Monday, January 31, 2011

Watch Time and I am in the No Buy Zone

I can't believe it!  Its midnight, and I am up watching Jim Skelton and Michael Davis on the Shop NBC network sell Invicta watches and I haven't purchased anything.   But that's not what I can't believe.

Its Raining!  As I type this, the sound is off on the TV, and I can hear the pitter patter of the sprinkles of rain on the fiberglass surface of the roof.  I haven't heard that in weeks, here in the desert.  In fact, this is only the second time I think it has rained since we arrived back in early December.

This afternoon, I was out to get that customary sandwich mid afternoon, and I rode over to the Mesa Swap Meet for a while.  I walked the B aisle for a while, from one end to the other.  Some day I really need to measure the length of the shopping concourse, but it has to be at least a 1/4 mile.  Of course as you wander around inside the booths and stuff, it isn't like you were on a force hike or anything.

I didn't buy much.  Well anything, except for three little state flags on a stick.  Kansas, Arizona and a US flag.  Then I didn't think to purchase the stand that they go into, and Loyce pointed out that error when I got home.  But Hey, I got the flags.

As I was riding home, I noticed that it was becoming rather cloudy in the West.  And once I had parked it became overcast during the sunset.  I slipped back outside and put the cover on the bike.

Then about the time that the football game was getting over, we heard the awning rattle the whole side of the coach.  I opened the door to find that the wind was blowing the palm trees rather briskly, and I retracted the electric awning.

And now the rain.  We are to have it off and on for the next several days.  Or not, as the case may be.  Often rain forecast never arrives here in the desert.  A non event.  But for sure, we will have much cooler weather with daytime highs in the 60s rather than the 70s and by Wednesday we are to have a daytime high of only 56.

Last year we were deluged with rain for about a week during the week just passed, so a few sprinkles and cool weather will be quite fine.  May slow the bike riding some but beyond that, only a minor inconvenience.

While they say partly cloudy, I will bet that the old desert sun will burn right thru by mid afternoon on most of the days next week.

Other than that, we had a somewhat slow day today, and Biscuit was upset that she had to sit still for Loyce to comb her out, after daddy got her all wet yesterday.  Most of the dust was gone, so she is partially presentable anyway.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Biscuit is grungy again!

Today was a blur, and I'm not sure where it went.  I read some and worked on the computer to catch up on blogs.  Just like that it was after noon!

Biscuit was begging to go outside and wanted to walk once we were out there.  Off we went.  After about an hour of her pulling me and not walking like a nice doggy, she finally settled down.  Once back home she was absolutely filthy.

She literally wipes up the street as she does her dance and wild gyrations of excitement.  There seems to be nothing that I can do to settle her down.  I stop dead in my tracks and make her stop and settle down, but the second we start moving again she is wild all over again. Going the opposite direction does nothing, she just starts her wild gyrations up going that way.

When we got home she was covered in gravel and dirt, which caused the garden hose to come out.  She has never been hosed down before, and I was careful to cover the end of the hose and not spray her with it.  Rather the water dribbled out of my hand and she thought it was another game!  Puppies see the fun of most everything new!

I rinsed and rinsed, but it was in the mid 70s so she wasn't particularly cold.  Eventually I just gave up, as I didn't have any soap.  Of course Loyce was just horrified that I was out there drowning her baby!  I don't need to explain how that came out.

Later that afternoon, I was out joy riding on the motorscooter.  I was over at a neighboring RV park nosing around.  They have 5600 sites, and two golf courses.  I was told they are the biggest park in Arizona.  It just so happened that the fellow I was talking to was a farmer from South Dakota and a board member of his local cooperative.

Since I was an auditor for many years of Coops, and then an accountant working directly for one of the regional coops, I had a new friend.  I finally had to excuse myself to head on back.

Ah, another day in the life of a retired RVer!

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Biscuit wants to know?

But daddy, where are we going to today?  Can I go along?  I can!!! Yea!!!!

So with that we were off to the Phoenix Quilt,Craft & Sewing Festival !

This is over in the downtown area of Phoenix.  It is held every year at the Arizona State Fair grounds.  It is in the main exhibition hall, and Loyce really likes to go to it.  But she is out of luck to have me tag along inside the building.  I just mostly sit in the car and read, and Biscuit was lucky enough to get to stay with me.

But we didn’t just sit around, we decided to go to a Sam’s Club up on Indian School Road back over toward Scottsdale.  At first I couldn’t find it, and then after using the GPS to look it up as a point of interest, I found out why we couldn’t find it!

The building was completely empty, and had a for rent sign on the wall.  This building was built specifically as a Sam’s Club, and is quite recognizable even empty, so I can’t help but wonder what will become of it.

Well then, now where are we going to find that Sam’s Club?  So I began using the GPS in earnest.  There was one up North in Glendale, so perhaps we have time to go up there.  This time I followed the green line on the screen, since I had never been off the interstate in that neighborhood.
After about 30 minutes, we were up there, and low and behold,  What Gives Here?  Another completely vacant building that used to be a viable Sam’s Club.  This time I was becoming a tad perturbed. 

By that time we needed to get back to the center of town, as Loyce was finishing up at the fairgrounds.  Best show she’s been too all winter! As she didn’t come right out when we reached the appointed time.  We didn’t have any appointments to be late for, so it didn’t matter.

It took us almost an hour to get back out here to East Mesa, and that was on the Freeway.  By then we were beginning to see the evening drive traffic, and we were glad to be back home.

Once back here, I went over to Wal Mart looking for a prescription that had been called in much earlier in the morning.  After waiting in line to go to the window, they had never heard of it.  Calling the Dr’s office, the lady said we called it in!  No you didn’t, yes we did!  See where that was going!

I rode back over on the Motorscooter after about an hour had passed, to allow them time to get it filled
again, for the first time!  Are we having fun yet?

Retired Rod

Friday, January 28, 2011

Internet gone tonight until late!

We get disconnected from the internet around this end of town somehow. I see the little dreaded yellow spot on top of the indicator for the bars on my wifi.  I always have all the bars, because the wifi is in the front window of the motorhome, about three feet behind my chair.

The internet tower is right out our front windshield to the South of us about a stones throw away, so when you go look at your wan device on the router info screen, it always has all the bars as well.  So signal strength is not an issue here.  But still no internet.

I dropped and re connected the wireless card from the verizon server.  Still no connectivity.  Then I switched to the park's internet wifi tower.  I connected right away, but NO Internet!   This is starting to sound like something in this end of town, that is beyond my control.

Well, after about an hour, it just miraculously returned.  And it returned to both the verizon card and the local wifi all at once.  So off line around here is just that!  Off line!

I am totally lost when the computer doesn't work, so I just sit here and pout!!!

Today was busy, but I am not sure what I did.  I didn't go up to the country store in the activity center, even though the entire world came in our front gate at about 8 AM.  They start at 9 and need to be set up by then.  Since I can't eat the hot dogs after my surgery, the fun has gone out of the get togethers.  And I never could find anything I wanted at the actual swap meet.

What I did do, was to read Rick's blog about the Solution, and that shamed me into going out and dry washing the West side of the coach up as far as I could reach from the ground.  He suggested that I review how it works, and it does really well even wiping off the splattered desert mud on the lower parts of the rig.  But I have problems getting it to be completely streak free when I buff it out on the dark navy blue part of the coach.  Its all but black, and almost everything leaves a wax streak.  Especially the McGuires products of dry shine, which are similar but not quite the same.  The Solution is better and easier to wipe off than the McGuires.

I don't know what is in the solution, but it seems more watery and less waxy.  But all and all the microfibre cloth is dirty and the coach is clean, and that was the goal to begin with!!!!

Later in the day I rode the scooter around when it got into the mid 70's.  I ride the neighborhoods to our South over the freeway, just looking around at all the housing developments and the stores.

It was hot enough this afternoon, that I put on my shorts for the first time since last October.  But once the sun went down, they were not at all warm outside.  Its 52 as I write this at 11:30.

Tomorrow is another day!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flat tire and playing with Biscuit

First of all, folks wanted to know how to make Biscuit sit still for her picture.  All I had to do was place a piece of that sugar free pop corn on my knee where she could see it.  And then I got that pleading, oh please daddy please, gimme the popcorn look.

Is that cheating?  Well I did finally give her the piece of popcorn, but just one because the Vet lady said absolutely no table food, and I'm pretty sure that would include popcorn too.

Tonight she lost one of her baby teeth, chewing on Loyce's slipper.  It really startled her when it came out.  So the chewing will continue while the new teeth grow in. Perhaps then we can get some rest on the chewing bit.  She was awake before dawn again today, and is driving us nuts that way as well.

Besides playing with Biscuit, we had a bunch of wind here today.  It came up mid morning, and was blowing most of the day.  Only about 18 miles per hour, but quite steady.  It rattles the palm trees behind us, and knocks the dead fronds from the trees.

I didn't ride the scooter until about 4 PM, preferring to use the car to go get a new back tire for Loyce's bicycle.  It was strangely flat Monday when she went to ride over to the mail box.  The guy at the bike place said that we have small cactus spines that blow all over the place and make bike tires mysteriously go flat.

Of course he had just the remedy, selling me an extra thick inner tube to go with the new tire.  He said that the thicker new tire and the thick inner tube would correct the problem.  After I got the tire mounted and re aired, it seemed to stay up for the rest of the day.  Though she hasn't gone anywhere yet, I perceive that the back tire is fixed.

Now it will be just a matter of time before the front tire follows suit.  The bike and its tires are over 25 years old, and need to be replaced because of age without regards of road hazards.  Maybe I ought to go buy another one of those thick inner tubes before we leave, because you can bet they are more available here in the desert.

I was off riding the scooter over to another of the manufactured housing parks this afternoon.  More as a place to ride to than interest in the park.  But in order to get in and look the place over, the guard made me sign in and get a visitor's pass.  Then I had to take the pass to the office and tell them I was out looking around.  They signed off on my voyeurism, and offered to open anything I was interested in.

Oddly enough, this park is back over in the Leisure World area, which is closer to our old park from last year.  It was started in 1996 and has much larger stately trees and plantings.  Its amazing how much these mature gardens add a sense of calm to the place.  The houses are much the same as the other places, and the community buildings were identical.

Another opportunity to purchase real estate here in Mesa.  The economy here is bad!  Quite bad.  They advertise real estate foreclosure auctions on bill boards along the interstates.  It is a buyers market.  I think living in a 350 square foot motorhome without traveling around is driving us nuts.

We did decide today that we would like to leave here when our rent is out on March 3rd.  Perhaps going back toward Texas this year.   We did that two years ago, and ran into cooooold rainy conditions, until we made it to the San Antonio area.  Maybe we will have to drive really fast!!!!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quartzsite on a Lark!

You just never know what the next day may bring.  We talked briefly on Monday night, and decided that Tuesday would be the day to go to Quartzsite!  Hey that was today.!

Biscuit, our resident alarm clock whined and whined at about 6:30.  Before the sun came up.  So we were up and had breakfast.  We were dressed and loaded up and gone before 9 AM.  But it is almost 3 hours to Q from way out East here in Mesa.

We were astonished to find the rest area open half way over to Q.  It has been closed for the last two years.  We think it was a budget thing here in Arizona, since water isn't too plentiful out in the middle of nowhere.  But it was a welcome stop again after fighting our way thru the center of Phoenix.  We do take the South loop of I 17 rather than I 10 right downtown, but you still have to deal with all the airport traffic.

Once in Q, we gassed the car up on the East end of town, even though it is a few cents higher priced.  Not nearly the crowd of folks out there.  Then we headed for the center of town.

We thought we would wander around in La Mesa RV for a while, to see what they had for sale in the way of motor homes.  They did have a brand new 2011 Allegro Bus, but we weren't too keen on the color scheme, and with a list price of $345K, that was fairly large to not really like it, LOL.

We looked at a Phaeton that was a 2007, but it was totally grimy inside.  The carpet looked as though it was parked in the desert for months.  We put up with our own dirt, but buying something with lots of other folks dirt, isn't for us.  It also had the older style TV's in it and we like our new flat screens in this rig, so that was out too.

Well onward to the big tent!  We spent about half an hour wandering around out in the desert parking to the West of the tent looking for parking that we could park the Camry in.  There were spots, but the sandy deep gravel, wasn't for our two wheel front drive car.  We didn't want to get stuck right there!

Finally we were inside the tent, and it was wall to wall people!  We wandered taking samples of wares, and buying a stove top grill, like Linda of RV Dreams recently purchased.  Loyce had a piece of chicken that the lady was grilling, and that cinched the sale.

Biscuit got a new little name tag to go on her collar, with her name and telephone number on it, and we wandered more. People every where.  I sat on my cane/chair, purchased from the Mesa swap meet, over in a corner, while Loyce looked at cosmetics.  Finally we made the swing around the outside vendors, where I purchased a big bag of Kettle Corn that was made with Splenda!

By then I was hungry, and we both scarfed it by the handfuls.  The lady said that the Splenda had to be the commercial liquid kind to use it in the Kettle process, because otherwise it would burn under the high heat.

We ducked for the car, even though it was still early, because Biscuit wanted to go potty!  Getting back out of the desert parking took some wheel spinning, but we blasted away, and were out.  Kinda of zoomed past a couple of cops at the blacktop, but I headed West rapidly.  No pursuit! LOL.

After a McDonalds up town, and the tour of main street back to the East end, we declared that Q was done for another year.

Loyce took over driving at the rest stop, and hung in there all the way thru the rush hour traffic, and we arrived back in Mesa just in time to watch the sun fade in the West.

I'm glad we don't do stuff like that every day, but we had fun too!

                                      Ya can't even tell I had a haircut, can you?

Retired Rod

Rick, we missed you by one day!  We gotta get our schedules coordinated better than that in the future, LOL!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A cool day for reading!

Today was a reading day! It seemed to be really cool when I rode the motorscooter over to the bath house.  Too cool to go anywhere on the bike.  I came back and parked hoping for a big warm up.

It wasn't all that cold, and the sun was shining brightly.  That makes your spirits high, which is why we choose to come to the desert every year.  We don't spend days on end in the gray overcast and dreary rainy conditions of other warm places.  The trade off is that when the sun goes down, the desert gets rather cold.

So we never really got to 70.  And I just sat inside the motorhome with the sun on its windows and enjoyed the warm that it provided.  I read all the blogs, and then started to read my political book.  But not being exciting, it put me to sleep during the afternoon.  I fought to keep my eyes open, but Biscuit had awakened us at 5 AM and whined for an eternity before falling back to sleep, so the warm nap was beyond my ability to defend.

Later in the afternoon, I began reading my Kindle for the PC book.  I had down loaded the Kindle program some months ago, but had not gotten into it very well.  I have the book, 20 thousand leagues under the sea, which was free.  But somehow today I began to read it in earnest.  It is written in 1860's English, which makes it slow to comprehend.

Loyce was doing her craft projects, and some of that included the laundry, as she was washing fabric, and our sheets and ..... well she likes doing laundry.  And tonight she went on another walk that was over an hour.  Finally walking Biscuit around the long block to tire her out before bed.

So our day was uneventful, but not really boring.  Just not exciting.  We did get more new folks camped across the street after some of them left yesterday.  And again we are totally full.  They even rented out one of the sites behind us where the for sale park models were sitting, before they were sold last week.

I think they are beginning to poke folks into all the crooks and crannies!  You know the sites on poor corners and back in cubby holes, that barely exist.  We do have some spots that are still vacant, as I ride around the park, but I think even those are reserved for arrivals later.

We think the spot across from us was reserved by the fellow who arrived today, forcing the former occupant to move somewhere else in the park.  When they moved their fifth wheel, the storage doors were hanging open and the wife came back with the pickup and loaded up the lawn stuff a while later. They couldn't have moved very far.

Just the living life bit of the everyday trailer trash folks!  LOL

Retired Rod

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wind, and Biscuit is back dirty again!

I see that I have been requested to take another picture of Biscuit with her shorter hair.  And I would too, except that she went out the next morning, and got herself all black almost instantly.  Good bye $40 hair doo!

Today was no exception, as she demanded to go on a walk early in the morning.  Loyce walks several miles in the early morning, and Biscuit can't keep up with that.  So, when she comes back, she then walks Biscuit around the short block that makes up our dog area on this end of the park.  About a half mile.

You are not to take your dog into the part of the park where pets are not allowed, and we have to cross about two blocks of non pet area to get to the North part of Dog Area.  I often carry Biscuit across this no mans land, but Loyce won't do that, so once around this Southeast loop is her normal route.

But the blacktop was resealed, and the black color seems to come off on the dogs as they walk.  If Biscuit was black, you wouldn't notice it, but in white and apricot she just looks black.  It seems to disturb her too, because she sits and licks herself to try and get it off, once she gets home.

We do not want to wash her any more than once a week, and less if we can, so she just has to stay dirty.  That is such a pleasant thought when she wants to get into our bed in the mornings.

Today became a football kind of day, as the wind began to blow about 20 mph in the early morning.  We have high pressure all around us, so I didn't understand where the wind was coming from, but it rattled our slide topper awnings most of the day.

Later in the afternoon, it began to slack off which was my signal to take the scoot out from under its cover and ride for about an hour out into the rural blacktops South and East of us.   I rode for a while, and then stopped into another housing development looking at their models that are available.

This place is a true ownership neighborhood.  You own the lot and the house, and it has few things provided by the developer.  They provide the plantings in the common areas, and some park like areas in the middle of the development, but no common swimming pools or other amenities.  But the deal here is you own your own lot, just like we do back home!

You get a stick built house, but then have to pay property taxes, because it is real estate.  With the manufactured home, it is personal property because it is still considered as a trailer house in this area.  So there you pay personal property taxes.

The big difference is that it is not in a fenced in area with a gate guard, and it is not in an age qualified park, so kids playing in the street is to be expected.  But then we have that at home as well.  The only thing that concerns me with buying a home 1300 miles away from the others, is that we would be gone for at least 8 months a year, or more!  Seems like a candidate to be broken into, and it might be months before anyone knew about it.  See why we have RV's that we take home with us!

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The motor scooter fairly screamed at me this morning for looking at another girl!!!  Stressing all of the great benefits of the scooter design.  Full floorboards, relax with your feet in any position!  Full automatic transmission, with gear shifting if you want.

A great big seat with storage underneath for two full helmets.  A hump bag lunch box, with room for your drink inside as you ride down the road!!!  It only weighs 600 pounds and will turn on a dime, making the twisties a dream!  But mr scooter is missing one great big thing...........Attitude!!!

Ya can't be a big Harley Biker guy on a Scoooooter......!  Well, no you can't and you have to explain why you would choose such a ride to every one you meet.  I'm a wimp, and that is why I ride a wimp machine!!! LOL

I felt bad for my poor old scooter, and had to clean it up.  It hadn't had a bath since way last fall before the surgery lay up.  It was all dusty when I got it out here in Arizona, but only got a quick chamois.   But it has been almost two months since it was taken from the inside of the trailer, and has lived under its cover out in the elements.

So today it got a real bath with sponge and soap suds.  Then it was rinsed and chamois again.  Later it had its tire pressures adjusted and its fluids checked.  I need to go put the cover back over it here in a few minutes as it is way past dark outside.

On the watch front, I learned yesterday that my suspicions were warranted on the Rose colored Sub Aqua Noma IV.  Seems that they didn't have an overstock on that one at all, and none of the 250 orders they received will be getting one.  They offered a replacement which did not have the Master Calendar movement and was silver.  And in a weak moment I said OK send it.  I'll have to pass judgement on it when it arrives.  But it is nowhere nearly as cool as what I thought I was buying.  That's Invicta and their Sunday Run.  Kind of like a Cra___ shoot.  Heck, I got way too many watches now, can't cry just because a neat one got away.

Biscuit had to go with Loyce over to the local Veterinarian office again this morning.  It was the last of her puppy shots, which includes the Rabies vaccine.  She has been laying around in her bed and in the crate, and under the table.  But she just doesn't seem to find a comfortable place.  Maybe she will feel better in the morning, but for now she really yelps if you touch her back end where the shot was administered.  She has those big brown Cavalier Spaniel eyes and just pleads for me to make it better.

You want to hug her, but that doesn't help the backside a bit.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tucson Quilt Show and a Bike!

We headed out about 10:30 this morning, headed for Tucson.  It is the weekend for the Annual Quilter's Guild Show in the convention center there.  Loyce has gone the last two years, and wanted to make it three.

We drove right along on our outer loop 202 called the San Tan freeway, until we came to a complete stop, somewhere South of Chandler.  I moved over to the inside lane, as it seemed to still be moving some.

After what seemed to be an eternity, we found a car that had rolled down the interstate and ended up on the shoulder without its top.  The people were already gone in an ambulance, so we were spared that part, but the responders were sweeping the interstate of rocks and broken glass.  Having been thru this ourselves two years ago, we just cringe when we arrive on these scenes.  (Link) and (Link) for pictures.

The rest of the trip to Tucson was uneventful, and the sun was shining brightly.  Not a cloud in the sky, but it was cool at about 63 when we arrived.  I dropped her at the door, and Biscuit and I were free for a couple of hours.

On the way into town, we had passed a Harley Davidson dealer, and we backtracked to the bike shop.  After Biscuit watered their plantings outside, and retired to her car crate with the car windows open, I went inside.

They had an enormous number of bikes on display.  New and used.  A salesman spent time following me around, and I finally had to admit that I rode a scooter, because of the neuropathy in my feet and the shifter pain.  He explains that there are now electric shift solenoids that will put the gears on the handle bars, but you still have to use the clutch.  A possibility!

I could probably use a heal and toe rocker bar type shift, if need be, as it is the upward lift of the gear lever that kills me.  On the rocker bar, you can press down with your boot heal to shift up.

I was quite startled to find that some of the Screaming Eagle bikes are now over 40K.  Wow, it was just a few years ago that they were about 25K.  The economy isn't hurt any in the motorcycle business.  What they are mostly selling is image, as the bikes can't cost that much to make.

The Screaming Eagle is hand assembled in one build station by one builder.  A custom build, just for you.  The assembler rides the bike some at the factory to test that he has everything just right, before it gets packed up to ship.  But that costs somewhere around 15K more!

To me, the bike that is assembled on a production line would be just fine, as they take them out on the road to test everything as well.  Each fellow knows his job as well as possible, and does it repeatedly, so the skill level is much the same.

But where the difference come in, is the assembly line moves along at a fast pace, where the custom builder can take more time on something if it doesn't go quite right.  Bad stuff should be ID ed at the test ride anyway.  Or at the dealer prep time, too.

So when I went back to pick up Loyce at the convention center, I was full of ideas on how my new Harley was going to look and be!!  I don't think that was what she had in mind, when we left for the Quilt show.  Think really loud pipes, and a leather jacket!!! LOL

We came back thru the countryside when we got about 30 miles North of Tucson.  I was tired of the interstate, so I got off on US 87.  We drove to Coolidge where the Casa Grande ruins are located, and stopped at the Wal Mart there, mostly for a potty break.  Biscuit needed out too!

We continued our scenic country drive partly around the San Tan mountain to the East but turned North before Florence.  Winding around the blacktops, we caused George the GeoSat GPS to recalculate several times as we headed for Queen Creek and eventually home here in East Mesa.

We arrived back here about 4:30 and had to open up the rig, as it was quite hot inside.  I'm not sure it made 70 officially today, but the sun was out all day, and compared to the single digits we were hearing  about back home, it will do quite nicely.

Tonight Loyce was digging thru her new bag of stuff from the show, and I was still talking new Harley, and she said, Ya Right!!!  What ever that means..........

Retired Rod

Friday, January 21, 2011

Biscuit gets shaved.

Today was Biscuit's trip to the beauty parlor.  Of course she had no idea where we were going, and she was really excited to meet the lady at the counter, and all of the other dogs when we got there.  You can tell when she is excited, because she dribbles on the floor.  Puppies!

We had to leave her for two hours, and it was hard for us to leave her behind.  But we left.  We had decided to not shear her down to her bare fur, but to leave about an inch of hair all over.  We think that will not frighten her as much, an perhaps get her more used to having a hair cut in the future.

The gal was really good with her, they were still buddies when we got back, so things must have been OK.  But ever since we arrived home, all Biscuit wants to do is sleep.  It must really be traumatic going to the dog parlor.  Or we played around so much with all the other dogs and the groomer, that we are killed now.

If I could get her awake, I would take her picture, but she looks much the same as she did several weeks ago before she grew all the ragged fur.

The wind was blowing hard enough to have to roll up the awning today, but the temperature was well into the 70s just the same.  Compared to the wind that blows in South Texas, we had just a slight breeze, but for around here, it made the palm trees sway a bunch.

I do remember that Arizona had a tornado back last summer, but that was up in the mountains by Flagstaff.  I can't ever remember wind damage here in the valley.

Another nice day, when we found out that KC had 8 inches of snow!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Riding on the Highway and explaining the Sunday Run

See how nutty I am when it comes to this watch fetish thing!  On Sunday, I ordered an Invicta Sub Aqua Noma IV with a Master Calendar movement.  It will be in Rose Gold and Black on a bracelet.  I ordered it directly from Invicta in Hollywood, Florida.

They have what is called the Sunday Run, where they list overstocked watches on a special web site.  They start exactly at midnight Eastern time.  Like in the middle of the night!  But only 10 PM here.   Folks start ordering the item until the web site says GONE!

Then you sit around waiting for another item to take its place on the site.  Hitting refresh over and over until you get the next offering.  Folks use an auto refresh program to query the site about every thirty seconds and redisplay the latest page.

When you see something you think you can't live without, you hit the "I Want IT" button and go into an order page to get the item.  In order to place an order, you have to be pre registered with Invicta to receive their quarterly news magazine by email.  If they recognize your email address, then you can place your order.  Otherwise you just go around in a circle on the I want it button.

You don't really get much of a confirmation that it all worked until you get the shipping tracking info from FedEx.  That usually comes on Tuesday, but with this weeks holiday on Monday, no tracking info came out yesterday and only part of the shipments received tracking today.  And of course the item that I ordered did not get tracking even today.  So now I am becoming nervous.

Word has it on the forum that tracking will be out tomorrow!!  If it wasn't that we were getting drastically reduced pricing on these things, no one in their right mind would sit at the computer all day waiting for the next item to come up.  Not knowing what it will be or even if you might like it.  Folks will do anything in order to get a deal on stuff!!!!  Are we having fun yet?

Today was another wonderful day on the desert. Over 80 degrees on the motorscooter dash.  I was outside reading my book, and an Airstream trailer pulled by a Chevy pickup arrived to take the last open spot around us in all directions.  We do have one spot behind us next to the park models that is open, but I would bet it will be filled soon.

Talking to the park model saleswoman today, we learned that the Palm Harbor trailers are limited here to the ones they have on the lot.  Seems that the company was reorganized in bankruptcy, and one of the changes was to close the Tempe plant where these homes were made.  So when the ones behind us are sold, they do not know where new trailers will be coming from.

Note,  Cavco is still open for business here in Apache Junction, but evidentially the Cal Am people that own this park have ended that relationship.  Sounds to me like someone has made a decision that has come back to bite them!  They are not saying anything in public except that we need to purchase these homes now before they are all gone!

Now wait a minute, there are something like eight Cal Am parks here in the Phoenix area, and every one of them has these new park models on display.  So I think they have about 40 or more on hand.  Is this the latest sales ploy?  Get them now before its too late!!!! To late for what?

I learned that Cal Am also has one of the double wide parks where the trailers are lowered to the ground and set up as conventional homes.  It is out in Gold Canyon to our East, and these developments do not have or allow any RVs.  So on a whim, I rode the motorscooter out there this afternoon just to nose around.

Gold Canyon is on highway 60, and is about 13 miles away.  I rode thru the countryside on Baseline road, as far as the street lasted.  Eventually I had to get on the four lane highway with its 65 mile speed limit.  And yes the scooter goes that fast, but I usually don't do highways unless absolutely required to. And in this case, it is the only way out there.

The homes were another step above any that I have looked at so far.  These had all red tile roofs, and were completely stucko sided.  The development is only about half completed, but I think the economy has really slowed the progress.  There are so many used homes on the market here in central Arizona, that building new ones doesn't make a lot of sense.  Still there were several new ones available for immediate move in.  I guess some folks just have to have brand new!

I talked my way into the gate waving my Cal Am pass for Valle Del Oro, asking about the sales office.  But it was late in the day, and I think the guard knew that I couldn't get there in time for them to be open, but he let me in to ride around just the same.  The place is nice but I would bet quite pricey.

I rode home on the freeway all the way at 65 mph.  Mostly the cars still pass you going 70 or more.  Thats OK because I don't like to be followed at those speeds anyway.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Up early again!

My land this up early thing is going to have to stop!  I was awake at 5:30 this morning, but I had not heard my wife take the dog out at 4:30. Thinking she hadn't been out, I got up and took her back out at 6:30.  I think Loyce was asleep, and didn't know I was back outside with her.

Or perhaps she was laughing her behind off in the back bedroom, I don't know.  But Biscuit looked at me like "dad are we going to go play now?"  Well at least I was up now.

Today was another medical day back over to the Doctor's office, and that wipes out most of the day for me.  I just came back home and watched the TV and stuck my nose in the computer.  It got oh so warm this afternoon, at 77 degrees outside officially, and I had 80 on the dash of the car when I drove to Wal Mart to turn in my latest prescription. 80 in January here in Phoenix is really quite warm!

Again, I did not get the cover off of the scooter when I was in the stay at home mode.  Loyce went back over to Wal Mart for me to get the prescription after supper tonight.  She always needs another grocery item, so a trip to Wal Mart is in her book anytime!

I didn't purchase any new watches today or even get tempted by any!  A day without any temptation, but I have worn three different ones during the day.  Kind of like changing your hat or something!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another sunny day again

Ya gotta love the desert, since it is a repeat of the same thing almost every day! When the sun comes up, it burns off the early haze and begins to warm.  If there is some clouds at first they also burn away by about 9 AM.

Biscuit always wakes up about 6:30 before the sun comes up.  She wants to begin play almost before she can go potty outside.  But we stand guard and make sure she goes.  Sometimes if we are still tired she gets stuffed back inside her crate.  But today she was much cleaner, so she got to come into our bed for a while.  Of course she wants to play there too, so we are up directly.

This morning, Loyce wanted to go on her morning walk, and I was getting up slowly, so Biscuit found herself in the car carrier for an hour or so.  She whines and cries when her momma leaves, and there is nothing I can do to soothe her.  She just needs to grow up some more.

After the morning routine of showers and breakfast, Loyce declared that we still had dirty laundry, and that she was headed for the  laundry room.  That frees me to read all the blogs and settle into the corner with my political book.  The day was beginning to be warmer, and the lawn chair outside was sunny!

I never did leave the coach, more new neighbors arrived and got set up across the street where some of the earlier folks had left Sunday morning.  I read my book, and watched the neighborhood at the same time.  It got above 70, and the sun was bright!

At one point I ran for a sandwich with the car, for about 30 minutes, when Loyce came back from the Laundry.  Nothing too exciting, as I never even took the cover off of the scooter.

Tonight, the UPS truck brought a fairly cheap watch that I had ordered about two weeks ago.  It is on a bracelet, so that needed to be sized, once I determined that the watch worked and didn't have any manufacturing glitches.  It was assembled in the far East, from Swiss parts, and they require looking over much more carefully.

I can usually change watch bands and straps.  On some of the easier watches, I can change a battery and in this case, I took four links out of the bracelet.  I have a simple tool kit for these projects, and as usual, having the tools is half the battle.

Rick will tease me about what time it is again tomorrow, but I really do know, because it is displayed on the bottom of the Windows 7 screen here on this laptop, LOL!!!  I say that I am not going to purchase any more watches, but then I see a different movement that I don't have or a different color, and I weaken thinking only one more.

Ya Rick, what time is it?

Retired Rod

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday again, where is this winter going to?

Questions first!  What kind of a citrus tree is that in front of the rig?  Well, we are not too sure!  When JB and Brenda were here, Brenda picked what she thought was the freshest of the fruit, and peeled it.  It looked to be some sort of an orange, with thick skin like a navel.  We broke the segments apart and each of us tasted one......  bitter, bitter, oooh so bitter.  So we are now thinking the tree is really ornamental in nature.  Perhaps it will become sweeter as the fruit ripens.

What is the electric rate?  I believe it was slightly over 8 cents per kilowatt.  We had a big to do here in Arizona about the RV parks marking up the electricity from what they get charged and making profits off of it.  In this state that was against the regulators rulings.  What they allow the electric companies to charge for a kilowatt is all that can be charged.... Period!

So after some newer rules to make things much more clear, the parks can not mark up electricity.  So when we came back a year ago last winter, our juice was much more reasonable. I'm sure that changed things here at Valle Del Oro as well, but since this is our first year here we can't speak to their practices prior to the changes.

Our bill was just over $100 bucks this last month, and we have used almost no propane since we came here.  Our water heater is on electric, and our refrigerator in on electric, and we run two large electric heaters at night.  We do have a two burner cook top to make meals with that use propane however.

And as far as the park with the expensive monthly rental, it is a complete park model park, where the wheels and axles are removed from the trailers as they are brought in.  All park models are set up at ground level like a house, and are double wides with attached car ports or garages.  They are skirted and sided after they are installed, and essentially are homes at that point.  But you don't own the lot, and can't purchase it.

The club house is provided by the management company, and the dues are not guaranteed to be kept at any level.  No wonder they have been increased rapidly, just because they can!  But the place is really nice as you drive around.  But their are rules big time, and they have enforcement that makes sure your garbage enclosure is just so and that there are no satellite dishes that are visible from the street, and on and on.........  Pass..........

Today was just like all the other Sundays here in the RV park.  People were out on their patios watching the football game and having parties.  I went out on the scooter, just driving around the park. We seem to have neighborhoods much like a small community,  with the resulting get togethers in each area.

Back at the RV, I got involved with the Sunday Run on the Invicta web site, and they presented another watch that I decided I needed to collect!  I got more watches than I can wear, ever, but this one has a master calender movement in it made by ronda.  And it was much more inexpensive than it would have been on the retail sites, and Shop NBC.

Again I am putting my son out to go meet the FedEx truck, as they will only ship it to my KC home.  He said he didn't mind when we talked to him on the phone.  He's a good kid, and makes his daddy happy even if it is somewhat of a imposition on my part.  He only has one watch, and forgets to wear it. That's what he has a cell phone for!  And see I forget to take my cell phone with me!

Biscuit got her bath late in the afternoon, after she and I walked all over the park.  Or perhaps it was that she drug me all over.  She was just black after that trip, and her mommy said that does it!  Now she is killed on the floor in front of her crate.  Just too much excitement.  Another slow Sunday!

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday at the RV park

OK, I wrestled the computer back from Biscuit, and she thanks all those folks that responded in her defense of not needing to get a hair cut, and told her to keep up her attitude, and so forth.

But what you can't see is how really long her hair has become.  She has almost 3 inches of fur hanging from her underside belly and off of her little legs.  She drags this around as we walk the streets and it becomes black.  She then jumps up on your lap and you feel dirty like her when she gets back on the floor.

The park sealed the blacktop streets this past summer, and that seal coat seems to wipe off on all the dogs.  Everyone here agrees, as we discuss the matter at 4 PM happy hour, that you have to keep the dogs hair really short around here, or your going to have a black dog, no matter what color he or she started out to be.

And she is so nasty, that we probably can't wait until Thursday to give her a provisional bath.  I'd take a picture but we are not about to have someone think we are abusing her that way. LOL

Today we were back over at the swap meet, and I bought some of The Solution from the RV place in the meet.  $15 for a quart spray bottle.  It has the proper label, so I think it is original from the folks that bottle it.   I was told that sometimes the internet vendors will repackage  the larger quantities and then send them out in order to make a little more from selling the stuff.  Say it isn't so!

I walked around spending most of my time in row B, which is a row that I haven't concentrated on as much this year.  Had some fun and talked to a lot of folks, but didn't buy anything else.  After about an hour, Loyce and I ran back across each other in the C row about where the car was parked.  We had agreed that we would meet back at the car in an hour or so, and it fell into place quite naturally.

She had a bag that had Sponge Bob on it, but I didn't even inquire what was inside.  Probably something for one of the grand kids.

As we came back to the RV, I changed into my riding gear and went out for a sandwich and then rode back thru the housing development we visited the other day.  I found a group of guys out solving the developments faults in the street, and I stopped by to hear the local complaints.

Mostly they said the monthly fees were too high, and that they had been indiscriminately raised by the development company over the years until many folks just want out.  That is why so many places are for sale.  It was simple, they didn't trust the company any more.  And it takes about 30K to move the homes to a new park or place.  And what was to say that the monthly at the new place wouldn't skyrocket as well.  Isn't it fun to hear what the locals have to say?  The fees are over $600 a month now, without any accounting of what it is spent on.  It is a private company, not an association of owners!

Back here at the RV, I thought about the fact that we can just pull up the jacks and move on.  Yes we have paid the same $600 a month, but only for three months, and then we are gone!   And that is only $20  night, which is cheap as far as RV parks are concerned.  We have to pay the electric separately however.

Yesterday they hauled out another new park model from behind us with a big mover truck.  It will go over to new park model row on 94th street.  Almost all of the rigs there are these brand new models.  They have some of the spots saved for folks that buy these new rigs.  And if you are camped there with an RV, you might be relocated, if someone wants your spot for their new home.  It isn't in a "dog row" so we are safe.  The price set up with an Arizona room is 69K.  You can piece it backward from there by eliminating stuff, but they will not let you go cheaper than mid 40s.  What they really want is the income stream of monthly rents for the lot.  Somewhere around $400, but it must be paid all at once in the fall before you are allowed to return for the winter.

Now we are completely rented on our street, in this end of the park.  There are vacancies on the high traffic main street coming into the park, and some others in the back part of the park, but I would guess that we are over 90 percent full now.  But it is January 15th and it should be full now, if they are to succeed.

This place radiates this success, where as the old park was struggling at a minimum.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Bath!

This was the day last week that they made me take a bath!!!!  Yuck!!!  I even had to sit and get combed with the slicker brush.  Then horror of horrors, I had to sit for my picture!!!  Can you tell by my attitude that I don't like it?

Well now its about 10 days later, and I am all dirty and grungy again, and I smell a lot like a dog.  You know like I should smell, but today dad went out on his motorscooter and rode over to the Superstition Mall area to find a dog groomer place.  He thinks I need a puppy cut, what ever that is.  He had checked out several places that are somewhat close but didn't like the looks of most of them.  There is always the the Petsmart over by the Wal Mart that can't change car oil, but he isn't too happy about that whole strip mall now.

Anyway this place he found is across from the main entrance of Leisure World, and makes their living cutting all those high falutin puppies of all those rich people.  But I have an appointment for next Thursday!   Wish me luck, I know I won't like it one bit!!

Anyway today was hair cut day for my dad too as he drove back up to the shop that he has used since he first came here to Mesa.  He had to take a number from the wall peg and sit quietly and wait his turn.  The barber shop banter was going full strength, as they were discussing the snow fall in Minnesota and North Dakota.  I guess he wasn't the only snow bird in there.

Boy I sure hope the dog parlor does a better job on me than he got or else I will look real funny.  Why can't I just stay dirty and looking like a rag muffin?

When we went out potty at dusk tonight, dad had to take a picture of the sun going down.  He tied me to the lawn chair and walked out into the street.  I barked at him not to leave me, but he didn't listen.

It was 76 this afternoon when he was out riding on his scooter getting all these hair cuts.  Arizona is still verrrrry nice this time of year!

Biscuit Dog for Retired Rod

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another sunny and 70 day!

Sandra wanted to know how the camera broke, and the short story is we don't know.  It kind of looks as though the display was struck with something, because it is like it is torn across the middle and one side. But we have always kept it in a padded bag.  We have never dropped the camera and have guarded it with our life so to speak.

But none the less, it was damaged after we got here in Arizona.  And the box and related paperwork is back in Kansas City, so even finding out how to mail it in is beyond the scope of our ability.  At somewhere around $250 for a replacement, I'm not so sure what a practical repair cost should be, before it makes more sense to just get another one.

Today was another super nice day!  It was 72 degrees again in the afternoon, and I was able to take the liner out of my motor cycle pants and jacket.  Back to the summer thin mesh with no liners at all.  Of course the armor and the ripstop of the fabric is still available to keep you safer.

When it was 100 degrees in KC last summer, I had my shorts on under the pants, and I haven't done that quite yet, as it is still cool at 50 mph.  Today, I headed out to find where the Interstate Battery facility is here in Mesa.  Our starting batteries on the coach are not as good, as they once were, and I was trying to find out how expensive they will be should I need to do that before we leave.

They are quite fine when we travel every day, but seem to be weak when we park for several weeks at a time.  I'm still not sure, but I think they are group 31s like a heavy truck.  I tried to call Tiffin, but couldn't get thru in several attempts.

And even the Interstate folks wanted to see them before they would tell me for sure.  But the most expensive group 31s are around $140 each, and we have two of them.  I may defer the problem to next summer, but perhaps I may need to charge them before we leave.

Just because we are plugged in, the house batteries seem to be the only ones that are charged by the converter.  And I am sure they are being cooked to death in that process.

Batteries just don't seem to last very long once they have met their third birthday!  At least in my world they don't.  The 6 volt golf cart batteries would be the exception to that rule.  We have two of those as coach batteries.  With only two, we can't boondock very long either.

Once I returned from a long bike ride, this afternoon, I sat outside in the sun and enjoyed the sunny and 70 weather until the sky turned orange again.  That is the essence of Arizona!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warmer here!

Why is the door on our rig white?  The short answer is that it is white on the inside.  Or rather, I think it has never been painted on the inside, and was made from white painted aluminum at the door factory.  But with the door closed, it matches the outside of the coach.

Here it is in the parking lot of our storage place back in KC, with the door closed.  I had ridden over on the bike that day and the sun was high in the sky.

Today was a warm day here in Mesa Arizona, as we reached over 70 degrees.  That seemed really nice as we have been struggling to reach the low 60s lately.  I know that New York and New England have been drowned with 18 inches of snow, and from looking at  Jessica and Harry's blog it is most unpleasant.  That makes a really nice day seem like such a gift.

And on the late Doctor yesterday, I learned that the fellow had a grandchild that took a tumble out of her high chair and cracked her head on the concrete floor.  I wasn't mad that he abruptly turned around and went back to her house.  I just thought they could have told us what was happening and to set the appointments back a couple of hours.  He did work right thru his lunch hour trying to catch up.

Today, I had a big list of things I wanted to get done.  And Loyce had her car back with appointments of her own.  So I was on the scooter for much of the afternoon.  Remember about the really nice day!  It was off to Wal Mart to give them a prescription, and back to Lowes to get some hardware.  And back home to be with Biscuit, as she was devastated that her mommy was gone without her.

We ran the fan in the afternoon as the coach began to get hot inside in the sun.  Once Loyce returned, it was back over to Wal Mart with the car to pickup the Rx and get the oil changed.

Really long time readers of the blog, might remember that two years ago when we set out to return back to KC for Christmas, we had a problem with an oil change from a Wal Mart, where they left the oil cap off and most of the oil was thrown out of the car.  The oil was changed at this Wal Mart out here on Signal Butte road and highway 60.  Well I thought that after 2 years things couldn't still be that bad, so I went back over.

The really short version of the oil change, is that it took almost 3 hours, and that they were backing cars out from behind me when they had them finished, without finishing mine.  Something about needing a supervisor to inspect mine.  And no supervisor ever came.

I had to go up to the front of the store and get the manager of the entire store, in order to get my car back.  She ended up giving me a $20 gift card because she was embarrassed over the deal.  Man some things never change.

But we are back home, and the oil is changed.  And the sun went down just like it normally does with the deep oranges and purples before it got dark.  I only wish that my Panasonic camera hadn't broken so I could have taken some pictures of it.  The display on the back is all messed up, and it doesn't allow you to see what you are taking a picture of.  Well that was $300 bucks waisted.

That's why I have had no pictures on the blog since we came here.  If I kind of guess what I am taking a picture of, and then crop it in Picasa then it is somewhat OK.  But tomorrow will be another adventure here in the land of Sunny and 70.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Doctor came late!

The Doctor was 2 hours late arriving at his office today, but of course I was there right on time, so,,,,,, I got to sit in the waiting room for over 2 hours before making it to the exam room.  I waited, not so patiently, but what are you going to do?

That fairly well shot my entire day!  I don't want to turn this blog into a blow by blow medical summary, so I will leave out all the technical stuff.

I see that I have 63 followers and that very slowly, I have gained these followers.  I have gained folks about one a week, over the last several weeks.  While it is so slow, that I don't make a big deal about each and every one of you as you join, I notice every one of you as you sign up.  Without my loyal followers, there would be no reason to blog, so I feel that it is necessary to say how much I appreciate your stopping by to check us out!  Perhaps a simple THANK YOU will suffice, but I really do appreciate your stopping by.

While I would like to be out driving all over the state of Arizona, that just isn't in the cards right now.  So we will not be out boondocking in the near future.  I would really like to be able to travel to Quartzsite for the annual RV show later this month, so that is a goal to be accomplished.

So if I can keep this site somewhat interesting for the next couple of weeks, perhaps we can go exploring after that.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


We got a neighbor this afternoon.  We have been here since December 3, and the sites around us have been occupied and vacated right along. And then about 10 days ago we got a neighbor on our drivers side.  Some really nice folks from Oklahoma that are staying for a month.  And perhaps they might extend for another.

But thru all of this, we have managed to not have a door side neighbor.  That came to an end today about 4 PM, when a big Hitchiker II 5er was backed in beside us.  Our sites here are really nicely wide, so its not like a neighbor is a problem, but we're spoiled!

There is at least 10 feet beyond our car door over to the slide on the 5er, and the car is on the other side of our patio which is 8 feet wide, so this whine is really non problematic.  But the tall trailer blocks the sun on our door side now, so we won't warm up as fast.

As we approach this weekend we are to get up into the mid 70s during the afternoons, so blocking the sun may well be a good thing as the season progresses.

As for today, this was a laundry day, but Loyce will not let me help much in the progress of that task.  I just don't do things right to be left on my own with her laundry.  She might let me wash my own stuff, but even then she would be asking a million questions as to how I did things.

So Biscuit and I got to lounge around outside, and then I went for a scooter ride.  Over to the Superstition Mall area, to grab some lunch and then do some Wal Mart shopping.  I do have quite a bit of fun riding all over the place here in the East end of the city.

Of course tonight I had to watch the college championship game that was over in Glendale.  We had quite a bit of coverage on the evening local news about the traffic and the local hype.  You don't really know how gigantic that stadium is until you drive out there.  But today a lot of the local streets were blocked off.

Congratulations to Auburn, and condolences to the Oregon folks, as they thought the might just have it at the end.   And even bigger condolences to my Iowa State brothers, for being soooo dumb as to let Gene Chizik go!!, two years ago as a looser coach, ya right!  Should have given him more time folks, but he lost to Iowa, and that is a sin that you don't come back from.

Tomorrow is another medical day for me again, so I won't have much going on to report.

Retired Rod

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday Stuff

We were just hanging around trying to decide if we were really going to do anything today, when outside  John and Brenda pulled in.  They had dropped by to return some stuff that we had loaned them and my pocket knife that I must have dropped outside their rig.

But more than that, they are heading out the first of the week for the Quartzsite area to do some boondocking.  They are in the big city now, so it is time to stock up the supplies.  If you have been to the quartzsite area, you know that Wal Marts are in short supply.  So stocking up will be a necessity.

We spent an hour or so BS ing and laughing, but alas they had to part with hand shakes and hugs.  I'm sure we will cross their paths again.

I took off on the scooter, to ride myself over to the usual lunch facility.  Loyce sticks on her diet with boring salads, so I'm always on my own.  It was recording 67 on the dash temperature gage, so it was really nice for the early part of January.  I rode a couple of extra miles returning to the park.

As I was riding thru the park, I ran into a fellow from Tulsa, that was cleaning the back end of his Allegro Bus.  It seemed quite new, and yes he was using The Solution!  And yes he was totally sold on it, even though it costs a lot.  He asked, "what about a motor home doesn't cost a lot?"

We stood and told Red Bay, Al, stories and stories about Tiffin standing behind us when stuff went wrong. Seem this fellow had five Newmar products including an Essex.  But he was totally behind Tiffin and his Allegro Bus.  I took the devils advocate side and tried to counter his loyalty, but he was not to be swayed.  This was about an hours worth of discussion that included some of the neighbors as well.

Seems he has had problems with his Cumins engine and its electronic controls.  With reoccurring check engine lights.  This has not caused the fellow to loose his faith in the Tiffin products.  I couldn't help but wonder what he would think a year from now.

So when I got back home, the sun was becoming low in the horizon, and we began to get ready to go into our evening routine for sunday night.  I like to watch the watch shows on the TV and see how the Sunday internet special sales came out, so this took a bunch of my time.

I ended up purchasing a cheaper watch from the Shop NBC folks before it aired.  That turned out to be a good thing because the item sold out before it could ever be shown on TV.  But I think I got one. Time will tell on that one.

So no really new news from here today.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back over to the Flea Market

It was kind of cool again today, as we started at 43 degrees.  But the sun was out, and we left the door open on the motorhome to enjoy the outside air as much as possible.  It was nice outside but only about mid 50s by noon.

I was inside having breakfast and reading the blogs on the laptop.  I was several days behind, so that took up a bunch of the day.  Eventually the temperature reached 60, and the motor scooter was calling.

So out on a ride I went.  I grabbed some lunch, and went back over to the Swap Meet.  I had heard on the public address system yesterday that the local RV products store had some of The Solution on sale, and I was just curious enough to see what they had for a price on it.

For those of you that haven't heard of The Solution, is is a dry wash product that comes in a liquid spray bottle.  Of course the product is wet, but the dry wash refers to the fact that you are not using a hose and bucket to do the wash job.

But this product is quite expensive, and just because it is at the flea market, it remains expensive.  They get $40 a gallon, which is the same price it is available on the internet.  Now we have really increased the sales taxes here in Arizona to ten percent, the total price will be $44.

In most cases, the internet vendors will ship the product to you for free, so on the price alone, it would be cheaper to just order it online.  They did have a quart spray bottle for $15 which would make a gallon be $60, but if I wanted to just try the stuff it would be OK.

Since I did not have any idea how much the price was on the internet, I walked around in the flea market some more and came home without anything.  I might go get a quart of the stuff just to try it out, but any serious purchase will be online!

We watched TV and had more of the slow day later tonight.  Just the way we planned it.  It may warm up sometime in the next week, but for now, we are only making it into the early 60s.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Go Go enjoy!

We have laid around and relaxed during our stay here, and I realize that we mostly haven't had folks to go with.  And that changed today, as we have Brenda and JB.  We had agreed that we were headed out to the Mesa Swap Meet today, but the time was somewhat up in the air.

John likes to go on a long walk with his dog Meg in the morning, but I know he was done with that before we stirred from our rig.  We were up at 5:30 with Miss Biscuit, as she awakens and wants to go out right away.  She will not settle back down after that, but prefers to whine when we want to go back to sleep.

This is when she has learned that if she puts up enough of a fuss, she can come to bed with mommy!  Usually she just sleeps on the foot of the bed and we can all go back to sleep, but today that was a different story, as she needed to lick both of us and never really settled down.

So Loyce ended up getting up and going on her long weight loss power walk, and it got totally quiet so I thought she took Biscuit with her.  Well, not exactly, she put her in the car carrier so I could go back to sleep and it worked.

So when I did finally wake back up, I was in a toot to get cleaned up and have breakfast.  But as it turned out, we met at the Swap Meet about 11:30.

The swap meet is four rows of vendors on boths sides of each aisle.  After the girls went their own way, John and I wandered two of the aisles in both directions.  This took us almost 2 hours.  I have never gone thru all four aisles in one day.

We met back up with the gals, and headed back out to a local Wendy's for some Chicken Nuggets!   Since all RVers make plans about food, or where they are going to have their next meal, we discussed the plans for dinner!  And Brenda wanted to cook a steak dinner at their rig.  Well, I'm not sure, twist my arm!

So later tonight we had the opportunity to go out to the Usery Mountain Regional Park and enjoy the sunset and a wonderful dinner.  The park is such a treat, and usually we aren't able to go in, because they charge a $6 users fee just to enter.  This slows us casual drive thru types, and limits the number of times that we have been there.

But with dinner on the line, we gladly paid up!  And it was quite a treat.  And, as we had learned earlier  in the day, Laurie and Odel of Semi-True Tales of our Life on the Road, were invited as well.  We have read their blog for several years, but have never crossed paths.  So now we had this opportunity as well.

With a little wine, and some great stories, we watched the sun descend over the mountain.  John had a great campfire going in the fire ring, and we began to inch closer to the fire as the air cooled.  But never fear, that was when Brenda rang the dinner bell.

She served up freshly grilled steak, and some garlic shrimp in butter sauce.  These prawns were purchased in Louisiana, about a week ago, and were giant.  Along with some salad and garlic bread, man what a feast.  I went back for seconds!!  It was by far the best meal we have had in over a month!

For desert, she had angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped cream.  Blue berries and raspberries, my absolute favorite!  Umm, Boy!

Then again the stories began, and since we all read each other's blogs, it was like we had known each other all our lives.  Special folks, to be sure!

But as it became 9 PM, RVers midnight, we all began to wind down.  Our baby doggie Biscuit was beginning to act up, so it was necessary to call the party to a halt.  Man those shrimp were good!

Thanks Brenda and John!!!

Retired Rod

Friday, January 7, 2011

JB and Brenda are in Town!

We knew that John and Brenda Brown were arriving in the Mesa area in the next day or so, but had lost track of their actual arrival.  So it was with some surprise that we noticed a comment on the blog, that they were indeed here!

I knew that I had their email address somewhere, but to no avail it was not in the laptop or the blackberry.  Drat!  So I started in on my backlog of emails looking for where John had sent it to me.  I knew about when the date was, but still it took a while to find.  A friend of mine had called on skype, and as I was talking to him, bingo it jumped in front of me last night.

This morning, some quick emails were passed, and we had a plan!  Since they let me pick the eating establishment, I had to suggest that we go to Fuddruckers for fresh baked hamburger buns, and fresh ground meat.  I have been staying away from the sweet potato fries lately, since they seem to be too rich for my newly plumbed pipes.

But after Biscuit managed to climb all over Brenda and lick her to death at our rig, and a bunch of stories had to be exchanged, we headed to the burger place.  We were together for several hours, and we talked non stop!  Seems like one story reminded us of another, and then another.

We were about to be the last patrons in the restaurant, so we headed back to the vehicles.  Still we stood in the cool Arizona air, reluctant to call it quits.  We both have dogs that were couped up in our respective rigs, and poor Meg had been neglected since 3:30, so we had to let them go.

I think it is quite interesting, how we have made friends thru this blogging activity, with so many nice people.  And even though it has been almost two years since we have crossed our paths, we pick up with these fine folks, as though it was just yesterday!  And truthfully it was just yesterday, since that was the last time we read their blog.  RVing is a special bond that can not be replaced with any other form of social interaction.  We are so fortunate to have found it as our avocation.

Retired Rod

PS: John took some pictures and told the story better than I did, so see his blog HERE

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Biscuit has energy!

I'm not really sure where the morning went today, but most of it was trying to decipher our many medical bills that we have received over the last few weeks.  These were sent to us by our son Ben in KC.  Has the insurance been applied?  Did they actually pay something, and most importantly how much do we owe now?

That hasn't been overly pleasant, and today we had to order checks for the many facilities involved.  In the middle of all that,  Loyce asked if I had paid the electric bill here at the RV Park.  Well, no!!!

So with check book in hand, I hopped on the bike and headed for the office.  We had used $103 of electricity during the month of December.  We were charged 8cents per kilowatt.  But also we were charged $29 for sewer and garbage service.  This is because we are charged for these services by the city of Mesa.  They are not provided by the campground.  So we owed $132.  That isn't cheap, but we have used very little propane, and our nights have been quite cold.

Once back at the rig, and with the bills paid, I decided to go out riding on the motor scooter.  I was off looking for a competitive pet store.  Phoenix is the home of Petsmart, so finding anything else is quite tough.  I had looked up a PetCo on the internet, and it was to be over in the Superstition Springs Mall area.

I rode the bike over to that mall, and the traffic was.... well rather mall like!!!  Bumper to bumper, and slow to the point of gridlock.  I never did find anything other than the Petsmart that is across the street.

After stopping at the local Wendy's for a small burger, I gave up and went to Petsmart.  They didn't have what I wanted!  But then I already knew that from previous trips to other stores.

I seems that our little puppy Biscuit, which is not so little anymore, has a nasty chewing habit.  We have increased her walks to the point of several per day, and she is still attacking all her toys, and her harness if we leave it on her, and her leashes.  In about a day, she will chew right through the fabric straps that make up the leash.  We do need to keep her confined to the tile portion of the coach, since she will chew on the walls woodwork and pee in the carpet if not watched.

Now keep in mind she is very lovable, and will lick you to death, but just hasn't grown out of the puppy stage quite yet.

What I was looking for was a leash that has enough chain at the dog end, so that she can't chew thru it in short order.  And they do have such a thing for dogs that weigh in at about 100 lbs.  The straps are at least an inch wide and the chain is the size of a log chain.  We don't need anything like that to contain a 10 lb dog.  Oh and they want $26.95 for that leash.

So I got the wild hair to go over to the local Lowes, where I purchased 1 foot of light weight folded wire chain, and a small lead clip, like you would use on a halter.  Along with a couple of link clips, I had $4 in the entire purchase.

Back home, I broke the chain into two 6 inch sections and added them to the end of some give away cloth leashes we had on hand.  With the halter clips on the chain ends, the chain extends past her teeth far enough to protect the cloth leads.  She hasn't decided to chew in the middle of the leash yet, but perhaps that will come next.

The vet told us not to walk the dog until she can have all of her shots, but that isn't an option.  She has so much pent up energy, that she actually gallops at the end of her lead, until we get about half way around her walk.  She will sleep for a couple of hours when we get back, and then she is raring to go again!  Perhaps we will lose some more weight!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More medical stuff.

Today was another one of those medical days, so not much got done around the campground.  But at least today we were able to go to the local medical clinic here in East Mesa.  This turned the one hour each way drive to Goodyear, Az, into a ten minute drive and almost longer to find a parking spot that was suitably close.

Our day was cool again and featured a high temperature of 59, with last nights low of 36.  The heaters didn't work nearly as hard last night, and the propane heater has been secured.  It would be nice, if that was it for the season, but that would be wishful thinking I'm sure.

It was sunny all afternoon, and I thought about the bike, but opted for the car to go get a sandwich.  Just too cool for any serious biking.  So not much to report from here in the campground.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Service appointment and discovering another living possibility.

Today was make an appointment at Tiffin Motor Homes day!  Now how can that be?

Tiffin has been trying to come up with a system where everyone gets an equal opportunity to make a service appointment in a reasonable amount of time.  Still first come first serve, but not nearly so far out.  People that have brand new coaches need to be able to get things fixed, and not wait a year to get in.

So what they have decided to do, is to only make appointments one quarter year at a time.  This morning was the time to make appointments for the second quarter of the year, and we want to have things fixed up in April.  In order to make that appointment, we needed to call in exactly at 8 AM central time.  Of course that was 7 AM out here.

They had the appointment manager's voice mail set up to take calls as they came in.   They were returning calls in the proper order making the schedule for next quarters work.  I called, right at 7AM and after several calls I got on the voice mail system.

Then it was try and hold on for a while to see if you get called back.  I tried to chill out, but I don't do the waiting game very well.  But almost like clock work, they called back in a little over an hour, and the result was an appointment in Red Bay, Alabama for Monday the 25th of April.

Seems like that took all morning, but it was only about an hour and a half.  We spent the rest of the morning and some of the early afternoon waiting for the UPS truck, as we had some internet purchases arriving and tracking said they were out for delivery today.

I got tired of waiting around and finally left on the motorscooter.  After some lunch and some driving around, I found a housing project that interested me.  It is a camp much like our RV park, but it is park models that are double wide trailers.  They are made by the same company that makes the regular park models.

The difference is that they are set right on concrete slabs against the desert ground.  No trailer frames or wheels and tires.  So they become permanent sticks and bricks houses once set up.  This housing complex has all the same set up as the RV parks with the common areas and the activities and such, so it is quite interesting.

What troubles us, is that the economy here is sooo depressed that their are almost too many of these units for sale.  So should you purchase one, it would be yours for years to come!!  And you do owe an annual lease payment for the ground under the home, and the park facilities.  Wanna be really sure that it is what you want to do if you jump on board!

It was after dark when we came back home.  I had brought the bike back and Loyce and I went over in the car to check things out.

Still no UPS shipment!  Loyce went walking and I talked on Skype to one of my buddies.  Then as it was almost 9PM, we heard a truck outside, and Loyce thought we were getting a new neighbor late at night.  But no, you guessed it,  the UPS guy was here with the packages.  They must really be behind here in the valley.

So our day was filled with all kinds of things we do, some not as interesting as others, but a long day just the same.

Retired Rod

Monday, January 3, 2011

A sight seeing trip today.

We took a trip today out East on highway 60.  We had a sunny day going as we headed out about 1 in the afternoon.  The forecast temperature of 55 was achieved on our dash gage by about 2 PM.  But, as we traveled farther the clouds began to cover the sky.

It was nice to begin with, but as we climbed up into the mountains and we got more clouds, the temperature began to fall.  I think it was more the fact that we were climbing than anything else.

We passed the arboretum first as we reached the outskirts of Superior.  This is the first of the old mining towns, but is mostly closed up old businesses.  People still live there, and there is a large restaurant that we ate in two years ago.  It was busy today as well.

We were going on up to Globe, so we headed right on thru town.  The scenery gets much better as you head to the next town of Miami.  Well at least if you like mine tailings piles.  It was kind of fun anyway.  We did see some of the mining lakes in the distance that were quite green and almost emerald like.

I have tried to take pictures up there in previous years, but it is so far away in the distance that you never can see anything but mountains in the distance.  The mines have been mostly closed for years, so the gravel mounds are now becoming covered with vegetation, so it doesn't look so un natural anymore.

These pictures are from the Queen Creek area, but were taken two years ago on a day when it was sunny and bright.  But the rocks haven't changed much.

Both Globe and Miami are also really old, but there are more folks that are still living there.  The mines up there seem to still be open for some business. But on Sunday it was hard to understand how busy they still are.

We stopped at the local Wendy's for a burger, just to keep in tradition.  Loyce likes the chicken nuggets, so she has them with her salad from home.  Back in Miami, we found the quilt shop that we have gone to in the past, but darn the luck, it was closed on Sunday.

It was almost dark as we returned home to find that we now have another neighbor on our door side.  We still have one empty site between us, but we are sure that it will be occupied in the very near future.    By mid month, there will be very few empty sites here in our park.

We are kind of glad to be behind the new sales row of park models, as they are set up two to each lot.  It is kind of like having a wall behind us, since they are unoccupied.  Once in a while someone comes and looks thru them, but they only stay for a short while, and then its all empty again.

A lazy Sunday, but at least it is somewhat warmer and back into the 50s for daytime highs.  Tonight is to be 31 for a low, so we will not need to take in the water hoses again.  Lets hope thats over with for a while.  Like until next year, LOL.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Motorscooter riding and football

It really did freeze here last night, and for several hours in a row, so it was a hard freeze as well.  It didn't cause us any problems as I was all rolled up for the night.

I must be getting used to it a bit better though, as this morning, we just went out and hooked back up without thinking much about it.

We walked the dog, and ourselves in the early afternoon, and finally went out on the motorscooter, when it didn't look like Penn State had any chance to pull out their game.  Today I rode all over the city, and back over to the old campground, just for a destination.

I rode from the back to the front, and noted that one of Loyce's quilting friends was back in town after not coming here last year.  We'll have to see if Loyce wants to get back together with her.

It was getting quite cold, on my ride back out East here.  The wind was in the North, and with the Sun behind me and only 51 for a temperature on my dash temp gage, the wind was doing a number on me.  I parked and tossed the cover back on quite quickly.  I wasn't all that cold except for my face and fingers in the gloves.

Tonight we watched the Oklahoma game for a while, but began to channel hop and ended up changing between Mythbusters, and the Military channel.  I got engrossed in the early life of Hitler of all things.

I did not go roll up the hoses tonight, as it is still 36 degrees well after midnight.  So perhaps we won't be as cold.  Or perhaps we will be waiting for all of it to thaw out in the morning, but it is to be somewhat warmer tomorrow.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 1, 2011

More folks arrive, and a Bike Ride!

Today, we had 5 new rigs parked one after another around us.  First across the street, and then on the next street behind the others.  And finally one right beside us.  They are on our driver side, and consequently are of no bother.  Our sites here are about 10 feet or more wider than sites in a normal commercial campground, and we still have two open sites on our door side.

Loyce finally struck up a conversation with the new neighbors beside us and we learned that they are all together, traveling from Oklahoma City.  Well no wonder they all parked in a group.  We still have bunches of empty sites down in this end of the park, so perhaps we will get more neighbors in the next few days.

I checked a number of the airports weather recording sites on the National Weather Service today and learned that other locations did actually go below freezing last night.  We were in a small area that didn't fall below in the early morning hours.

Temperatures recorded were as low as 27 degrees, so it really did freeze for some of the folks.  Again tonight, we are to have temps as low as 25 degrees, but that depends on where you look it up and who does the forecast.

So as it was getting dark again tonight, I turned on the hose and filled up the water tank.  Once full, the hose was rolled up and stowed.  The light was turned back on in the water locker under the coach, for its heat.  And we are again good to go for the freeze if it happens.

The motor scooter stuck its head out from under its cover in the afternoon sun today. Loyce had gone off with the car, and lunch was on the agenda.  So after dressing up in the motor scooter pants and jacket complete with the liners installed, and the heavy gloves and helmet, we were off.

Its less than 2 miles down to the Wendy's, and it wasn't too cold getting there.  After the value meal, in the warm restaurant, I came back home to the RV park.  Still feeling a bit restless, I rode around in the park streets at fairly slow speeds.  The sun was out, and slow speed made it quite enjoyable.

When I parked on the patio, the temp on the scooter dash was 48 degrees.  So not exactly warm, but the best we ever did here today.


Happy New Year!!

Retired Rod