Sunday, June 29, 2008

Field Day!

As I was explaining Field Day is an exercise for ham radio operators, to set up in parks and public places. We demonstrate communications skills by contacting each other in a contest format. If we were in a real emergency mode, the traffic would be different, but setting up and working the radio would be the same.

But as you can see from the mobile kitchen in this picture, this is how our ham club demonstrates that we can rough it when we are out in the field. Man check the size of that smoker oven!

I volunteered to be on the kitchen staff, before I knew that this kitchen was coming to our activity. Really! I did!

This is John and Hap. John owns the trailer and is the head Bar Be Cue chef. Hap is another club member like I am. They are preparing the green bean casserole in those aluminum baking dishes.

From the front, you can see the big kitchen sink and food preparation area. Stainless steel counter tops and all metal cabinets. In addition to the giant smoker oven on the back, there are three Webber kettle charcoal grills on the back side and two propane burners on this side, like you would use to deep fry a turkey.

The ladies were there to see that us fellows really did know how to cook. LOL! They set up all the tables and served the meal. Mostly they made sure everyone felt at home.

This is the radio information display table, and the 'Get on the Air' station behind it. Folks that are new to the hobby, get the opportunity to run a radio and perhaps make their first contact at this station. One of our 'elmers' (old knowledgeable instructors) John, is explaining to to the folks how this is all done.

They really are listening intently! Well except for Barry in the black shirt. He has been a ham for several years, and is a Junior in high school. He started at one of these events too but he is an old pro now.

But the really old salts, are solving all the worlds problems. LOL. Is the food done yet?

At the CW station, which is set up in an old cabin on the back of the property, Morse code is being copied intently. The youngsters are looking on in amazement.

One fellow is running the radio, while the second fellow records the contact call sign and state on the laptop computer.

All of the stations are connected together with the dedicated wifi system. This router is about 14 feet in the air, on a tripod.

The router is running off of the car battery at the base of the tripod. A solar cell is facing the sun to provide charging while the sun is up.

Across the creek to the West, in the lawn of the second Indian mission building, the voice station is set up under an easy up dinning shelter.

Here our president, Bill is explaining the operation of this station to a guest.

This station runs from batteries, thru an inverter system that changes the battery power into 110 volt AC.

This is the actual radio. An Icom 856 Pro III.

Over behind the building, is the ever present generator. We are not allowed to use electrical power from the power company. It is assumed that the electricity would be out in a real emergency situation.

The second person is again running the Laptop computer, that is connected to the first computer with the Wifi about 1000 yards away. They can see contacts that each other have made, so there are no duplicates.

We had dinner at 6 PM! BarBeCue chicken and Charcoal baked potatoes. With green been casserole and seven layer salad. Yum! Then there was a pot luck dessert bar. The gals went overboard making all the sweets.

The Indian mission staff was present all day and involved themselves in our activities. They were very cordial to us as guests and we hope all was well with our use of the museum.

This event lasts all night, and until noon the next day. I was not able to participate on Sunday as we packed and left town, for Lake Ozark. The total contacts will be tallied and sent to the American Radio Relay League in Newington, CT for scoring and publishing in their monthly magazine, "QST".

We are here at the lake for the Holiday, so we will have reports from here as they occur.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tomorrow is Field Day!

The Ham Radio club had a preliminary walk thru meeting tonight at the Shawnee Indian Mission, Historical site. This is a museum and a depiction of life as the Indians lived it in the 1850's. The buildings are that old, and we are lucky to use the facilities for our Ham Radio event. So we were told. We used it last year and re roofed one of the buildings as a friendly gesture. We even purchased the wood shake shingles and donated them, along with the labor. (I need to correct this, the Friends of the Mission bought the wood shingles, I found out on Saturday.)

They have a new director, and she is not too sure of our activity, and how it relates to the museum's purpose. So perhaps this will be our last year at the Mission. Time will be the only predictor of these events. Anyway we need to be really careful not to leave any mark on the property or its grounds.

We will have about 100 people during the day and evening tomorrow, and everyone of them will tour the museum during the course of their stay on the grounds. All will sign the register as guests and be included in the count for the day. However that does not support the purpose of the museum. What?

We have planned where everything will take place, without getting in the way of the normal daily activities. We are even enjoined from using the bathrooms. I wonder why they didn't decline the invitation, and get it over with.

So we should have a good day of operations from the Indian Mission. Our log books should be overflowing with contacts and the dinner should be well attended. A TV crew generally works up a spot that features the emergency nature of the exercise and also features the museum. Good press for the historical society as well.

I will not be home in time to post an entry for tomorrow, but will come back with a story about how it all went just as soon as I get the time to sit down with the computer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Nothing special about Thursday here in KC. We had the two youngest grand kids here all day and the three year old is staying the night.

They all did the swimming pool thing today. In the Wal Mart pool. Eight feet around and two feet deep. Vinyl upside down mushroom, with a blow up ring around the top. Holds about 500 gallons, give or take.

The day was cool in the morning and the girls got cold. But the sun was out and it made 90 this afternoon. So it wasn't cold then.

I started on the electrical outlet that didn't work. We found that it didn't work, when we plugged in the pool filter pump. Water had gotten into the box and shorted out the ground fault outlet. It was toast inside.

So with a trip to Lowe's and some supplies, we replaced that. Then on to the bigger job of adding and outlet next to the sprinkler system control box.

We placed the control next to where the outside outlet is on the front of the house. Only on the inside wall of the garage. So with an old works box and a drywall saw, I cut the hole for the new outlet.

I had measured everything and was right above where the outside box was located. It was easy to fish 14-3 wire from one box to the other and bingo we had an outlet next to the sprinkler control. Rolled up the extension cord that was strung thru the garage door brackets and we are now much more professional here at the KC home.

Off to Wal Mart to get some pool chemicals for the back yard pool, as the test kit I bought last night indicated we were way off on PH. And there was hardly any chlorine in the water at all. So much for the city water treatment plant.

So thats the day in a nutshell here. Borring stuff for sure but someone had to do it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Planning For the Fourth

This Saturday is the annual Amateur Radio Field Day. The day when all ham radio operators are to go out into the boonies and set up a radio transmitter. And a receiver too.

The idea is to contact as many other hams as possible using all the ham bands that are available to us. You have a formal exchange of call signs and number of transmitters at your site, as well as your state.

All this information is logged into a formal log book, which is now a computer data base. Years ago they used to use paper written logs. Ones with spiral metal binders on the top.

All stations worked will be scored based upon a uniform set of rules and the folks with the most points will be awarded big certificates from the American Radio Relay League. The scores are handicapped by the number of transmitters found at any one location or call sign. Winners get their club and station listed in the QST Magazine, along with their total point score.

This is of course the formal part of the day, but the more informal part is the party like atmosphere that goes on in the background during the day. No we don't all get slap happy drunk or anything like that. But folks are interacting all day, with fellow hams that they may only see once a year on this day.

So that is the plan for this weekend. Oh and the Saturday night picnic is to be BarBeCue chicken and baked potato, with side dishes provided in pot luck fashion. I am on the cooks committee. Which should be fun. Perhaps I will run a radio for a period of time as well.

Just as soon as this is over, we will be leaving to return to the lake. For the entire week and following weekend that includes the fourth of July.

The Lake will really come alive with activities during this time. And most of the neighbors will be at their summer homes as well. Should be another good time this year. In fact, I am planning on a good time no matter what.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Out to the Auction

We preview cars on Tuesdays and we went again today. There are all kinds of 2007 and 2006 cars and some 2005's but the cheaper, older cars are not present. Folks are not trading them in.

Business is at a standstill. Folks are not buying anything they don't have to. And most folks do not have to buy a new car, or a used one for that matter either.

Tomorrow will be an interesting auction, but we may not go. Need to sell some of what we have.

So other than mowing the lawn in the early morning, making hay! We have not been too productive all day. We did re fill the kids swimming pool in the back yard. We bought a Wal mart eight foot by 30 inch deep round Hershey kiss style pool for the grandkids. It is free standing without hard sides. It only has an inflatable ring around the top.

So over the last several days we have gradually filled it up. It holds about 600 gallons, according to the booklet that came with the pool. When you have that much cold water out of the hose all at once, the kids can't stay in it for long.

Too cold! The six year old wants it full and the girls are cold with the hose water. But it is full now, so it will warm to 70 or so over night. And then the sun will warm it up more tomorrow.

This will be an attraction to lure the kids over to see grandma, and it is large enough that we can actually get in to it with them as well.

I have had my nose stuck in the computer here all night, so I need to close this up and go off to bed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back to KC

Do you remember how I said the back yard here in KC didn't grow as fast as the front, so I would skip mowing it until next week. Wrong!

Ya its up to my hind quarters. This watering system is doing its job. The water bill will be thru the roof. We need to re establish the grass after last years disaster in the fall when we left for five weeks.

So that is being accomplished. It will turn hot here in another few days, so the watering will begin to pay for itself then. In the meantime I will have to chase my tail off and get it knocked down again.

We had a slow and easy trip back from Lake Ozark. Our grand son had to swim most of the morning, and wanted to know if we could stay for a few days more. Well yes but your parents have things planned and you need to get back. He wasn't buying it.

So back in KC and back at the heavy retirement grind. Will go out and look at another bunch of cars that have been used by former owners. Try to decide which ones can be reconditioned for next week.

The routine life at a sticks and bricks house.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Relaxing at the Lake

We had the big breakfast with three cheese omelets. Biscuits from the tube, and sausage. We needed that as we were headed out for a big day of swimming and boating.

The early boat ride was overcast, but the day warmed with the appearance of the sun by 11. So let the swimming begin. This was broken up with a trip to put the jet ski in the lake. But then we had to swim to do that too.

We pull it back with the boat, as us old folks don't ride it much anymore. It is mostly for our company, and kids. It bounces over the waves and jars everything inside of you. Not good for the over 60 crowd.

But grandma and Caden rode on it while it was being pulled with the pontoon. That was a big time for him, so works for me too.

After more swimming we had lunch on the dock of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His favorite. Then more swimming, and a nap that was forced upon him by a mean grandma. LOL.

After the nap, it was even more swimming. And cleaning the jet ski. Some supper and a dusk boat ride.

We're all really tired tonight, so the big lake day is in the books. And lets hope he doesn't get up before the sun comes up like he did today. Grandpa needs some sleep. LOL

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blow Me Down There Matey!

Jolly Rogers Grub & Grog

This is a lake side restaurant at the 4 1/2 mile marker of the Gravois arm of the lake of the ozarks. Its out in the country by car, on county road W. But by boat, it is readily accessible right off the Gravois channel, North of the main lake, about 10 miles from the dam.

Its really just a covered deck with a patio in front, along the water. Patio has lots of tables with umbrella type covers in the middle. They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. This is a large attraction. The boats fill all the dock space and tie up to each other raft style once the dock is full up.

We went here in the middle of the day as a family lunch. Caden had to have a pirate flag, and had a corn dog with lemonade. Man thats nirvana, especially if your 6. A real pirates place! Cool!

We swam all afternoon, and managed to get grandma to forget that we were supposed to get a nap. Now we think we need pizza. Man grandma is easy.

Yup we got Imo's Pizza, man were really fat now! Bed time will be early for the 6 year old tonight!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Travel slow and easy.

We were up at the crack of 9. Well maybe 8:30 but then we are retired right? I went out and mowed the front yard again.

We just mowed it on Monday, but have had two rains since. It has jumped up a couple of inches. Not a big deal but it looks nicer if it isn't ragged. So it will look nice for the weekend while we aren't there.

The back yard does not seem to grow so fast, so I will skip it for today. We kind of leisurely packed up, and left the house about 1 PM.

We brought our oldest grandson with us, so we went to his school and checked him out. It was Friday, and they were in nap time anyway, so he was done for the day. We promptly went to Wendy's as we had no lunch, and Caden had his second lunch as well.

So we got here at Lake Ozark about 5PM. We messed around unloading and putting all the groceries away, until about 7, when we went into town and went to Bandanna's Barbecue. That's twice to the barbecue this week for me. But who is keeping track?

We like this place here at the lake. It has a Memphis Tenn. style barbecue sauce as opposed to the sweet smokey taste of the KC style. The Memphis sauces are more tomato based with less molasses and heavier spice. We had a good time, and young Caden declared it to be his favorite restaurant.

He had a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce for desert. Heaven for a six year old.

He has plans to go swimming in the lake, boating on the pontoon boat, and land knows what else, so grandpa needs to be off to bed. Even then I will never keep up. LOL

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Off to the Lake....Again

We were sitting around here and talking about all the neat places we could go and how much gas it would take to get to each. Perhaps Des Moines, or back out camping again this weekend.

But then it struck us that the most fun we could have was to go back to the lake. Ya I know we were just there two weeks ago but then you won't be using it as much in the winter, and if we don't use it now, might as well sell the place.

We know that some of the extended family are having a reunion up in Minneapolis. We did discuss that some time ago, but decided that it is just too far, and not convenient to get up there for such a short time of a visit. With me working some every week with Chris, it would have to be a whirlwind trip and that is something we no longer, do to well with.

We have been spoiled traveling 200 miles per day and staying in our travel trailer for extended stays between travel days. So with the families pardon, or permission, we are going to go hide in the woods next to Lake Ozark. Maybe barbecue a steak and go on a boat ride.

But we will have to be back here by Tuesday, as that is auction preview day.

I'll write more when we get down there, its only 135 miles away.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A day of auction work, and some play too.

Off to the auction in the morning. Another 2000 cars went thru the auction and we watched and bid on the ones we liked. We were out bid by other folks in every case. Came home with nothing.

But a car at too big of price is a car that can't be sold. So we didn't purchase them. These folks have better customers than we do. LOL.

But on the way home, we stopped at the Ameristar Casino just South of the auction and went to the Arthur Bryants Bar Be Cue.

The restaurant is part of the mall like facility that surrounds the main casino. The ceiling in this area is like the blue cloud ceiling in Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas. Or at least a replica anyway.

We had a pulled pork sandwich that was served open faced on three slices of white bread. With about a pound of pickles on the side. Its 11PM and I still haven't had any supper as I am too full from this massive lunch.

Their barbecue sauces were very different from anything I have ever tasted. The Original was very peppery with a bunch of salt added and perhaps lemon juice. Those that like it swear by it, but I didn't use too much of it. They had a sweet and smokey, but with the diabetes, I stayed away from that too.

So I used the straight spicey. I ordered beans as well and they were good with pork in them. They were sweet as well, so I should not have had them either, but sometimes things are worth going ahead. Especially since I have skipped supper completely.

Needless to say I was sluggish for the rest of the afternoon. I came home and played with the youngest grand child and heard about her day with Loyce. Routine stuff, but important none the less.

So today is in the book. A good day but excitement, well it was self created.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A strange vehicle !

I found this at the Adessa auction yesterday. The auction is in Lee's Summit, Mo. We have two auctions here in the KC area.

But what is it? It was a long pickup with dually rear wheels. But then there was the sleeper thingy.

This was a 3500 Chevy Duramax diesel pickup, with a long bed. It had fifth wheel rails in the bed of the pickup. The hitch was gone, but could easily have been added back. The extended cab had the normal bench seat but the seat back was gone.

It is replaced with the entrance to the sleeper. It had double racks, one above the other. With fairly thick mattresses. The frame was lengthened to carry the sleeper. Like a limousine.

Before you ask if I went to the auction to buy it, be informed that the odometer already had 247,000 miles on it.

That proves that the Isuzu Chevy duramax is a long lived engine. It did have the allison transmission as well.

We spent some time trying to decide what the application would be for such a vehicle. Is the fire engine red color a clue? We did not come up with an answer, so if you know leave a comment.

We went up to the other auction to pre view cars, this afternoon. So just another day of work.

I did go over and close the slide on the RV this morning. I never went in to check on the carpet, but it is surely dry after 36 hours. Seemed clean from looking in the door.

Another day in the log book. Have to get up early and go to the auction tomorrow, so will close for now.

Monday, June 16, 2008


We've been gone! Without internet access! It was the withdrawal symptom of my life. Couldn't check the news, except for out of the air TV. Uck! No email no blogs wow. The computer just sat there in my bag and discharged itself.

We went camping Friday about noon, in East Central Kansas. A place called Melvern Lake. Our kids have gone there several times, so we thought we would check it out.

The nice campground is the Federal Tailwater facility, but it is 100 percent reserved thru reservation dot gov. We didn't have reservations, as this was a spur of the moment thing. We just went and hoped. On a Friday no less.

So we went to the State Park. Eisenhower State Park, after Dwight D. And its about that old too. The bath houses had no roof. Just walls. Take a shower and get a sunburn, with no lines either.

The campsite was fine, with asphalt, water and electric. Kinda short for a 30 foot rig, but we parked cross ways in front of the trailer. We made out just fine. We had a semi shaded lot, that was across the street from the prime sites, as they are marked. They have direct lake front access.

I did find a new bath house in the tent camping area, that had a roof. Actually it had a sink, toilet and a shower stall, in a single bathroom with a locking door. Once in, it was all yours. The building was divided up into four of these stalls, so it was nice.

But folks had been using the place all day, and the water heaters never caught up, so the shower was cold. I was sunburned anyway, and wouldn't have been able to stand much hot water, but cold was a shock. But I made it ok.

We came back yesterday afternoon. Rather than put the rig back in storage directly, I became involved with the new carpet cleaner and the carpet in the trailer. A hot job for sure, as the air conditioner pulls too much electric for our 15 amp outside outlets.

So as the sun was setting, I put the trailer back in storage with the slide out, to let the carpet dry. Luckily, there is no one on the left side of my parking place. So the slide does not cause problems. Looks funny, but the storage guy will wonder it we are living there. LOL.

When I got home at dusk, I then mowed the front yard with the walking mower. I was shot. So there was no blog last night either. I did read a few but went on to bed much earlier than normal.

Other than that, just the off to work thing, like normal here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Storms

Its almost 10 PM and the rain storms are roaring thru here again. The line of stuff built in the last three hours and has moved to the North of our Southern KC location.

They blew the sirens for about ten minutes an hour ago, but checking the radar shows that it will only be a rain event this far South.

With that said, anything can build out of the unstable air that is from Oklahoma to Canada. It goes over the Cedar Rapids area of Iowa, which is in big trouble already. The Iowa river and the Cedar river are both causing major trouble for Eastern Iowa.

In the Des Moines area, the Saylorville Lake reservoir is about to go over the spillway. This is catastrophic for the downtown area. The last time this happened was in 1993, and the town was without water for weeks.

They had flood water everywhere in the main business district, but no water to drink. Or flush. It was bad. I lived there at the time and we left on weekends for Lake Ozark, in order to bathe and wash our clothes.

Many of my blog readers are from Iowa and do have vivid memories of this time. So lets hope history does not repeat this event. Or at least not in such severity.

I hung around the house all day and did bill paying and income tax estimate work. Boring stuff, but necessary all the same. It was a welcome relief from the car dealer work.

Tonight I have been reading blogs from the RV Dreams Rally in Branson, Mo. and generally just hanging out.

It would have been fun to go, but Loyce does not enjoy group activities like that, so it will never happen with her along.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Auction Again!

We went to the Manheim auction this morning. It is the same place that I posted pictures from several weeks ago. There were only about 1800 cars available today, where usually there are over 2000. Chris and I were both tired and had a great deal of difficulty getting our head into the game.

The auctioneers go so darned fast, selling one car in about every 45 seconds. You have no time to make decisions as you normally would. It is a split second thing. Basically it comes down to either you want this or you don't.

We set a price ceiling, and when the car goes over the price we set, you have to have the discipline to walk away. We are doing fairly well at keeping to the number we have on the pad before the bidding began.

We came away with one 2007 car, and a bid on a second one, which we did not get.

The rest of the day was spent driving back and forth delivering cars to the shop, and going after titles. Just mundane stuff, but it takes two of us since we need to drive the second car places. Boring but very time consuming.

Tonight we went out to Taco Johns's a fast food Mexican taco stand. We like their Chalupas and Buritos. So now its late at night and we are sitting here wondering what we should plan for tomorrow.

Anything, but car dealer work. LOL

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More used car work.

I was in by 8 AM this morning. We had folks coming in to see one of the 08's and a new car to buy.

The car was ready for the folks and Chris had to leave for the auction. This left me to sell the vehicle without his supervision. Now since I am his dad, I never needed any supervision in past experiences, but the tables are kind of turned here. It is his business and all.

So I went out and closed the sale. The 08 was delivered and paid for by 6 PM tonight.

And he did get another car for a replacement at about 10 AM. We previewed cars in the afternoon, and then late in the day, another couple came by, and I went on the demo with them too.

We closed that sale with a down payment as well. But it was a 12 hour day. And we have to go to the other KC auction again tomorrow.

I do not intend to make a habit of working 12 hour days, but then it is fun to work just for the heck of it, with no particular purpose in mind, but to help out your kids.

Its late here tonight and Loyce had the one year old most of the day while I was gone. I would like to think she missed me but then I know that the grand daughter kept her running all day so she is tired too.

Need to be up early tomorrow again.......

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wind and Rain

We got back here last night about 5 PM, and I mowed some of the yard, which was slow going. The hand mower would bog down after about 5 or 6 feet and then you stood and waited for it to catch back up.

I got tired of that and came inside, once I finished the front yard. We had some supper, and then the rain started. On the radar, it was from Oklahoma to Wisconsin. The wind blew, and the fur flew, as we said years ago. It was still raining at midnight when I took the dog out for her last relief.

When it was getting light this morning, it was still raining. Wow, we do not need that much rain.

So tonight when I got home from the car auction, I tried to mow the rest of the yard. With the tractor this time. It was such a wet mess, and balled up in grass clumps. I had to rake several areas of the yard and bag the green goo! Not fun!

Its knocked down, and we won't win any awards for yard care, but we were not looking for that anyway. They actually do give out a monthly, Yard of the Month, award here in our HOA neighborhood.

Not something I will ever see, LOL.

So just another, back to work day here in KC. More old cars, and people that want too much for them. Oh and customers that don't want to pay anything for them.

We did get the website done for the business, so if your interested, its .

I really do not want to peddle any cars to all you fine folks, since I am retired and only work to help my son. Besides, everyone knows that car dealers are crooked anyway, Right?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Go back to KC

I started to call it go home day, but then we are at home here, much the same as we are in KC. But the bills and the yard that needs mowed in KC, necessitates our return. Really, not much else need to be done there either.

But we are up and packing to head out. Much like a travel day in the RV, we organize and leave about mid day. It is only 135 miles back to the KC house, so we will take it easy and be there by 5 or so.

The boat and the dock are my main area of concern, as the big cover has to be snapped on and the poles that support it placed in the middle.

The cover seems to have a million snaps, and they are always pulling out of the fabric. I have looked all over for replacement snaps to install in the spots where they are gone. I went to West Marine, and they have a kit with most of the various sizes, but they wanted $35 for the little plastic box of buttons.

I looked all over, and did not find anything else, so I went back and bought the assortment. It was on sale and I got it for 28.95. And as things always work out, I found that Lowes had a small assortment, in a plastic sack for $6.95. Go figure.

So I have been happily replacing snaps to more thoroughly fasten things together. I have two more snaps to replace in the cover and that project will be complete.

Better put this down and go get hopping, as it will be time to leave before I know it.

I'll be back on as soon as we are there.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Most of us that live here in Lake Ozark, or Osage Beach lay low on Saturday. This is the day when the vacationers have to have their fun fast! They only have this one day to have a good time. So by golly they are going to have it.

This makes for drinking and boating at the same time, and all sorts of fast paced activities. The danger factor comes up dramatically, on these days.

"If your captain is drunk, your ten times more likely to go down with the ship," the sign says up by the dam. This is placed there by the AmerenUE folks that own and run the dam. They are charged with enforcing the dock rules and shoreline management, but not the police work of the lake.

The Missouri water patrol, is the enforcement body, and they have police boats all over the lake. They are uniformed like the Highway Patrol, and have the ticket book in hand just like their highway cousins. And a big red light on the front of their boat.

All of this is to say that we are staying close to home today and not becoming involved with the Saturday boat traffic. Just sitting here and watching the neighbors jet ski, swim and sun bathe will be adequate for us today. Maybe later we will go out, once the traffic dies down.

I have been working on my long wire antenna that connects to my HF ham radio. It was knocked down by a tree that fell in the wind and rain earlier this spring. I am now getting around to fixing and re hanging it. As I sit here the radio is on and receiving signals from distant states and countries.

I am noticing that folks are not charging up and down the lake at high rates of speed, that has been the norm in previous years. The jet ski's are still zooming all over the place, but the boats are 10 to 15 MPH folks now that gas is so high priced. We've had several folks that anchored in our cove and swam from the boats while they were parked.

And just as I say that, there goes a big dual engined V8 off shore racing boat at full throttle. When you have money, it doesn't matter how much fun costs.

I'll save mine for truck gas to go camping somewhere. LOL!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Longer Boat Ride!

Must be a good day to go out in the boat again. The wind is blowing from the South and the overcast in this picture was blown away by noon. The lake began to turn over white caps as the wind increased. That makes the boat a hand full to drive. But we went anyway.

We live at the three mile mark, but when I got down to the seven mile cove, I was surprised to find that the new hotel, that was started last year is open for business. The workers were still there finishing various projects, but rooms were occupied.

This cove started as a complete remodel. There was an old restaurant and a minute mart on the water and several other businesses in here but they were all torn down.

The first new business was the Horny Toad. It was kind of a premier new place when it was first done. A dining and bar and grill type of establishment. They have the big deck bar with entertainment under a band shell.

It looks to me that the new hotel, is in front of the Horny Toad and kind of dwarfs it. They are owned by the same guy, so it is perhaps bad planning, or they didn't realize how it would turn out.

Across from the hotel is the Shady Gator. This is another restaurant and Tiki Bar. It was once called Bayou Bill's and had an owner from Louisiana. Back then they served real crawfish and gumbo.

But now it is owned by this same developer, who has no idea about a bayou. Another kids drinking establishment with an alligator theme. It remains quite popular.

On the point to the left or West of the Shady Gator, is a cleared parcel of land. It is the entire point at the end of the street. This developer wants to build yet another entertainment complex out here. He has proposed it to the county zoning, for the last two years. Keeps getting turned down.

The neighbors band together and protest. He tried to get the parcel annexed by the city across the lake to the West, but they didn't have any way to govern the place, even if they would get large property taxes. So they turned him down.

The last I heard, they were going to incorporate it as a city of its own, and annex all of the surrounding area including their other properties. And some of the unruly neighbors. I do not know the outcome of all of this, but workers were pouring concrete footing for something. They must have some kind of building permits.

On down the main channel to the twelve mile marker, this is called chimney point. There was an old lodge out here that had a huge fireplace in the middle.

They tore down the lodge but left the fireplace standing. It is behind these little multi million dollar shacks, in the middle of the cul de sac as a decoration. I always thought that was strange. but it gives the place its name.

There are about eight of these big dollar houses out on this point. They are on the Kansas City side of the lake.

This is a new high rise condo going up. I do not know its name. It is also on the West side of the lake.

I looked for a name, but only found an open house sign. They were adding stucco to the outside of the concrete, so it will be some time before you can move in.

Looking back from the West to the East, this is a big building. It is not on an Island, but is out quite far into the lake and has a view to kill for.

I'd buy this before Atlantis, in a heart beat. Even if it did cost half again as much.

This is Bay Point, a twenty something year old condo complex. A friend of mine has a unit in here and he reads the blog quite often. You do not have to buy brand new to have a nice place on the lake. I looked to see if Jack was there, but alas, no one home.

Ever wonder how all the rock and landscaping is completed on the lake front. These guys are headed back to their dock with the load of rock delivered. Check the size of that machine on the barge. Its all a routine days work, and they think nothing about it.

Back at our dock, the wind was still blowing hard enough that I had a bad time getting into the slip. At one point, I bonged into the dock with the pontoon. Didn't hurt the boat, but messed up the plastic bumper on the dock. Finally I got parked.

I had quite a sunburn or wind burn, from my trip and had to use a gallon of Ocean Potion, last night. It is still sore this morning but I'll survive.

We just had a bunch of rain cells go over us again this morning. First clouds and then sun, but the wind is back to a normal breeze. Getting hot though.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


This is our cove, as we first enter into it from the lake main channel. We built the second new house that was in this cove. I had no idea how this area would turn out. There were several old house trailers back in here, that had been mostly abandoned. It was a leap of faith to start a new house in this slum area. Ours is on the left with a green roof.

Around the corner out on the main channel, other folks had spent the big bucks to remodel the area. This place is seven figures. The landscaping is worth half of our house.

My neighbor two doors down built this little shack as an investment. He never lived in the house, but spent about 6 months selling it once it was finished. He listed it for $1.0M. I think it went in the mid 9's with the $65K dock. The neighbor has since sold his house and moved to Colorado. See story here.

If you look at the header picture, behind the Tom Sawyer tour boat to the left is this little joint. This guy had something to do with Culligan Water Softeners, I am told. I have never met him.

This place has two attached garages, one on each side. When you come and stay here, you have your own suite, complete with garaged parking.

If you look in the picture above where the dock ramp goes back to the house. To the right of the center columns, and above a single door on the ground, is a window.

This fellow was a big fan of the Rat Pack. And he has them in mannequins, displayed in that window.

My little nikon cool pixs can't zoom in far enough, and the glare was bad on the glass. But there they are sitting on their stools, with mics in hand. Frank, Sammy and Dean.

How much did that little display cost? And why would you put it on the Lake, 3 miles from town? But the tour boat goes by his house on every trip. That's why I can get a picture of the boat from my deck, for the header of the blog.

We seem to have eccentric people around every bend. Too much money seems to do that to folks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I took this picture to show the view looking to the North sitting on our screen porch. Here it is in the daylight. Still overcast but you can see everything.

Its past midnight, and I can hear the thunder and see the lightning in the distance. I have not looked at the APRS amateur radio weather map, but have a good idea what it will show. Loyce is in bed and I should be, but this does not look too good. The blue lights are on the docks on the water. The white lights are various sea wall and landscape lighting that we all have.

We are out in the woods about four miles from town. I can hear the wind in the distance and it is beginning to rustle the tops of the trees, on the far river bank.

I have pushed the shutter time an time again trying to capture the lightning, but this little camera is too slow to to capture much of anything. Take five or six and then erase them because I missed the hight of the lightning flash.

I did get this small flash and I save it carefully. I keep on shooting, and erasing. The sky is lighting up continually from the storm. Thunder is becoming closer as it follows the lightning flash with not much delay.

All of a sudden the computer inside on the table begins to alarm. A computer siren, wooah, wooah, wooah. It is the APRS, it has received a NWS warning for our county. I go look, and sure enough it is a tornado warning, and we have a very purple cell just West of our house. Its one AM.

Then its on us and the wind picks up and blows the trees violently. The water is turning over in whitecaps and is rocking the docks madly. They creak and groan from the twisting motion. I go run after the gas grill cover before it blows off the deck.

The wind begins to drive the rain through the screens and is soaking the chair that I am sitting in. I go inside to study the storm images on the computer image. The cell West of us has changed its direction and will track to the North over the town of Eldon. We are saved from the worst of it.

The color intensity for the cell lessens before it gets to Eldon, changing to mostly a washing rain event. Wow! I watch everything for thirty more minutes before I have to go get some sleep. Its two AM!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Headed out on the Lake!

Here's the ride. It is a 26 foot Playcraft pontoon that we bought a couple of years ago. As the grandkids got older, the speed boat didn't provide enough room and security for the kids. So with tears in my eyes, it had to go. This is an RV, just not a camping RV.

This will hold all the family and all the grand kids at once. It doesn't cost hundreds of thousands and it has a Honda outboard motor that sips gas instead of guzzling it.

Looking back at the house. Ours is the one with the green roof. It is two story with the lower story being against the concrete wall. It looks like a one story from the street side. Our hills here are quite steep, and this is the type of construction that is required. It is an overcast day so the pics are washed out in color, so we have what we have.

On down the Lake we arrive at Atlantis Island Go look at the fancy web site.

This is the second year that this project has been under construction. It is a massive undertaking. This was known as Hawaiian Island for years and years, and had an old restaurant on the back side of the island.

But the marketing boys got a hold of things and it is now Atlantis. They asked for a bridge to connect it to land, but were dramatically told no. So it remains accessible only by boat.

The artist rendition of the project has eight buildings of thirty condos each. 240 Units. And one boat to get back to shore. Hope you are not in a hurry to get home. There are three buildings up at this time.

I went around to the back side, or the North side of the island. It is in an entrance to a cove that goes about 2 miles back from the main channel. So there are no really bad views. The front buildings will be able to see for miles up and down the lake. (River)

The big tall structure is the water tower. It is a well system, that will need to supply the 240 families, and all at once on big holiday weekends. They built the sea wall all around the island starting last summer and finishing in the winter. It was done when we got back from Texas.

This is the ferry system that will take the residents from the island to the mainland. So far it has ferried all the construction trucks to the island with all the concrete to build what they have done so far. We wonder if there will be any ferry left by the time the project is completed.

The project has been a bureaucratic nightmare for the regulators here in Miller county. It is out in the county, and is not regulated by any city. The county folks seem to have little idea how to regulate such a thing. At one point all construction and sales had to completely stop because there were no dock permits for the island. The bankers shut off the money and the newspapers were abuzz.

No one was being paid for their billings and my buddy, that sold me the pontoon boat, was selling them fuel. He didn't get paid for weeks. Needless to say they don't get fuel from Ted anymore.

Once the technicality, of the dock permits was solved, most of the summer had passed and sales for the year went in the tank.

So we watch the project this year to see what will happen next. They have residents in finished units and the ferry must run. The developer is using money, that is provided by the banker to run things since there is only a hand full of dues paying folks to provide income. And the interest bill for the project runs on and on.

Units sell for 245K on the front top side and 190K on the lower back side. I wonder how low they will go in order to get the place full of HOA dues paying people.

It is a novelty, as our tourist excursion boat, the Tom Sawyer, goes around the island on every cruise.

Not many people on the boat today! It seems to never be anywhere close to full. With diesel approaching $5 on land, I wonder what they have to pay for it on the water. At least .50 more.

If you click on the picture and make it big, they seem to be looking at us with as much curiosity as we were, looking at them.

We got hungry and came back to the dock and had lunch. Then other projects came into play, and the pontoon is still waiting for us to return. Hey lets get back out there!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Carpet Cleaning, Work

When you have a new carpet cleaner, what do you do next? Why clean the carpet of course.

So that was the feature of the day here at the lake house. We have had the house for five years now and built it new. The carpets have had various spots cleaned over that time, but have never been cleaned in large areas before.

Today was clean the main living room day. The major traffic areas anyway. It would take quite a bit longer to clean the entire room, but we spent several hours on the traffic patterns and blended the area back into the cleaner no traffic parts of the room.

Once we were totally tired of the carpet cleaner, we cleaned up and dressed for the daily trip to wal mart. Seems as though we go every day. And yes we call it the hundred dollar store, since you can never leave without at least that much in the checkout lane.

And we didn't let them down, as we had $120 bucks on the tab. The major purchase being a new memory foam mattress pad. I have trouble with circulation in my hips when I lay in one spot for very long. Seems that the memory foam aleviates this problem fairly well.

I have one in KC, and in the RV, but have never had one here at the lake. So now I do. Loyce likes them too, because they are more comfortable all around.

I know that several of you like your sleep comfort mattresses and that they also have the memory foam, but we never got onto the sleep number air bit. Years ago we had the water bed, but went back to the full innerspring job when waterbeds went out.

So other than those big things, we grilled some hamburgers, and had an indoor picnic, since it had rained most of the afternoon. You could have wrung the air is was so humid. After a bunch of mindless TV, it is now time to go try out the new foam.

I hope to get the cover off of the pontoon tomorrow, if the rain is over. Maybe get out and take some pictures.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Totally Stupid

Do you ever do things that make you feel totally stupid? Like when you finally figure out the way it really goes, you should have known that all along. That just happened here, to me.

We decided that we would purchase a new carpet cleaning machine yesterday afternoon. I researched it on the net and chose the Bissell 2X pro. They have several of these that have different model numbers that are called the same thing.

The one at Wal Mart is $10 cheaper than the others but has none of the features that most of the others have. Wal Mart cheapens most products so they can have the lowest price, but be careful that you are not cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The one at Target is a standard model that is available most everywhere else, and has most of the features. It was only $10 more, and I would bet that Target makes less money selling it than Wal Mart.

But that is not why I feel stupid. We drove here to the Lake today and burned some more of that $3.79 fuel. Took about 7 gallons again, and at one point a Mo highway patrolman took an unusual interest in us, turning around and following us for about 10 miles.

He never stopped us, but he was stuck like a trailer to the back of me. Must have figured out I wasn't his guy. I never went much over 55 all the way down here, so that couldn't have been the problem. But just like that, he must have turned off. I looked back again in the mirror and he wasn't there anymore.

Its the cleaning machine, that made me feel so dumb. Took it out of the box and laid all the pieces out on the work bench. All plastic. Read the instructions which said to screw the top handle onto the bottom part of the machine with the three screws.

I went thru all the bags and the instruction pouch, the box and all the packing, what screws? I looked and looked at the motor, the cord, the hose and suction end thingy. Still no screws. Went all thru the process several times. No screws. Reread the instructions, use the attached screws.

I went inside and pouted for a while, looking on the internet to see who I had to call tomorrow, to get some of the special plastic screws. Went back to the garage again to look the whole works over again, gave up and started to put the stuff back in the box.

When I picked up the upper handle by the loop that had the trigger inside, I felt a bag. About 1 inch square, taped to the inside of the handle, With RED TAPE! Stupid!

The machine is now assembled with all of its parts ready to go, and I need a beer or something.

The carpet cleaning will have to wait until tomorrow, or never as far as I am concerned. The DW will have other opinions however.