Thursday, June 30, 2011

I gave out in the basement!

I started in the basement again finishing up a light under the stairs where you go down.  We turned this into another storage area, and it will be dark once the dry wall is on.

But I had trouble hammering the staples in, because my wrists were so sore.  I perservered.  Then I went on to adding another duplex recepticle on the East wall, and managed to get it in as well.

But then I started to add another duplex in the office room, and this is where I ran into the hard wood studs that again stopped the drill dead.  I kept at it and finally got the wood drilled.  By now, my left wrist was really hurting, because each time the drill stalled it twisted my arms against the torque.

I managed to pull the wire and finish the staples but I knew I could go no farther until I could heal up some on my arms.  I just walked away and went back upstairs.

I spent the afternoon getting a lock that was replaced last week by my son re keyed.  When I arrived at the lock smith, he showed me that the lock could be re keyed by inserting a little clip into the face and putting in the correct key.   He didn't even charge me anything!  I came home and re read the instructions, and there was nothing there about re keying, honest!!

We had our youngest grand daughter over here this afternoon and I spent the rest of the day playing with her.  That is more fun than wiring a bunch of bare wood studs any day!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mowing and basement work.

For my friends in other parts of the country where temperatures never become unbearable, humidity is not an issue.  However here in the central Mid West, we are in the 90s almost every day.  And the humidity is usually in the 80 percent numbers as well.

But that is mostly taken out by the air conditioners we run constantly.  But what I was working on in the basement is the moisture in the ground.  It has rained almost all spring, and our ground is saturated with this moisture.  It seems to permeate the poured concrete of our basement and the air down there is almost swampy!

The basement is 8 feet into the ground so it is never overly hot, even if we turn the AC off.  But even in the low 70s down there, if you do almost any form of exertion, you begin to perspire.  The rough in carpenters almost instantly complained about the heavyness of the air down there.

So today, with the de humidifier running for the last couple of days, is was finally almost bearable to stay in the basement.  And stay in the basement is what I did after going out in the early morning and mowing the yard.

I try and wait untill most folks have left for work before cranking up the lawn boy two cycle mower and trimming all around the house and the fence line in back.  That kind of tests the water to see if the noise of the John Deere tractor mower is going to cause looks out of all of the neighbors windows.  I have one lady that comes out on her deck and stares at me!  I don't like the city too well.......

But after that job was complete, it was back into the basement for another go at the wiring.  I had another circuit almost wired in, except for the feed run back to the electrical panel.  But that seems to take forever, as you have to poke the wires thru all the holes in the floor joist, if you have holes where you need them.  But as usual, I had to drill a whole bunch of new holes in the 6 year old dried out wood.

Did you catch the dichotomy of my discussion of the damp basement but then complaining about the wood being all dried out?  You would think that wouldn't be the case, but the older wood from when this house was constructed in late 2005 has hardened like it was concrete.

The drill digs in and that stops the half inch drill right in its tracks.  Yes it is a cheap Harbor Freight Chinese drill, and perhaps I should go get a new Dewalt, but the call for half inch drills as an ordinary homeowner isn't often, so I have stuck to the Aisan model.

But ever so slowly, I am making progress, as I have recepticles all around the main room, and now I have the lighting circuit for the other side of the room where we are putting in a bathroom as well.  We built a small storage room behind the new bathroom, and the new walls will cut off all light back there, so I had to install a cieling light there as well.  I have put in switches by the doors also, not just the old pull chain thing we did years ago.

Tonight as I came back upstairs, I had new light bulbs burning brightly.  It will all need to be dry walled, so some of my work will have to come back out, but for now, I at least know the wiring is sound and not shorted out.

I just hate having to rip out finish work because something wasn't roughed in correctly......... especially if I was the one doing the rough in!

I know all of this isn't too exciting, but some days are alot like that........

Retired Rod

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More wiring and bad reviews on the dehumidifier!

We broke the heat overnight with rain at 3 AM, and so today was steamy but not as hot.  The heat we did have cooked the moisture out of the ground and the humidity was astonishing.

Yesterday I purchased a dehumidifier from Lowes.  I was advertised as a 50 pint machine, and overnight, it filled the water tank clear full in about 10 hours.  Guessing that it holds about 2 gallons, it would require that you empty it three times a day, so something has to change about that procedure.

The machine has a screw on cap on the back that looks like a hose cover, and removing it revealed that you can indeed screw on a garden hose fitting.  So it was back over to Lowes to purchase some kind of hose.

I got a short garden hose that is designed to hook up a hose reel, and it seems to be working.  The catch to all of this is that the reviews of this product are terrible.  Loyce our consumate trash tosser, immediately threw away the box, so now I can't take it back.  Oh well, we'll see how long it will last.  Most folks report about a year and they are done.

So I spent another day working on the electrical rough in wiring in the basement.  There really isn't that much wiring, but I am fairly slow doing it , so it will take me several days.  I put the main run of recepticles in using 12 gauge wiring.  This will alow for 20 amps to be drawn at once.  I did this because when it becomes winter, we will be using space heaters.

But pulling the heavy wire back to the electrical box thru the overhead holes drilled in the floor joist prove difficult.  That took about half of the day.  So the rest of the job will be done in 14 guage.  It is a lot easier to work with!

And to top it off, the job requires a lot of hammering of the wire staples, and my hands are not used to this pounding.  After all day, I seem to be terribly sore in my hands and arms.   It is tough to get old........ no wonder we have to retire!

Retired Rod

Monday, June 27, 2011

Inside project!

The weather here has taken a turn for the Hot!  It happens every year, when field day gets here and lasts until the middle of July.  We will hit the century mark before it is over.

Today we were at 95 in the middle of the afternoon, but that only tells us it is time to stay inside in the AC.  And Loyce has that project that she rekindled last week.  Remember I ducked the project by leaving for Red Bay?

A number of years ago, I started to do some framing for finishing the basement.  But I lost interest, when housing began to drop in value.  Spending more money on something that was becoming worth less and less, did not seem to make sense.

Loyce doesn't care what makes financial sense, she wants to use the finished basement to entertain the grand kids.  They aren't here all that much, but its on her hot list.  So she found a carpenter to help us get started again.

So he framed most of the walls while I was away, and also did it much faster than I could ever do it.  He had an assistant, to help carry all the wood in and hold up the walls while he leveled them and that is a big time saver.

But with all the new studs in the basement, it is time for me to get into gear and do the electrical work.  So that is what I was doing all day while it was hot outside.  And of course I had the proverbial runs to Lowes.

And finally we decided that it was way too damp and humid in the basement, so I went over a purchased a dehumidifier.  We haven't owned one of those in years, and they usually just rust out, but the one I got today is mostly plastic so perhaps it will last longer.

And I must report that I am not used to working all day climbing up and down ladders and drilling big holes in boards, so I am a tad sore tonight, mostly in my hands from running the half inch drill with the long three quarter inch screw bit in it.  Drilling the new wood is quite easy, but the old wood has dried out and almost refuses to give way.  It stops the drill completely, even thou it is a hammer style drill and very powerful.

So my arms took the brunt of that torque, and I am only partially done.  But at least when the guy comes back this week, it will look like I am making some progress.  However I am sure it will not be as fast as he wants me to go.

Retired Rod

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The trip home.

I was off about 10 AM this morning after filling up the fuel tank and doing the last day chores.  Always have to do the extra super clean out of the tanks.....

And it was only about 4 hours back up here to KC, but the real work started when I arrived.  You all know the drill, unload the fridge and all the clothes and all my stuff that I seem to pack out for every where I go.  But since I had the trailer and the motorscooter, that had to come out and be put away, and then the trailer had to go over to storage, except the truck was over in the motor home storage, so that had to get stored first, then the trailer.

And to top it all off, today was Amateur Radio Field Day.  And I always attend the field day events, if I can.  But I have not been too loyal of a meeting attender these last few weeks, and I didn't even know where the radio site had been set up.

But after a few minutes on the two meter radio in the truck, one of my friends answered with the name of the park and its location.  It was about 10 miles North of us down here in the Southern end of town.  But that became a motor scooter trip tonight at about 4:30.

They had all the barbecue to die for that one could eat for $5.  And I made the effort to have a big plate and wander around to all of the various stations set up to communicate with distant Hams.  But by about 8PM I was feeling the distance of the day and returned here to my easy chair and the many blogs that I have missed during the trip home from Alabama.

Boy that bar be cue was good tonight!  They had brisket, ribs, sausage, burnt ends, and pulled pork!  What a line up..........

Retired Rod

Saturday, June 25, 2011

KOA Springfield, Mo!

We stayed here on one of the trips down to Red Bay earlier this spring, and though it is pricey like all KOA's it is reliable and the GPS knows exactly how to get me here.  And after a little more than 400 miles and the city of Memphis in the middle, I am too tired to care.

I had stored the scooter in the trailer last night, and all I had to do was hook it up to the back of the rig.  But when all alone, it is in and out a dozen times to get the ball lined up just right.  Oh and being all alone also means that you have to do all the pink jobs as well as the outside blue jobs before you can leave.  So any thought of getting on the road quicker is out the window!

They do require you to check out of the Allegro Campground now, so they can charge you the $20 bucks a night that everyone now has to pay.  Only folks on their first year of ownership with warranty work get by for free now.  That is a new change for this year.  Since the campground is just a gravel parking lot with hookups, there is no desire to stay any longer than necessary, now that it is not free!

I forget that I am back in Missouri where it is now legal to shoot off fireworks.  And several big booms have appeared in the sky over the KOA.  I am under a lot of trees, so a can only partially see, but we have a housing development on the other side of the Rail Road tracks.

And you might remember me explaining that the tracks are very busy here, thou about a quarter of a mile away.  The freight trains are really long and rumble at a fairly slow pace, with at least 2 power units on the back end as well.  And we are out in the country without any lights in the sky at all. There are a couple up by the office, but it is pitch black out the front windshield of the motorhome.

This place is mostly full tonight because it is Friday, and many campers are out for the weekend.  The kids play in the fire pits, and make a bunch of smoke.  Transient folks like myself rarely make outside fires, but the weekend camper folks seem to live for them...

Wooo, Woooo,  there goes another freight, and they must have to blow the whistle right at the crossing out in front of the camp ground.  I had forgotten about the train part, because I was soo tired and looking for a place to stop.......

But it is just for one night, and I'll be back home by the middle of the day tomorrow.  See ya from there.

Retired Rod

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gettin fixed up!

The Tiffin experience is different than most repair places.  You can't make an appointment by just calling up and saying I'll be over next Tuesday!  Appointments are made three months in advance for the following quarter of the year.  So on January first, you make an appointment for sometime in the second quarter.  I had one for the fourth week in April.

So by just showing up this week, all you can get is an express visit.  That is a total of three hours of repairs.  Even if you have a brand new coach, you have to prioritize your list and get the most important stuff done in your three hours.  Then make an appointment three months from now for the rest.  To me this is one big reason NOT to purchase a Tiffin product.

Or, make sure your dealer can fix most all of the stuff that you find wrong in a more timely manner and save the nasty stuff for the express visit.  Even now this campground is at least 60 percent full, and every repair door had a coach in it this afternoon.

That is a long explanation for you to understand what is totally wrong with me just popping in on a Wednesday and thinking that I can get it all taken care of in the morning.  But I did go talk directly with the repair foreman, explaining that all I had was a bad jack that we couldn't figure out working with the phone folks.  And, it didn't hurt that I had the phone guy with me when we went in the foreman's office either.

So he made a post-it note to get me in when there was a break!!

I was up at 6 because they start at 7 around here, and I was showered and had breakfast mostly done, in case they called right away.  But of course that didn't happen.  In fact I seriously wondered if it would happen at all today, so I walked over to the welding shop where they fix jacks and sure enough they had one coach inside and another behind it.  Eww.....

But after pouring myself a cup of coffee and walking around a bit, imagine my surprise when my cell phone rang and I was told to be at door 39 in ten minutes.  I had everything stored away and only needed to bring in one slide and roll up the power cord.

This welding shop has wheel lifter type jacks that can raise a motorhome six feet in the air.  And they almost had it up before I could jump out.  The fellow asked which jack I thought didn't work and went directly to it testing the motor.  He had a battery with the correct connector on its lead and ran the jack up and down, testing its clutching action as it parked.  Nope, jack's not bad.

So he let the coach down enough that he was right at eye level with the storage locker with all the wiring. After examining the control lead repair I had made, he declared it good too.  Now with one guy in the coach pushing buttons and the main guy with his meter on the controller, they declared that it worked too.   What the heck?

This is where the experience factor comes in, as he grabbed a hold of the bundle of wires and jerked them with a mighty tug.  The wire on the bad jack came off in his hand!  "There's the problem" he said.  Seems that these connectors are also butt jointed on to the wiring loom back up in the top of the locker about a foot back, where I hadn't noticed the connections.  Oh, I felt soooo stupid..........

I drove all the way to Red Bay for a 20 cent butt joint crimp!!  Well, and all of his knowledge having fixed a bazillion of these before.   He declared, "That ain't the first one of them I seen like that!"

So since it was suddenly down on the floor and reprogrammed for level, I asked if they could evacuate the dash AC for me too. I still  had enough time left on the repair ticket, so they did.  That took the rest of the hour and a little more.  It was down a half of a pound of freon, as the AC was only blowing 70 degrees.  When they got done, it was blowing 50!

So by about 12:30 I was back on the campsite all leveled up on the jacks with the slides out.  Entire bill was $134.  Only $38 of it was for fixing the jack, and the rest was for the machine that works over the AC.    Oh, and about $700 bucks worth of fuel to get here.  But they are experts, I need to keep remembering that....

Loyce thought tonight, that bad wiring like that should still be warranty stuff, but that isn't how it works in the real world.  They put it together good enough to last for the first year, and then all bets are off.... And the worst of it was that I complained that the jacks didn't work right the last time I was here in April, but they couldn't duplicate my problem.  Drat.........

This afternoon, I went out and rode most of the way over to Tupelo on the motor scooter just to get my mind off of all of this.  But hey,  its fixed for now anyway!

Retired Rod

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I make Red Bay.

It was deathly quiet in the motorhome, except that the highway was out there with way too many cars......  By quiet, I mean that it was the first night I have ever spent in the motorhome without Loyce along to keep me straight.

You know, the constant assistance that I need to keep things picked up and put away.  Guidance on where stuff is poked away in what cupboard and so on.  But after the evening meal and the blog was written, I couldn't keep my eyes open anyway, so it was out like a light.

I did leave the AC unit on fan only just to drown out some of that highway noise.  I awoke at 6 AM in a start!  Where am I, but it came back quickly, and then I tried to go back to sleep for an hour, but by 7 I was up for all day.

I made breakfast and washed the dish (only mine) and showered and dressed and by 8 I was out looking for the park owner to go pay him.  He was still missing.  I messed around with the tanks washing them out and draining the gray tank from the shower.  With all hoses and cords stowed, there was still no one over at the house-office.

This house has a covered porch with a couple of chairs on it, and a pile of mail on the table beside them. I sat down and wrote a check for the $25 that the guy had charged me last time and stuck it under the top letter in the mail stack.  With a corner visible, I hope at some point they will find it.

So with my conscious clear, I went over and calmly drove out!  After topping off the diesel tank, I was on the road before 9 AM.  I buzzed right thru Memphis, noting that the Mississippi was back withing its banks.  And by noon I was in Corinth, Ms.  I usually top off the tank there as well, because fuel gets more pricey South of there.  It was $3.69, which was the lowest price I have seen anywhere in weeks.

I parked on a side street and had Wendy's!  I only had about 50 miles and I was at the repair facility here in Red Bay.   Of course no one here even remembers my troubles and the phone calls.

I finally found the fellow who I had been talking to on the phone in an upstairs office.  After some explanation, he finally remembered some of the story.  But just the same, he dumped me off on the head ticket writer fellow Jimmy, who only wanted the short version of my problem.  How can we help you now that you are here?

I guess that is really all I need, to be helped from what I think I know now.  And then step back and let them fix it.  The only other tool necessary on my part is my check book!  So now we will see how long I have to sit here to get a spot in the repair bay.

As I was talking to the fine folks in the service office, it began to pour rain outside.  Setting up camp was to plug in the 50 amp cord and park.  I did park the trailer over behind the building where the others are all parked.

And tonight at about 5 PM I got the scooter out and rode over to Russellville and the Wal Mart, which is 30 miles away not 40 like I had thought.  I didn't really need anything, but it was good to ride the bike instead of driving a 28,000 pound truck.  It was still overcast and cool, but at least it didn't rain on me anymore.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

See if you can figure all of this out!

I am in the campground along the highway in Jonesburo, Arkansas.  It is late, and the highway is droning on with traffic.  I am alone in the motorhome this time, as Loyce opted to stay back home with the contractor that is working on our basement.

So lets back up, and try to make some sense out of all of this.  Yesterday, the contractor was supposed to come over and go thru the rough in work with me and mark up the floor with our plans.  He didn't show up.  Finally he called and said he was behind and it would be tomorrow.  Great, I wanted to get on the road after I talked to him...........  Not gonna happen now.

So I opted for plan B, get a lot of work done that needed to be finished before I could leave for Red Bay.  Like mow the yard , and go over to the DMV and renew the big pile of license tags that are expiring at the end of June.  They do it with the first letter of your last name.  I equals June..

I also needed to change the oil in the motorscooter, as it rolled over 4,000 miles.  I rode down to the cycle shop in Spring Hill, and traded in my coupon winners certificate for some Royal Purple oil that is synthetic and supposed to be better than sliced bread.  The stuff must be gold, because they charge $15 a quart for it.  The bike takes 4 quarts, so that would have been $60, but with the $40 winners certificate it still cost $20 and tax.

My son Chris came over and helped me by doing the stand up jobs while I rolled around on the floor with the drain pan and filter wrench.  Then I went and retrieved the utility trailer with the pickup truck.  And as the sun was settling in the West the bike was loaded and ready.

Fast forward to Tuesday, the lumber company guy was banging on our door at 7AM for us to move our cars so he could leave the bundle of studs that the contractor ordered.  Well, since I was up, I headed over to the storage lot and retrieved the motorhome.  Once back home, I hooked up the trailer with the scooter in it, as that will be my transportation around the Red Bay area after I am parked on a camp site.  It is 40 miles to the Wal Mart in the next town, but that will be a nice relaxing ride......

We spent the rest of the morning going over the plans for the rough in, and I finally was on the road by 1PM.  Now that's a nice early start.........  I drove for 7 and a half hours to get here to Jonesburo, and the campground guy had gone home.  Or where ever he goes, as I think the house out by the highway was his dad's.  He passed away this spring, so things are in limbo around here.  I just moved onto one of the spots and hooked up.

I'm sure he will get me in the morning, or maybe I'll sneak off at 5 AM and not pay....... not too likely, LOL.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saturday's Fire

I have learned from some of the neighbors, that we had quite the calamity here on our street early Saturday morning.  As I reported, I was awakened by the most horrendous clap of thunder at about 2:30 AM.

By 3:30 our street was awash with fire trucks and flashing lights.  But slowly they disappeared.    But now for the story as to what actually happened.

The lightening hit the house four doors down to our East, apparently on the fireplace stack.  The charge traveled down the the side of the house and into the steel beams that hold the center of the structure.  The metal jacks transferred the energy into the ground of the concrete floor.

Some of this energy was dissipated into the natural gas pipe that also came in from  outside in the ground.  It seems to have welded the pipe off somehow, as gas was not feeding the fire.  Fire fighters secured the line into the house.  Had this not happened, the pipe would have been a giant blow torch.

As it was, the East wall of the home was on fire under the sheet rock.  Fire fighters had to pry off all the wall board and extinguish the smoldering insulation.  When I was out in the street most of the fire had been extinguished, and the firemen were in a wrap up phase.

They had saved most of the house, as it looks quite normal from the outside, but neighbors that have been inside say that the whole house is ruined.  Smoke has permeated the entire building, and all carpets and cabinets will need to be replaced.  I was told that insurance adjusters contemplated tearing down the remaining home and building it again from the ground, but decided to attempt the  repairs instead.  That may change once they get started to see how badly it is really damaged. 

The families clothes and other belongings are mostly un salvageable. They had a small child sleeping in the bedroom directly inside where the bolt struck the house, and she and her mom left for a motel room immediately.  I am sure that will leave bad dreams for this young person.

Many of the neighbors were worried that the house would become engulfed in flame and burn to the ground.  And all this happened while I was sound asleep.  I did hear them in the street once they had the fire hydrant hooked up, and that was what caused me to see all the flashing red and blue lights.

The interesting part of this, is that we had an option to purchase that house when we bought this one.  Both of them had the same floor plan, and were waiting for color and finish selections.  We liked our current home better because the other one had Mediterranean roof designs, while our home has ordinary gable roof peaks.

It could have very easily been us, had we made a different decision six years ago.

Retired Rod

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quiet Fathers Day.

Tonight my heart just aches for Ed and Marilyn Dray, fellow RVers that had a tire lock up and catch fire this afternoon.  He was unable to contain the flames and it destroyed their fifth wheel home.  Ed and Marilyn are full timers, so they lost all of their possessions, except the pickup truck which they unhooked.

So please say a prayer for these fine folks as they pick up the pieces and get their lives back together in the coming days.  They were on their way to Colorado for the summer, but that will be on hold for a while now.

Today we just became house bound, after all the motor scootering around Southeast Kansas yesterday.  Loyce and Biscuit did go out for a long walk mid morning, but they came back all hot and declared that air conditioning was the order of the day.

I was catching up on the computer since I was away most of yesterday.  I did spend some amount of time on the phone with one of my sons as he was out driving in the hill country of Northwest Arkansas.  They have been on vacation for the last week and are enjoying their time away.

After the weather cooled back down into the 80s tonight, I went out for a little scooter ride over into the local Heritage park.  The softball folks were at it under the lights again, but I rode on by.  I ride thru the local neighborhoods at about 20 mph and just enjoy the evening.

At dark, I came back home as the sky is again all threatening and rainy off in the West.  Not much else to report from here.

Retired Rod

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Dice Run on the Bike.

Last night, or two nights ago when you are reading this, was a really rainy one.  The rain came in torrents.  And then it was the lightening show.  Big claps of thunder, and one that seemed to be right over our house.

So imagine my surprise to awaken and find fire trucks and such in front of a neighbors house down in the end of our cul de sac at 4 AM.  It was still raining right along and the lightening was sill lacing the sky.  But ever so slowly the fire vehicles left.

Here in the big city, we only know these folks casually, and just nod at them in passing.  Loyce says that she is pregnant, but there didn't seem to be any ambulances, and we still don't know what was happening.

So once back to sleep, it came really early when I needed to get up and head out for the annual motor cycle ride that was to be held today.  The Saturday before fathers day.

This is advertised as the "Small town dice run in Kansas".  I went last year, and decided to go again this year if possible.  With the rain all night, I thought it would be out of the question, but by 9 AM when I left the house, it was sunny and rain was just a memory.

We gathered in Spring Hill, a small village just South of Olathe, here in the suburbs.  Bikes lined the entire street of the downtown area.  I had to go into the store and register for the ride which benefits a scholarship fund for the local high school.

     The ride leader is explaining his rules of the ride, out in the middle of the downtown street before the ride.  A chaplain said a prayer and we all said Amen and we were off.

The idea of a dice ride, is to go to other small towns and stop at a local restaurant or grill and roll the dice to get your score for that stop.  And after we rolled 5 times. the score was added up to decide a winner.

Our first roll was in the motor cycle clothing shop that sponsors the ride right there in Spring Hill.  I got a 15 using three big Vegas style dice.

Once on the road, we went to the town of Louisburg.  This is an old German village, but we only stopped at the local breakfast diner, called Miss B's.  It is advertised as the best food in town, and riders were ordering biscuits and gravy.  And the "to die for cinnamon rolls."  They are the size of a dinner plate and have frosting all over the top that looks a lot like the gravy on the biscuits.  Thick, but runny dripping off and down the side of the plate.  The roll was about 2 inches thick too.

I stuck to coffee!  Other riders were having scrambled eggs and country sausage.  I would bet we will be going back to this little country pig out!!   Oh, by the way, I rolled another 15 in the back of a pickup truck where they were recording everyones scores.

Anyway we were back on the road heading South on a big four lane highway that is almost an interstate.  It is divided and a 70 mph road.  Well the lead guy was going 70, but then the rest of us had to go way over that to keep up with his steady pace.   I saw about 84 once on my speedo.  I don't usually go that fast!

After about an hour, we reached the town of La Cygne.  (La Seen)  This is a sleepy little town about 50 miles South of our house here in Overland Park.  The ride stops at the Outpost Bar and Grill.  We rolled the dice again heading into the bar at a large table in the back.  And man alive, I rolled another 15.  I seem to be stuck on that number.

I decided along with many of the others to have some lunch here, as the special was Mushroom and Swiss Burger on light rye bread.  It came toasted on the grill with fries at the side.  That disappeared from my plate rather quickly...  Stories were told, and just like that they were rounding us up to move on.

We headed West from there toward the Kansas 7 highway, and turned North on that road.  This was to be the longest stretch of highway.  Passing thru the town of Osawatomie, we didn't stop, as they were having some sort of celebration that we weren't a part of.

On to the North we stopped at Paola, Ks where we had pre arranged use of the Eagles club.  With 35 or more people, they were glad to have us stop by.  We were glad to get out of the sun, as by now it was in the 90s.

After about 45 minutes at the Eagles, we headed on North and over the dam that makes Hillsdale Lake. This is an Army Corps of Engineers lake and has the COE campground.  But we usually camp at the State Park when we are in the RV.

Finally we came back to Spring Hill, and went to another Bar and Grill.  Oh, I rolled an eleven back at the Eagles club, and then a ten at BB's Bar when we were done riding.

To make this a little shorter, I will just explain that I won first place on the dice toss!!  A $40 gift certificate for anything in the motorcycle apparel shop.  Of course nothing the the shop only costs $40 so perhaps that is a mixed blessing kind of a win, but I'll figure out how to spend it without any trouble.

Talk about being surprised, I had no idea that I was in the lead, but thought I had to be in the money anyway.

They had an auction for more gifts that were donated to the ride from various vendors, with all the proceeds going to the school scholarship.  I think they will raise about $1,000 for that fund.

It was about 5 PM when I finally got back home, so I was glad to find air conditioning and my recliner for the rest of the evening.  We rode 130 miles today, and that is quite a distance for my small scooter.

Happy Father's Day!!

Retired Rod

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blogland asks for Biscuit...

I hear some of you folks out there in Blog Land wanted to know how I am getting along here in Kansas City.  And if I was all grown up now..

And of course I am all grown up, just look at me!!!  But my  mom says I am still very much a kid.  I guess that is because I still run off and make her chase me and then duck out of her sight.  She goes ballistic about then.

But lets face it, that is when I get to meet the other people here in our neighborhood!  Some of them are so nice..... but mom says they might just keep me.  I wonder if living at their house would be better?

But how am I ever going to know if I don't run to see what's over there?  Well anyway, I have to stay around here ever since then.

But today we got to go over to Delaney's school, and it was all full of kids.  Boy were there lots of them to play with all at once.  I was soo excited that I had an accident, right there on the floor.  Oops..  Well it only got on mom before they wiped it all up.  And she don't mind........

So I am OK here in KC, and I am having lots of fun, because it seems like one of the grandkids comes over to see me almost every day, and I get to go play with them and sometimes we go on walks all around the neighborhood.  That tires me all out, and then I sleep all afternoon long........

I get to sleep up in mom and dad's room, in a great big crate that is all mine.  But I can see um up there on the bed so I don't mind the crate.  It is my special place, and sometimes I like sneaking up there and laying down when they aren't looking.

But lately I have been going way back in the clothes closet that is behind the bathroom.  I like to crawl under my dad's pants that are on the lower closet pole, and lay back in that pile of shoes that he doesn't wear any more.  They will look and look for me, and think I got away again.......  It's FUN!!

Well for me anyway.......LOL


Friday, June 17, 2011

Rain some more

Lets see, pictures of Biscuit..... uh I got that new camera, and it is sitting on the counter.....drawing dust.  I haven't taken many pictures of anything since I got it.  I'm not sure why, just haven't.  I think it is a problem that I tend to write the blog late at night, and it seems like such a hassle to hook up the camera to the computer and then download, and edit and save.  Then upload, and resize again.........

I keep promising myself I will start on the blog earlier, but never seem to get around to it.  And today was no exception. It began to rain fairly early this morning, and didn't let up for most of the day.

Loyce had promised our 4 year old grand daughter that she would go get her and take her to our subdivision pool, and it did let up on the rain for a bit, so they went to the pool.   But in a little more than an hour, they were back because it started back in raining.  And by now it was only 66 degrees outside.

I was sitting at home waiting for the FedEx man.  I had ordered another collectible watch, and they sent it signature required.  I just hate it when they do that!  The driver rings the bell, and is so pressed for time, that he is filling out the missed delivery slip before you can even get up and go to the door.  And he was later today than normal, almost 1:30 before arriving.  Usually he is here right after noon or so.

And of course then I had to mess with the new watch to see how it works, and if I want to keep it.

 Stuhrling Original Men’s Limited Edition Bridge Automatic Diamond Rotor Lizard Strap Watch

I directly copied this photo from the web site rather than resize it because it shows the mechanical bridge mechanism.  This watch is wound with the rotor that looks kind of like an anchor behind the bridge movement.  It also has 15 little diamonds set into the rotor. The band is lizard.

Mostly, you can see right thru this watch as it is glass on the front and back.  The actual gears are quite tiny and are set into the narrow bridge that stretches across the center.  I'm not sure if this is a watch that I will wear, or if it is more of a conversation piece to sit and study with other geeky watch aficionados.

Well with the grand daughter over here, we didn't get much done for the rest of the day, except play with her and the dog.  Biscuit is so playful that it scares Laney, so we have to work on Biscuit sitting still and letting herself be petted.  She is quite the kid too.

Then tonight we got caught up in all the coverage of the resigning congressman.  The 24 hour news channel can grab me and then I wonder where all the time went.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Medical Day again.

This was one of those dreaded medical days where I don't know my own name when they get done, so I really have nothing of interest to relate.  So with that in mind, perhaps I might become more interesting tomorrow.

But please have a very nice day, and thanks for stopping by!

Retired Rod

Biscuit's Chip, and a Bad Jack.

Lets see, Lake Conroe Penny asked an important question, "Is Biscuit microchipped?"  And the answer is yes absolutely.  I think she was routinely chipped when her litter was first seen by the vet.  But, it is not registered until you pay the money when you purchase the dog.

Since we got her at a pet store, we registered her right then and there.  The pet store gets something out of the deal too, and perhaps it  cost us more, but we just couldn't take a chance on her not being registered.

But what I do not know, is if the chips are routinely read when dogs are presented for treatment.  I know that no one in Arizona checked to see if she was our dog.  So if she was kept by someone that was not her rightful owner, would anyone ever check or know?  I don't know the answer to that.  She does have a collar tag as well that has Loyce's name and address and telephone number.  But that won't help if someone tosses it in the basket and decides she is theirs.

We have both vowed to each other, that the dog needs to be hooked up when the grandkids are over here.  And we know that she is young and needs way more activity than we are able to provide in our senior years.  So the older kids have taken her on several walks this past week which will help keep her challenged.

Today, it was back over to the storage yard after setting up a series of calls with Tiffin.  It took most of the morning to get past the busy signal on their incoming phone line, but once we got thru, they helped almost immediately.  Seems that jacks that won't function strand folks in bad places, so they are used to helping as almost an emergency.

I do know that we have Atwood jacks, and that Tiffin has made a decision to not use them any more because of higher failure rates.  They have guided my test procedures all day, and the outcome is that it appears that we have a bad jack on the right rear of the coach.  I may go over and test that conclusion with a booster battery later in the week, but for now there is voltage on the wires going to the jack and it doesn't move.   Bummer!

After pressing the buttons with the tech on the line, and then testing the voltage in the control board, I needed to have an assistant press the buttons while I was head long in the electrical locker.  So Loyce had to come over to the lot for a while too.  It was in the 90's so we fired up the generator  and ran it for the entire time we were working on stuff.  The dash air was also on when we had the engine going, but it was on and off as part of the tests, so the roof air units were the main AC.

I had to crawl under the back of the rig with a battery drill to manually spin down the jack.  Once it is not parked in the up position, the system should sense that it needs to retract it.  That didn't happen.  There was power on the wires to the jack but not long enough to actually run it.    So I need to put another battery on the jack and see if it will run normally.

It was getting late and I was way too hot, so we just gave up for now.  If the jack needs to be replaced, I am certain that we will go back to Red Bay and get it done.  They have the expertise, and the parts in stock to handle this fairly quickly.    Having the parts on hand is the biggest part of this, as they can switch out controller boards and jacks until they have it corrected.  If I go to a local shop, we will wait parts, and then find that we need different parts and play the waiting game again.  Still, it will be expensive to drive the coach down there again.  You can't win.

I can only hope I can get into the shop for these repairs, as there might be quite a wait, remember there were so many callers that it was a constant busy signal all morning.....

Retired Rod

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A busy day!

I installed the little wiring harness for the motorhome jacks this morning but didn't test it because I need to keep the motorhome over in storage, and if something goes wrong it needs to be over there.

Then it was time to try and get the water out of the water separator filter so that the water in fuel light goes out.  I crawled underneath to drain the petcock. I opened it all the way, with jar in hand, and nothing came out!   Drat!

I went in and called the Freightliner dealer, and got an appointment for 1:30 this afternoon.  After going by Wendy's I just made it in time.  But they weren't ready for me so I stood around for about an hour......

Once in the service bay, the fellow had the old filter off and washed the sediment bowl in the parts washer.  I had him show me how it went together as he put it back on, in case I was no where near a dealer when this happens again.  I carry an extra filter for such an occasion.

You have to put the filter and sediment bowl together hand tight, and then fill the filter with clean fuel.  He had it in a empty milk jug.  Then keeping it upright, you slide under the rig and screw it on.  Tightening it with a filter pliers.  I went inside and cranked and started the coach.  It took some extra cranking.  The light was now out.

The water in the fuel came from the Break Time fuel station in Sikeston, Missouri.  The river had backed up over the road when we went thru there and we had to drive thru water.  So it came as no surprise when the fuel we bought had water in it.  The light came on almost within ten miles.  A hundred bucks later, we have a new filter, and the water drained.  But there is still 50 gallons of fuel in the tank, so we will have more water in the separator before it is over.

And when I got back to the storage lot, I tested the jacks, and they instantly alarmed and stalled the engine.  I was done and couldn't drive any farther.  I just parked it.  More calls to Red Bay!

Tonight, I went over to batteries plus and purchased a new battery for the old BMW that is my collector car.  It just sits in the garage most days, and the battery was six years old.  Buying that from BMW is over $300 and then installation on top.

Reading the internet, explained that Batteries Plus had the correct one, and was the only other alternative that anybody had found.  It was $139.  I came home and installed it myself, and it fired the car right up.

While I was at it, I got a new battery for Mr John Deere, and after installing it, I mowed the yard just as a test.  Loyce came out and did the trimming.

I think I am tired now as the sun sinks off in the West.........

Retired Rod

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motorhome work and a Storm Door.

Today started overcast, but I was determined to work on the motorhome today, so I headed over to the storage and traded the truck for the coach.  The overcast began to break up as I returned to the house.

But as I came around the corner, I could see my son Ben in the driveway, and he was unloading a large box from his van. Oh, oh, that's the door we were talking about last night.....

We were discussing how our dog Biscuit just dashes out the door the second someone opens it and is gone in a flash.  But we decided that if we had a storm door, she wouldn't be able to bolt away as quickly.

Ben had purchased a 36 inch all glass storm door for his house, but it turned out to be the wrong size for the door where he wanted it.  He was going to take it back, but it fit our front door exactly!  So he brought it here instead.

In fact he stayed for about 4 more hours as we pieced the jamb and frame together and finally finished the installation by installing the top and bottom closers.  There were about a zillion screws.  I have a small screw drill from Black and Decker, but we drilled and screwed the battery completely flat before we had the installation complete.

The door closers had 3 inch screws, so I had to get out the half inch impact drill.  It has way more torque than necessary, and was up to the task. So in the end we had a new door.  But it was almost 5 PM and the motor home still needs the attention I started early in the day.

Loyce and my grandson Caden had washed part of the rig while we were working on the door, but the drivers door side still needed work. So I spent another couple of hours on it until I about fell over.

Tonight we have the rig up in the driveway, because leaving it out in the street will get one of the neighbors in a snit.   It barely fits into the drive, but we are only violating the home owners association rules by doing that.  While leaving it in the street is a violation of the city ordinances.  The police will come if we violate the ordinance and someone calls.

Tomorrow we can work on more cleaning of the rig, and perhaps use some of The Solution on the water spots left on the rig.  If I get brave enough, perhaps I will attack that Jack wiring problem as well.

One of the parts envelopes arrived, but we are not sure if it is the first one sent several weeks ago or the new one sent this week.  We will know for sure though if we get the second  envelope  later in the week.

We are not getting ready to go anywhere, but RVs take constant attention, and it is easy to let ours slide when it is parked three miles away and out of sight.  Loyce was inside cleaning stuff too during the day, but since we were busy on the door, I can't report that progress.

Retired Rod

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer in KC

In the morning, I went back over to the watch repair place with an older and completely different watch that I have owned for years and years.  It is a Heuer, before they merged with Tag and became Tag Heuer.

A mechanical chronograph back in 1974 was really something, and I purchased this from a jewelry store for about $175 back in the day.  Of course it needs cleaned inside and re oiled and assembled.  The crystal is cracked in a couple of places and is plastic.  A new one costs bundles of money, but the fellow really wants to clean up this watch.

Actually, I think he wants the opportunity to take it apart and re assemble it for his own knowledge.  He gave me a deal on restoring the watch but it will still be more than twice what I paid for it originally.  I paid some of the money now, and will pay more once he finds the parts for the watch.

He feels that he can order most of what he will need but may have to custom fit some newer pieces in order to restore this old jem.  I let him do it, because I am sentimentally attached to this old piece.  I know I won't wear it much after it is fixed, but the jeweler says it should be worth almost a $1,000 in good condition on the used market.  Ya, right, that requires a buyer that is willing to pay that much.  And that might take a while to find.........  Besides, I won't sell it anyway.

That trip took most of the morning, except that I stopped over to the local Sam's Club and renewed my membership.  Since we are retired, we piggy back off of my daughter in law, and she had redone her membership.  So then I had to go redo mine to match.  That took a while standing at the counter as the clerk could not find the info on the computer.  But finally it was all good.

I wandered around in the Club looking at all the stuff, but didn't spend a dime.  They do have some really good deals, and also have larger bulk packages of the acid reducer medicine that I use.

Later in the afternoon, I went on another long scooter ride out in the country to our South.  This was mostly a highway ride at 60 to 70 miles per hour.  It was kind of fun, but not as relaxing as a 45 to 50 mile per hour ride.  You can't let your guard down at the higher speeds because things happen much quicker going fast.

And then late in the Day we all congregated over at my son Ben's house for an impromptu outdoor, back yard picnic.  The meal was good, and the kids were rambunctious, jumping on the trampoline and playing with a basket ball.  We broke up the party at about dusk, as the kids needed to go to bed, and it is easier if we are not a distraction while that happens, so we left for home.

Just another summer day in KC!

Retired Rod

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Haircut and a loose dog.

Now what the heck did I do with today? It got away somewhere, and I didn't see it go.......

The salesman from the roofing company called and wanted the rest of the money that I had for the roof.  We are still waiting for the remaining payment from the insurance company, but for now he wanted all the money in my possession.  So I determined how much that was and wrote the check.  But....

I really didn't want to talk to the guy, so I left the check with Loyce, and headed out for a watch battery.  Well, when you own as many as I do, you do need batteries quite often.  And I have found a very nice Japanese watch fellow that is about my same age in an older strip mall.  He charges too much for replacing a battery, but I pay him just the same because he probably needs the business.  Besides he knows his stuff, and is fun to talk to.

It only took him about a minute to change the battery, but we talked much longer about a broken watch that I own.  He wants more than the watch is worth to fix it.  So unfortunately he wont' make that sale.

From there it was over to the Missouri side of town where I get a hair cut.  I like to keep things rather short, so it was time again.  I found that one of the regular barbers had a heart attack, and that worries us all.  Getting old is not for the weak.  Boy I hope they can get on top of that.  He was a smoker, and I guess he gave it up cold turkey when he got out of the hospital.  He is 66 years old.

Once back here, I learned that our pesky pooch Biscuit had again ran out the back door when one of the grandkids had left the door open, and was out and about the neighborhood for an hour.  Luckily, our daughter in law came to the rescue and found a lady carrying Biscuit down the street.  She approached the lady saying, Uh, I think you have found our dog we are looking for.  Thanks Melissa!!!

I'm not too sure what the lady intended to do with Biscuit, but the name tag on her clearly has the phone number and address of our house, and we hadn't received a call.............

This afternoon I was out on the motor scooter getting an oil filter for the bike over at the local Suzuki dealership, and just hanging around for a while to learn what I might learn.  It was a slow and sleepy day over there.

I shopped at Wal Mart and got a Wendy's and spent the rest of the afternoon here at home.

A lazy Friday, but it rained for most of the morning, and we only had about 5 or 6 hours of dry, before it began to rain again tonight.  The forecast is for rain over the weekend too......

But the dog is back home, so all is right again in the world.   She just loves everyone and is your best buddy, and we are worried to death that one of these days someone won't bring her back.

Retired Rod

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm awake now.......I think!

Well, unlike last year I think I passed the scope test today.  For new readers, last year in August, I had the colon scope, and failed with a nasty large polyp that required me to have a colon resection on October 1.  I was mostly out of the picture until we went to Arizona in December.

I continue to have very sensitive problems with what I eat, so they decided not to wait the full year for me to have another one of these little invasive tests.  And yesterday was the drink the bottle of mule spit day.  Of course you essentially sleep on the toilet seat for the rest of the night.

But I wasn't scheduled to be there until 11 AM, so I had to sit around here and not eat or drink all morning.

But today I came out with only some minor Polyps that he removed.  And he liked the looks of my surgery, and told me to come back in three years.

But of course, after being knocked out  until 2 PM, and then coming home and trying to read the internet and play angry birds, I ended up kicked back in the recliner for the remainder of the afternoon.

I was called this morning by the folks down in Red Bay, Al, and they wanted to know if I had received my parts package.  Well, no.... the post office told me they delivered it.......  but evidentially not to me......  So again, being the gentlemen that they continue to be, they are ordering yet another connector on the small cable and will ship it out 2nd day when it arrives.  I offered my credit card since this was the second time to try and mail the part.   NO Charge!  He said it was the chance they took by not insuring USPO packages.

With the leveling jacks out of service, we can't level the refrigerator, and in my mind it is way too expensive to take a chance on damaging it.  So the motor home continues to be parked and out of service.

Retired Rod

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Tonight I am going thru the preparation to have one of those tests that you can't study for at the hospital tomorrow.

Of course this includes drinking as much of a gallon of laxative that you can choke down  after supper, that you don't get anything anyway.

So needless to say, I have not spent any time thinking about a blog for tonight, because I have been making the proverbial trips into the little room.

So perhaps I will ask that you come back tomorrow and see if I am still alive by then.  I don't know of anyone that has passed from this procedure, and I know that many if not most of you have had this experience yourselves so chance are that I will be back.

Perhaps I will have better ideas by then on what might be interesting for a blog.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Just because my first name is Rodney, I didn't think my last name was Dangerfield.  But it seems that lately I have been getting no respect, just like Dangerfield's old comedy skit.  He would almost instantly dive off into a routine about how bad he had been treated when he went over to do some mundane task.

But like Rodney, the postal service seems to think we don't have need for respect.  Remember the broken leveling jack wire with the bad connector.  We found it after we returned home from Red Bay, Alabama.  They said they were going to get one from a vendor and ship it.  Then they dropped the ball, and didn't ship it after the vendor made it up for them.

That took some pointed phone calls, and then they shipped it. But it still isn't here!!  So today we spent some time trying to determine if it really got shipped.

You can't just call Tiffin, you have to leave messages in their answer machines and then wait by the phone sometimes for over an hour for them to call you back.  Then they have to go find out what has happened and call you back again.  This phone tag took most of the morning.

The long and short of all of this is that they did ship it and read me a tracking number.  US Postal Service........  Oww!  Of course looking at that tracking said it was delivered the 2nd day, and perhaps it was, only not to our address.  They can't find it because it wasn't insured and did not require a signature, sorry!!!

Shipped to the proverbial black hole.  But that black hole had our address correctly on the package.  They promised to look around at our locked mail box pedestal and see if it was in someone else's box, but it was delivered way back on May 27th so wouldn't it have surfaced by now even if it went to the wrong patron?  They simply have lost the package and refuse to help..........

If it absolutely needs to get there, do yourself a big favor and don't use the government's postal service, you won't get any respect.  Your name will become Rodney as well.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So busy!

The chrome pieces finally came in for the Camry.  The fellow had tried to just forget them, hoping I wouldn't notice that he left that part out.  Well he got the wrong guy, because I never even got close to the car when he gave it back to me, before noticing that it wasn't fixed.

Perhaps he can get away with that most of the time, but not here and not today.  I stopped by last week and made an appointment for Monday morning at 10 AM.  When I arrived at that time this morning, he had to ask me my name again and what I wanted.  Customer service, no one cares about anyone else any more.

He drives a yellow Corvette, and has a 40 foot motorhome pulling a Cadillac SUV for his weekend endeavors, so perhaps he doesn't need to be customer oriented any more.  So much for that guy, but I have my new chrome installed now, as I waited for it rather than leave.

Once that was done, I headed over to the local tire shop in the old downtown of Olathe.  It is about 10 blocks away from the storage place where the utility trailer is parked.  This is a really old place!  But I have had them ordering tires since we moved here.  I did use Wal Mart for a couple this spring when I was getting an oil change, but otherwise these folks have been my shop.

The truck had acquired a nice roofing nail right in the middle of the back tread.  We noticed that up at the Truman museum on Saturday.  Darn, I thought I had picked up all those nails that came from the rain spout.  But it was a used nail that came out of the old shingles, not one of the new style, so it must have come from the grass.

And on Sunday as I was mowing the yard with the push mower, I stepped on another of those pesky old nails and it went right thru the sole of my shoe and into my foot!!!! Owwwwie!!

But then we got into a story telling time when we saw a spot about D day on the TV over in the corner. I began to tell about being a Sea Bee electrician and how they wanted me to climb telephone poles to hang wire  in the Viet Nam combat zone.  I asked at the time if I had STUPID printed on my shirt?  And that brought a laugh out of the folks in the waiting room.  I told another about a guy that was shot in the backside while he was in the plywood out building.  It was only a flesh wound, but he had to go running to the corps man yelling medic, medic.  He was holding his pants from falling down with his left hand.  All I could think at the time was thank god it wasn't me.

When my truck had the plug finished in the back tire, I handed the man the credit card to pay, and he handed it back to me.  He informed me that I was a regular customer and today it was on the house.........   What?   Was it because I was telling Viet Nam stories on D day?  I didn't have that intention, it was just some old memories.   I thanked him and was marveled for the rest of the afternoon.

Then late in the day, the Heating and Cooling guy came to replace the board in the AC unit.  This is the defrost board that senses that the unit is frosted over in the winter time when you use it as a heat pump. It was $330, and then we purchased a annual service contract for another $179 to have them come back and perform preventative maintenance this fall and next spring.  He did give me 49 bucks off of the total bill since I was now a PM customer and got a discount on parts.   Still it was almost 500 bucks and we already paid $150 the first time to get 2 pounds of freon installed.  And get this, the service guy took the 2 pounds back out saying that I didn't need it in the first place.  No credit on that one though,  maybe I should have told some old Viet Nam stories to him toooooooo.

Retired Rod

Monday, June 6, 2011

Scooter again and Messing with Opera!

I went for another long motor scooter ride again today.  I went several miles to the South and then from US 69 all the way back over to I 35.  I usually stay off of the interstate with the scooter, as it is placarded against scooters.  But perhaps they mean scooters that go slow, and mine can keep up with any legal speed, so I shouldn't have a problem just because of a design.  But who knows, a cop with an attitude could decide to make and example out of me.

So rather than return North back up the interstate, I came back to US 169 and rode North on that divided highway.  It has the same 70 mile an hour speed limit, but not near as much traffic or semi trucks.  Just seems smarter to me.

I have been messing around with a different browser than all the other ones I was familiar with.  Opera!  Now I have used Windows Internet Explorer, and Firefox, and lately Chrome, but never Opera.

Of course, since I use Linux for an operating system, I was instantly interested to see if there was versions for Linux.  And there were, in fact it determined which Linux distribution I was using and offered up the correct version.   It did ask if I was using Ubuntu or if I needed a different version.  After a quick download and about 2 answers it was loaded and ready to run.  The installation under Windows 7 is also no harder.

Now browsers are browsers, and they all copy each others functions, but what I find interesting about Opera is that they have copied the best things about both Firefox and Chrome.  It has both the address box where you type in WWW.whatever and the Search engine box to type in your subject matter, but messing with the address box, it works just like Chrome's single box.  Type in the subject you are after and it recognizes that it should use the search engine and look up what you want.  So it works just like chrome.

But like Firefox, they have the Menu button up on top that brings up the main menu with all the options selections.  Unlike Chrome where you have to remember that the little wrench over on the right side bar is the menu button.

Also, you can turn on or off the main menu bar like Windows used to be before the latest clean screen versions.  So if you liked the "File Edit View Bookmarks Tools" and so forth menu line its available for your selection too.   So if you really like customizing your browser for your own preferences, learning Opera might just be your cup of tea.

Me, I just like messing around with new software to see the ideas that these folks implemented.  You know, the gee, I never thought of that before moment.  So if you like customizing your screen, and its look, Opera might just be your software.

Google Opera download to find the software install.

Retired Rod

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More of the same!

Today started by having Mike from up in Des Moines bring back the utility trailer that we use for Arizona and other such things.  It had made its way up to Des Moines when some of my friends came to get it last month.

It went to Dayton, Ohio for the Hamvention, and carried all the stuff that was for sale out there, as well as the sales enclosure, tent structure.    It then returned back to Des Moines with all the stuff that needed to be stored for next year.

But today, one of the fellows was coming to KC for an outing and he brought it along.  They were going to the Truman Library over in Independence.  My job was to go there and retrieve it.

Independence is 35 miles from our house here in Overland Park, because we are right on the line with Olathe.  With the Saturday morning traffic, it took most of an hour to get there.  And as is usual, we had some kind of an event that closed the roads and all the ambulances and fire trucks came with lights flashing.  I headed off thru the small streets to find another way around.  Eventually with the help of the GPS, I arrived at the museum.

Mike and I were all business as he came out and helped me hook the trailer up to my truck.  He had left his wife inside enjoying the documentary about the events from Harry's time in office.  He made some hellacious decisions..........  Mike and I shook hands and I was off  again for Southern KC, KS.

This time I traveled away from the accident area with all the emergency vehicles and made it back to the 435 beltway without problems.  It took about an hour to drive to downtown Olathe, where the storage lot is located.

When I arrived, it was obvious that someone had decided to take my parking place in the lot, so I had to appropriate another empty spot.  We don't have assigned and numbered spots, so it is a lot like musical chairs, when you have been gone for a month or so.  But the rent is paid in full.

And just as I was parked and unhooked, the fellow that thought he owned my now new spot came back with his trailer.  I offered to move, but he said he would just take the next one and let the owner deal with it on Monday.  Its a gravel lot, and there are no real marked spots, just approximations of where you should be.  But it is cheaper than a lot of places, so this is what you put up with.   We wouldn't think of storing the motorhome over there....

When I got back home, it had taken about 4 hours to go get the trailer, and about 10 gallons of gas.  Dealing with the city is never easy.  Mike drove down from Des Moines in the same 4 hours, but probably used twice the gas.  But the trailer is back in its own lot, and we are back to where we started from.  Sometimes these undertakings can get so drawn out..........

Later in the afternoon it got up to 97 degrees, and I hid in the AC browsing web sites.  And had the heavy eye lid problem, but as the day progressed, I rode the scoot over to the local Harley dealer.   They were having the Kansas HOG convention for the last several days.  Tonight was the big doings with a meal and stage presentations at 5:30.  I came at about 4 and it was almost too hot to walk around and see the tents that were on the grass.

I don't know where they get so many bikes to offer for sale, but they had about three times the inventory as normal.  And with all the customer machines parked all over the place, there had to be about a thousand bikes in total.  Of course, I had the only scooter.  I parked off to one side, since I wasn't cool like all of the big bad boys...

I wandered around thru the crowd, and looked at all the new Harleys.  They had about 6 trikes for sale, and you never see that many in one place, ever.  But there were semi trucks in the back, so perhaps the machines arrive for the traveling show.  I got tired of answering the vendors questions about what I rode, and having to explain my health issues and the reason for the scooter.  Finally I just left without staying for the inside meeting.  I'm not much into tattoos and leather anyway.  LOL

Retired Rod

Saturday, June 4, 2011


A retirement kind of a day was in store for today.  I awakened with a nasty sore throat, and since this was the third day that it was like that, I called the Doctor's office to see if I could get an appointment.

And yes I got a 10:45 slot.  I needed to go anyway, because I hadn't had any lab work for several months, but since it was almost noon, I couldn't fast that long.  So at least I got the lab orders for a day next week, and that will continue my prescriptions for all those diabetes meds.

Diabetes is a nagging disease that seems to never go away.  It just comes along like life itself, and plagues you at the worst times.  So ignoring it doesn't work too well.  And I did get an antibiotic to kill the nasty germs that are causing the sore throat.

I explained that we all were in the lake cabin, and that we had 5 grand kids.  None of them seemed to be sick, but that somehow I came away with the bad throat and lungs.  The Doctor's comment was a classic "Kids are like living petri dishes."  The practice specializes in pediatrics, so he knows exactly what he is talking about.

I rode the motorscooter over for the appointment, and had on my scooter pants, and had left the jacket under the seat.  But the Doc picked up on the armored pants right away and wanted to know how they worked.  I'm sure he thinks I am nuts for riding the scoot, but he was interested in the protection provided by the clothing, and wondered why all folks don't wear it.

I had to take the prescription to Wal Mart, so that morphed into a shopping trip, and then I had to return for the pills an hour later.  The turned into the Wendy's stop.  Land, I was on the bike all day........

After taking the first antibiotic, it seemed to put me to sleep, mostly because I was up a lot of the night, so I can't remember a thing after that.  But tonight, I did the twilight ride that I had missed last night. I rode out thru the country to Gardner, Ks and stopped at the Wal Mart there.  Oh and an Arbys for Jr Roast Beef sandwiches at $.99.  And a water, just call me cheap!!

What a wasted day, but I do enjoy riding the scoot all over the place on a 90 degree day.

Retired Rod

Friday, June 3, 2011

A surprise from the rain spout!

Sometime during the night, it stopped raining, and we are all dry inside the house.  So the new roof seems to be a good job.  We did have one little surprise this morning, but we caught it luckily before it became a problem.

When it began to rain hard last night, the water washed some cap nails out of the eaves into the spout that empties onto the driveway right behind my wife's car.  These nails have a plastic washer about the size of a quarter that surrounds the nail head.  So naturally they tend to topple over with the washer flat against the ground.

That leaves the sharp point of the nail sticking straight up toward the sky!!  About 10 of these little devils were right in her tire track just waiting.  By some stroke of luck, I went out with the motor scooter in the mid afternoon before Loyce moved the car.  I thought to myself, I don't remember the roofers leaving those there.

Then it dawned on me that they had come out of the rain spout.  Of course, now I wonder how many more there might be.........

I didn't do much more today, but I did go over to the paintless dent place and they do have the trim pieces in and are waiting for us to deliver the car again.  I made the appointment for Monday.  And he indicated that the insurance company wouldn't pay him the overage on the estimate.  He now needs a check from me!!

I may be shopping for new insurance before this entire episode is over.........

I intended to go back out on the scooter again tonight, as it was over 90 degrees this afternoon, and that makes for nicer dusk temperatures and a comfortable ride in the twilight.  But somehow I became involved in a watch sale from the watch company, that didn't get over in time for my intended ride.  Funny how these computers can do that to fellow.  Time just disappears......

Retired Rod

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Roofers and the Air Conditioner

The roofers were done about 3:30 this afternoon, and it was none too soon.  I headed out to Wal Mart for some groceries and a few toiletries, and before I could get back home it began to rain.  The last nail was driven about 30 minutes ago!

They have a separate clean up fellow that drives around to all the jobs and does a final inspection.  He told me he had been roofing for over thirty years.  But that he is too old to do much up on the roof any more, so he cleans up the job sites after the rest have gone for the night.

It is now about dark and it has been raining for the last 4 hours.  I haven't had the nerve to go explore upstairs to see if we have any leaks.  Loyce said we didn't have any yet!!  Hope that remains the case..

Last night at about dusk, the AC guy finally arrived.  It was 7PM or later and he was just arriving.  The house was over 90 degrees inside by then, and I had a really giant fan going here in the family room.  The fellow was not able to diagnose the problem.

We sat in the basement next to the furnace and I explained how the failure took place.  How the fan would stutter start and stop for no reason.  He called another service guy and explained what was going on to him.  They had several ideas, but each time when that piece was replaced, it did not fix our problem.

At one point he thought it was bad batteries in the thermostat, and they were on their last leg, but new ones didn't help the system come out of its failure mode.  Finally they eliminated the heat pump control board in the outside unit.  It started right up and began to cool us off.

The repair fellow did some wiring to eliminate the board for the time being, as we won't need heat in the near future.  He was really wanting to call it a day and the AC was now running.

This morning I was called and advised that the part was $350, and the labor and service call would almost double that before we had it installed.  They asked if I wanted to order it?  Well, is there any choice???  It has to be able to heat us this fall.  I guess I could have waited for the heating season to begin, but who knows what else will go wrong by then.  Better get on with it right now....

The next project is to get a final bill out of the roofers, and try to get a final settlement from the insurance company.

It only took about 30 minutes for the hail to cause so much trouble on April 3rd.  But what would we be doing if it wasn't for all this fun?????

Retired Rod

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Its a darned good thing we came back here last night as the roofers were on the phone at 8 AM telling us to get our cars out of the driveway and garage.  They would be here directly.

And as promised the crew headed up by a very tall blond headed fellow arrived with a big dump truck to begin demolition.  No one in the crew speaks english, and the tall fellow speaks spanish fluently.  I watched for a while, and he parks himself right in the middle of the roof with a cigarette stuck in the corner of his mouth, and barks out instructions in spanish.

Shingles just flew!!!  These fellows are really hard workers!

They were carrying this stuff over the roof to the front side and tossing it in the dump truck.

This is the tall blond fellow that was it charge as he was tossing a pile from the highest peak.

He had a helper that was alternating tossing stuff when the other guy went after another arm full.

The new shingles arrived and they put up the lift.

And then the bundles started going to the top.  146 of them along with rolls of felt and the cap shingles.

The guy in the yellow shirt picked every one of the 80 pound bundles off of the conveyor and marched it up to the peak of the roof.  At one point he stopped the lift and just leaned on it for a while.

I later found out that the delivery truck fellow worked for a different company, and that they contract to deliver and stack the shingles on the peak of the roof.  Both of those guys earned their money for the couple of hours they were here.

We had roofers pounding and air nailing all day long.  They are not done, they tore off three sides as they thought they could get that re shingled before dark.  They didn't want to leave bare wood overnight in case it rains before morning.

Retired Rod