop it exactly where it should go. Put on a watermark and so forth. Maybe I could run live writer with WINE. That's is linux emulation program that runs under Ubuntu, and runs windows based programs. I'm still struggling to get those shoes down from the top of the page.

There I got them to the right, and smaller. These are open running style shoes, They have sandal style open sides for plenty of air and will not be effected by water, when I get them wet at the lake. I am hopeful that they will be just the ticket for my diabetic feet. I seem to have really bad burning sensation problems with closed shoes. Time will tell.

The shoes arrived mid morning, and it was a good thing too because it was raining some more. We were not concerned though, since we had the 3 month old grand daughter for a few hours, while her mom ran an erand at their RV storage lot in the next county. She is such a joy to take care of.

She only fusses when her tummy is empty, or her back side is messy! Otherwise she sets in her swing and giggles as is swings back and forth. If you pick her up, she wants to go back to the swing just as soon as you complete your business.

Tonight we went out to a real oil cloth, hole in the wall Chinese joint, that advertised a buffet. They had quite a few selections on their steam tables, and I was pleasantly surprised at the food, given the ratty condition of the restaurant. We might go back, but given Loyce's tendency to have everything super spotless, I'd bet not! But I was stuffed at a cheap price, what's not to like?

I didn't even read any blogs tonight, opting to watch coverage of Pres Obama's health care speech. I'll leave the political bit for other venues. After that our KC Royals were playing baseball, and winning, which is a pause for rejoicement.

I gotta get live writer running on this Operating System, this editor is the pits!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More rain

I had to get the utility trailer back over to the not so secure storage lot, before the cops arrived! We use two lots, one that is cheap and not so secure, and one that has gates with codes and cameras for the motorhome. Expensive!

The rain had not arrived yet, as I was talking to the owner of the not so secure lot. Seems that he has evicted the "car junker outer" guy. Yea! The fellow didn't pay his rent, and the owner realized he was driving away business. He should have known that months ago! Still the owner is a nice fellow, and he is now trying to clean up and reorganize the place.

Again this was another errand day that leaves hardly anything to blog about. I fell asleep in the late afternoon. I awoke in a start, realizing I needed to go pick up a tire from the repair shop. So I made a hasty trip thru the traffic to arrive before closing time. It was still raining.

Now its late at night and I am caught up on blogs from the long weekend. And its still raining!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When its over its over!

These holiday's are planned with lengthy anticipation, and hope for the best of times, but they never seem to live up to the expectations. Just like that they are over.

And so today was the end of such a holiday. Everyone was up at 8 or earlier, and packing out seemed to be the order of the day. The kids, of course didn't appreciate that their parents needed to be back at home to prepare for a work day tomorrow, so they were more than disappointed to find that boat rides were over.

We put up, packed up, and cleaned up. Ben and I extracted the jet ski from the lake for another year. Since I am too old and stiff to ride it much, and Loyce hasn't ridden it in years, I asked if they planned to be back to ride it again this year. "Well,,,,,probably not." So out of the lake it came.

We store it on its trailer in the back of the garage, which is attached to the house, so it will never totally freeze inside. Still we blew the water out as best we could. Pickled the gas with stabilizer, and filed it away. Later as it gets closer to November, we will extract the battery for setup with a trickle charger.

Loyce and I will go back and ride in the pontoon boat on some of the fall days, so nothing was done to it. I do add some stabilizer to the gas as I fill it on a routine basis, so it is half done all the time. We will change the oil, and pull the battery later next month.

Fall in Lake Ozark is quite beautiful, as the river oak trees really put on a color show.

We are back in KC now, with the utility trailer and the little scooter, in tow. I did prove, that the scooter could ride in the trailer for some distance, as it stayed in its straps, and chock, and never had any issues.

Tonight we are hanging around the house, in kind of recovery mode, as we are not used to minimal sleep, that is caused by the kids getting up with the sun. Seems we stay up after the kids go down, in order to get some adult time, which makes for a short night.

Tomorrow the utility trailer will need to go back to its storage lot. Before the nasty neighbor calls the jandarms.

Retired Rod

Monday, September 7, 2009

Paddling the day away

This picture pretty much defines the total activities of the day here at the lake.



Claire is four, Ema is six, and Caden is seven.  They have been allowed to take the paddle boat across the cove by themselves.  Well as long as Caden is along.

But late this afternoon, I saw the paddle boat slowly coming from the back of the cove, with Ema as the lone peddler, and Caden as a passenger in the back.  It was like he was on strike.   She wasn’t making much progress into the wind.

Finally, after his mom hollered for him to help his sister, he reluctantly moved to the front seat and peddled the paddle with his sister and came back to the dock.

She jumped out and swam to the ladder, and he paddled around to the side berth , and backed the boat into the slip.  

All I could figure was that they had to go up for supper, and he didn’t want to come in off the lake.  I can only wonder if he will have memories of the lake when we are gone, and his folks are the grandpa and grandma.

Retired Rod

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We’re all here, but so is the rain.

We had rain again, all day until well into the afternoon.  House bound would be the description of the day.  By mid afternoon, Ben and his family showed up, and we had four kids under seven running around inside.  Abby is the fifth, but she is only three months and doesn’t run much yet! LOL

Please let the rain subside!  By late in the afternoon, it stopped raining but remained cool.  The kids and Ben moved to the dock, to fish and then swim.  The paddle boat was placed in the lake.  Seven year old Caden was in paddle heaven. 

Tonight we had a pulled pork roast that simmered in the crock pot for most of the day.  It was as good as anything we have had at the barbecue restaurants here in town.  Melissa made the roast, and I have no idea the recipe.  But it was slow cooked and tender.  It had garlic cloves as part of the marinade!

By mid afternoon, I headed out on the scooter to ride some of the neighborhood.  We have steep cliffs here in the Ozarks, and I chickened out on a couple of really steep hills.  Then I found the local city police with a car pulled over, and they were going thru the entire contents of the vehicle.  They obviously suspected that the driver had some kind of contraband.

As I came to the corner, the policeman standing away began casing me as a person of interest.  I stopped at the sign, turned on the signal, and made an exit left.  He didn’t pursue.  I moved smartly back to my neighborhood.

With a full helmet, and smoked face shield, all clues as to my identity, age and attitude were hidden, so I was just a body in a motorcycle jacket on a bike.  But they were busy with the already detained car.  Still they are overly aggressive during these holidays here at the lake, so I was glad not to have to explain my joy ride.

Tonight, we did the watch TV and sit on the porch in the cool evening air duty.  At one point a neighbor in the next cove began shooting off fireworks over the water.  That was fun, and didn’t really cost us much to participate.

Tomorrow is to be Sunny, I Hope!

Retired Rod

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We did nothing today!  It rained gently at first, and then heavily most of the afternoon.  Work on the dock, and pontoon boat was out of the question.

Dark even though it was mid afternoon.


Cool and wet on the dock.  Too cool to get all wet washing stuff.


Playing with the grand daughter, became the most important duty of the day.  In the afternoon, naps were in order, but I snuck off and went into town, for gasoline, and another list of stuff from Wal Mart. 

We were entertained by the Hummingbird wars.  The alpha female sits and guards the feeder flying and swooping at any other bird that might want to sneak a quick drink.  She is always on guard somewhere close. Here I caught her on my ham radio antenna wire, with the feeder in her sight.


This evening, our son Chris and his wife Melissa arrived, and we went to Bandana’s for Barbecue.  It was getting late, once we were seated, and the kids were beyond hungry.  That’s when they become overly mischievous.  Luckily, it didn’t take long at all to get their food.

Once back home, we just hung around doing family catch up time.  Telling stories and comparing notes about all things considered.  No I’m not an NPR fan!

So perhaps tomorrow we will again consider cleaning the dock and pontoon boat, unless it rains, and then maybe we will just hang out in the screen porch.    

Our younger son and his wife should be here by mid afternoon, and then the house will become busy, busy , busy!

Retired Rod

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lake Ozark for the Holiday


It was another travel day! But it seemed simple, since we only needed ourselves and the clothes and food. All the rest of the normal junk that is needed for an outing is already at the lake place.

Over the years, we have slowly accumulated a double set of everything. We have all the household items here at the lake that we have at home. If we ever went full time, we would have to get rid of two households of stuff! And yes the junk accumulates in two places twice as fast, it seems.

But that means we don’t have to take near as much, ….but we do. Since we were bringing the trailer, some of the stuff that came out of the Travel Trailer, that was no longer needed for the Motor Home went back to the lake place.

Originally we outfitted the travel trailer out of stuff from the lake home. Let me explain, when we get a new toaster, we never throw out the old one, it goes to the lake! So the inventory of old stuff is here. So that inventory of stuff, provided sheets and pillows and so forth for the trailer. Some of it came back here today.

We entertain more guests here than in KC. Like almost never in KC, so extra anything is here. This weekend, we will have both sons, and their wives and all 5 kids. That will be eleven folks. A zoo, if you will. If everyone gets two pillows, that’s 22, well you get the idea.

We take the trip for granted on the way down here even though it takes three hours. We have made it ooodles of times. So you get so you see nothing, unless it is out of place. Today, the Chevy dealership in the small German town of Cole Camp, Mo was out of place. It was almost totally closed.

Last year when we were buying and selling cars, at the auctions in KC, the guy from this dealership would be in the lanes, buying stuff and always beating your price, getting the car you wanted. He had quite the bravado, as he negotiated or bid. His lot was empty today, not a used car anywhere. The little shoebox office in the back was empty.

Up town, the dealership still had the goodwrench sign in the window, but the doors were closed. There were only 4 cars left with new stickers on them in the lot to the West. Nothing in the showroom. You will remember that GM had to promise to close all these little town dealerships as a part of their bail out money.

This was the largest employer in the community, and I am sure they don’t feel like they have been bailed out! This scene has to be repeated many times in small town America, as they closed several hundred. Both Chevy and Chrysler.

I knew and commented months ago that they would be on the list of dealerships killed, but it was still disheartening to see it come true. Still, I am at fault too since I haven’t purchased a new GM product since 1981. I began buying foreign in 84. The GM quality was so lacking, I couldn’t keep them on the road. As an accountant, I had to be able to travel every week on the road, and the cars would break down, and not be usable the following week. I went to Volvo, and they never failed to proceed.

Later I moved to Ford vans, and never had a bad experience with any of them. Perhaps it was the dealers, since they did break, but I was always back on the road by Monday. How did I get off on this?

We have our “about to be three year old” Delany with us tonight, as she was so broken hearted last night that we were leaving without her. Picked her up from her daycare school, after lunch. She was wound up like a top, and sang and played in the car on the way down here, until she all of a sudden crashed in her seat. She slept for over an hour.

She helped me empty the trailer, and kept saying Motor Cycle, as I unloaded the scooter. She had to push the back of the mattress to help me scoot it along the carpet, as we brought it in from the garage. After supper, she had a bath, and again crashed in her bed. She is in the very terrible two’s, and tries your patients, but is so cute doing it that we can’t be mad at her. NO! is always her answer.

Tomorrow will be the adventure of cleaning the dock and pontoon boat. She will have to wear her life vest out on the dock, as that is grandpa’s rule!DSC_0560

Retired Rod

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finishing up the trailer, and turning in a tag.

I get carried away reading blogs and forget that I need to post something myself.  But I have come to my senses and started live writer.

Today was the day in between. Between making preparations to go to the lake and actually leaving (tomorrow).  I started by finishing up the motorcycle in the trailer project.

All I needed to do was mount one more eye bolt, and install the straps.  We are taking a mattress to the lake that was on a bed here, so that was carried out and strapped to the trailer wall next to the bike.

I then jumped up and down and rocked from side to side trying to knock the bike and mattress over inside.  Loyce said I about had it off the ground it rocked so hard.  But the bike and mattress stayed put.  So I am ready to roll.  The trip to the lake will be a test in familiar territory so to speak.

The license tags from the Jayco were sitting here on the counter, so I called the capital of Missouri, Jefferson City, and inquired what needed to be done with them.  “Take them to the license bureau, and turn them in.”  “Get a surrendered plate receipt.”

So I headed over to the Missouri side, and went to the license bureau.  Waited in line for thirty minutes, and got yelled at by the lady in the window, that the plates could have just as well be tossed away.  What?  Jeff City told me they had to be brought to you!

Seems that this is the standard answer, but the license bureau gives out the receipt, and then tosses them just like I would have.  So that was an hour and a half wasted.

Once back here, I spent the rest of the afternoon messing with the computer, and paying bills that have been neglected since we were gone all last month.

Tonight we went over to Ben’s house and enjoyed seeing the grandkids for a while.  The three year old wanted to come home with us, and had a fit when we left without her.  She will go down to the lake with us in the morning, but was really having trouble with the tomorrow concept.  Big, crocodile tears, that she had to go to bed now.  Ya want to hug her to death!

We went to an authentic Mexican joint that is somewhat of a local chain here in South Kansas City called Mi Ranchita.  The waiters are here, hopefully with greencards, but only speak broken English.  It is like someone moved Mexico to Kansas.

This was our extended anniversary dinner, tonight, since I worked too long on the trailer project last night.  I was in the dog house for that.

See ya from the lake, tomorrow!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jobs about town

I went out for an Anniversary card and some flowers, this morning, and found the grill that we have been wanting.

A Webber Q is a common grill, but usually you find the 200 size. It is quite large and costs $200 everywhere. Since there are only 2 of us when we camp, and the son's have their own grills when we go together, I had declared that we only needed a Q 100. It is normally $150, both at Wal Mart, and Camping World. Funny their member price is the same as Wally Worlds everyday price.

I had taken the Toyota over to get an oil change, and was just walking around killing time, when there right in the middle of seasonal was the Q 100 for $124.99. Sold! So as strange as it might seem, that is our Anniversary gift for today. Well I got the flowers too.

Today seemed to never end with errands and projects. I rode the bike over to the storage lot and grabbed the trailer hitch out of the receiver on the back of the rig. Took more stuff over, and brought some pillowcases back.

Headed to a different Wally World to find some soda that is always out at the WW closest to us. Pop fills the top case on the bike, so I was done shopping until I got back home.

I took the car and went to Harbour Freight and bought a compound wheel chock for the Motor Cycle, to mount in the utility trailer. On the way home, I stopped at a neighborhood hardware store, and found out they would take my lawnboy mower in on repair. They were only backed up about 20 mowers, so it had an appointment if I brought it right in.

I went directly home and loaded it up in the pickup, and took it right back. Then on to the Kansas storage lot where the utility trailer is stored. It is the old lot where the Jayco was stored and is basicly a dump. But it is cheap, and so am I, LOL.

I spent the late afternoon and evening installing the wheel chock into the front of the trailer. I went to Lowe's and got some eye bolts to put into the floor for the tiedown straps to strap in the bike. I got the project mostly done, but darkness overtook me so I quit.

Its all sitting in the driveway, and I'm sitting in the big recliner. We'll get back on it in the morning!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It didn't last long

The winding down thing was over this morning! I was out of bed and on the lawnmower after the neighbors went to work. I always wait until the working set moves out before starting outside duties.

I had done some of the trim work with the walk behind mower yesterday, so the trimming didn't take too long. We have a small garden tractor with a belly mower, so riding over the yard is not a daunting task, but it takes time.

Seems as though the weed whacking and blower work take as long as the actual mowing. But now that is done for another week or so. Its been raining a bunch here in Kansas, something that is quite unusual for August in this state. So the yard has been troubling for my younger son Ben while we were away, so thanks Ben.

Next it was on to the pressure washer, and the Toyota and the Pickup got a bath, and bug removal. One sentence, but it took a couple of hours to accomplish.

So then over to the storage lot and the Big Monster Bus came home for its turn at a bath. I had washed it in a couple of the campgrounds with a bucket and a brush, rinsing it off with a hose. But today it got the pressure washer treatment with the bucket and brush as well. The pressure washer makes dirt come rushing out of places that seemed clean to look at.

Also the generator compartment, and the propane tank underneath were pig pens, so they were blown out. When the motorhome was delivered, they were left with over two years of crud on them. The dealer must have felt that these parts are meant to be left dirty. I sprayed and sprayed.

When we were at the KOA farm campground in Western Wyoming, I opened the gen compartment to power down the gen set as the campground owner was standing there helping us get settled in. He made comment that "it sure gets dirty under there," when I opened the door. I was embarrassed, but could do nothing about it at the time.

I see it is after midnight, so today is officially our Anniversary. We have been married for 41 years today, since we were married when we were ten years old. How else could I only be 49 and holding if we have been married for 41 years? One of theses years , it will be that we were married when we were born. Maybe it will have to change to 59 and holding, LOL.

Retired Rod