Saturday, May 31, 2008

Internet Saturday

I spend too much of my time researching things on the internet. Seems any question no matter how small can be answered here, if you are willing to do the research. And one topic leads to the next, and before you know it half the day is shot.

I just have to put this darned thing down. So I do, but then I start using the desk top that is here on the end table. Ya I know, shouldn't have two computers within the reach of the arm chair. Its blasphemy.

So I headed out to the RV storage lot to load some piece of gear, that was just the excuse to leave the house. While there, I confirmed that my two sons had gone camping for the weekend. I never did ask them if they were headed out for this week, but then we didn't want to go along anyway.

A quick phone call found them at Melvern Lake on the Kansas side of the town. We jump back and forth over the state line seemingly many times a day and do not think too much about it. Melvern is about 50 to 60 miles South of here on I 35, in Kansas.

We, on the other hand, are headed back down to Lake Ozark for no particular reason, other than to spend some time down there while it is still under 95 degrees. Once the third week of June arrives in the Ozarks, it will turn hotter than an oven, so the nice time is right now.

Loyce has declared we are staying all week, so we will see how that goes. Can't stay too long now that we have the new sprinkler system because the yard will grow to China.

This means we will miss the car auction for Wednesday, but it was becoming a bit like work anyway. Things need to sell a little faster as well.

So I'll pack up the laptop and head out in the morning. Lets see, shorts, socks, credit card, t shirts, ya that ought to about do it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A slow day again.

I did go over to the car warehouse in mid afternoon and take Chris to lunch. We have a favorite Mexican place in an old Pizza Hut building called Mi Pueblito. They had Fajita special today, and boy was it good.

They start with the usual chips and salsa, but I ordered the special right away. Chicken and Beef mixed fajita. Most places grill the meat by its self but at this joint, it is peppers and onions and red peppers all grilled, served with fresh flour tortillas. And a second plate with salad, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, rice and beans. Wow was I stuffed.

That was lunch, not hardly, more like a farm dinner. The mix of chicken and beef also was fried with fresh garlic, as Tioga George would say, Man O Man!

Beyond that, we spent some of the day working on a remote control for the cable TV box. It would work on some things but not all. After a phone call, and the cable tech telling me to push buttons, we determined it had gone South. So the four mile round trip to the cable office, got us a new one. Since they provide the box with the service, it was a free replacement. Now we are back in business.

Loyce puts it thru its paces, but I seldom watch much TV any more. Seems to be a waste of good internet time. LOL

Its past midnight again, so I will post this and get off to bed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Playing Hookey

Once in a while, it is fun to not show up anywhere for a day or two. Hookey, is what we called not going to school when you were supposed to. But we seldom got away with that, because the school checked with our parents, to see if we were really sick.

I do remember using a plug of chewing tobacco to get sick for the school nurse, so she would send you home early. Once the tobacco was hurled, you were fine in a matter of several minutes. She never did catch on!

So today was a hookey day. I studied the internet and went to the Lowes store for some TV coax connectors to work on a wiring project, and frittered the day away.

Well, mid afternoon I did go get some gas mixed with oil, to run the lawn boy. As in lawn mower. Also for the two cycle weed wacker. But the main part of the lawn gets mowed with a riding tractor. It eats more gas, but gets the job done more quickly. Iwas done with that by 5PM.

The yard is healing nicely from the digging work of the irrigation system. It has rained a lot since the project was completed, filling in the holes.

Tonight, I spoke with several Des Moines friends on Skype as the weather there was tornado watches. Last week, Parkersburg, Iowa was leveled with a tornado, so that makes storm watching more meaningful.

So all is well here on our retirement style day off. Hope you had a good day too.

Cars and more Cars

We set there (auction) all day and the big cars are not bringing anything because no one can sell them. And the little cars are bid up to astronomical prices, beyond retail in most cases.

The broken Prius that we were looking at, was bid beyond retail even though it was wrecked on one side and had all the warning lights on at one time. It was sold as is, with announcements and warnings. But people know how to fix the stuff, and will bid like crazy to have the chance to make a fast buck.

Mileage mania has set in at $4 a gallon. Even 6 cylinder cars are out of favor. And what few 4 cylinder cars that were at the auction, brought $1500 more than the books says they are worth. So we didn't buy anything!

After returning to the house, I spent some time on the internet looking at various car sites, trying to understand what I had seen at the auction today, until Loyce wanted to go to dinner at Fuddruckers. We like the hamburgers at that place, even though it is quite filling. I think it is the fresh bun and the condiments more than anything.

With my cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk, I waddled home and have been talking with my Des Moines friends on Skype for the rest of the night.

I see it is after midnight and this will be a post for Thursday now and not Wednesday. Well not much to report here anyway, since I do not do anything invigorating on days when I work.

Better get this posted an off to bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This job is real!

This car auction is becoming a real job! I am learning that it doesn't matter what I think of the cars at the auction, only what the buyer will perceive as he walks up to the side of the car.

Or in our case, what it looks like on the internet. The only time I will ever drive the car is on the way home. Or on the way to a repair facility to get some form of reconditioning. So selecting the right cars becomes even more of an art.

With that in mind it was back to the auction lot again today to preview more vehicles. Its getting like a broken record with no ending. That's why it is a real job, like work. Heck I thought I retired.

This morning it rained again. It rained enough to set the irrigation system to the off position, due to the rain sensor. So I know that it is working correctly. Also I set the two a day program back to once a day. The grass has grown much taller since I fertilized last week, and the rain is healing the knife cuts into the ground.

Still big dead spots where they had it dug up for days in a row. No amount of rain and fertilizer is going to fix those areas. They will just have to slowly grass back over. I will need to mow again this week if it ever stays dry long enough to do it.

Nothing else going on here as I need to go to bed as the auction will get me up early.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Its all over

Memorial day is in the books. Its all done, and we are back in KC!

We are both shot. The kids packed up their respective families, and headed out by mid day, with Ben leaving first, and Chris staying for another boat ride, and then leaving a couple of hours later.

We cleaned up as best as we could in the short time left, and were on the road by 5:30. It takes three hours to get back, but we stopped for gas and a Mickey D's. So we were here by 9.

I kind of putted along, and only used about 7 gallons of gas, for the 135 mile trip. That is under 20 mpg, which is all we ever get for mileage with the wife's Ford Escape. It is 4 wheel drive, which was necessary when we lived in Des Moines, but is now detrimental here in KC. Especially when we went to Texas for much of the winter.

So summer begins officially, now that Memorial day is gone!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The end of a big day

Its midnight and the day was long and fun. The kids get us up at the crack of dawn, and we should all be in bed by now, but we are all sitting here messing with three laptops.

We have been reminiscing old music by playing you tube videos of songs. Talk about boring but then fun as well. We rode in the pontoon boat for some of the morning, but found the lake quite busy, and rough. It bounces the the boat all over the place and makes it hard to keep going in a straight line.

I tired of that fairly quickly, and then we just hung out at the dock and the kids swam. In the 66 degree water. They seem to not notice the cold, but it is more than I can take. It was almost up to 90 degrees, and the humidity was in the 80's. Our first real taste of summer.

The town was quite busy when we went in yesterday during the rain. So my fears that we would not have a good weekend for the merchants, hasn't been a problem. But boat traffic is down. Gas is expensive.

We did drunk butt chicken for supper, and had baked potatoes and cheesy corn. Damn that was a good meal. Have to go without for days, to make up for all those calories.

So all is well at Lake Ozark.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Family at the lake

This was a day to enjoy the family here at the lake. One son arrived last night late and the other at 5 this afternoon. We went out in the pontoon, late in the day or early in the evening.

The picnic lunch that followed was hamburgers and beans. Green rice and pasta salad. We all ate too much and are stuffed as we sit here looking out at the lake.

It is quite cool to the point of not needing these shorts any more. So another day is in the books. Nothing too much accomplished, no world problems solved, but we all hung out together.

We look forward to the same objective for tomorrow. It is to be warmer in the morning with less rain and cold. Perhaps the kids can swim some more and not turn as blue!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A day to clean.

The winter dirt is a fine clay that settles on everything. Our soil here is almost yellow red. Not red like Oklahoma but red like mixed with yellow. It slowly covers everything during the winter. It must get into the rain and snow somehow, covering the cars and boats and houses.

So each spring, it is a ritual to power wash everything in sight. So today was power wash day. The house is too tall to wash the entire building, but we wash the side toward the lake where the various decks are attached. You start with the top story and work your self down. The dirt from above goes thru the decking and makes the next level even messier.

Then there is the dock. The dirt is all over it and then the ducks leave large, well you know! But they are George Bush's ducks and they are not in season.

The trees here are river oaks, and they pollenate with a Yellow dust like sticky stuff. This mixes into the winter clay and makes for an even gooier mess. It covers the pontoon boat and its cover. I washed and washed, but it still is not totally clean.

Loyce attacked the inside of the house as everything is dusty beyond belief. We live in the upstairs of the house when we are here by ourselves, and that part was not too bad but the guest rooms were needing a lot of attention. She was busy all day.

So as I write this, we are waiting for the younger son to arrive with his wife and three kids. All is ready, or as ready as it is going to be and we are killed. The seats in the pontoon still need to be scrubbed but that will have to be tomorrow.

I am sitting on the screen porch looking out over the lake, and dam three miles distant. In years past the boats would have been so thick you could walk on them, but tonight there is only an occasional boat going by. 4 dollar gas.

The dock lights are still quite a picture as they reflect off of the water, yellow and blue. Yellow for the bug lights that light up the walk ways and blue as the marker lights that illuminate a dock all night. These are on, even when the walk way lights are off.

Most of the sea walls have landscape lights along the lake as well. Most of these lights are on only during large holiday weekends, and leave a pleasant impression.

So we will see, if the tourist infusion is as great as it usually is. This area rely's upon the tourist trade, so without it, things are going to be much poorer. Lets hope for a good weekend for the merchants.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

From the Lake of the Ozarks

We spent the afternoon traveling to the lake. Just rolled along at about 55 or so. No hurry, no schedule. And we got here just the same. Maybe 15 minutes longer trip, but who was watching.

Everything was just as I had left it two weeks ago. I stayed here one night by myself, when I delivered the RV to the dealership. Loyce had forgotten that she wasn't the last person to use the place. So I held my breath to see what indiscretions I may have committed. But everything must have been in order, as she hasn't mentioned anything yet.

I'll have to remind her tomorrow, that she wasn't along for the last trip down here. We are in clean up mode, getting ready for the kids and grandkids that will come this weekend. We are not too sure of the schedules yet, but hope to have both families here at the same time for a while anyway.

The pontoon and dock have not been cleaned or started since we winterized them last year. This is very unusual, as we generally have the month of May as one of our best weather months. This May has been one of the coldest months I can remember. And the rains have filled the lake to overfull, and the spillway is still open.

The water is still milky brown and not too inviting. We do not swim in the lake when it is so muddy. And cold rain runoff makes for freezing swimming anyway.

So tomorrow will be a day to get cleaned up some more. Oh, and I bought three 5 gallon jugs of gas to put into the boat tonight. $58.50. There won't be too many on the lake at those prices. My neighbor is trying to sell his boat that has twin 496 Mags V8's. That thing burns 15 to 20 gallons an hour. Gas on the water is $.65 higher than car gas, so its about $4.50 right now.

I wonder how many miles per gallon my rocking chair in the porch gets? I can watch the other nutty folks burn their gas.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another car auction!

Were you looking for a nice blog posting today?

I swiped this from the Happy Campers blog. It is the only thing he posted for today. Rex and his wife deal Black Jack at various casino's over the year as work campers. They are from Wisconsin and have a completely different attitude about life in general than we have. Check them out.

Its just like I still had a full time job! We were up at 6:30 and off by 8 to go to the auction. We spent all day watching cars go thru the lanes. We bid on several but they get way too pricey and we just let others pay the big numbers.

We did get one Toyota Camary that had miles over 100K but is clean as a button. Again had to pay too much but the Toyotas seem to sell until they no longer roll. Time will tell.

Not too much else happening here, as I got home by 6 PM. I ride with Chris on auction days so we can bring back the purchases to his building. The auction doesn't get over until 1:30 and then we spend the afternoon driving things home.

We then go over the cars with the fine tooth comb to see if we bought a pig in the poke. Its amazing how much more you can see that needs attention, once it is in your own shop.

So write today off as a day too accomplish anything around the home place, but helping your son is just as rewarding.

Tomorrow we are heading out to the Lake Place in Lake Ozark, Mo. We have not spent too much time there this year as it has been cold and rainy most of the weekends all spring.

We do not even try to go camp on these big holiday weekends. That is what chased us away from camping so many years ago. The fight to get a camping spot on big weekends was not worth the effort. At the lake, we always have our own reservation.

Have to pay the taxes, insurance, and utilities all year though. Everything has its price!

We'll blog at you from the Lake, if we still can get into the neighbors wifi. Not there enough to warrant a connection of our own. We are cheap you know!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Back to the Grind

How quickly it is, back to the reality of the everyday routine. I arrived in the middle of the night and everyone was sleeping. They all had the normal nights rest, which got me up and at em at the normal time. Too much to do to sleep all day, right?

So the utility trailer had to be unloaded, and stored back in the storage lot. Oh and on that note, I find that I have inherited a Mitrek Motorola mobile radio. It was stored under the packing blankets and the furniture dolly in the trailer. These radios were for sale, but are not worth too much on a used market. So its rightful owner (Rich)? probably doesn't even know or care that it is missing.

I do not know too much about Motorola radios, so it will not do me much good. It will cost more than it is worth to return, so maybe I'll give it away.

The lawn sprinkler system is done! And it works too. They have it programmed to run twice a day. This is to help settle the ground where they cut it all up with their machines and shovels. We have big dead spots all over the place where the pipes were installed. They seeded some of these spots.

I mowed the lawn and Loyce removed all the flags from the yard. She is really glad to see them go, as it attracted attention to our construction project, and made our yard stand out as the bad looking yard in the neighborhood. I also spread 2 bags of fertilizer over the lawn, with weed killer. That will have us looking greener and better in a short period of time. I hope.

So I was killed again last night. Went right to bed and slept good until 4 AM. And yes that would be 5AM in Ohio, and that is what time we were getting up to go to the show. Isn't it funny how we settle into a routine so quickly?

Today is more study of the new GPS system, and later I have to go with Chris to the car auction. I wonder what real gems they have out there this week?

Another day in the grind!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Back in KC

It is a long way from Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio to Kansas City, Kansas. I did make it in one day, well less than a day, it only took 22 hours.

We got up in Dayton, at 5 AM, which was 4 AM central time. We went to the show by 7, their time and did our last minute shopping. Some folks had big purchases in mind and others had odds and ends they hadn't completed. But at 10:15 we were loaded and on our way.

It doesn't take too long and you are in Indiana, but the trip to Indianapolis seems to drag. So I fell asleep. As did others, and dog gone it, we drove right by Flying J where we usually stop for Buffet Brunch. So when life hands you lemons, we made lemonade. We dialed in Cracker Barrel into the GPS and it took us there. And it was good too. Maybe better than Flying J, but a welcome change as well.

The trip seems to go on forever, as we ran out of new topics to argue over. We struggled to make one of the APRS transmitters send out our position, but discovered that the GPS on it was disconnected, in the rat's nest of wires under the radio seat.

We had some large cabinets to deliver to a ham in Bloomington, Il and found his place of business fairly easily. But the 200 foot tower next to his building made it a lot easier. We got to see his ham repeater and his trunked public service repeaters, as well as numerous vintage import cars. He was a car dealer too. Imagine that.

Seems that we stopped at a lot of rest areas, but then we needed to get out of the car and stretch after so many hours.

We arrived in Des Moines at around 8:30 Central time. This is when the major sort of possessions takes place. This is mine and you bought that, and Larry tried to make off with my computer, well his bag and mine look just alike. But had he taken it, this post would not have occurred. LOL Gas for the Chevy Suburban and trailer cost exactly $500. Costly, even though it was divided 5 ways.

So at 10 PM I started out for KC, and I was doing fine until I stopped for a sandwich. After I ate that, I just could not seem to stay awake. So I pulled in with the trucks in a Missouri rest area, and slept for about an hour. Once I was back on the road with a nap, I made it home without any more problems.

Needless to say, I crashed, and haven't accomplished much today either. But then I am retired!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Its almost over!

And just like that, the show is almost over. It lasts for two days plus the setup day, and some of Sunday, before we have to leave.

We are on daylight saving time and Eastern time zone here in Ohio. So right now even though it is 8 PM, it is bright as day outside. We will go to the hamfest, tomorrow by seven in the morning and leave by 10:30.

However, that is only 9:30 back in Des Moines. So we really are leaving in time to drive all the way back to Iowa. It will be almost 8 PM when we get there. It is a draining day of just riding along, hour after hour.

I have been informed that my reporting has "informed on" one of our group, about his purchase arrangements. Larry's wife Jean reads the blog on most days, and she knew immediately that I was describing her husbands purchase activities. Way to go Jean, keep him honest. But the stuff he is bringing back is quite a bit smaller than what we took out.

But, I must now admit that I made a major purchase yesterday as well. The GPS that is in my truck is a 2001 model. That is an eon on electronic equipment life. So, I just had to have the Avmap 5, that matches the Kenwood radio system. Now most GPS's are under $300, but of course, the one that matches the radios is twice that, so I am done shopping at the hamfest.

Well until tomorrow when we have to leave, and get all that last minute stuff.

So were outa here in the morning! I'll report on the trip in the next blog.

Friday, May 16, 2008

First Show Day

We were up at 5AM and out of here at 6. The show lasted all day. We left and went to the TAPR AMSAT banquet that lasted until 9:30 PM. Then we had a 30 minute drive back home.

Man I am killed. I'm so tired that I am flushed in the face and my voice has gone completely. Hoarse or just non existent. So we have to be back up and out there by 6 again tomorrow, so I will blog about the show when it is all over.

Many I need some sleep now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not much pillow time!

We seem to get up before we go to bed when we are here in Dayton. If we didn't need a shower and such, it almost seems that renting a room to sleep in is not necessary.

We were 'up and at them' by 6 AM this morning and were on the road to Lima, Ohio before 8. The used and military surplus radio store has changed little since we were there a year ago. That is the way with these places, you can watch paint dry. They are timeless.

In the middle of the old radio store experience, Allen said to me "Do you want to go down and see the Harley shop?" So off we went. This is the typical newer motorcycle store with all the new bikes. But the clothes and accessories are where they make their real money. And we left some of ours there too.

Once back in Dayton, we hitched the trailer back onto the truck and took it out to the flea market. This is set up day, and we always wander around and see what kind of trouble we can stir up. We sold some stuff right off the bat that will help one of our members pay his bills. But then he came dragging a bunch of different items to take their place for the trip home. We just trade stuff with the other hams. Its not about making money!

Tonight some of us went to the Collins hospitality room, while others went back to Bob Evans across from the hotel. Later, we all ended up in one of the rooms, for a coupla beers and planning for the day tomorrow.

It's 10:45 PM and we have to be up at 5 AM so I need to have 'some' pillow time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Lost and Hour!

Now just where did that hour go? But it is already 1100 at night and we seemed to only arrive a few minutes ago. But we are in Tipp City, Ohio. This is just North of Dayton, Ohio on I 75. We are staying at an old Holiday Inn that is in the process of changing its name to La Quinta.

We were not told that we were under construction when we made the reservations. But the original reservations were made last year, so many things change in that amount of time. Really, they are painting and changing their look to the La Quinta scheme.

We will go to Fair Radio in Lima, Ohio tomorrow. It is less than an hour drive to see more military surplus gear, than the military has. We enjoy this process as you have to dig thru many crates and cartons. Like looking under the next rock for a new prize.

We will tow the trailer out to the Hamvention show later in the day, and perhaps go to the Airforce Museum as well.

Its late here now so its time to hit the hay!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Micro tel in Des Moines

A quick blurb from Des Moines.

I arrived here before noon, pulling the utility trailer. I went to Francie's bar for lunch with three of the guys. This is their daily haunt, serving lunches and dinner. I have spent many an hour in this place when I used to live here.

It seemed like old home day, as I ordered an Italian Sausage sandwich on Focaccia bread. This is a delectable Italian sandwich. It has peppers and cheese with a marinara sauce. All on a red spicy sausage patty. The bread is an Italian flat bread made with lots of olive oil. Man is that good.

After lunch we went to Larry's farm in Greenfield, Iowa and loaded large repeater cabinets to sell in Dayton. This was a give and take session, while we challenged each other to get a move on, or wake up to the facts, or what ever we could think of to barb the other guy. The normal banter.

Once back in the Des Moines area, the trailer was delivered to the home of Alen. He is the one with the Suburban Chevy. We spent another hour loading his very special stuff, that he wants to sell. The trailer is almost full and we still have all our suitcases and the stuf from the other three guys.

So tomorrow is the big travel day. I will not be back on the net until late at night, so you might not see the post until the following day. But I'll be back, once we get there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Packed and Ready

The truck and utility trailer are loaded in the driveway. The gas tank is full of high priced gas. All I have to do is get up and head out. But I am so keyed up, that I may never go to sleep.

So we are as ready as we can ever get to headem on out. The wife is not all too excited that I am leaving, but then she has put up with this journey for about twelve years now, so she knows the drill.

I will go to Des Moines tomorrow for lunch and then out to the small town of Greenfield, where we have a bunch of old radio gear stored on a friend's farm. The plan is to load a large quantity of the stuff in the utility trailer and tow it back to Des Moines. We are driving a Suburban six passenger Chevy, that belongs to my friend Allen, to Dayton. He will pull my trailer, along with the six of us.

We are braced for the price of gas and the poor mileage that we will get with the trailer. But then if you are going to do this, it has its price.

I will not have internet service Wednesday, until we get to the motel in Tipp City, North of Dayton. We have reservations for a Holiday Inn there. Tomorrow night I will stay in Des Moines at a Microtel, and may have internet if I get a room that is close enough to the office to pick up the Wifi.

I'll blog about how things went as soon as I have a good connection to the outside world!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crash in the rain storm!

Now not a car crash, but rather I crashed. Like so tired that I couldn't keep up my side of the conversation. My head kept falling to the table in the RV. And it was raining outside. In wind driven torrents.

Well lets go back in time to yesterday morning, when I left for Lake Ozark. It was an overcast day that looked as though it would rain any moment. Getting to the lake was just the ho hum three hour drive that it always is. I go the rural farm to market roads, as they are the most direct route. Not necessarily the quickest but rather the shortest.

Travel around the lake on the West side, on highway 5, seemed like the slow boat to China. Folks were doing their 'Saturday to the market' drive, and no one was in the hurry that I was. I had to be there before they closed at 3.

I made it, and went in to the service department. The service manager again did not recognize me, nor did he remember the rig and problem. After shuffling some service tickets, he said oh ya its done. Sign this blank warranty ticket. Didn't even have my name on it.

As we left his office he pointed to the service storage lot and said its out there! That was the sum total of my interaction with the staff of Quality RV. I went by myself into their lot, found my rig and hitched it up. Could have taken any unit I wanted, as nobody was watching. Not much in the department of personal service. Like none what so ever! Cold impartial, and uncaring, comes to mind.

So I drove back to KC with the RV. This time it took 4 hours or more as the rain storms began in earnest. I arrived home by about 6PM.

Loyce was ready with everything stacked to put in the Rig. We just opened the back door and stacked it all inside the door. We were only going about 30 miles or so, to Lawrence, KS and the Clinton Lake Core of Engineers campground.

On the way out, we decided to stop at the Wal-Mart in Lawrence and buy some further groceries for supper, so we checked in about 8PM.

Now it did begin to rain in earnest, with high winds. It blew the skylight cover off of my son's motorhome. And flapped the vinyl tent ends of the other son's expandable. It caused the condensation on the inside to rain on them most of the night. They were awfully beat this morning. It was only 44 degrees when we got up, as the rain had come with a big cold front.

We did have a nice mothers day brunch this morning, as the girls cooked pancakes and eggs with ham and cheese. The kids played in the park on the rec equipment, and rode their bikes like mad all over the CG. I'm sure the other campers were more than glad, when we finally packed up mid afternoon.

So as I sit and reflect on the whirlwind campout after 9 hours of driving, and the cold rainy wind storm, I think we did it all in the name of fun!

So happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, and maybe you got more sleep last night than we did. But we think we had fun, just the same.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fast and Furious

Things are coming at us fast now! We have to be ready to leave the house on Tuesday morning for the week in Dayton, Ohio. But we have so much to get ready before then.

Loyce see's this trip as something that I want to do and therefore is not committed to the project. But then lets remember, this is a week out with the boys. And it might help if she were going along and not just me. So naturally she is just ho hum.

But the RV is done in Lake Ozark. So today I am headed to the lake to pick it up. They said they had no room to store it and wanted it out of there. And pretty much in just those words. Ah warranty work is always a pain. They can't charge as much for it and really do not want to do it.

It is the same almost everywhere, but boy were the camper folks down in Texas nice about it. And they didn't even sell the thing to me in the first place.

Also the rest of the family is already out in the local campground at Clinton Lake, Kansas. So when I get back here, I can head right over to the campground. Its a Core of engineers lake just South of Lawrence.

So I will hang up this laptop for now and head out to get the RV.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Auto Auction Pics

Welcome to the auto auction! This is a garage that has 12 doors on the left and 12 doors on the right. They drive in from the right and out to the left. 12 lanes of cars past 12 desks. You are looking down the center of the building at all 12 lanes.

Each lane is marked with the dark green stripe on the floor. It was still early, but folks are already looking at the cars that are lined up. Some lanes will have 250 cars to go thru the auction. Others my only have 75 to 100.

This is lane 1 and the auction hasn't started yet. The auctioneer is the guy with the gray suit coat and the butch haircut. The black shirt guy is the spotter, that will call out the bidders. The gals are the clerks that record the bids for the internet bidders and record the final sale for the close out of business. The lady in the pink, that is in the desk down on the floor level, is where you sign the papers that you won the car. From there, you take your copy into the office and pay on the spot.

We didn't take any of the cars home with us from this weeks auction. The gas savers are going for astronomical prices, and no one is buying anything else.

Irrigation project

Here are the workers as they arrived at our house on Monday. The truck and trailer in the background is their shop on wheels.

This is the start of the vibraplow as it pulls the ploy pipe underground. As it rolls away, the worker next to me was unrolling the big spool of pipe. The machine has a Chinese handcuff style metal woven sock that closes around the end of the pipe. This is attached to the knife plow that is cut through the ground about 8 to 10 inches deep.

They dug a hole in the ground about 4 feet deep. The finally found the water pipe that feeds our house. This took quite a bunch of time to dig. I was very glad that I was not the man on the end of that shovel. Much of the material removed was crushed rock. They kept it separate from the clay dirt. Of course the black top soil was removed by the builder and sold several years ago. That is the reason we need to have irrigation in the first place. There should be a law against that practice, but sadly there is not.

Things are happening fast around here, as the car was finished at the garage today and late in the day, we heard from the RV repair folks that they had our unit done in Linn Creek, Mo.

And they would really like us to come and get it since they do not have any storage room. All of which must happen by Monday. Because on Tuesday its off to Dayton, Ohio.

Yah Hoo!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rain delay

Its Wednesday morning, and it again has chances for rain. So no irrigation folks will be coming today. They didn't come yesterday either. They claimed that they tried to call but we didn't answer. So then they emailed.

A.....dah..... didn't you folks cut the cable to our house yesterday? We have no phone and no internet. And no cable tv either! Remember. Well no they didn't remember. How dumb can these folks be?

The good news was that the cable was patched about 2:30 PM yesterday and we got all of the services back. We are really reliant on the connection to the outside world now days. Yes our cell phone still worked, but the rest of the things we are so used to, were just gone. Over one little coaxial cable!

Barely had time to reflect on the reconnection, as it was off to the auction to look at cars. We found some that we may bid on this morning. So we are headed out to see how this week will pan out.

May come home with something and if things are too high, may just pass on the whole deal.
Time will tell.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Irrigation man arrives!


They cut the cable that provides telephone, cable tv, and the internet! We are off line to the outside world. Cell phone still works, and the repeater router is connected to a neighbor that isn't secure. You might remember I use the repeater to acquire internet when we are in an RV park that has weak wifi. This open neighbor must be at some distance, since his signal is very weak.

I had hoped to tell how good things were going! LOL!

Posting this thru the distant connection will be scratchy so I will stop here and write more if we get back on our own router.

6:30 PM

They didn't call back on the cell phone. Claimed they called, but the person on the phone didn't know about any service outage. I assume because of a wrong number. So they will not fix it today.
"Maybe tomorrow, we can look into it" I was told.

So we are without service for tonight, except for my clandestine internet connection, and a cell phone. Maybe rabbit ears for the tv. Come back tomorrow and we'll know more then.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday a day off!

We had the three year old grand daughter here yesterday and then overnight. We played most of the day. Grandma took her to the park, and we watched kids movies. It was fun, but she went home this morning.

So for the first time in the past week, we do not have one of the kids here. So I called it the day off! We are kicked back doing more adult things, which for me is computer time on the internet. Read up on a few blogs, and send a few emails.

We are hopeful that we will be on the landscape guy's list for the watering system installation this week, but have not received any communication from them. They have been paid half the money and we haven't heard one thing since. It has rained every week, and this week is no exception, as the forecast is for more rain again.

Still, I would think they would at least call you as to their plans. Try to make you feel that you are not forgotten. Time will tell!

We also have not heard from the RV folks in Linn Creek, Mo. They are the Jayco dealer, that sold us the Jayfeather trailer last summer. We took the unit back because the breakfast nook is pulled away from the wall in the slide out. The slide flexes enough to cause the seating to rip away from the wall it is attached to.

The service manager said he had to see what Jayco wanted to do with our problem. He was to send pictures and call me back when he knew something. So he must not know anything yet, because we have no call. So spring will slowly become summer, and the RV will be at the dealer.

Perhaps all these things will come to needing attention, the week I am going to Dayton. That will be a week from this Tuesday. I can't hardly wait. Never had a bad time at the Hamvention!

Instead of just sitting here and wondering how this will all come to pass, I should go do something. Fertilize the yard or clean the garage. I'm sure I can get into some kind of trouble!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A day of work at the house.

A work day for sure. Since I had the license for the trailer, I went to the storage lot and hooked on to it. It is so light as compared to the travel trailer. Could forget its there. Only 13 feet long too.

Once back at the house the lawn tractor was unloaded and it fired right off. You have to start it inside the trailer since it is heavy and hard to push. Just drive it off. The push lawn mower did not want to start.

I had emptied the tank of gas last fall and had to refill the tank. Then it took forever to get gas into the carburetor. But it finally went. I also stored our 5600 watt generator in the trailer as well. And it started first pull. Actually only a half a pull as I was just trying to turn it over to lubricate things.

It is a briggs and stratton. Seems to work very fine. I let it run about a half hour. It was used last fall to winterize my son's camper but had not been started since.

The trailer was the pitts. Man was it dirty outside. The aluminum roof bleeds down onto the white painted sides of the unit. It stains so bad that black streak remover will not even touch the stain. Usually thats good stuff but not with this stain.

I even called the trailer dealer that sold me the rig. He said they use Bleachy White and Black Streak together. Still didn't get very clean. I ended up using Simple Green, full strength, along with the other stuff. It did come somewhat clean, but you can see the stain in the paint in good day light.

We are getting prepared to travel to Dayton Ohio, where the Dayton Hamvention will be held two weeks from now. I plan to take the trailer up to Des Moines, where we will hook it to my friend Allen's Suburban truck. He can seat six folks and we have all the seats spoken for.

Yes and I did mow the yard late in the afternoon. It was still wet and the tractor threw the water as we went. I tried to avoid mowing off the little flags that the watering man has all over the yard. But some of them are casualties. He never drew out the layout so he may have to start from scratch again.

The grass is higher than a kite in places, so it is not optional to mow. If the fellow is mad, then maybe he should have been here several weeks ago. I sent the check the first week in April.

I stuck the trailer into the warehouse with the new cars, late in the day, to keep it clean until next week. Oh, and yes, I did put the little sticker on the license plate!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It never is good to go into a rant on your blog. You loose the few readers that you have managed to acquire. So I hope to relay the facts of this morning as they occurred and let you the reader make your own conclusions about my state of mind.

In preparing for our trip to Dayton Ohio the week of May 13, it is necessary to update the license on the 6 X 10 utility trailer. I alluded to the lawn mowers and how I wanted to get them out and mow some. I hid them in the utility trailer for the winter. They are stored in the same lot where the larger RV is parked.

Last fall the Iowa license on the utility trailer expired on my birthday month of November. Yes that is how Iowa cycles licenses for cars, on the owners birthday month. And I know all you Iowans think that every one else does it the same, but they don't!

In Kansas it is on the first letter of your last name. And the I's are in June. Go figure. Except if you have a utility trailer, and they are all in December. Unless they never weigh over 2,000 lbs loaded and then you do not have to register them. Well unless you leave Kansas and then the other states seem to think they should be registered in Kansas, or somewhere anyway.

Sooooo, the Iowa license ran out in November and I went to register the trailer since I pull it all over the place and mostly not in Kansas Toto. Seems that I had to buy a 2007 license for the month of December but at the annual fee. There is no prorate and oh by the way its late since its December so you owe the penalty too. Never mind that it wasn't in the state till now.

So I said what about next year? Can't buy that untill 2008! They will mail you the form. Well they didn't. And we were not in Kansas anyway in January, as we were in Texas. So I am late on it too. So I knew I was in trouble when I went to the DMV in the beginning. Just have to face the music.

So I marched on in the joint, and got a number. I waited about an hour for my number to come up, as I was at least 60 numbers back. I went to the teller assigned to do my renewal. And all went well, until I had to prove that I had a Kansas insured vehicle to pull the trailer with.

The pickup is registered to the lake place in Missouri. We drive it principally in Missouri and it is the only vehicle we register at the lake, well not really, the RV has Mo plates too since we bought it in Mo. And some of the boat trailers are Mo plates, so since the pickup is the vehicle pulling all these trailers it just makes some sense to have Mo plates on it too.

Sorry, you can't have a Kansas trailer unless it has a Kansas insured tow vehicle. No the insurance card on your Mo truck will not do, and you must have a vehicle that is capable of pulling this trailer, other than one from out of state. Wouldn't budge from this and invited me to leave the window. This is where the rant came in!

So I had to go back home and find the insurance papers on my wifes Ford Escape, little SUV. It is registered to pull 3,500 Lbs, and is licensed in Kansas. Then drive back to the DMV and get a new number to wait in line again.

After another hour of sitting and steaming, waiting for the clerks to all get their lunch break, with even more people waiting in the reception area. 75 folks later I made it back to the window.

This time the clerk was a nicer lady, who said they sometimes accept out of state insurance depending on who takes your paperwork. But it is a gray area and some clerks are afraid to do it for fear of their own job security! Wow!

Oh, they also had to look up the SUV to see if it was qualified to pull the trailer. Then at about 4 hours after I initially came to the DMV, I wrote the $23 check and received the little one inch square 09 sticker to put on the plate.

Do you want to move to Johnson County Kansas, and experience these kinds of fun? Never did get the trailer home to mow any of the lawn.

Tonight we are stormy again, which will preclude any mowing tomorrow, and the watering folks will be even further behind. But it will be Friday and the weekend is here right?