Monday, October 31, 2011

Generator Maintenance.

OK, I said I needed to get started working on the motorhome if we are ever going to get out of here.  So I dutifully headed right over to storage and traded the truck for the motorhome this morning.  It started right up like it was only yesterday that it was put away.

Diesel engines are like that, since there are no spark plugs or electrical components that make spark, if you have enough battery left to heat the glo plugs and spin the starter, they come right back to life almost instantly.

Once back over here, the problem was to change the oil in the Onan generator.  I pulled the coach up in our driveway.  The neighbors can't complain about a vehicle in your driveway that is currently being driven.  So no matter how large, if it hasn't been parked without leaving for three days, the city is blind to its presence no matter how many calls they get.

I rolled under and pulled the plug with the drain pan almost at once.  It only holds three quarts, so it doesn't take too long to drain.  I left it open to get it down to the last drop, but the wind was blowing the little stream all over so I had to plug it back up.

The problem with the genny is that I have never been able to get the oil filter off up thru the bottom access panel like the book instructs.  There are hoses and stuff that make it almost impossible to reach around and still get a good enough grip  on the filter.   Remember the Jet Ski?  Same thing.

So I began disassembling the case around the engine inside.  This isn't too bad of job, and after about thirteen ten mm bolts the front panel came off.  I grabbed my favorite three finger oil filter wrench and the filter was off and in the drain pan.  The new one spun on just as quickly.

As I was adding oil, I noticed that there wasn't any coolant in the plastic overflow tank...... And that it was cracked.  That sort of shut down the project, since I don't have another tank, and on Sunday have no way to find one.  I just bolted the genny back together and cleaned up my tools.

I had another project to fix the  rider side shade in the windshield, so I started on it deciding that it had just fallen to pieces.  And, luckily I had all the pieces, so after a while I had it reassembled and working.  It was becoming later in the afternoon, so the rig had to go back to its storage lot.  The day was over.

I will have to get working on finding a source for that evaporation tank before we leave out of here.  The crack is in the top, and I can add mixed coolant to it and get by if we need to run the genny for anything, but since it is dry, that's probably the way to leave it for now.

So maintenance seems to have identified a larger issue, but at least it still runs and we are headed for repairs for next time.  Perhaps that will be in the desert!

Retired Rod

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Farm for the kids, and I hang back.

I knew that today was the day that Loyce was taking the older grand kids to the pumkin farm South of Gardner, Kansas.  With my recent surgery, I had been excused from this task, and my DIL Daniel would be going along to help maintain order.

Grandmas are not very heavy in the disciplinary department.  So having one of the moms along is a must.  But I was not required just the same.

I decided that since my older son Chris and his wife Melissa were having a garage sale, I would stop by over there for a while and help keep them company as they waited for customers to arrive.  By the time I went over, most of the trade had already gone thru the garage, so I wasn't in the way, and didn't have to help much with any customers either.

He did have a small TV on one of the college games, and we watched that as we shot the bull.  Before long here came grandma and Danielle with some very dirty and tired kids so I left the garage for home.

Back here things got slowed down a bunch as I became interested in the remaining college games.  In fact things just stopped and I watched games until just a little while ago.  How does that happen?  I did just finally change the channel to something I can watch on mute in order to catch up on some of the blogs, but the day is gone and I didn't do a lick of work.

Perhaps that is good for my surgery to heal up a bit without any trauma from bending and twisting, but the Doctors are certain that you need to keep moving in order not to get stagnated.  So somewhere in the middle has to be the correct answer.  I need to get started working on the motorhome if we are to leave out of here after thanksgiving.

Retired Rod

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cardinals Win!

As I am sitting here listening to the speeches after the Cardinals have just won the World Series for 2011, I can't help but feel sympathetic for the Texas folks since this has happened twice now.  They came so close down to the last strike twice last night.

I think that La Rusa means so much to the Cardinals teaching them to never give up even with only one strike left in the whole world, ya just never give up!

Today was kind of a bust as I had to go back to the surgeon, and he didn't just sign me off as good to go. He is just not that kind of guy.  If your not just perfect, he wants to know why.  Now I have to go back in two weeks.   Oh, and he has a fellow Doctor that was his intern down in Scottsdale.  So I'm not going to get out of his sight any time soon.

It was after 4 PM when we got back here since it is almost an hour up the interstate to get to KU Medical Center from down here in the Southern sticks.  The day was just gone.  Loyce went to do some quick shopping and Biscuit and I sat here and surfed the web.

Watching the World Series is much more tense when the team involved is one you have rooted for most of your life.  We began following the Cardinals when we began to vacation in Lake Ozark in the 1980s.  Once we owned property, all of our neighbors were from St Louis and game days were celebrated with fervor.   Often we planned a day at the game in the center of our week long vacation we took each year.

So Congratulations Cardinals!

Retired Rod

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hitching up..

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting here thinking about leaving for Arizona, when it dawned on me that Loyce would want to take her new Honda CRV and that we would also take the car towing stuff in case we had to tow the car for some reason.

You can't use what you don't have with you.  So all the Toad stuff will be in the trailer, along with the tubs of fabric so my dear wife can do her sewing crafts.  And, Oh by the way there will be a scooter in there too.  You know over in one corner......

Since we do not intend to double tow, Loyce will just follow in her car.  But still, once you get there, there is the problem of parking the trailer in the exact spot that the park spotters say you have to on your lot.

It is about impossible to back up the little trailer with the motor home.  You can only see it in the camera TV next to the radio on the dash, and by the time you see it in the mirrors it is way off kilter  to one side or the other.

A couple of years ago we had installed a hitch on the back of the Camry, so we could just back the thing around with the car once we arrived.  The Camry will pull the trailer, but I wouldn't want to do it for long distances because it is just a 4 cylinder car and it is too much for it.

Again we now have the CRV and it has no hitch, so I found one on an ebay store and ordered it.  Arriving a few days later, Loyce wondered who or how we could get it put on.  She stashed it in the garage, thinking I was nuts.

But this afternoon I installed it.  You have to take the rubber mounts down that hold up the muffler and that caused more trouble than actually putting on the hitch.  Using a pry bar and a really big screw driver and some bad language I eventually got it off of the mounts.

I knew I couldn't lift the entire hitch by myself, so I started to find stuff to put under it.  A paint can and  a brick.  Then I went for the coat hanger and made some hangers to grab each end and pull them up into place.  Slowly it was raised until I got a bolt started into the nut plate.  Then a second, and from that point it was no problem.  Well until that pesky bunch of rubber mounts on the muffler had to be dealt with again.

But we have a hitch on the back of the CRV and that makes us one little step closer to leaving.  If we had to, we could hook up the car as a Toad, and then put the trailer on behind the car to double tow.  The car wouldn't be pulling the weight and most of the braking would be the motorhome.  Still that would require that things be in the go slow mode until you got the feeling for how it all worked together.

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doctors again!

Just sitting around here, after going to the doctor for lab tests this morning.  I hate that but they won't let me out of it.

This afternoon, I went down and made the concerted effort to finish the mop boards around the rest of the room.  I just forced myself to stay at it.  It didn't take too long but I am so put out with fighting the entire project that I can hardly go down there and sit in the chair.

Our son Ben and his son Caden came over and brought Loyce some flowers for her birthday.  She likes them a lot because she has them right on the island in the middle of the kitchen.  I am looking forward to getting out of here but that won't happen until we do Thanksgiving.  So it is about all that I can stand to just sit here with out making any progress toward that goal.

The house is painted and the basement is mostly done, and the carpet is out of my hands.  Damned Doctors are holding us up, and I need that oil change on the motorhome.  But even if the list was totally complete and the packing was done, we couldn't go a place because of the family Thanksgiving.

What's a guy to do?

Retired Rod

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I didn't sleep well, and Biscuit is groomed.

This day was mostly a bust for me as I didn't sleep very well last night.  I kept walking up about every half hour in fairly sever back pain.  I feared the fever was coming back, so I kept taking tylenol every four hours.  But sleep wouldn't come.

This morning Loyce called the Doctors at the KU Med Center and they didn't want to mess with it at all for fear I would need to be rehospitalized.  So the long and short of it is that I am back on the strong Anti Biotic again.

Loyce has been calling around making all kinds of appointments for all of us and took today to finish some of that work.  Biscuit was the subject of that attention today as she had to go to the dog shop and have her long hair cut back.  She was over there early in the morning, but we later learned that she wouldn't be done until mid afternoon.

So she sat in her little crate and howled for the lady all day long.  She doesn't like the place or the very senior lady that runs it.  The lady has arthritis and is beyond retirement age, but is forced to continue to work.  She is grumpy, grumpy when you get there and we have asked ourselves why we continue with her.  But we have, and Biscuit has provided quite the challenge as she will not sit still and moans and brays the entire time.

In the middle of the afternoon, I went down and began to paint more mop board.  I suppose about 25 more feet, and then after cleaning up the brush and roller, I filled the rest of the nail holes in the room.  That will help me see the end of this project for the enamel white, but I will have to go back and touch up the brown walls again.  I have nothing but time.

When Loyce came home with Biscuit and my prescription, we both fell sound asleep in the big recliner in the middle of the basement room.  That is not like Biscuit, she is a pillar of energy, but not after grooming.........

She is still in the chair beside me all zonked out as I type this.  I think this is only about the third or fourth time she has been groomed so in many ways she is still a puppy.

Retired Rod

Loyce thanks those of you that left Birthday wishes!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Purchasing carpet.

Today I learned the curse of remodeling your basement.  Since basements are full of stuff that is necessary to run your house upstairs, and the house has to be supported by posts or weight bearing walls, it is necessary to frame all around these things.

So you end up with cut up floor plans, and closets out in the middle of the room, and posts that have to be carpeted around causing seams where you otherwise wouldn't put them.  So as I went over to the local Home Depot to order the carpet for the basement, I learned that the room is 600 square feet but.............

In order to carpet the room with a minimum of seams that run straight thru the room, I will need to purchase 680 square feet.  The additional 80 square feet will cost over $200.  I am tight, as most of you know, and do not like to waste money, so most of that cut up 80 square feet will seem like money wasted.

On top of that, the normal lady that runs the carpet desk was gone on her day off, and they had to call for a replacement person that took quite a while to show up.   But then he didn't know how to run the computer system.  He couldn't even change the color selection.  Not the carpet selection, just the color to one selection lighter.

They had to call over the intercom all over the store for another lady that ran the entire store to come over and help the first guy.  So while I was trying to get used to paying $200 more than I had expected, the store people were stumbling all over themselves trying to write up a simple purchase.

I did manage to get control of my emotions and decide that I was going to see this thru, and the last lady did get the transaction finalized before I bolted out the door.  I did have the $50 measure invested, and I would have lost that money, and the next folks would have probably lost just as much in the cut up room.  It is just how this sort of thing goes.

Back home, I went back down and began to paint the mop boards.  Crawling on the floor caused my stomach muscles to be used far more than standing up or sitting.  I made it about 2 and a half hours before I couldn't stand it any more.  So mid afternoon, I was washing out the brushes and roller.

I did change to the brown wall color and went around and painted out my mistakes where the white was on the wall color.  But after that brush was cleaned I was in the chair and sound asleep for the rest of the afternoon.

Tonight I am watching the world series, and as a cardinal fan I am scared to death by the texas folks......  But I don't want to jinx them so that is all I will say about that.

By the way, Loyce is 39 today................again!  LOL  Happy Birthday dear!

Retired Rod

Monday, October 24, 2011

Winterizing the small scooter!

Today I decided to winterize the Kymco People 200 scooter.  Folks get mad at me for just writing the blog and not including pictures, so here is the Kymco.....

I tried to sell this scooter when I purchased the Suzuki, but it didn't have much interest on Craig's list.  So like usual, I would not just give it away, so I kept it.  It has been at the lake for the last couple of years and I have ridden it down there when we were in town.  But this fall I brought it back to KC for the winter.

We will take the Suzuki with us to Arizona, so it won't need winterizing, but this one will remain here, so I do some special stuff to make sure it starts next spring.  Of course the major enemy of all small engines is gasoline.

The stuff turns to a gunky varnish when left for long periods of time without being used.  For that reason, I usually use Sta Bil in the fuel in all my small engines because you never know how long it will be before you start them again.

But the darned scooters seem to be sensitive even when Sta Bil is used.  So I began draining the gas tank and running the carb dry.  Today while it was so sunny and mid 70s outside, I drained the gas out.  This requires that the seat and the storage compartment underneath be removed and the gas lines be disconnected from the carb.

This seems straight forward, but I had forgotten one little fact.  Gas will not just come running out of the tank thru the tubing.   There is this valve on the bottom of the tank, that requires the engine to be running and create a vacuum on the second hose to open the primary fuel line. It took me a while to remember how this all worked, and by that time I had run all the gas out of the carb.

I had to bend over and suck on the vacuum line and hold it against my tongue while the gas ran out of the tank.  My bend over is still compromised, so that began to cause pain long before the little stream of gas emptied the tank.  Eventually it was empty and we were done.  I will put the battery tender on it before we leave the house.

In the basement, I managed to go paint the door jamb going into the shop area today, which is the final door that needs to be painted.   Once it was dry, I rehung the door and installed all the hardware back on the door.  Now there is a mile of mop board to fill all the nail holes and paint.  It will take miles of masking tape to keep the enamel off of the walls.

Tomorrow I will go see about ordering carpet.  There is some question about whether it will be installed before we leave.  Perhaps it will be,  and perhaps not, but it will be what it will be.  Eventually we will get to use the room........

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So why do I blog?

I keep reading all these posts about why I blog, and it is interesting to see the reasons that people list as their reasons for blogging.  And perhaps the most valid reason That folks come to is that they have met the nicest people because they became readers of our blogs.  And that has happened to us as well.

As we have floated around the campgrounds, you just never know when you will be checking in and have a fellow blogger come walking up to the office like last fall when Greg Mc Henry came up behind me and asked how I was getting along.  He knew we were headed West out of Oklahoma City and Amarillo is a nice comfortable destination.  Because we all seem to frequent the same campgrounds, just like clockwork, in we walked.

We spent a couple of weeks with Rick and Paulette out in Desert Hot Springs a couple of years ago, but that was more planned as we were headed to San Diego that year.  Still no nicer people are to be found..

But the real truth about blogging is somewhat self serving........    I write the blog as a diary or log of our daily activities so I can look back a couple of years later and see what I was doing or perhaps more importantly, thinking back on that day.

So with that in mind, I was reading the blogs from last year in the fall as I went thru the surgeries, while I was desperately trying to get organized to go to Arizona.  I had the first surgery on October 1st and the second on November 16th.  That second one was when they informed me that I had Cancer.....

That was the day we bought Biscuit, so I didn't even say anything about it.  We were elated to have the new doggy but devastated to learn why I was so sick inside.  What a mixed set of emotions.

So I blog as a log, for myself and Loyce, as we often look up and read what we did on a certain day.

Some days are kind of a bust, and that sums up today, as the highlight was when the carpet measurer  came to our house at about 1 PM.  He had a laser device and a tablet computer that was job specific and electronically connected to the laser.  In less than a half an hour he had an exact diagram of the room complete with exact measurements.  I signed the tablet with a stylus pen and he was off.

Today, I managed to paint the last door after I took it out of the frame, and I painted about 20 feet of the mop board.  Cool, only about 125 feet left to go.........

Retired Rod

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thoughts on Arizona and finishing the paint!

I think we have a chance for it to warm up this weekend and on into the following week until about Wednesday.  I am talking mid 70s for every day and none of that freezing stuff at night.  That is a welcome relief, as we are used to the warmer weather here in KC and Arizona.

Speaking of Arizona, we have 5 weeks to go before we head on out for points West.  We have reservations again in Valle Del Oro where we plunked down $250 last year on a specific site that is two streets farther North from the street where we were last year.  Also we are that much farther from busy Superstition Mountain Freeway 60.  That should reduce the noise level a bit, but we will be parked with our windshield facing North.  That means the bedroom on the back will be on the freeway side, so maybe it won't be much quieter.  We will have several more rows of RVs between us and the South fence.

I haven't paid much attention to the information coming out of the park, because most of the folks haven't arrived down there yet.  It has been in the high 90s almost every day, and I think folks got a lot of that this summer, so they are not rushing back to those conditions.

Since we reserve our spot for three months, and February is really the nicest month of all, it only makes sense to not get there so early.  Folks have asked me why rent for three months in a row?  And I can only answer that because once it becomes after the first of the year, almost everything short of boondocking is totally reserved.

Also with the reality of my condition after this surgery, I will need to be on full hookups almost every night.  And there is the local hospital that I used last year about a mile away, should that be needed.

But what we have learned in the past is that we become bored with our surroundings in the second year of anything we do.  And I am sure that by March 1st we will be pulling up the stakes and moving on.  Anywhere, just some place different.

Today the painter finished the outside of the house about 3 in the afternoon, and I had to pay the money.  More than 3K, but remember I never lifted one finger, outside of going outside and bullshipping once and a while.  Still seems high......  But it is the going rate around here.  2 guys worked for 4 days, and there was over a 1K paint bill.  Quit thinking about it, it will just make you nuts.

I worked some in the basement again today, but only finished one door jamb and rehung the door.  My drive for the project has completely left me, and it seems like  total slave labor by now.  I still have another door and jamb to finish as well as the mop boards all around the big room.

They are coming in the morning to measure for the carpet, but I am told that we may not get it finished by the time we leave for the Southwest.  Perhaps one of my kids will have to be over here for the carpet install.  Surely they can get it installed in the next 5 weeks.............

Retired Rod

Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Work Day!!

Last night I went out about 10:30 and put our car and truck out in the street.  I knew they would be back early and be ready to make paint fly.  It was below freezing, but he went to the store and picked up the paint and it was warm.  As it warmed  outside and was above freezing the paint began to fly.

I turned around and went to the basement and began my own painting project.

Mid afternoon, I went to Home Depot and investigated the purchase of carpet for the new remodel, and learned that you have to have them come and measure your project for $50 in order to purchase carpet.

But the $50 applies to installation which is $97 for any size of room.  Wow that is cheap, and they had some special deals on carpet, so I think we have a carpet vendor.  I brought home samples and Loyce picked one almost instantly, so perhaps we have that decided if nothing jumps the track.

Back home our house is now completely dark brown.  Windows, doors, the trim and everything.  Tomorrow they claim they will paint the trim and do all the small jobs to make us a finished product.

We continue to progress.  I do have a full time job, its this sticks and bricks house.  I seem to work on it 24/7........

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Knock Knock Knock!

About 7:30 this morning, I heard a knocking that sounded like someone at the front door.  But the knock wasn't a friendly kind of a knock, more like a pounding.  Bang bang bang bang.  Then it went away.  For a few moments anyway, and it was back.  Bang bang bang.

As I awakened, I realized it wasn't out in front but rather on the side of the house to the West.  And it was hammer pounding.  The painters were back and hard at it.  The outside temperature was 34, and there was a frost on the ground in the shadows.

Eventually as I was eating breakfast, our neighbor that runs the painting crew came in the house and we discussed the colors that Loyce wants to use.  I say that because it isn't democratic here at our house about the colors.  She has ten votes and I have one.  So brown is in, and much darker than I would have chosen.  Think a fudgesickle  brown with mocha coffee trim.  It will look ok in the end, and I really don't have much of an opinion as long as it fits into the neighborhood and isn't purple or something.

They must have replaced a whole bunch of the nails in the siding because the pounding lasted almost all day.  They have industrial square packages of caulk that are about a foot square, and they emptied a couple of them.

We have plastic all over the windows and paper taped to the driveway and concrete where things aren't to be oversprayed.

I just worked in the basement and left them alone.  It never was over the mid 50s outside, so the basements was much warmer.  I finished the shelves that I had begun yesterday and painted both sides of a door and took the jamb all apart and filled all the nail holes.  This job is so slow.  In all the days that I have worked on the trim wood, I have used about a half of a gallon of paint.

I think that much of that has been washed down the drain, as you have to clean up your brush and roller quite often because the paint dries on them while you are sanding and preparing for the next application.

After I went to Wendys this afternoon, I was just sick of  working on the project and sat upstairs in the big chair reading blogs.  I did drive around some after going to Wendy's and found that after about 2 miles, it still made the surgery hurt.  So I'm exactly ready to head to Arizona quite yet.........

Retired Rod

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ignoring the painters

I'm not sure it ever got up to 60 degrees today, but that didn't stop our paint contractor.  By mid morning, they were all hooked up to the water with a gas pressure washer and with several ladders against the house washing commenced.  I have decided that they paint houses every day, every year and don't need supervised.

So with that said, I didn't even go outside to watch for one moment.  I have plenty of paint work in my own basement to keep me very busy, and I went down and began to work on that in the late morning.  I only took one break about 4 PM to go get a Wendys and went right back to work.  I finally quit about 7:30 tonight.

It is so slow painting the door jambs and doors.  I'm not even sure what I accomplished, but I know one complete door was painted and the back side of another.  They built in a book shelf, and nailed the shelves in with the air nailer.  So I have been knocking the nails out with a block of wood and my big hammer.  I did manage to get three of the shelves out and sanded and painted.  I painted the support wood with the brown wall paint.  Perhaps traditionally it should be white like the shelves, but that would take forever, so brown it will be.

Without a nap today, I am feeling a bit killed tonight, so perhaps I will sleep better.  Only time will tell me that however.

The painting work remaining seems endless.......

Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Floor painting finished!

The reason I didn't catch on to the fact that the wifi problem was here in the house, was that the router was still plugged in and you could sign on just like normal.  And I have to admit, that had I been using windows 7 it would have told me that the internet wasn't present.  But since I use Ubuntu, it doesn't have that feature.

So with the cable modem off, but the wifi router still working, I was able to connect like everything was good.  It just didn't go anywhere.  Oh well, I figured it out in the end, once I got off my duff and investigated .

Now today, we have an overcast day and it never got up over the mid 50s all day.  And tonight, it is 45 as I am typing this.  I didn't let that bother me much as I had that large date with the paint rolled in the basement, so I went down there and stayed, until the floor was finished.

I literally painted myself out the door.  I left a path from the center of the room to the door that was unpainted as I painted various sections of the floor.  Then sliding the big bucket of paint backwards, I rolled as I retreated to the basement door.  By about 4:30 I was up washing up the brush in the upstairs sink.

Well by then, my eyes became heavy so the nap took about an hour or more.  But, I did run the roller on the paint pole from the standing position all day, without riding around in the chair.  That will probably make me sore tonight, but it is an improvement over previous days.

Tonight, I went back down once the paint was fairly dry and began to fill nail holes.  I have decided to use a silicone caulk product on the mop boards as it is way easier to fill the holes and smooth out the finished product.  The wood filler product is thick and hard to work with.  But I will use it in the bathroom where the moisture is much more intense.

It is now almost midnight, so I will sign off here and get at it again in the morning.  We had to turn on the heat tonight, that's a bad sign.....

Retired Rod

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm a dope!

I feel like a dope tonight, because the internet has been out all night long, and I thought it was the provider, so I was quietly waiting for them to get back on line.  Its almost midnight, and it still wasn't back.

Then it dawned on me that Loyce was cleaning in the pantry room today, where the cable modem enters the house.  She doesn't do anything with computers, or the internet.  Sometimes she makes the effort to look at it, but then it will be weeks before she comes back again.  So those boxes with the flashing lights on top of the back fridge mean nothing to her.  So the fact that she pulled out all the wires while she was cleaning again means nothing to her.  She doesn't even realize that she did anything to them.

So, I just took a chair in the pantry and moved all the kitchen appliances that are in front of the cable modem and connected all the wires back again, and just like that we are back on the air!!!

I should have had that figured out sooner.........

Anyway I really didn't have much to report anyway because I never left the house today.  I decided to seal the floor in the basement with white Kilz primer.  I have a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff that had about a gallon and a half gone, so I will never find the bottom before the floor is done.  I still can't stand up and run the roller on the long handle very long so it was ride the office chair while painting today.

By about supper time I had completed more than half of the floor, so tomorrow I will have to get after it and finish it.  But it will take most of the day.  This will clean up the floor so I won't be so dirty crawling around finishing the mop boards.

Also it will be a week day, so I can go after the motorhome if my surgery pain allows.  That might have to wait until the latter part of the week.

Monday as you read this it has been 5 weeks since the surgery so I really need to still lay lower than normal on all of this work.  I did nap for almost 2 hours this afternoon in the middle of the floor painting.

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More on Wal Mart

I have to admit, that I kind of enjoy seeing how suspect it will be at the Wal Mart service department.   And yes I have written several stories about the fiascos that have ensued from some of the wilder experiences.  But often times things go just as planned, and I get a quick oil change while the boss shops.

I never let it get too far out of line, because just how hard can it be to take off a filter and drain a few quarts of oil?  I have purchased a couple of tires at times, or had my wheels balanced, but that about draws the line on Wal Mart's service.  None of us have had very good luck with Wal Mart batteries, but I have used the ones at Sam's Club without problems.  For some reason they are not the same brand!

And yes there are all kinds of service facilities around here and one of the most popular is Valvoline franchises that specialize in the oil of my choice, but.......  They are almost twice the price, so my cheap bone wins out, almost every time.

I will make up for it later this month, because it is time to change the oil in the motor home, and it will have to go to the Freightliner dealer, and that will not be cheap, or anywhere near it.  But then it takes 17 quarts with a filter.  I did change it once out at the curb here in front of the house, but dealing with that much used oil and not spilling it all over is quite the challenge.  My drain pan doesn't hold that much oil so you have to drain about half of it and then quick like put the plug back in to stop it coming out.

If something happens that you can't get it stopped, what do you do now?  I had two drain pans under there with me when I took the plug out and switched pans about half way thru.  Still I didn't enjoy dumping 4 gallons and several quarts back in.  The filler neck is inconvenient, and the whole job is best left to the truck folks.  Used diesel oil is soooo black and dirty to deal with!!

But speaking of RVs, I went out to Olathe Ford RV which is about 20 miles away from home here and purchased an oil filter for the Onan generator.  It only holds about 3 quarts and a little more for the filter, so I usually do change it myself.  The original equipment filter is $16.95, which is beyond pricey for a simple oil filter.  I'm sure there is probably an aftermarket filter that is much more reasonable, but I have never researched the question.

Loyce and I discussed going after the motorhome, but decided that it would be best to do it on a week day.  Our pesky neighbor called the cops again on one of the other neighbors that had a boat in his driveway last week.  They sent two squad cars in order to put a little yellow notice slip on the boat with a piece of tape.  We need some of these folks to go to work while I change that oil.  You do have to pull about 20 bolts out of the case of the generator to get inside, and that takes some time.

Especially since I am still crippled up and slower than normal.

I spent most of today painting down in the bathroom, on my hands and knees.  Well mostly sitting on my behind on the floor.  Trim work in white enamel is soooo slow.  I did paint part of the door, with a roller, and it came out looking all right.  I was worried about brush marks, but the spongy roller left a nice texture instead.  I still have to do the door jamb and 5 more............

Retired Rod

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wal Mart again!

Ya well, I use Wal Mart because I am, well, frugal.   Cheap!  Their basic oil change is now $31.99 and that includes 5 quarts of oil.  You can't buy the oil and the filter and do it your self for much less than that now.

But not all Wal Marts are created equal, and the one I have been going to, is over in the older part of town.  But it it the newest one we have around here at about 4 years old.  And it has a staff with a fairly good attitude.  But with that said, I went over with Loyce's CRV to get it serviced this morning.

I specifically asked for the $31.99 oil change, with Valvoline oil, and when they were done the price was  suddenly over $60.  I asked, what gives?  Well they gave me the synthetic oil change, isn't that what I wanted?  Well no,  I asked for the regular oil change.  The rocket scientist at the counter decided that I needed to either pay up or wait for them to redrain the expensive oil out and put in the cheap stuff.

Let's see, you are going to throw away the $40 worth of oil and then put in another $25 worth, so you can charge me $32, I think I need to see the manager!  He made a bit more sense offering to discount the $60 charge back to $40 since I would actually get the good oil.  Well OK then, but it took them about another 10 minutes to get that deal into the computer so they could ring it up.

Next it was over to the local glass shop to pick up the mirror that I had ordered for the basement bathroom.  And of course I got the newest clerk trainee that couldn't find the spring clips to mount it on the wall or couldn't ring the whole deal up on the computer system.  I did con her into putting the mirror into the back of the car so I wouldn't have to lift it.

Back home, I spent the afternoon messing around with a tube of silicone bathroom caulk.  It needed to be spread all around the walls where the bar counter and the bathroom vanity contact the wall.  I am not a very good caulk spreader, so needless to say I cleaned up as much that was spread in the wrong places than spread in the right spots.  While over at Wal Mart, I had purchased a spreader gizmo that had the rubber end on it so that you could smooth the stuff out without using your fingers.

After a while I got on to it, but like usual, the project was mostly over by the time I got so I could do it correctly.......

Finally Loyce and I rebuilt some shelving in the remodeled storage closet and I carried a whole bunch of stuff over so she could stack it on the rebuilt shelving.

Now where did this day go?  I still spent time in the recliner on extended breaks, but I am getting stronger by the day.

Retired Rod

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wasting your time in line.......

Since I can't crawl all over the cars and trucks in order to change the oil in my current condition, I had to sit in line and wait for the professionals.  Well as professional as the Wal Mart folks can be anyway.....

We have learned that the Wal Mart closest to where we live does not have a good shop to change anything automotive.  Not even a light bulb, with out waiting several hours for them to get their act together.   So that means we have to use the newer store over in the Center of Olathe.  Things seem to click much better over there.

So after driving to Sam's Club to purchase stomach medicine that they have on a card in much larger quantity than Wal Mart for about the same price, it was off in the other direction for Olathe.   This killed the entire morning.  Waiting in line, then waiting inside on the benches for the work to be done.  Then it was about 45 minutes back here to the house.

By mid afternoon, I had summoned the courage to take the Pickup back over to that Wal Mart and start the process all over again.  This time I was in a much larger line and really did have to wait a good amount of time just to make it to the door.  I try to wait patiently, but I am male, and have to watch as the folks waste their time on everything other than helping the customers........

Tonight, I managed to go back down to the basement and install the remaining door pulls on the lower cabinets.  This caused me to sit on the floor to remove the doors and then again to put them back on after the pulls were installed at my bench drill press.  I get up and down so very slowly, that I just shut out the lights when the job was complete.

The worst of the whole deal is that Loyce's CRV needs its oil changed too...........steady, Rod, patients..........

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Like most days, I started out by going to the Lumber store.  Today it was Lowes, where I was looking for the kick panels for the cabinets that the contractor installed.  I'm still not able to walk all over the store, so I took the handicap cart.

I drove back to the cabinet corner of the store and drove all around and couldn't find what I was after..... so I broke the man code and drove around looking for a store clerk to ask.  I reconciled this as the battery in my ride couldn't handle me driving around.  And yes I had been driving right by the display twice.

I picked up various other items including a ten pack of handle pulls for the cabinets, and ducked out of the store.

Back home, I began to install the kick panels, and as I leaned down to measure the length to cut off, I bumped the fridge.  And ker...Bang,  the door flies open.  One of the cokes that I had worried about yesterday, had totally exploded inside the new fridge.  What a mess!

I hadn't turned the thermostat down nearly enough!   It took me about another hour to clean out the inside.  It was covered in frozen mushy cola.  Everywhere, back in the fridge coils and even inside the light.

I did spend the rest of the day installing the kick panels and half of the pulls, before the nap overcame me.

I was taking the doors off of the cabinets and drilling the holes on the drill press in the shop, so it was much slower than using a hand drill, but I don't trust myself to drill all the holes straight by hand.

If I had to hire out, no one would pay me because I am so slow, but that's ok.

Oh, and to answer JB's question, the nail holes are in the trim boards that surround the entire room and the 6 door frames that are installed on the various rooms and closets.  In all we used 175 feet of base molding, so that's a lot of nails.   Getting down on the floor is still a very slow and careful operation, so progress just isn't happening.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picking paint colors.

We have been planning on getting our house painted ever since the big hail stones fell back in April of this year, and we have a neighbor that is a paint contractor which we have called to do the job.  Back in May!!

He is evidently in real demand because we still are several back on his list.  But we are on the horizon, so we have been discussing the color to be used.  We won't change the base color much but have not decided on the complementary color.  The ideas are fast and all over the place.

So this morning I went over to get another quart of test color.  This time a quite dark brown.  Once back home, I painted some of the trim boards around our garage door with a small brush for about a half hour.   And we like it, but............   I am scared that a little of a good thing will goooooooo a loooooong way.  Perhaps we will use it some in limited amounts.....

Once back inside, I worked in the basement to get an older recliner out of the back storage area, and took its back off.  And no, I didn't lift it, I kind of rolled it into the main room, where I put its back back on.  And I had to sit in it to see how it felt, and about 2 hours disappeared....  So much for my stamina coming back.

I did manage to wake back up and install a light fixture over the sink in the bathroom.  One of those light bar things with the multiple bulbs.    I had to get on the two step ladder and drill and use the drill as a screw gun and then I had to go use that recliner again.

But after supper tonight I managed to install the formica on the end of the bar counter.  It Irons on with the glue melting from the heat.  Tomorrow it will need to be filed and sanded to match the counter top.

So ever so slowly I am getting back into projects to keep me from sitting on my duff all the time.  There are a million nail holes to be filled and all the trim boards to be painted before the carpet can be ordered, so it may or may not get finished before we leave for Arizona.  Only time will tell.

Oh, the new fridge not only made the pop cold, it froze some of it........  I'll need to turn that setting down some....... LOL

Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bar Fridge

Today I decided that I needed to go source that under counter bar refrigerator.  I started with the internet, and looked up the ones at Lowes.  They handle Frigidaire and it looks OK, but the reviews are just awful.   They are not just bad, folks come right out and say it won't run for a year and title their reviews don't buy it.

Well enough said for me,  So I went to the Sears web site.  But looking at the reviews here, taught me that they were made by Frigidaire, so what to do about that now.  Then I thought about our local furniture store Nebraska Furniture Mart up in Omaha.  They have a big big store out by the Kansas Speedway.

I brought up their web site, but it was really slow.  So I called!  The salesman was quite good and convinced me that I needed to go take a look.  Road Trip in the pickup!

Its about 20 miles up there, and that turned out to be about as far as I could stand.  Every expansion joint bounced my surgery.........

But I hobbled in and bought the stainless steel front model.  I already knew all about it, so I just had the salesman write it up.  This model is all fridge and has no freezer, since no one uses the little freezer anyway, just load it up with drinks and be ready for the game.

I got in line and waited to be loaded up.  They take your number and meet you in a lettered driveway.  The big guy tossed it in the back of the truck like it weighed 5 pounds, and I was off back to Overland Park.

The ride back was just about as bad, but I stopped at Wendy's to break up the time duration.  Once you are not going 70mph then the bouncing isn't nearly as bad.

Tonight, my son Ben came over and took the fridge inside and out of the box.  Its under its new counter, and running away hopefully becoming cold.  I did grab another nap after returning home, these outings are strenuous, but hopefully increasing my strength.

I just can not sit here on my sore hind end all day......

Retired Rod

Monday, October 10, 2011


Take back the excess day, was the order of business today.  For the last several days, Loyce and I have been carrying the parts and pieces out of the basement that we didn't end up using over the last several weeks.

The pile didn't seem all that big, but when we brought up the 12 foot pieces of ceiling T and mop board that were left over the pile seemed to grow.  And on Friday when the plumber declined to use the brass valves that I had purchased at $10 each the value of the pile began to increase.

So this morning, I decided to load it all out into the pickup.  Slowly, a couple of trips at a time and then into the recliner to sit and watch the games for a while.  Then a couple of trips again.  A pile of ceiling tiles and 44 cross tees.  A bundle of floor tile and the plumbing parts.....

Eventually it was all out there, so I watched KC beat Indy and decided it was time to go return it all.  Its about 4 miles, and the trip seemed slow on the Sunday driver circuit.  But eventually I was digging it all out of the truck onto one of those roll around carts.

It was about all I could do to push it up the hill into the store, so go slow was the way to progress.  The kid at the cash register return scanned my credit card and began to look for the purchases over the last several weeks.

This didn't go too well, because I was buying bundles of products, and bringing back individual pieces, but they separated the stuff into two piles, of the stuff they could find and the stuff they didn't think I bought from them.

Of course I bought it all from them, but I could only get store credit on the stuff that was purchased in bundles.  Some of the prices were what I paid and others were a bit less.  But then at the end they gave me an individual price on base cove that I had purchased in a bundle and that more than made up for the short fall in money.

So I got about $150 back on the credit card, and got a gift card for another $125.  I didn't worry much about the gift card, as I went and bought towel racks and TP hangers and a new light fixture for the bathroom with bulbs.  Just like that, the card only has $50 left on it now.

I need a bar refrigerator, but I didn't like the looks of the ones they sold, so perhaps that will have to come from a different store.

I was quite proud that I got all this done in one trip, so my stamina seems to be improving.  But then I came back to the house and fell asleep in the recliner for a couple of hours..........

It was good to get out of the house for a while by myself.  The surgery was four weeks ago Monday, or today as you read this.

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Canadian Thanksgiving

Since I'm ponying up  to a big bologna sandwich for dinner today, I am waiting for all my Canadian friends to post pictures of their ThanksGiving feasts.

Maybe I can eat with my eyes and skip some of the pounds associated.......  ummm mashed taters and turkey gravy!!!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Some explaining and the plumber.

Well I can see that I have been quite protective of the type of surgery that I have had and that causes some misconceptions.  Since this is totally surgery on my male parts, I have been reluctant to explain the process under the guise of too much information.

But since it was all cancerous, it all had to come out.  So down there is mostly not there any more.  So because of that , I can't just sit around in the recliner for hours on end.  I have been told by the Doctors that I need to get up and move around.  Even if it hurts like heck.  Sitting on the surgery hurts like heck too.

So I accompany my wife to the basement on the cleaning mission that was mostly all her.  I managed to dig out an old office chair and ride it around while she worked.  Yes I did stir up a bucket of paint and painted the mop board behind the toilet which is about two feet long by 5 inches wide.  I actually got down on the floor to do that, but it was ever so slowly.

Loyce is an RN and she was right there with me giving me heck all the way, but we both know I have to move and can not just sit in the recliner.

Today, the young plumber's assistant was on our door at 8:30 and began hooking all the stuff up.  Of course he didn't like many of the fittings that the Home Depot boys sold me for the task.  I have a big pile of returns now.  I mostly rode the office chair while he worked on each item in turn.

He assembled the shower drain and then installed the faucet and shower head.  Next he was under the vanity sink and glued it down on the top of the wooden vanity.  We had purchased Moen faucets, and he seemed to like that brand as it went together quickly in his hands.  Once the drain was connected he tested the water, and yes the hot was on the left side.  He laughed that it was easier now since water pipes are now red and blue, instead of all white.

We installed a bar sink in the counter top at the end of the room, and it was in the larger kitchen style cabinets, but he came back from the truck with a few additional plastic pipes, and that water ran soon after.

Finally it was the toilet's turn, and this took a bit more time as the flange had to be mounted in the tile and concrete of the basement floor.  He had a big hammer drill and installed concrete plugs into the floor.  Again the Home Depot boys sold me the thick bees wax explaining that the one that comes with the toilet wasn't up to the task.  The plumber disagreed saying that the flange was on top of the floor and it was actually the correct item for the task.  Another part for the take back pile.

I purchased a Kohler power flush toilet, and the plumber really liked that product, claiming it to be the best one in the whole house.   So before noon, the entire water part of the project was done.  And as promised, I never had a single tool in my hand.

So after about an hour, I jumped in the car and went to my barber shop for a haircut.  Again, I am really hobbled, so everyone had to know what the heck happened to me.  I was quite uncomfortable in the waiting chairs, but braved on thru it.  I was glad when I got back here to the house.

As I returned there was a Quisno's Sub sandwich that jumped into the car, or I went in and got it.

So I continue to get stronger, but don't dare push it or I will pay........

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yippie Skippie

While things aren't exactly yippie skippie, I seem to be getting along.  Pain management seems to be the issue late at night, so much of that has been spent in the recliner that my son carried up to the bedroom.  The late night tv has been bad, but it takes your mind off of the pain.

Yesterday, Loyce and I spent the day going thru this months bills and deciding what hasn't been taken care of since the surgery back on September 12.  The insurance folks take quite a delight in sending out cancellation notices, the very moment a payment hasn't recorded on the specified time.  But luckily we haven't qualified for any of those quite yet.

As far as the basement project, it was all set up to have the on again and off again contractor come and work on Friday.  We didn't stop him even though I had to go back to the hospital.  Lord only knows when we could have gotten him back.  Of course without us here to question and guide the job, he just declared that he was done and loaded his tool out.

We thought about calling him back, but have decided to wait until I am stronger, and see how much of it I can tackle in the meantime.  If I only accomplish one small task a day, it will be faster than waiting for him.  Tomorrow we are expecting the plumber to install the toilet and sinks.  He will also have to finish the shower faucet.

So this morning we spent time cleaning up the nasty mess the carpenter left us from last Friday.  I didn't  do much except paint the mop board and wall behind where the toilet will be installed.   Painting back in there is impossible once the fixture is in place.

It was still strenuous on me and I had to nap for several hours this afternoon to make up for the work.  But since I am paying for tomorrow's work, I promise that I will not pick up a tool!!

Retired Rod

Lynette Mc Henry put this on face book a few moments ago and it describes our winter plans to a tee!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back home again.

I'm not too sure where Friday and Saturday went to, but it was spent mostly hooked to the IV with a new bag of antibiotics being hung every four hours.  Then twice a day they came for more blood to see if it was doing anything.

By Saturday evening, I was beginning to know my own name again, and even when it was time for more antibiotics to be put on the pole.  It takes 72 hours or three days to get a culture to tell  them what specific drug would kill the invader.

So just like that on Sunday morning, they declared that I was out of their hotel.  That took Loyce by somewhat of a surprise, and she had to get down to the hospital  to haul me and all my belongings home.

So I have the strongest antibiotic made in pill form to try and win this battle and my own bed and recliner from where I plan to get it done.

Biscuit is wondering why she can't sit in my lap like before and is whining.  She does know that I am seriously sick because she continuously is trying to lick my feet and sweat pants.  Perhaps that will help me get fixed up, you just never know.

Retired Rod