Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hanging around KC

Wow, I missed yesterday to post a blog. I got home after a long day of auction and then shuttling cars back to the warehouse for most of the afternoon. I was tired.

I only sat down in the big chair for just a minute, thinking I would make some supper later on, and the next thing I knew it was 10 PM. I was just out like the proverbial light.

So I did read a few blogs, and then just turned in. I wouldn't have made much sense anyway.

So today it was mow the yard day in the morning, and then back over to the car lot to work on the new to us cars that we brought home this week. Mostly cleaning projects to the interiors and waxing and polishing for the outsides.

We did get a replacement Nissan Altima for the one that we sold last Saturday. This one isn't as new as the blue one, but is more our demographic of cars that we handle. It is a 2005 2.5S but it has wheels and leather seats. It is still the 4 cylinder car that gets the good mileage, and does not have the skyroof.

It is a light silver color and is quite sharp. I believe it has about 55K miles on it. That is not too many, since we see them all the time with over 100K. Sometimes 150K.

Now we need to get them all on the internet, which is mostly Chris' job. I generally handle the logistics part of the deal where it takes two people to shuttle these all around.

Grandma Loyce has been taking care of the youngest grand daughter most of the week, and she even stayed overnight with us on Tuesday. You can not be partial to any of your grandchildren, as they are all gifts from God, but we really enjoy having Delaney with us.

But tomorrow we will have the second youngest granddaughter, to go swimming in the big pool over at the homeowners association pool for our development. It is a nice pool but it can become very busy. The gals that go in the morning, are usually the ones with small children. So grandma fits right into the group. Then maybe McDonalds for lunch. Areally big deal!

We are just hanging out here this week helping the kids and grandkids, perhaps making their lives a little easier as they go about their respective jobs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More work

When you get up and commute with the 8AM traffic folks, life is not as pleasant. Seems like some son of a gun is in your face every mile. But commute I did this morning, as I had to deliver the dog to the dog salon.

She doesn't like going to the dog parlor, but now she is blind completely, and doesn't recognize where she is headed. I take her in the morning and Loyce picks her up when she is done in the early afternoon. Tonight she is really short on her haircut. Just right for the hot summer days.

I didn't do anything fun, today except the auction thing. If that is fun. We did deliver another car to a lady this afternoon, and then went to see the cars for tomorrow's sale. If we are to buy a car on an as is basis, it is mandatory that we have a chance to drive it first. Once you have the high bid, it is a little late to say now wait a minute, that car has thus and so wrong with it. Its the chance you take.

I did bring one of the cars we bought today home, and cleaned on the upholstery after supper. Amazing what a little soap and water can do.

Not too very exciting of a day, but then thats why they call it work.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off to work

A normal day of work. I didn't go in until about 10 AM, because I am retired. LOL. Got to have some privileges when your old, right?

We did a bunch of book keeping and went to view cars in the afternoon. Nothing out of the ordinary. Same old wore out stuff, that people do not take care of. Then they can't understand why the dealer pays so little for the used car when they trade it in. And heck he don't want it, so off to the auction it goes.

And most of us don't want it either. Reconditioning cars is a bunch of work.

So I came home and started in fixing my old recliner. I picked up a bolt that had sheared off and fell on the floor. Then it tilted sideways and wouldn't recline. Looked sad. So this afternoon my wife picked up the other half of the bolt. So off I went to get a carriage bolt that matched the pieces.

To Lowes we go. Oh ya thats where the geocache blue is located. So I read the clues. Next to the sledding hill. That says no sledding on a bunch of signs. I looked over the sign closest to the contractors doors but didn't see the little button case.

I went in and bought the bolt for 13 cents, but went to the grill section and bought 28 bucks worth of stuff. Typical for a trip to the man's candy store, don't you think.

I went back out and checked out the next sledding sign back around the side of the store where you couldn't see so easily from the front door. And bingo there it was. Just a little blue magnetic button. That unscrews to reveal the next number in the series. I wrote it down and returned the cannister to the hiding place.

Thats two out of the six that is necessary to put together the Lat, Long of the main cache. I think it is called Colors, or something like that.

Back home I replaced the bolt in the chair quite quickly, but there is a spring in the mechanism that is off its stud. I couldn't get it back on to save me. So after scratching up my arm reaching up into the works, and a few choice words, it finally relented and popped into place. Now the chair sits upright and the recliner works like it did before.

So with a bunch of blog reading and a phone call from a ham friend, that is the night.

More auctions tomorrow, so I will hang this up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Grilling on Sunday

Do you remember these? We had them way back in the 60's.

I have returned to charcoal as the fuel of choice, because it doesn't flare up and burn things. I have big gas grills at the KC house and at the lake, but I do not like the results of gas grilling, so I have quit using them. Well unless I really need something in a hurry.

At the lake, I have a Char Griller with the side smoker barrel.

This thing is a monster, but it will smoke a bunch of meat and grill over the coals and all the good stuff. But it is not very portable. Takes up most of the second stall in the lake garage. And it will rust itself to death, if you leave it outside.

The last thing I need is one of these here in KC. No place to put it. Big gas grill is now taking up too much space on the patio. So today, I bought the old fashioned Weber kettle. The cheap one pictured above. They now have a GOLD one with an attached table, that they sell for over $300, but that seems like overkill.

So this is a silver model that wally mart sells for $85. Seems high, but it is built out of steel with porcelain coating. Guaranteed for 10 years. I tried to order a Weber Q charcoal grill on line, but the company is out of them for most of the rest of the summer. Everyone drop ships now, and no matter where you order it, it still comes from Weber. And they are out of stock.

Then I had to get a little fancy and buy lump charcoal.

This was a mistake. Over half of the chunks are little quarter sized pieces. And they fall right thru the fire grate. I lit the fire with an electric fire element, so as not to get any taste from petroleum fire starter or newspaper ink from sheets of paper.

But the fire kept falling thru the grate and landing on the bottom of the bowl, or out completely and on to the ash tray. Bummer!

I tried to do a drunk butt chicken, but the fire went out completely after about an hour. Had to take the whole thing apart and relight the fire. This time I split the chicken and grilled it directly over the coals.

It was as good as it could be! We ate way too much, but there was some left over. Not much though.

The Weber kettle was designed with briquettes in mind, so I am going to have to rethink that part. But we both thought the lump charcoal had a much better taste than the Kingsford briquettes. Even though the company (Kingsford) is less than 30 miles from our house. They are in Desoto, Kansas, on the way to Lawrence.

I think I can get the kettle into the back of the pickup, without taking it apart. But the legs just pull out, without any bolts to loosen. So it can go camping with us as well. Thats what I started out to get in the first place. Funny how these things seem to wind around on themselves.

I'll probably end up ordering the Q later, when they become available, but for now I'm having fun with an old fashioned kettle grill that works just as good as it did in 1960.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slow Saturday and a car delivery

This was a 'not too early to rise' kind of a day. I was awake at 6 and then again at 7 but then the next time I looked it was 8. So I must have dozed off an on most of the morning. I do notice that it isn't light quite as quick now, so summer is in its back slide.

I'm not wanting to give up the nice days yet, so I will have to do something to enjoy them. Today it was overcast then sunny and then overcast. Couldn't make up its mind. By 2 in the afternoon, it was just hot. Or humid and hot.

I went to the car office to get ready to meet the guy that was coming to look at the car. The office was 95 inside when I arrived. Yikes! I turned all the fans and the A/C on and moved the car to the front of the warehouse right under the big light.

Chris called and they are late and they won't be here till 4. Still 90 inside the office and the warehouse was OMG! They did show up by 4:30 and they did take the car. It was 6 by the time I shut off the lights. Still 86 inside. Must have been 95 or more outside.

I will miss this car, as it was a midnight blue 2008 Nissan Altima. It had a 4 Cylinder 2.5 liter engine and got about 32 on the Highway. It has the same interior size as a Toyota Camry but beats all the Camry specs and is much cheaper. It also has the push button starting, where the key fob only has to be in your pocket or purse. The car knows when you walk up that you have its key.

It was an Enterprise lease vehicle before we bought it. Some people think that a car that was owned by a lease company is bad. But remember they take supurb care of their cars, with service right on the numbers as the manufacture suggests. When we got it, it was a premier lease resale vehicle, meaning it was extra clean and ready for resale.

I haven't seen one as clean since. And very few 2008's are on the resale block yet either. Even if you are looking for a new car, the Altima 2.5 S is worth a look see. Everyones needs are different, and your mileage may vary, be sure to take two before bedtime, and tomorrow will be another day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rain in the morning!

We awoke to a rainy morning today. I hadn't looked at a forecast, so I was surprised that we were wet and cooler.

That didn't last very long, as it became sunny and hot, hot, hot. It baked the moisture out of the ground. As it did the baking, large clouds built during the day. We topped out at 91 on the official airport hourly weather recorded temps. We saw about 96 on the back yard thermometer.

But those things aren't accurate, but it is surprising how close to right it really is. The airport is out in the country South of us about two miles and has much more breeze than we get, all stuffed into the housing areas of South KC.

We refilled the little swimming pool for the grandkids, yesterday but only the one year old came over today. I bugged out for the used car office about that time, so I do not know if they actually swam in it or not.

Our kids and grandkids are all headed out in their RV's to go camping this weekend, but Grandma declared that it is much too hot for her to go camping. So as my older son Chris said, I am grounded this weekend.

"Well as long as you are grounded, then you won't mind delivering the car that I sold today!" "Uh I won't, when do I have to do that?" "3:30 tomorrow afternoon."

So on a Saturday afternoon, I will be setting folks up with a new ride, while the family is out in a boat on the Melvern Lake.

The camp is a state park that was created in the 1950's and the bathroom facilities are open air. Like no roof at all. Just walls. So what ever it might be doing outside, it is also doing in the bathroom. Like sunny and 95 or windy and raining. ( I forgot to mention that they have a series of old barrels that sit out in the sun filled with water, and that is the hot water for the shower, as long as it lasts.) That seems to be a bit too primitive for Loyce, so she has declared that she will pass.

Boondocking for Loyce is when she blows out the circuit breaker in the trailer, with her hair dryer. Never mind that the A/C and the water heater and the electric refridg and the TV are all on too. The trailer only has a 30 amp 110 volt system, and it gets maxed out fairly easily.

So I am grounded and working tomorrow, and will miss the big Saturday night campfire. What are grandpa's for anyway? Maybe I should go look for some of those geocaches if I get bored.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Do you geocache? Sounds like it might be a personal question, doesn't it. But really it is a treasure hunt kind of thing.

Geocaching frequently asked questions.

This is a web based GPS hide and go seek game where stashes of trinkets or small boxes of toys and a paper log are hidden in prominent locations. Usually on public grounds, and the GPS coordinates are entered in the geocache web site.

I know that many of you know much more about this than I do. I am truly a novice at this kind of thing. With that said, I have been looking for a geocache that is less than a mile from my house. Today was the second time I have gone over to the site and looked. This time I saw it.

I'm sure I was looking at it all along, but it was so small, that I didn't realize it was right there. It was smaller that a peanut, and painted the same color as its host object, that I am not supposed to give away. So it looked like another bolt head.

The little canister had a magnet in the bottom and it stuck like crazy to the under side of this host object. I took it to the seat of the truck, as it was 97 outside and the wind was like dragon breath. After some poking at it, I derermined that the lid screwed off.

Inside was a long strip of paper, that ID ed the item as what I was looking for, and had a secret number that is part of a larger puzzle. You are to send the owner of the stash, an email with the number as proof you found it. This in turn assures him that it is still there.

The clues were almost all wrong, as this is in an area destined to be new homes. It has been bull dozed and streets have been partially concreted.

The last time I looked, the weeds had overgrown the area so badly that it was hard to look. But since then, many of the areas had been mowed, including where the hiding spot is.

But the joke is on me since this is one of six caches containing numbers. Once you have all six, then you have to guess how to put the numbers together in order to find the main cache. I did enter the other waypoints into the GPS, but finding them will have to come another day.

Spending gas to go look for them seems foolish, but then I've done a lot of foolish things in my time. I have a pretty good idea where most of the others are, but finding a 3/16 inch round magnetic little tin canister, is like looking for that proverbial needle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm more than a bunch concerned for the folks in South Texas. As most of you know, we spent the winter down there. The levee system seems adequate when you are in the middle of winter and there is no water in the valley except the irrigation ditches.

To the East of the Llano Grande campgrounds is a large flood plain, and to the South is the Llano Grande park and bird sanctuary. This is all low lying ground. It was all grass land with a few creeks running thru it in the winter.

I did ask how often it became flood plain, and locals said every several years, it seems to flood. There was a dike to our East about 5 camping spaces away. It was easily 15 feet high, with a trail on top. A favorite walking path for morning exercise folks.

The golf course was in the flood plain, and it has been wrecked in previous years. This is quite expensive to repair, as you might imagine.

As of this writing, it appears that the center of the storm has made landfall to the North of the Harlingen area, so it will most likely be a rain event, rather than a wind event. The main dike and levee system for the Rio Grande river ( redundant since rio means river in spanish) seems to have been spared. But how much of the rain will drain through the Arroyo Colorado, and how quickly it will make it back to the Laguna Madre will remain to be seen.

I hope we will not need a canoe to visit the campground and trailer park in the future.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

From KC, KS

We came home from Lake Ozark Sunday evening. We didn't leave the lake until after 5 PM. That's late for us, but it is only a little more than three hours back to the KC home. So we were here before dark.

A routine trip, that saw gas prices in the interior of Missouri. They are always some of the lowest we encounter anywhere, but even they were up to 3.99 at their highest. We seem to have gone over the top, as I filled in Windsor, Mo. at 3.79. Still cost a arm and a leg, but at least it is now going in the right direction.

Here on the Kansas side, we are routinely .15 cents higher, and tonight I saw 3.96 as I was coming home. Since I go to Missouri almost every day, I don't buy much Kansas gas. Imagine that!

It has been rather hot here the last two days, with 97 on Monday and 98 this afternoon. The humidity has been a gazillion, so we have been dying from any trip outside.

Loyce has taken care of the grandkids for the last two days, entertaining them at the housing subdivision swimming pool. The place is crowded, but she goes in the morning before the real swarm of folks.

I have been reporting to the car office-warehouse, sales lot and delivered a Camry to a gal last night. She was really happy to get the car, so that was a good feeling for me as well.

Son Chris, who is the owner of the business, returned last night. He was in Ohio on a buying run. Or a mini vacation, as well. He bought a new travel trailer out there and went to get it. So we saw it for the first time last night.

We are all speculating how long it will be, before he sells it to a customer, but his wife will kill him when he does. Notice I said WHEN!

Tomorrow is the big car auction, and it promises to be as hot as ever. They have 5 foot diameter fans, but with folks all over the place it won't help much.

So nothing is too new here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Of all the luck!

Do you remember the blog where we went to the Jolly Roger Restaurant?

This was the post, I wrote on the 21st of June. When we had lunch there with our grandson.

We came around the corner to enter the cove where the Jolly Roger was, and suddenly there wasn't any restaurant! Just gone!

Here is the news story!

So this is what was left by Sunday afternoon. They were cleaning up the rubble and hauling it to an awaiting dump truck. All of us just boated by with our hat in our hand. My son Ben did take these four pictures as we passed.

This was one of the most popular bar and grill hang outs on the North end of the Lake. It was only two years old and was a huge success.

Its a pile of twisted burned metal and ash now. As the title above said, Of All the Luck.

The blue and white stripe sun awning, was not there during the fire, and is new since that time. They did have an outside bar and there is a sign calling for a BASH IN THE ASH! They are planning a party to start off a new beginning.

I'm sure they hope to have the rubble cleaned up by the party and it will mark new beginning of the rebuild of Jolly Roger.

These are good church going, God fearing folks, that do not deserve something like this. They have brought a lot of joy to the boaters of Lake Ozark, so lets wish them all the best!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lake time!

We were busy with family time all day yesterday. Swimming and boating has become the activity of choice. Or perhaps just floating in the lake.

With a cold drink in hand, floating in the 85 degree water, endlessly discussing everything and anything. It may not be changing the direction of society, but then it needs discussed anyway.

We did dress and go to our favorite restaurant. Yes you guessed it Bandana's. We went last week in KC and then again last night here in Osage Beach. I change up my order from sausage to pork to beef so that the meal doesn't become boring.

We ended up out in the porch after dark with all the kids asleep. But we didn't last much longer ourselves. So this entry is being recorded on Sunday.

We go home again today as we all need to report to work! Uck!

Friday, July 18, 2008

At the Lake again!,

Its late at night, but everyone has made it to the lake. The work thing causes our son and his family to not be able to leave until around 7 PM so they arrive with sleeping kids and tired themselves.

So just grandpa here is the night owl. Reading the local lake newspapers that I have missed out on during the two weeks that we have been gone.

We arrived here mid afternoon since we left around 10:30 in the morning. It requires three and a half hours to drive here when we just tag along about 55. But being retired and having no particular time that we need to arrive, relieves any necessity to speed. Our youngest grand daughter was with us from early morning, when everyone went to work.

So, we had a late lunch once we arrived, and all took a nap. Well, Delaney took her nap and the rest of us might have nodded off in the big chair for a while too.

But then when it became supper time, it was off to Emo's Pizza. For a one and a half year old, that is big time. She had her own piece of pizza and some of Grandma's salad. And grandma had the best thing in her bag, a banana! She was biting off big chunks for desert. And we almost made it back home, before falling asleep in the car.

Tomorrow promises to be a day of boating and swimming and all the good stuff of summer at the Lake.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lose ends

When we say we are tying up loose ends, are we the ones that untied them?

Maybe we just cut them off of the line as a group and we are tying them for the first time. But anyway, it seemed that we have many projects and little time to get it all done. That would describe my day at the auto sales office today. A little of this and a little of that. Perhaps we got everyone happy. Well then maybe not.

We are heading back to the lake for the weekend in the morning, and want to take the youngest grandchild with us. This will help her parents and the older siblings get off to a better start later in the day. It will be a whirlwind trip for us as we will just stay the weekend.

With the older son still out on his mini vacation, that will not be so mini, if he stays longer into next week, I will need to get back to the folks that are seeking financing to purchase cars. We have two sales pending. So we will blast out of here in the mid morning time frame.

With grandchild in tow, we are now quite used to having her along for almost any occasion.

We'll blog from the Lake tomorrow, as this is the time of year that the lake is the best.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The early auction.

Off to work before 8 AM and home after 6PM, is this starting to sound like a broken record? The auction started by selling used RV's at 8 AM. The so called early bird sale. So if you want to bid on an RV you must get up early.

There were more than 100 RV's on sale, and I went thru several of the more promising ones on Tuesday. These really depend on how people live that had the rig. Even though they are less than three years old or more than twenty years old, they still have to be used by people that will take care of them.

RV's by there very nature, can not be built as solidly as a stick and brick house, and still be pulled around by something less than a freight train. So if folks are not really careful, they do a bunch of damage inside in fairly quick order.

The RV's at the auction, are the ones that haven't moved by traditional means, so they are usually the rough ones. But even so the newer RV's will command normal prices, even early in the morning. And today, I was there in time to watch!

What fun, there are about twenty or so rough old guys that buy all these units, and they all know each other. And the auctioneer, for that matter, who they teased at a rather nasty clip. But in no time flat we were thru these units and many went without purchasers, but a large share found new homes. What do folks do with a 20 year old motorhome? With all the paint missing from the outside. Some of this stuff is shipped to other countries.

The credit folks were serving customer appreciation luncheons today, and after I went and proved that we do use their services, I managed to get a free hamburger and beans. With chips and potato salad. And a cold pepsi out of a stock tank of Ice and Pop. It was 90 plus out and that was really timely. Had to pass on the brownie desert, but I have never missed the sweets much.

Then late in the day, I sold a car to a young couple. The gal is very excited, but her feince is busy beating me up over everything he can think of. Especially the price. Perhaps it makes him appear more manly to her. But that is one more down the road!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where did this day go?

I left the house before 8 AM and didn't come home until after 6 PM. A full day, just like I used to put in before retirement. I can still do it, but its not near as much fun.

I didn't get much time to myself, as it seemed that it was go here, go there all day. Gas in Missouri, broke the 4 dollar mark today. We usually have some of the cheapest prices all around the area, over at the car warehouse lot. But even we, now have 4 dollar gas.

Here in Kansas, it is 10 to 12 cents higher all the time, so I rarely purchase gas in Kansas. The stations here went thru the 4 dollar mark more than a week ago. Lets hope there is an end to this upward march.

So other than report how few desirable cars there are, and how high the used 4 cylinder cars are selling for, let just leave the car values for work discussions tomorrow.

Otherwise, my son Chris and his wife Melissa called, and they have a new 26 foot RV. Its a Salem, made by Forest River. They picked it up over in the Indiana, Ohio RV manufacturing corridor, from a wholesale dealer. Saved enough to pay for the trip several times over.

So they are spending their first night in a new travel trailer. The three year old daughter will more than likely be too excited to sleep. And maybe they will be that way as well. Can you spell formaldehyde? Salem was one of the offending manufactures. But they don't plan to live in it other than on the weekends.

Our first Jayco night, was three miles away from our lake home, in the local RV park on North shore. We loaded most of the camping supplies out of the lake home, mainly because they were stored there. I don't think we slept too well that night, as I remember.

Again, I have to be up and out to the second auction early tomorrow, so will hang the computer back on the wall for now. Have a good day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cars and more cars

The one year old was back over here today to stay with grandma Loyce. I have determined that it is not a good day for my wife unless she has at least one of the grandkids with her here at the house.

It doesn't matter which one she has, but at least one anyway. So today was a good day because she had Delaney.

So after playing a while, they left for the stores. My cue to bug out before they got back. So over to the car warehouse I went. When I got there, I was informed that I would be standing in for the rest of the week as the only employee in the town.

Seems that Chris and his wife are going to look at a travel trailer in Ohio and make a little vacation out of the trip. So they were out of here about 5 this evening.

But not to let that slow me down, I went and looked at cars at the Adesa auction by myself. I did find one that might be a keeper if the price doesn't go too high. So I will go over and attend the auction tomorrow. It will be the first time that I have actually been to this auction, while it is running for several months.

Not that it is any different than any other auction, but then everything is different somewhat. So that's all we have done here today. Well we did go to Panera Bread for a sandwich at about 7 tonight.

Nothing too elaborate as we each had a sandwich and chips. About 13 bucks for both sandwiches with water to drink. That would be some pricy sandwiches. But it was different and on homemade bread. Look at the bright side, we didn't have to cook.

I will get this posted as I must hit the hay in order to get up at a decent time tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yard mowing and Sunday stuff

When I got up this morning, I knew I had to mow the yard again. It only makes it about a week and then it begins to look all ratty.

Trouble is we have a bunch of crab grass that got started in the spring when we were waiting for the irrigation system to be installed. Usually I hit the yard with halts weed killer in the early spring and it knocks the crab grass back. But this year no yard work was done until the guys were done with the irrigation installation.

Soooo, the grab grass gets tall quickly and starts to crowd out the blue grass. Bad. So we mow and mow. Which took most of the morning. Wasn't too hot when I started, but after an hour of tractor riding, I'm always hot, no matter what the temperature outside is.

In the afternoon, I went an looked for a geocache that is in the new streets to the North of our housing development. It was called yellow, and when I got to the spot on the GPS, there was a big yellow fire hydrant on the side of the street.

I looked all over the hydrant and all up and down the curbs and along the inside of the curbs, and still didn't come up with it. It was 90 and sunny, so I got way too hot looking, and the weeds and clover were waist high, so if it is there, it may be covered by the summer plains growth. Atleast I didn't come up with it. It is listed as a micro cache, which is about the size of a film canister. It could have been right under my feet and still not be seen.

After that I went to the wal mart and the lowes to look at charcoal grills. I have gas grills for the house and the lake and a cheap portable for the camper. But I really like the taste of charcoal, no matter how much more work it is perceived to be. It doesn't flare up and the heat is more uniform.

I have been looking for the right portable grill to take camping with us, instead of the cheapy wal mart gas jobby we now use. But I wanted it to be big enough, that I could use it here at home as well. Didn't find it. So tonight I have been surfing the web to order what I want. With car gas at 4 a gallon, you can not drive all over looking in stores.

I ordered a Webber Q from an online store in Boston. They make numerous gas Q's like the 100, 120, 200, 300 and so forth, but they also make the aluminum grill with a fire box for charcoal. It's just a straignt Q. Thats what I ordered.

There is also a roll around cart that folds down, but that is available from Home Depot. So I didn't order that. Now we wait to see what I get. Time will tell.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I thought I knew what today would be, but I thought wrong. Loyce had the four year old grand daughter coming over for the weekend.

Man that changes everything. I found this out this morning and had to rethink my plans.

So today was spent playing with and entertaining Ema. I did pass on the trip to McDonalds for hamburgers. Couldn't bear the thought of a greasy burger and fries.

So tonight, we went to the new Bandana's that is here in Lenexa, KS. That's about six miles North of us as we are as far South as one can go without actually going into the country. It is a chain restaurant and the food was substantially the same as the restaurant in Osage Beach.

I enjoy the Memphis dry rub style of Barbecue, and they do a good job of that style. The KC folks do not usually like that style, so this place may be doomed before it starts. But for a little while, they are here.

I did see they have added a KC Style sauce. They always had a sweet and smokey, but the KC is sweet and a little more apple cider vinegar bitter at the same time. Of course they are copying KC Masterpiece. Its close, but not exact. But then they do not need to be sued either.

Ema likes it, as she had some on her french fries. She usually used Ketchup (catsup) so we have broadened her experiences.

It turned quite cool here during the day, in the low 60's and only made it up into the 70's after the rain was over. Ema had to go swmming, but turned quite cold in the process. Maybe tomorrow will be back warmer for here. Time will tell.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday is planning to have a weekend

When I was working, I usually spent most of Friday thinking about how the weekend would play out. Yea I had work to complete, but it was only a side issue. We had to get it done to get on with the weekend.

Once you retire, the nature of the weekend blurs. Saturday is just another day like Monday. Except, that there are a lot more folks in Wal Mart. For us, it becomes the days that our kids are not working and thus we do not have the grandkids. Well unless we voluntarily request them.

So, it kind of still has that same quality of time off. But then we really haven't planned a thing for this weekend. We are not headed to the lake or anywhere and have no plans to participate in any activities here in KC. Just laid back time to do as we please. Ah retirement.......

Of course that leaves me free to study the computer a lot. And so tonight I went to the Ham Radio club meeting. We rehashed the Field Day exercise. Discussed the outcome of our points that we earned and filed with the ARRL, along with a brief discussion of what to change for next year.

In short we had more points than last year, meaning we did a better job of putting on the event that the ARRL would like to see. So that is very positive for our club. And everyone was complementary of the job we chefs did with the food.

But during the meeting, I picked up an old computer networking course that someone gave away. Thanks John. I will be studying this course to see what I can add to my knowledge of a network environment in the next few days. Since I was an accountant first, and a computer tech second, I am sure I can pick up a bunch of good stuff even though the books are now antiquated. It is the microsoft network certification course.

But of course my bride may have completely different expectations for the weekend, so I must remain flexible. LOL.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday is always slow

We spend thursday delivering cars to be repaired to the respective fix it places. And so it was again today. A Nissan went to the new car dealer to get a fix. Under warranty we thought but maybe not so.

The previous owner may have broken it and time will tell. So that's life. Other than that we went to a bar and grill by the name of Otto's that I had never been to before. I was on the Kansas side on College avenue.

Thursday was steak sandwich day. They listed it as fillet sandwich, but for 6.99 with fries for a 5 oz fillet, it must be fillet of monkey. LOL. Fillet is ten to twelve bucks a pound, so 5 oz would be about a third of a pound, or four bucks. They couldn't be selling a sandwich with fries that had a four dollar piece of meat in it for 7.

But if they were it was a real deal. And it tasted quite good as well. They had mushrooms and provolone cheese on the steak and a great big fixins bar to add tomato and letuce and the like.

Man I wasn't hungry until about 9 PM tonight. Here at home, I spent some time finding faux wood blinds to put up in the large windows on the back of the house. I finally ordered them from They have a sale going on the real wood blinds but I ordered the fake ones as they won't split and fade in color like the wood ones do.

The dear wife has wanted these for the last year, but I have held out since I do not like to have all the blinds closed. I feel so shut in when all the windows are covered tight. Like I was in a prision. Psycological to be sure but still, let me outa here.

Oh and the cell phone charger shot its self about mid way thru last week, so I was charging in the car. I fianally found one of those on an internet site. Looked fly by night, so I paypaled it. The shipping cost as much as the charger. But its supposed to be a real Motorola! Yea right!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Auction

We were up early, and went to the big auction in North East KC. The cars were limited compared to other weeks. Folks seem to want used cars, but will not pay too much for domestics and V6's. Trucks and v8s bring no money what so ever. Can't sell them to anyone.

But if you are looking for a gas saver, bring a large bucket of money! Little, imported, 4 cylinder anything is 1000 over high wholesale. Folks are completely spooked by the gas price and are seemingly nuts to spend money on little bitty gas efficient cars.

It has been a market that is totally driven by fuel mileage. Used Toyota Prius cars were selling for more than they cost new. The 08's were upwards of 28K with 15K miles. The window sticker was only 25K when they were new. Would you give 3 over window sticker for a one year old car with 15K miles? Its insane. So all we got from the auction today was an education.

Late in the afternoon, we came back home and did the retired thing of choice. Took a nap. That is until the one year old woke up from her nap and started to wind up. She needed a snack, then she played with the puzzles, giving me all the pieces at once and then wanting them all back again.

After she went home, we made one of the RV Dreams Cookbook recipes for supper, spaghetti amore. Basically a baked spaghetti dish with fresh onion, green pepper and garlic. With the cheddar cheese on top. It was quite good. I'd link the cookbook to the sales page, but I think they ran out of the books, and do not have plans to reorder. But the recipe is on the web here.

So now its late at night and the day is gone, so what do we do next? Maybe read some more blogs and go to bed. Hope your day went well too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back at the car auction.

We went to the CarMax dealership first to look at the rejected cars from their trades. Most of the cars are over 100k miles and they do not sell those as a matter of policy. So they sell them auction style on Tuesdays. Some real fixer upers. We didn't stay!

But it rained cats and dogs while we were there. I got trapped in a 2001 Jeep Wrangler for about 20 minutes while the nasty storm went thru. Wind was blowing the rain sideways. This Jeep was old and dirty and not a pleasant place to be, but it was dry. Really hot so I started it up and let the AC run. Not much gas in it though so I ran to the auction garage as fast as a 60 year old can run. Not a pretty sight I am sure.

From there we went to the big auction, as it rained for the rest of the day. We were in and out of cars that we tested so if it got really rainy, it was time to ride in another one.

Here at home, I made some supper and watched the Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. That is the first time I have seriously watched TV in weeks. Since we were in Texas last winter I think.

So now it is off to bed so that I can get up tomorrow and go to the actual auction. We do not have anything in mind to buy but we will see if any opportunities come up in one of the lanes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday back in KC

The drive back to KC was uneventful. We go over the road so many times, that is seems that we know what is under each rock. But the gas price changes if nothing else does.

So we filled up in Holden, Mo at $3.75. As you know, everything else is over $4 so this was quite a find. But alas, we had Loyce's little Escape Ford and we only needed 6 gallons. It only holds about 16 or so completely empty.

KC was much hotter than at the Lake as we had 93 when we arrived. The air conditioner was set at 80 when we left, so the house was warm. It felt cool when we came in from 93, but after you stayed a while it was warm.

We busily unpacked the car with all the food and baggage from the weeks stay in the lake. Not much else happened. The house cooled ever so slowly, and I washed out the backyard swimming pool as the bugs had made it into a place to pass on.

It took about 2 hours to fill the pool with the hose on full. It was cold as well.

This morning I was up early and mowed the yard before the heat of the day overcame me. Once the one year old arrived, we went out to play in the pool. I was hot from ridding the tractor and the pool was still on the very cool side. But I got into it with her and sat there as she played some and was frightened some.

It is about armpit deep on me as I sat down on the bottom. That puts it above her waist. She had a kiddie life vest on, but it frightens her to float. I was trying to get her to settle down and learn to float, but that wasn't in the cards for today.

After some errands in the truck mid afternoon, I spent the rest of the day on the computer reading about the big green egg charcoal cooker. They are massively expensive, and I don't think it is worth it. Besides they are heavy and not portable to take with the RV. Keep telling yourself that, because you need the 900 bucks for gasoline for the RV. LOL

Late tonight, I got to reading blogs and here it is already midnight. So another day is shoot in the foot.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hurry up and play!

We are in the hurry and play mode here at the Lake of the Ozarks. That seem like a redundant statement. But we have only two or three hours to swim ourselves out before we leave for home.

The week of holiday is over. The kids are in the lake and the adults are all on the dock, sunning, fishing and providing guidance to the kids.

We will finish packing and drive to KC later this aftern00n. So posts from here will be curtailed until we reach KC and the regular schedule.

It is always kind of sad to have the last swim, but we will be back again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The last day before we go home.

Today was as much dock and boat time as the small kids would let us have. The youngest is Delaney, she is one and a half. She needs to have sleep, but she didn't get it this afternoon as we all went in the boat.

She got very tired, and began to not be able to sit still and then wouldn't take a nap either. So the boat ride had to come to an end, and she needed the real pillow time to fix her tears.

So more dock time. The older kids swam and swam some more, until they needed a nap too. Short that it was, while grandpa cleaned the back of the pontoon boat under the lid over the outboard motor.

This was home to all the bugs here at the lake. Well it seems as though they all live there anyway. Not too exciting stuff. But the day was beautiful and warm but not overly hot. Seems that prior summers here have been hot hot hot.

This year has been much different with temps in the high 80s but not too much of the 90s. No 100s at all. Now there I go it will jinx it for sure, and tomorrow will be 101, LOL.

Tomorrow we must all head back to KC so tonight we are sitting out on the lower deck enjoying the nice weather. I had better go back and join in before the kids have to go to bed.

Have a good finish to your holiday weekend where ever you are.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July!

We just got done with our mortar rockets and fireworks. The kids are off to bed and we are surfing the internet. But the day was full and happy.

We started with the kids out of bed at 6 AM, but the daughter in law got up with them and we slept in. The big family breakfast, and the long morning boat ride made it thru the middle of the day.

Swimming made up the rest of the afternoon, and Ben fished from the dock most of the afternoon. Your normal holiday activities.

The big event here at the Lake of the Ozarks, is the fireworks at the Lodge of the Four Seasons. They have had these, every year since we have been coming to the lake. That would be for 34 years. I am sure that it has been going on longer than that. All of the boats congregate out on the lake in front of the hotel. About 5,000 of them.

The trip around the end of the peninsula to get to the front of the hotel is about 12 miles. We have learned to go to the back of a cove two miles away. From there you can see over the hill to the back of the hotel about a mile away. But that is not a secret anymore, because tonight there were about 1000 boats in the cove when we got there.

After we anchored, there were almost that many boats filled in behind us by the time it got dark. The show was about 30 minutes long and the kids were restless. The grand finale was loud with about 50 or more shots all at once.

The big challenge is all of the boats leaving at the same time. The lake becomes a massive wave pool. We sit still for ten or more minutes as most of the other boats leave. This lets the lake calm back down before we head out. Still there are boats going everywhere, after dark. The fireworks are worth it though.

The fourth is over but the weekend is just beginning. Its after midnight but firecrackers are still ringing out allover the lake. Fireworks are legal here in Missouri. We have always enjoyed that freedom here at the lake.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The day before the holiday!

Folks were pouring in here yesterday afternoon. On the way home from Wal Mart, the traffic was quite busy. This week will be kind of an anomaly as there are not as many set patterns to folks vacations.

Some will have Thurs thru Sunday and others will do Friday thru Monday. And the really lucky ones will have a week that will somehow include the Friday 4th holiday.

It is now 5 PM on Thursday and the lake has someone at every lake place, all around our cove. Weed wackers have been running all day as the folks get ready for their company. Our folks have not arrived yet, but we are expecting the younger son Ben and his family. He is the one year olds daddy and she has said mommy all day long.

Smaller boats have their covers removed and folks are swimming from the docks. The large boats will be used too, but I think on specific trips that will require the people carrying capacity of the the two V8 twin engine boats.

The folks directly across have a new boat with a single engine, but have kept their big dual V8 job as well. The resale on these is in the tank, so why give it away. The cover is off of the new smaller deck style boat. The older one is covered and parked.

Money seems to be no object for these folks, but I still think the psycology of using 14 gallons an hour of 5 dollar product, is limiting to everyone.

I noticed that we had some humming birds flying around our house, so yesterday as I was waiting for the oil change, I bought a red nectar feeder. $4.88. And some bottled nectar. $3.88. I tied this to the rope light fake palm tree on our back deck.

As I am typing this outside, a little fellow with a brown head and green back feathers has claimed the new feeder for his very own. He is chasing the other birds away as best as he can.

Maybe I can get a picture of this, but the older grandkids are coming and they will perhaps chase the birds away, instead. Peace and quiet will be gone directly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wal Mart for oil change

Now most of the blogs I read will rant about folks that camp at the Wal Mart parking lot. Its only common sense that you can park overnight at the Wal Mart but that getting out the grill and the lawn chairs and actually camping is a big no no.

But today I was only looking for an oil change. I use Wal Mart as an oil change facility as a last resort. But at times I have been really glad they have that service.

When camping in Texas last winter, for instance, in Rockport, Texas, I did not find a fast lube place anywhere up and down the Ocean front for miles. But the Wal Mart was right there and they had it done in 30 minutes while we shopped. Hard to argue.

Here at the lake we lost the super lube place to road construction. They literally plowed it under. There went the best place I had found. So today, it was back to the local Wal Mart.

I pulled around the corner and saw I was first in line, "good" I thought. But then I wasn't helped right away. The ticket writer was talking to a customer that had walked up from a park bench. After he signed for some work, then I was helped. So I went inside to wait. First I noticed that they were pulling my car back away from the door.

So I wasn't in line after all, I only thought so. Then the whole place except for one mechanic went on break at the same time. What? So I sat some more. After about 30 minutes, I learned the extent of the work ordered by the guy that was ahead of me.

As the single mechanic pulled his jeep over into the tire lane and began to rotate and balance his tires, I began to shake my head.

They did all come back to work, and I did get the oil changed, and was on my way in about an hour and a half. Not bad for first in line. LOL

With the afternoon gone, the pontoon stayed in the dock and we saved gas on the trip we didn't take. We had quality time with the grand daughter and fed supper to her. She is becoming much closer to her Grandpa. She always was close to Grandma, because she stays at our house in KC during the day.

After going into the KFC/LJS for fish and chicken dinners tonight we are home reading and passing a peaceful evening. The grand daughter is fast asleep, and life is good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Its Tuesday already.

What happened to Monday? I meant to blog but then didn't get it done. I guess it just slipped my mind. LOL

So this isn't much of a different day either. We have the one year old with us here at the lake. Seems like we always have one of the grandkids with us these days. That's good though, since we do not see them much in the winter.

One year old's need lots of sleep, so the afternoons are spent hanging around the house while she is taking her nap. We washed on the pontoon boat and the dock yesterday while she was down and today we just spent the time out on the screen porch and fell asleep for a short while ourselves.

Folks are using their boats and boating all over the lake, but I think at a slower pace. The gas on the water is $4.60 or better, so parking and swimming is always a good option. We were going out yesterday after the nap time, but Loyce came back upstairs to get up the little gal, and didn't come back. So the pontoon has just sat there since we arrived.

We did go in to Bandana's BarBeCue last night. Boy we have been getting our share of the barbecue thing here lately. Bandana's is a chain out of St Louis, and we particularly like their food. It seems to have become the standard, that I judge other places by.

They do the Memphis style meat, that is rubbed and smoked dry. The sauce is added by you, the customer. I am trying to decide why I like that better. Perhaps it is because the meat is more steak like when it is served. The sauce is more like it is out of the bottle, and has not been caramelized by the heat of cooking. Its a personal thing I'm sure.

They do serve a sandwich that they call the wet bandana. It is the pulled pork thing with the sauce cooked thru the meat. It seems to be so goopy, globby, kind of like the Arthur Bryants that I went to in KC with son Chris.

I am going to go out on the lake here sometime today, if I have to go alone. LOL Its just not right to let a good pontoon set idle with the cover off and not be used. Need an on the water fix or something.

So its slow and easy here at Lake Ozark, but then why did we come here, if it wasn't to be that way?