Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday in the Neighborhood

It was over 90 here today, and I am declaring that summer is here.  It was a shorts kind of a day.

I went out and raked some of the dead grass out of the yard.  It accumulates when the grass is mowed when it is so wet.  Perhaps it will dry out some.  But here in Kansas, we go from drowning to no rain at all overnight.

I was off riding the scoot again this afternoon. With no particular destination in mind, just putting along in the neighborhoods.  Our residential neighborhoods are endless, so you have to watch where you are or you could get lost.  Well until you come out to a fast moving thru street.  They are every mile.

We are hanging tight here as we wait to become grandparents again, since we will have to take care of the four year old while that happens.  Slow days for sure.

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Now its warm/Claire/Scooter ride

Today was another repeat of yesterday.  Grand daughter Claire was here all day and we got little else done.  But it is not like we were trying to do anything else.

I did sneak away and go for a scooter ride in the middle of the afternoon.  Over to the fast food hamburger stand, and then to the competitive scooter shop in Olathe.

This shop is a John Deere yard implement dealer/Polaris dealer/Vespa scooter dealer.  Boy that covers some diverse products.  Lawn tractors parked next to Victory motorcycles.  With scooters across the isle.  The big bikes do catch your eye more than the Yellow and Green of the yard implements.  But that would just be me.  Perhaps a non motorcycle person would only see the tractors.

The Vespas are expensive!  Almost twice what the Taiwanese bikes cost.  And five times what the mainland china bikes cost.  But most of us think the mainland china bikes are real junk, so they don’t count.

I really didn’t see anything I would trade for, as far as scooters go.  I like mine, which is good since they would kill me on trade anyway.

I was mainly looking for what they might have in accessories, and they failed me.  They had a bunch of stuff for the big cycles, and lots of stuff for the Yellow and Green crowd, but nothing for us lowly scooterists.  If that’s a word LOL.

It was hot at almost 90 degrees, and the air conditioner has been running in earnest all day.  This is the first we have had that.  So perhaps summer has arrived for real.  At least I was happy to get back to the house with the bike and park it for the rest of the afternoon.  Helmets are darned hot.

Tonight we went back to Fuddruckers for the Sweet Potato Fries.  Chris and Melissa went along too, and fed Claire her burger supper.  It was a transition,  where she naturally went home with them without thinking about saying goodbye.  That is easier.  We should get her back next week, unless the other side of the family wants her.   Deb???  

Retired Rod

Friday, May 29, 2009

What kind of Harley are you?

We have our oldest son’s daughter with us today and as usual, the grandkids rule the roost when they are here.  We got her last night and she will stay tonight as well, so normal is out the window.

We played most of the morning and napped in the afternoon.  But grandpa used  the afternoon as his computer time.  Well until he passed out for a while.  But when we all awoke, it was sunny again.  Yea! 

But that meant the yard needed to be mowed before the next rain. So grandpa had to get on the stick again.

I took a quiz on Face Book, as to what kind of Harley I would be.  And it came out a classic.  A old school heavy bike.  Several folks chimed in to say that is more like what I should ride rather than a scooter.  But there is a problem with that.  I have diabetes.  Its a nasty disease, that causes neuropathy in your lower body.  Weakness, numbness, and unstableness.  So that is why the scooter, since it weighs only 260 pounds.  A lot heavier than a bicycle, but still manageable.

When we were in Lima, Ohio last month, we stopped at a Harley dealer South of town.  I again sat on the newest V-rod called a muscle.  I drooled all over it, but it weighs 650 pounds.  If I get it tipped over very far, it is too heavy for this old diseased guy.  I hate to admit that, and damn I would like to have that ride, but for right now its just not in the cards.  It was wine colored maroon with oodles of chrome………..

So we sit tight here taking care of the grandkids.  But then what else would we rather be doing?

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Puttering around the house

You could have told us it was the first of March here today, and we would have believed you. Overcast and cold! Well in the 50's anyway which is a might cool for Kansas in the last few days of May!

We hung out at home all day going thru all the bills and some of the rest of the mail. Seems that Target stores is having a proxy voting war ahead of and during their annual meeting. We got a special delivery overnight envelope urging us to vote for the board recommended measures and directors. First time we ever got a special delivery invitation to vote corporate shares.

If successful, the adversary corporation could drastically change the Target Stores we now know. Lets hope folks can see thru this one.

Other than study stuff, and work on the computer, today was slow and cool.

Oh I did go to the basement ham shack and make a new cable to connect a portable GPS unit to the radio in the truck. When I am not using the big Geosat unit, I hook a small hockey puck receiver to the radio so it will still know its location. That cable had the end knocked off somehow and refused to work. It now has a new wire and molded phone plug.

Oh the trailer battery charged up normally. It maintained 11 volts under 100 amp load, so we won't need another new battery quite yet.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to KC and another dead battery.

We gathered our stuff and headed out. Well not that quickly, as Loyce had her usual cleaning projects to attend to. She really likes clean, and the washing machine never stopped all morning. And the same with the dishwasher.

Now for me, I made the small projects get finished. Like filling the hummingbird feeder all the way to the top. It won't take long for them to drain it. Every time we arrive, it is empty. It holds over a quart.

We had pulled the utility trailer to the lake, so that had to get hooked back onto the truck. We didn't bring much back to KC, so the trailer made the trip empty. Compared to the 30 plus foot travel trailer, the little utility is feather light.

It did finally stop raining as we left the Lake house. Figures!

Back here in KC, we took a voice message on an alarm going off in our Jayco trailer at Storage Mart. Never would have had a call like that from the old storage joint. So I went over to the lot tonight. I think the CO detector alarms as it looses voltage, as the 12 volt battery is flat. Its been parked for 10 weeks now, and stuff runs all the time. No place to plug in at storage, so I brought the battery back to the house. The charger confirmed the flat diagnosis. I'll keep the battery here until we head out next time.

Tonight I am catching up on blogs, but now its time to post this and get some shut eye.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jolly Roger

Back on July 21 of last year I had pictures and reported that one of our popular restaurants here at the Lake had burned to the concrete. This was the blog at that time.

Of all the luck

We boated up there yesterday, to see what progress had been made since that time. They are back! It would seem as though it never happened. I am sure they have worked harder than ever to get going again.


This picture was taken with the Blackberry cell phone and surprises me that it is as good as it is.

We were not able to get anywhere near the docks to tie up. The deck was crowded and there was a line waiting for tables. The clientele here at the lake seems to be very loyal. I am happy for them, as they seem to be nice people.

Jolly Roger web site. This is their web site, and it has a picture of the fire as a background. The construction photo’s are of building the original building and boat bar. I didn’t find any pictures of the rebuild, but it looks just like the original. Had I not known about the fire, I would never have suspected the building had been replaced.

This picture was borrowed from a blog written in 2007, and was the only photo of the old restaurant I found on the web.


Retired Rod

Monday, May 25, 2009

Overcast but fun.

It was overcast today.  So much so that we never saw the sun.  But it wasn’t too cool, and the humidity seemed to still be high.  The grand kids didn’t care, they swam their heads off.

We had a little accident, that caused me to run the bissell carpet cleaner for a couple of hours mid morning.  Coffee and white carpet didn’t mix too well, but we won’t know if I got it all up until it completely dries.

It was almost noon, when we headed out for our boat ride, but the kids were killed from swimming, so they wanted to come right back.  Loyce and I went for a longer ride by ourselves. 

Every tom, dick and harry was out with their 50 foot ocean going liners.  They make wakes that are taller than a man, and bounce the pontoon boat all over the lake, so we gave up on the ride idea after a few miles.

In the afternoon, I fired up the smoker and did a couple of drunk butt chickens.  I used the normal recipe with the dry rub and oiled skin for the chickies.  They seem to smoke golden brown that way, in an hour and 45 minutes. 

The temperature in the smoker was not much over 200.  It only takes a few wood pieces, as the smoke browns the skin rapidly.  The dark meat was pink like ham.  Mmmmmm!

Tonight we went out to see the fireworks that are displayed by the Lodge of the Four Seasons.  We go to a cove that backs up to the lodge golf course.  From there you can see over the ridge to the show.

There were not nearly as many folks there because of the rainy cool evening, as we had a shower while we were eating supper.  The rain held off during the fireworks, and has not restarted.

The kids were killed and fell asleep on the way home.  Boating in the dark on a big lake is quite an experience, but we have done it for years.  Still have to keep your eyes sharp as there are obstacles.  No wake buoys are the major things that are hard to see.

So all and all a good day at the lake.

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lake Ozark Dam


Tonight at dusk we were at the Lake Ozark dam watching the open spillway.  The dam has been open for the last several weeks.  The water creates a spray that comes up onto the roadway when you drive over the dam.

We took the grandkids over to see the water since the gates are never open, but only for a week or two each year.  The next dam up river from us is Truman, and they are forced to hold some of the water back because it can not get thru our dam fast enough.  That causes flooding for Truman lake, so we have to be wide open.

I checked and we are at 659 ft above sea level, which is fairly normal, but the water on our sea wall is at least a foot deeper than normal.  In March we were so low that the feet on our dock were nearly on the bottom of the lake.  That is at least 6 feet lower than normal.  How much water is six feet of level that stretches 98 miles back to Truman dam.  They will use all that water to generate electricity.  Once they are able to close the spillway.

This was a play at the lake house day, where the kids swam and we rode for a while in the pontoon boat.  Tonight we were back to the Bar B Cue in town, since Ben and Danielle had not been there since last fall.

Our temps were mid 80’s but it was somewhat humid.  About perfect.

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cleaning the dock.

It’s funny, I posted the header picture on facebook and said that instead of working, I thought I would sit and stare at the lake.

All the folks agreed that I should sit and space off the day.  So I had to not take their advice and work all day cleaning.  The dock and the pontoon boat were totally full of winter grime.

Loyce and I both worked all day cleaning.  It was a really big job and we are both killed.

We don’t have a lot to talk about tonight, since we never left the place all day.

Son Ben has arrived for the weekend tonight.  He brought all three of his bandits and our daughter in law Danielle.  So we will have the family weekend here at the lake.  It will get crazy with kids all going all over the place at once, so if we don’t blog much, please understand.

Retired Rod

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dentist and to the lake.

Today was a get up early day, as Loyce had to go get her new crowns put on at the dentist at 8 AM. The office is less than a mile away, so there is no drive time. But none the less, she was up early.

That got me out and rolling to get ready to go to the Lake. We pulled the utility trailer here as we had bunches of stuff to bring. Mostly toys and old furniture that we will replace older furniture here at the cabin.

Should probably throw the whole works away, but remember how we talked about the dentist at the beginning of the post, so all our money was left in KC early in the day.

I have been playing with the new blackberry, and took a new header picture for the blog with the camera. I didn’t know how to tether the camera to the laptop, so I emailed the picture to myself. That made it show up as and attachment that I saved to MyPictures. Crude, but it got the job done.

The camera is a 3.2 Megapixel, but has no real lens to speak of. I was amazed that it did as well as it did. I’ll leave it up as a header for a while but surely I can do much better with a real camera.

As we often do, we went into town to Bandana’s Barbecue tonight. I really like their smoked sausage dinner, but do order the small one, so I am not so stuffed.

It was in the mid 80’s here today, so the weather is as perfect as it can be!

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 21, 2009

T-Mobile Resolution

Our friends at T-Mobile must have known that I was a tad upset, because at about 5 AM, they got around to fixing all the problems that had been created for the cell phone.

With trepidation, at about 8 AM, I checked to see what number my wife's phone was attached to. And to my surprise, it was on her number. And, it worked right.

My phone was still hopelessly locked, and needed to be turned off. Then I thought that I might call back to see what they could do for it. But giving it one more chance, I turned it back on to see what might happen. It booted right up to the correct number and had the internet to boot. All was well.

I have spent the day teaching myself how to run the Blackberry. So this experience has been one of joy to have purchased and brought home the new phone, disappointment when it wasn't set up right, frustration when the service reps couldn't get it right and now puzzlement as I self train. Did I miss any emotions?

My younger son is coming to the lake this weekend, and has promised to compare his knowledge to the small amount I have and perhaps we will both come out smarter.

So with that said, it is off to the lake tomorrow, to spend the holiday in the fishing cabin. It has been several weeks now since we were there last, and the tree pollen is out in full force. That means we will have to clean everything in sight, again. It will be covered with this nasty green powder that makes a soup when wet.

By now it should be about over for the trees, but clean up will be for the next several weeks.

On another note, I went after the scooter this afternoon. The new headlight switch had been installed, making it number three that has been on the bike. It seemed to work normally when I checked it out in the garage tonight. Perhaps that is resolved now.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


You know how mama told you if you couldn't say something nice, then don't say it at all? Then perhaps I should just tell this story, rather than launch myself into the RANT that I could allow myself to have.

No one wants to read a rant, so calmly I will say that I went over to Sam's Club to purchase some new T-Mobile blackberry phones to replace our 4 year old existing phones. The gal was very helpful and explained all that I needed to do. Convinced me which phones to buy, and sent me home to get Loyce's phone.

After about an hour of programming the phones and working on the computer to renew everything, I went on my way.

Going out to dinner with my son Chris and his family, we played with the new phones. They didn't work. Couldn't make a phone call and they didn't connect to the internet.

To make the story shorter, I have spent the last 4 hours with T-Mobile reps on the phone while they tried to straighten out the many missteps and pot holes created during the day. Oh MY!

I never did get data service, and finally they managed to put both phone's sim cards on one number. This deactivated the sim card in my phone beyond its ability to be corrected. It will take a supervisor daytime employee to fix the whole mess. And they say up to 48 hours for them to have this person straighten it out.

Our old phones don't work, and neither do our new phones. We are locked out of the system entirely. But our bill will now be $25 higher, for the data plan that can't be activated.

Sure hope they can't get to the workings of my wired land line, because they will offline it too given a small chance.

Sam's Club is much cheaper, than other stores and does not fool around with rebates, but charges the amount of money they need right out of the box. For heavens sake, please check that the phones work, before you leave the store. Even if the batteries are too low to do much, call someone!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unloading and cleaning.

I slept like I was dead! Well dead tired anyway. Even after I got up around 9AM, I wasn't moving too fast. I think the lack of sleep adds up, and you have to replenish the bank, for more than one night.

So marathon sleeping does not fix the problem.

I unloaded the trailer of its camping supplies, and lawn chairs, mid morning. Tables, and tarps. Box of bungie cords, and the like all have their off season storage places.

By noon, it was time to wash the highway dirt off the outside of the trailer. It was grimy, and required scrubbing with black streak solvent. Still the aluminium streaks never get completely removed from the white painted surface. Oh well it is just a trailer.

Loyce has a whole load of toys and kids stuff that she wants to take to the lake, so she was filling the inside back up in preparation for our departure on Thursday.

I slipped into the house as the mid afternoon sun began to make me perspire. Enough of all this manual labor stuff. There are blogs to get caught up on! LoL

Tonight we went over to Fuddrucker's for a burger and some sweet potato fries. Its been over a month since I had those. Loyce was a good girl and had a chicken salad.

Tonight I am still in need of more catchup rest, as I am drifting off before I can post this entry.

The scooter is not finished at the cycle shop, because they are waiting on a part. I do not know where it is coming from, but they said it was shipped last week. I missed the toy today, as the hot afternoon would have been perfect for a ride.

Retired Rod

Monday, May 18, 2009

Back in KC

Its after midnight and I just arrived in KC. Having traveled over eight hundred miles, I am bushed. I rode six hundred back to Des Moines, and then drove the remaining two something here to the house in Overland Park.

Right now I feel like a truck ran over me so blogging will be for another time. But all is well, safe and sound.

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Almost over!

Its mostly over here in Ohio. We have one more day, but we will only stay until mid morning. We have a ten hour drive to get back to Des Moines. Most of the guys have to be back to work on Monday.

This is always fun, but it is over. I have been a good boy and refrained from purchasing any big ticket items. This is a large dollar event, as many new purchases are made by hams for 2009.

I think that selling as a vendor, in a way gives, you the feeling of making many new acquisitions without actually buying the stuff yourself. I got to help each customer as they describe the installation of a new piece of equipment. Solve what parts are needed, and provide (sell) them the pieces. This job of helping, is satisfying. Of course you never really get to see the end of the plan and execution, but in a small way, you were there to help make the plan.

Tonight we came back to the room and just hung out. We went back over to Bob Evans restaurant, and had the home cooked meal. I had a country fried steak. Just right in size as I ordered the senior portion. Have not needed a single rolaid.

We have settled in for the night, and I need to turn out the light so my roomie can get some sleep, so see ya later as we get back to Iowa!

Retired Rod

Friday, May 15, 2009

The big show

It is just before midnight and I have to be up at five, so a quick update and I will kill the light.

We were up at five and spent the entire day at theDayton Hamfest show.  I worked at the commercial booth where we help, for over four hours in the afternoon.  I was killed at five PM. 

We had to go to a banquet tonight, where we listened to one of the astronauts from a recent soyuz flight who is a ham, speak.  There was no one asleep in the room tonight.  His slide show from the space station was phenomenal.

We have to be back up at five, so I’m off of here again for a quick nap.

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Setting up the show

The first day in Dayton is when we go to the radio junk yards, excuse me lets call that a salvage yard.   This particular place is up in Lima, Ohio about a half hour to the North.  They specialize in military radios that are hard to find. Antiques and collectables.  A few treasures were found, and my friend Allen and I slipped over to the local Harley Davidson dealer to look around at their offerings as well.

We came back to Tipp City, where we are staying around lunch time, and reclaimed the trailer.  After a trip to Arby’s, we were off to the setup day at the hamfest.

Since all we have to do is back in the trailer and get it situated, we set up several tables, and began to sell.  And of course wandered around between the other vendors that were setting up their booths.

This facility, Hara Arena is a Hockey rink, that is attached to a large wooden floor ball room.  There are food courts and concrete vendor halls which are built adjacent, and all interconnected.  The hamfest takes over this entire facility.

Surrounding the buildings, is a 3000 space parking lot.  This becomes the outdoor flea market.  It is our three spaces in this flea market that we were readying.  But since the place is not open to the public yet, it is common practice for the vendors to sell to each other.  If another guy thinks he can get more than you are asking, then it will be on his tables by the time the public  gets in.

We went to a pizza party tonight at a local haunt.  Later we were at the Collins Radio collectors club reception.  This is a watering hole event at the Holiday inn not far from the Arena.  We shook a few hands and made an appearance.  Right now it is late, and we must be up by 5:30 for tomorrow so I must sign out.

Fun will be had by all tomorrow, as it is the official first day of the show.

Retired Rod

In Dayton

My watch says it's midnight, but it's only 11 in my mind, and back in Kansas. We have arrived in Dayton, Ohio where it is rain, rain, rain. We arrived after 8 PM and had the Bob Evans dinner. Now we hang out until tomorrow, when we have big plans to go all over town.

The actual Hamfest show does not start until Friday. We will go out and set up the trailer on our spot tomorrow afternoon.

You would think that 12 hours of driving would get really old, but we told stories and talked about everything that has happened since we were together last year. The fun has only begun!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cut R Loose!!!

We are on our way to Dayton, OH.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scooter Shop

This morning I rode the scooter up to the shop in old downtown Overland Park. This is an antique shop and quilt shop kind of downtown. For those of you that are in Iowa, it is like Valley Junction in West Des Moines.

They have an area for the farmers market which is held twice a week, under a roof that reminds me of an old railroad station. Years ago the train did stop in Overland Park, as it was an electric commuter train called the Strang Line. Mr Strang started the commuter and also brought people to the Park at the end of the train line. That became Overland Park.

Now with all the shops, it is a quaint downtown, and has my Scooter World shop in it as well. They are having a rally this weekend, and expect 125 enthusiasts to show up on Saturday. If I wern't going to Ohio, I would go for the day. Never been to a biker rally, wonder if I could muster the bad boy attitude. We maybe not too bad since the club is named Mad Toto. After the Wizard of Oz.

But maybe just a little naughty, since the activity this Saturday is called, "Red Slippers my A$$!"

They kept the little Red Scoot, as they feel they will need to order parts. And I came home empty handed. But never to worry, I am headed to Des Moines tomorrow, to head out on Wednesday for Dayton with the guys. We will be so busy that the scoot will never enter my mind.

So I mowed the yard this afternoon one more time, and gathered all the stuff to pack. Went to the bank to take out all my savings, and had some fun with a younger bank teller.

The drive thru gave me twenties and I went around to the teller and asked him to "color me up." He looked at me with inquisitive eyes, and just didn't do anything. I said into fifties. I asked if he had ever been to Vegas or had gambled. He said noooo, so I explained that giving small denomination chips to a dealer for much larger denomination chips was called "coloring me up."

Changing the chips color to larger denomination chips that are easier to carry around. I'm not sure he understood, but was pleasant and changed the money. Kansas is fairly protected! LOL

Retired Rod

Monday, May 11, 2009

Party at Mom's

Seems like it must have been Mother's day or something! At least all the kids came here tonight and made a fuss for their mother. Which is good since she thoroughly enjoys having the whole crowd here at once.

At one time she had all the kids at the table and was teaching them to play bingo. This past winter she wouldn't go near the community hall at the campground where they were playing bingo. But with the grandkids, that is all different.

I kind of veggied out all day, working some on the scooter in the garage this afternoon. I am taking it in again to have the turning signal and light switch looked at.

At first the problem was the turn signal not coming on to the left. But after they changed the switch, now the head lights will not do the momentary bright position when you are passing.

It somehow kills the entire headlights, even after you let it go. Then you are without lights no mater where you put the switch. Had to pull off the road completely when that happened. Kind of rattled the old novice rider here. Out after dark, in traffic, with no headlight. I got it to come back on, and went right on home without touching the switch at all.

I stopped by the shop on Saturday and asked about it but they didn't seem too concerned. Bring it by next week. They think I am an old duffer that doesn't know enough to even start the bike, let alone ride the thing. I have no business bothering them, because I am so stupid. But they seem to be able to take my money all right. They were friendly before they sold me the bike.

I am getting ready to leave for Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday, and the excitement is growing. A week with the boys. Oh my!

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We are getting together later this afternoon, after all the naps are taken! The kids will be much easier to be with once this is accomplished.

Everyone have a nice day.........

Trip to Des Moines

Back home in the middle of the night. We went to Des Moines today and visited Loyce's father in the retirement home. This is a nice place that is in the old posh area of Des Moines. Many big money folks had mansions in this area of town from the 1920's on to today.

These are old big stately homes that are 70 to 100 years old. This takes a certain mind set to live in these dusty old joints. But the retirement home is right on Grand Avenue in the middle of the area. It is part of the Methodist Conference of Iowa, and LeRoy has served with them for more years than I should report.

Also visiting was her brother Paul, so we spent some time with him as well. With tonight being a trip to When Pigs Fly Barbeque. I have not had time to look up the web site and create a link. Also attending and suggesting the joint, was sister Betsy. She paid too. Can't beat that huh. Thanks Betsy.

So we drove back home this evening arriving at almost midnight. After 450 miles and a full day I am beat, so this will have to end right here.

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fun calling the Doctor

Today we had the Three year old grand daughter here all day. She is a delight to have around and played with all of the toys here which are different than the toys at her house. We have a kitchen and a doll house with furniture. A little girls delight.

So not much else got done here besides waiting for the Doctor's office to call back from my visit the other day. You call in and put your name on their list, and then hang by the phone all day for them to call back. Finally at 2:30 I gave up and went over to Wendy's for a 99 cent burger, and they called immediately after I left.

So then you call back and can only talk to their answer machine, and put your name in again, but this time it is after 4 so they will call you tomorrow. Repeatedly, I pushed the zero button and finally an operator, receptionist answered. I explained the phone tag and that I had stayed home all day waiting. Could I please talk to the nurse that had been calling. Well she put me on hold, and then came back that they had to call me back but it would be yet today.

All of this to find out that I was fine and to just go ahead with the status quo. Steam! But I really am glad that the labs were great, but the way they go about things you think you may die while you get your call answered.

Tonight was ham club night, so I spent the evening at the club sponsoring church, and then later at Godfather's Pizza. We had a good informative meeting, and those of us going to Dayton exchanged phone numbers.

Tomorrow we may head out to Des Moines to see Loyce's dad. He is still in the nursing home.

Retired Rod

Friday, May 8, 2009


Its funny how prior experiences seem to transform into expectations. I have had bad experiences with having to sign for packages that come by UPS or FedEx. You are never home, and they put a door hanger on the door with instructions.

You call and find out that the place where they have taken your package is miles away. So when I read that the plastic box I ordered, for the back of the scooter may need a signature, I went into this worry.

I was building all theses scenarios in my mind, solving how I would deal with them. Worried that the package wouldn't arrive until after I left for Dayton next week.

So with trepidation, I checked the eMail, to see if the top case had been shipped. I had two messages, and the second message included a tracking number. Yea so far so good.

The tracking number showed that it had been shipped, and went from Minneapolis to Des Moines. Then to Kansas City and Lenexa. But then it said nothing about being out for delivery. I thought it came thru really fast, so maybe they would hold it a day.

Ding Dong!!! But the UPS guy was already back in his truck by the time I got to the door. My Box was in a cardboard box and on my door step. Why do I worry about things that could be a problem, just because it has happened before?

Ordered Monday night and it was at my door on Thursday. Shipped ground, for under ten pounds as it was marked. It couldn't weigh three. And for only $15 in shipping. Oh and handling fee and extra profit. But remember I saved almost $40 by ordering it, over buying locally.

So I pieced the thing together and mounted it on the back of the bike. It looks good! It has a mounting plate that is bolted down with allen headed screws and acorn nuts on the bottom. The case slides under some tabs in the back and locks down to the mounting plate as well as locking the case all with one key. They call it monolock.

So off I go to see if it will stay on the bike at speed. It rattles! Not badly, but just enough to be heard and anoy you. The rattle is the lid of the case against the bottom half. No foam rubber stops just plastic on plastic. I'll see if I can put up with it.

I went over into the Missouri side where the barbershop is that I go to, and put my helmet into the case when I went in. Boy is that a big help, as you are not carrying it with you everywhere.

Back home later this afternoon, I had to mow the yard again. It has rained almost every day since last Saturday when I mowed last. The grass made a big mess again, so I spent some time cleaning that up, and bang the day was gone.

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Back in KC

Has this ever been a long day. It started with climbing up and down our stairway checking out the electrical conduit to the dock. It is buried in the rock under the stairs. There are several boxes along the conduit, and each has wire nuts in them to connect it all together.

Lightening tends to blacken these connections. Taking each apart and cutting off enough wire to strip a new end and then putting new wire nuts on them, finally gave me power at the lower ground fault next to the sea wall.

Next I went to town and purchased a new GFI outlet. After installing this and a new cord keeper outlet cover, it all worked. I didn't have to dig up the conduit. Boy was I pleased!

However, as I was finishing this job, my son Chris was on the phone with a leaking water heater at his house, back in KC. We trouble shot this over the phone and fairly quickly determined a new heater was the order of the day.

I packed up hurriedly and drove back to KC by 6:30 tonight. Supper was at his house, as Mel made tacos. They hit the spot. We drug out the old heater, which seemed just as heavy as that tree we planted Sunday. We thought we had all the water out, but it dribbled all the way to the garage.

We slid the new one down the carpeted steps, making sure not to mess up the gas valve and fittings. It too was way too heavy, but gravity was in our favor.

And as is always the case, every pipe is a little longer or just a bit too short, so we were off to the Home Depot at 9PM. Good thing they stay open until 10. We finished around 11.

The water was on and nothing was leaking, from the copper joints we had to sweat. The gas lines were tested with soap suds, and we had no bubbles from them either. As I left, the fire was burning and everyone was waiting to get a shower.

Speaking of shower, I think I will go upstairs and get my second shower for the day. Perhaps tomorrow will be a little slower. Probably not!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back at the Lake

I drove back to the lake again today with a trunk full of electrical stuff.  Loyce chose to stay in KC.

She is going to the dentist to have some work done, and has trouble getting appointments, so she has to take them when she can.

I will be leaving to go to Dayton, Ohio next week, so I felt that I had better get after this electrical problem to see if I can fix it.

It is soooo quiet her without anyone else around.  Once in a while there will be a boat go by, but not much else to report, except the rain that comes every little while. 

I did sit out on the porch and just hang out after I arrived, (code for a nap).  Then I went into town for a smoked sausage and baked potato dinner.  Oh and of course the obligatory stop and Wal Mart.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Loyce to the dentist and a scooter top case.

We sat around here and did nothing today, well Loyce went to her dentist in the morning. I'm the guy that sat around.

In the afternoon, I had to get away, so I went to the bank and then the brokerage house. Not too exciting but at least it was out of the house. It looked like rain, so I took the car.

But then on a whim I went up to the scooter shop to price a top case luggage box for the back of the scooter. He quoted $130. But he told me $119 for the same item two weeks ago. I didn't say anything, I just left.

So this evening I have been researching the top case on the internet. It is from Italy and is made by a company called Givi. They seem to be the best and are expensive. Once I determined the model that I was looking at, I found that the MSRP is $100. That didn't set too well with me.

After many web sites, I ended up on ebay, found one for $90 and shipping. Came in at $105 and I could use Paypal and not give out the credit card info to the retailer. A DEAL!

So it is ordered. I would have had sales tax on the $130 so I'm about $40 to the good. I don't mind if they make a little extra profit, but that seems a bit much.

I am thinking that I will go back and attack the electrical problems at the lake tomorrow, if I can muster that much enthusiasm. Tomorrow is to be rainy so it will be a good day to travel, since I can't do much outside here.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!

Retired Rod

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bit off more than I bargained for!

The back fence party went on and on. They finally broke it off and went inside at somewhere beyond Three AM. This morning all the neighbors up and down our street were out discussing what could be done.

Seems that two of the folks had called the police, who refused to do anything or even call on the residence. They said since it is private property, that a complaint and a court order had to be in place before they would be able to do something. Do you believe that?

What was even more unsettling was that the party reconvened mid afternoon and they got loud all over again. More singing and loud whooping.

I had decided that today was plant a new tree day. In the back yard, where we have little in the way of landscaping.

I went to two nearby nurseries but ended up back over in Missouri at Suburban where I had purchased the evergreen a week ago.

The nursery is an experience in itself. It is on 25 or more acres, and is large enough that you see it by golf cart. The store is a huge greenhouse, but after going out the back you get issued your cart.

There are about eight more additional green houses and more fields full of trees and bushes. I drove at a leisurely pace and found the maple trees. On and off the cart finally selecting a specific tree. Driving back to the store with a tag from the tree, I made the purchase. This time with a merchandise pickup tag, I could drive my own truck out into nursery.

The two fellows couldn't speak a word of english, but understood exactly what the delivery ticket would require. They dug the tree out of the mulch with a forklift. That is when I began to understand I was in trouble. As they set the tree into the truck, it dropped on it's springs farther than it does with the loaded RV. Oh oh!

After I got home, I called my oldest son Chris and recruited the neighbor David, as the tree seemed to weigh atleast 500 pounds. Chris dropped it out of the truck by rolling it to the end of the gate, and it was all the three of us could do to drag it to the back yard. I had begun digging the hole while I waited for their arrival.

It took us over an hour to get the hole big enough to hold the root ball. The ground was wet and mostly clay so the digging was slow. Tonight the tree is in, the dirt is back over the top and the mulch covers the area like a bunch of pro's had worked at it. Those pro's are mostly sore though, as we never work that hard on a daily basis.

We had to go to the local bar and grill tonight, to help get our strength back, or you might say we were celebrating their aniversary, since that is today. Austin's is one of our favorie places here in Olathe.

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party and a Museum

Houses in town here in KC are in neat little rows. With not too deep of back yards. So the back yard fence is too close. Well for us fellows that have lived in a lot deeper lots anyway.

With that in mind, the neighbor one lot down and across the back lot is having a party tonight out on his deck. He rents that place, and renters never seem to care much about the other property owners. You know the drill.

They have obviously had quite a number of drinks as they are now into the whooping and hollering stage of the party. I can hear them as I sit here in my big chair. Not loud, as it is cold and the doors and windows are all closed, but they hopefully will give it up before bed time.

This would not be acceptable in a campground. You would have a visit from the ranger as it is after quiet hours, 10 PM even on a Saturday night. In order to calm these folks we would have to call the cops, and then we would be the people that would be shunned not them. So we will let it go. You country folks never have these kinds of problems.

Today was more work kind of day. We have had rain every day for the last week, and the lawn had to get mowed. But it was too wet, but it had to get mowed, so the grass balled all up under the mowers and I had to rake a bunch of it. We still have big clumps all over the place, so I will need to go over it again fairly quickly to break all that up. Worked on that for over two hours before noon.

The hams here in Olathe, Kansas have a museum out in the country, where a shop teacher that was a ham lived. When he died he left the place to a trust, and when the trust went broke, the city took it over. The local ham club acts as docents for the museum when it is open, and today they were opening it for the season.

I rode the bike out there and listened to the head guy tell a bunch of stories about when the old ham ran the station. He taught the morse code on the air. His sister was also a ham and this was their family farm as their parents purchased it in 1909. She died last and set up the museum trust.

If you are interested in this kind of thing they have a interesting web site to check out.

I have been reading this since I got back.

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fun at the Doctor's

I was up at 6:30 and out of the house at 7:30. Just like going to work, that I don't do any more. There is not much commuter traffic this far South in the city, but on the way to the Doctor's I pass three schools. They were a zoo.

The Doctor looked in one ear and the nurse into the other, and they didn't see each other. So I must have been fine. I was with the Doc for about a half an hour, and he was very thorough. Then on to the lab where they drain all that old nasty blood out. They claim it is for tests, but surely they must cast some of that off, as they couldn't do that many tests.

They were making noise about a sleep study, and then a colon scope, but I somehow dodged all those balls. Times are tough, and they all need to eat you know.

It was cold here as I returned home, in the early 50's, but I got dressed and rode the scooter over to get a full tank of gas. All 1.3 gallons of it. It uses premium at 2.13 a gallon. I had driven over 100 miles since the last fill up, but didn't keep records to do a mpg. Somewhere over 75 is about right.

Mid afternoon I was in the basement sorting electrical stuff and found 6 rolls of wire, to rewire the dock.

Since it was cold and rainy, I will let the weather move to the next pattern before I go back.

I made homemade Pizza tonight, which will make up for all the fasting for the blood work. Can't get too healthy you know.

I see I was taking some good natured ribbing about my plight with home repairs from Sandra of Nightly News. But then in the very next blog I read, RVing with Poppa, Dortha was explaining how happy they were to finally leave the motorhome factory after many days. Perhaps there is a balance somewhere in this, but it would seem that repairs occur in both lifestyles.

My problems will keep me occupied and out of trouble for a while! LOL

Retired Rod

Friday, May 1, 2009

Trip back to KC

It was overcast and looked like rain any minute, so I scurried to the dock to cover the pontoon. As I was finishing, I decided that there was nothing I would be able to do with the wiring in a down pour.

I bolted the electric boxes back together and headed for the house as it began to rain. I added some tape to the connection between the drop cords in order that the ground fault at the plugged end wouldn't trip.

We packed and were on the road by about noon. Lunch became McDonalds in Versailles, Mo. It rained all the way home.

It was dry here for about two hours which let us unload the car, but then as I was returning the old boat battery at Sam's Club, it began to pour here as well. Seems like I could have driven the pontoon home instead of the car! LoL

Tonight has been catch up on the blog reading and left over bean soup from the day last week. Got to have good numbers at the Doc's office tomorrow, or the lecture will begin!

Well in the last several years I have not made the numbers they want even though I eat all sugar free stuff. Then they give you more pills. And the lecture!

Retired Rod