Saturday, July 31, 2010

We arrive at Colorado Springs, almost!

I think I am going to be a little more like Al, of the Bayfield Bunch and write some in Live Writer as I think of it.  Usually it is way late at night when I Get Around To saying hey, I gota do a blog.  And then the content suffers.

We were up before, well,,, 7:30 anyway.  The park was so quiet all night, but we did have one other family that arrived about 11:30.  He was setting up the travel trailer, and she looked way tired.  I went about my bathroom visit and stayed clear of their site.  They were not outside when we left.

We cleaned up inside of the coach and tried to put a lot of stuff away rather than having it piled everywhere.  Typical first night adjustments.  Scrub the tile floor and rearrange the fridge.  You know the drill.

I had us out of our site and over to the dump station before 9 and then up town getting fuel.  By 9:30 we were on the big highway.  I wanted to get most of the trip out of the way, so I set our sights on Colorado Springs.  I had chosen a park 15 miles East in the small town of Falcon.  Falcon Meadows RV.

While on the road I called and asked if I needed a reservation.  Well yes you do.  So after several calls back and forth they found a spot. And that settled it we were driving 290 miles! But we gained an hour going into mountain time!

It was getting hot but we were climbing as we went West!  Lunch came at Wendy’s in Goodland, KS.  We pulled into the parking lot and backed into the absolute rear corner.  It was an old Wendy’s and they didn’t have a $1 value menu.  And of course I am tight!!  But managed anyway. As we left, I noted that it was in the 90’s and the sun was really heating things up. We were at about 4,000 feet altitude.

We turned the corner onto US 24 at Limon, and headed for Colorado Springs.  There was some construction. A flag man and folks working on the shoulders of the road, but we made it right thru.  Three hundred miles gets longer on the second day of driving, and we were both wishing we would get there. Somewhere in there it became overcast and started to cool down as we climbed toward the mountains.

Falcon Meadows is an older commercial park at 6,800 feet.  It is second generation family owned.  The folks are as nice as you can get.  It is not rows and rows of parallel spots. Rather it is kind of all over the place, with a circle road and parallel sites to a center circular area of grass.  Our site is facing into that playground grass area.  Kids are running around and families are enjoying themselves.  This place is pleasant!

Over the tops of the trees, you can see the big mountain of Pikes Peak in the distance.  It is overcast and raining late this afternoon, so that view is limited right now.  The entrance to this park is an older convenience store and does not look very appealing from the road, but turns out to be much better once you are inside the grounds.  The many positive reviews on RVPark Rieviews.Com couldn’t be all wrong.

Oh, and its about 80 outside, but the rain cooled that some, and the AC ran for a while and shut off.  Of course now I can hear the highway, but at least it isn’t an interstate!


We went into the bedroom town of Falcon, and found many newer stores and an anchor  Wal-Mart.  By that time the temperatures had dropped into the 50s.  The rain has turned into a cold shower that has hung on for hours.  I was dreaming of cooler weather, but this is a drastic change from the heat of the Kansas prairie.  My shorts seem out of place now.

With the time change, we feel like it is the middle of the night, but actually it is barely past ten.  We may need heat by morning!  I hope not!!

Retired Rod

Friday, July 30, 2010

Headed West

We are such creatures of habit.  Tonight we are parked in Ellis, Kansas next to the little lake in the city park.  We parked here last year on our first night out.  I went back and looked at the picture, and we are on the same spot.  Now how did I do that?  Must be my spot LOL.   Last Years Blog and pictures of the spot!

I had to wipe out a spammer comment as I signed on, as I have turned on comment moderation for posts older than two weeks, and yep they get you, back in the older posts.  So watch that if you follow suit with word verification off!

We loaded a bunch more stuff that we will never use, and have to trip over for the next week or two, and so I declared we were done.  Lets go!  Well Loyce wasn’t all that done, but she declared it was over and away we went.

Of course it has to get hot as we zoomed into the 90’s almost at once.  We left around 10:30 AM and by 11:30 we were in Lawrence, KS and I saw a 92 on a sign board.   Yikes, its going to be another scorcher.  I had just the dash air running, but by 2 PM it wasn’t keeping up.

We pulled in at Junction City, next to Fort Riley at an Arby Roast Beef.  There wasn’t enough room to park anywhere, so I pulled crossways in front of the store.  With togo bag in hand, I couldn’t get out. The lot went around a corner that was too tight to make with the MH.  I backed up and swung wide, running over the nice curb and landscaping.  

Then it was a tight left turn to get out to a side street.  Couldn’t come anywhere close to that turn.  Had to back up again watching that I didn’t hit the Arby building behind me.  With three jockey moves, I made it out of the parking lot.  Just for a sandwich.

We went across the street to Wal-Mart’s outer parking lot to eat.  At least they have corners that can be negotiated.  I dialed Ellis into the GPS, and found that we had 150 miles left to go!  Well lets get a move on!  We ratcheted it up to 65 mph and headed West.

Progressively, I had to add AC units as I drove.  First the generator and the front roof AC, but it worked hard and didn’t make much of a difference.  Then the bedroom AC at a rest stop.  Together, and with the dash AC on recirculate, it began to not get hotter. 

The city park here has 30 amp and water, with a dump over by the bath house.  So tonight we are living with one AC and a fan, but it has greatly cooled off as dark approaches, and we won’t need anything more.  We’ll switch to the bedroom AC when we retire, and it will freeze us by morning!!

The city cop just came by and collected the $15 for the night, asking if we were sure we didn’t want two nights.  Uh, well, not really.  So we are settled in for the night here in the smallest of Kansas towns, about 2 miles off the interstate.  But we do have the train that goes thru the center of town.  Whooo, whooo !!!

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rig's back again!

Just back from an after dark motor cycle ride.  Well it was light when I started but the night caught up with me.  Since it is in town riding the street lights have most of the streets lit anyway.

My helmet has a smoke face shield, and I have a clear one under the seat, but I put it on very seldom.  Lazy, I guess. At some point it isn't legal to use a dark wind screen, but I rationalize that I would just change it if stopped.  Probably with a fresh ticket in my hand, LOL.

The motorhome came over about 11 AM this morning, and I decided to keep it here.  I can't do that for more than a single night, but it was again 96 degrees with 85 percent humidity this afternoon.  The analog dial was off the chart so I have quit looking at it.

Since we don't have anything more than 15 amp in the garage, and we are running the fridge with it, the AC has to stay off.  I wouldn't take a chance on wrecking it with such a poor connection.

Loyce is loading all her stuff tonight after dark, but its still 89 or so and 81 dripping percent humidity.  The fridge was nice and cool this morning when we brought it home, so starting it at night is just the ticket.

And yes you folks that can keep your RV right at home like a second house are very spoiled.

And one last thought, I had 9 comments with the security off, and not a one was spam, and not even verbal abuse, LOL, so it will stay off for a while, and thanks for the nice thoughts and concerns about our sweltering heat.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting stuff done!

I can't help but wonder, what I can write about, on a night after working all day.  As usual, the heat has returned, and it zaps the strength right out of me.

I knew that it was to be hot again, so I was outside with the lawn mower at 7:30 this morning.  I ran the push mower first, trimming the entire yard before the sun cranked up the heat.   But as I was zooming around on the riding tractor, my hat began to drip.  I needed to get this over with and fairly soon.

But that didn't happen, as the weed wacker had its turn next.  My shirt was soaked.  I couldn't stop though because the motorhome was next on the list.  I had to go get it.

As you know it is mostly black, or so dark blue it looks black.  It was 120 inside when I got there.  About all you can do is put the dash air on your face, and grin and bear it.  I have the defroster fans turned around facing the driver, but all they blow is hot air.

We have a problem out here in suburbia that none of the gas stations have diesel fuel.  We drove for miles with the car one night before we located a Phillips-Conoco quick stop about 2 miles away that has one pump.  Once driving the rig, I headed there to fill it up.  It was only down about 20 gallons at $2.79.  I got into the station and filled without parking lot issues.  Their business was slow and that made it better for me.  The motor home is so long that it covers three sets of pumps in order to have the gas door in the back next to the diesel hose.

The rig sat out in front of the house for the afternoon as I thought of stuff to put in and take out.  It was 96 degrees when I was out checking the tires for air pressure.  They were all OK, but it has been months since they were checked.  Had to dash back into the AC after that little exercise.

As the sun was setting, I drove it back to the storage lot and turned on the LP fridge.  Perhaps it will cool itself off during the night when the sun isn't so hot.

So tonight I am sitting here wondering what I should have  done that was forgotten.  But then that is what tomorrow is for!

We are heading for Colorado Springs with our kids and grandkids for a group camping adventure, but it is still up in the air when we will all make it there.

Its after 10 PM and the digital temperature gauge reads 82 with 84 percent humidity, down from 97 degrees this afternoon.  When ever we get there, it won't be soon enough!

Retired Rod

P.S. As of tonight, the word verification for comments is off, and I don't moderate until after it is posted.  If the spammers start to get me, I'll have to go the other way!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Night photos in Heritage Park

Messin with the camera again, I was over in Heritage Park again at dark.  I was on the motorcycle and didn’t have the tripod with me so holding the camera steady was a challenge. 


They play baseball on the other side of the dam, under the lights.  It adds an eerie cast to the little lake.


Zoomed in, it is actually quite dark out by now.  Intelligent Auto used ISO of 1600, too dark and noisy.

I had to start pushing the exposure, as this second shot is 2 stops farther open.  I was using a railing as a tripod.  Forcing the ISO back to 400 and using Program modes.


With the lens opened up shooting off toward the West where the sun was only a memory!


Not too bad for a point and shoot $300 camera.  I think the Panasonic is a keeper!  However, I was not able to use Intelligent Automatic for these shots.  It wasn’t up to the task. I tried both aperture and shutter preferred but settled for shutter preferred as there is not enough difference in the aperture settings to capture the low light.

Had I needed any more than 2 EV of added light, I would have had to go to full manual.  I did get the job done without it.  I am amazed at the lower noise level in the shots with minimal lighting.  Most of my former digital cameras would have been so grainy that the subject would have become secondary.

I think taking pictures on the edge of the camera’s capability is a good way to distinguish one camera from another.

Cell Phone Troubles

Today I tried to find a solution to our cell phone problem from this weekend.  Sometime on Friday, Loyce accidentally dropped her blackberry into the sink as she was unloading swimming stuff from her bag.  There was just enough water to ruin it.  Damn the luck!

We tried the home remedy suggested on the internet site of leaving it in a bowl of rice for three days.  That made it come on, but the display is toast!!

Since these things are purchased on a two year contract, and we are only one year into the period, there is no solution other than paying full list price for a new phone.  Man that is an eye opener!  Otherwise they will help some with the price, IF you sign another 2 year agreement. 

We are not convinced that cell service is headed in the contract direction, as more companies are selling the phones outright and charging a lot more reasonable rates for unlimited services.  Trouble is you have to pay off the contract with a penalty to get out of the monthly.  So pay for a new phone, or pay half or more of a new phone and extend the contract for 2 more years!  How do you win in these choices?

We studied and studied.  Also since we are leaving in the very near future, we do not have time to get the phone shipped to us before we leave.  So late in the day, I went over to Wall Mart and bought a prepaid phone for under $100 and we put the sim card out of the drowned phone in it.  It came right up and works nicely.  Not with near as many features, but perhaps it will tide us over until the contract expires, and we can make a better decision based on technology and availability at that time.

I just hate it when companies have your hands tied into an expensive price, and expensive monthlies.  They seem to have to make a home run on everyone!

Retired Rod

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last day at the lake!

We spent much of the day out on the pontoon again.  But it was overcast when we left, and after anchoring off the shoreline of the local church camp, it began to rain.

The kids didn't care a bit as they were in the lake and wet anyway!  I sat under the bimini top and the rain was foiled.  Well as long as we didn't move anyway.  It kind of let up, and the swimmers were done, so we just idled along.

The sun never did come back out, but the rain subsided enough that we continued our boating trip.  We ended up in our old cove where we sold our former lake home. There have been a number of changes, including a new dock at our old house.  I said hi to one of the old neighbors, but I am sure he didn't know who we were.  We've been gone now for seven years.

Once back on our dock, the demeanor changed into the get ready to leave mode.  Stuff gets put away and the boat is covered.  It was still 5:30 by the time we got on the road.

We are safely back in KC tonight, and our thoughts are turned more toward the upcoming vacation!!

But that's tomorrow's job!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Old Swimmin Hole

We decided that we needed to boat our behinds off today.  We were out before 10 AM, and before it became unbearably hot.  It seemed cooler as we headed down the middle of the main channel, but the heat was still there.  We just were not as aware of it as we were moving right along.

The kids like to swim in different places all over the lake, and every now and then I stop at Snake Island.  So today was a Snake Island day.  This is a very small strip of land that is out in the middle of the Western curve of the lake at about 7 mile marker.  There are three islands in a row, and at various times folks have attempted to build homes out there.  But without enough land to make a septic system work, sewer becomes the issue.

Snake island is so small that there isn't enough land to build anything at all.  It is about a mile in all directions to connected land, so electricity is also impossible as well.

Years ago, some of the locals over on the mainland placed a gas grill and some cheapy plastic lawn chairs out there.  Most folks arrive by a small boat, and have no way to remove the items from the island.  So every now and then, we will boat past late at night and see a camp fire and tents.

But today we were the only folks to tie up along the gravel bar on the West side.  The wind was from the South at a fairly good clip, so we anchored out away from the beach and let the rope pay out as we beached.  Ben hopped off the bow and quick like tied the bow to one of the trees at the waters edge.

We have some heavier rope that we use as dock ropes when we are tied in rough water, so those came out.  Tied to the middle of the pontoon, we strung those out to another tree farther South.  This stabilized the pontoon on the beach, so we could swim without worrying that the boat would get loose.

There are large piles of rocks on each end of this little strand of land, so loosing the boat in the wind is not an option.  We swam for about two hours.  People came and left along the West shore as we actually had the premier spot to tie up.

Finally we were all shrivelled and cold, so we pulled away too.  We boated down to about the 20 mile marker where the lodge of the four seasons has a golf course along the shore.  By then we were hot again and swam some more.

When you spend a lot of the day on the water, it is quite tiring, and it kills the grandkids.  They get so tired they they can't sleep, so tonight was difficult getting everyone to bed.

We can't have these kind of days once the temperatures fall, so today makes memories for the rest of the year!!

Retired Rod  

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thank You!

We greatly appreciate all of the nice comments that we have received.  Thank you! 

We have spent the day on the phone with family members, and then our family has arrived here at the Lake of the Ozarks.  It has been decided to put off the funeral until the family can all be together.  That will be later in the summer.

We have just hung out on the dock today, not taking the boat out or leaving other than I took the red motor scooter to McDonlads.  It seemed quite hot as I rode thru town up by the dam.  They have a 25 mph limit thru the shops, and the cars go slower than that.  They all have their AC on and the cars just radiate heat!

We did go to Pizza Hut tonight with our grand daughter, and it was.....well, mostly terrible.  Now that they have the everything for $10 it seems to have taken a turn for the worse!  We probably will skip that in the future.

So the day is over and we are getting ourselves back under control. 

Tomorrow will be a better day, I'm sure.

Retired Rod

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rev. LeRoy E Bauman 1916 to 2010

Since we are getting searches concerning LeRoy's death I thought I would post this Obit.

Leroy wrote this himself to Ralph Ostenbaugh of the Cedar Memorial Funeral Home just in case he might pass.  This was about ten years ago.

Dear Ralph,

I am no doubt having by-pass, valve surgery this week at the Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Ia.  The chances for success are very good, but I wanted you to have these wishes and obituary on file.

Leroy was born in Denver, Iowa on October 15, 1916 to Louis H. Bauman, sr. and his wife, Meta Meyer.  He was educated at East Waterloo High School, graduating in 1935.

Leroy was awarded a B.A. Degree at Iowa State Teacher’s College in 1940 and an S.T. B. Degree from Boston University School of Theology, Boston, Mass. In 1943.  He completed the residential work on a Ph. D Degree at Boston University Graduate School during the years following.

Leroy married Loyce M. Miller on Dec. 25, 1941, the 39th Anniversary of his parents.  He is survived by Kathryn Bauman Harmsen and her two sons, Erik and Paul, of Peach Tree City, Ga., Leroy E. Bauman, II of Des Moines, Iowa, Loyce M. Ivers, her husband Rod, of Urbandale, and two sons, Christopher and Ben; Paul Kermit Bauman of Kansas City, Mo. And his two daughters, Amanda and Alison, Christina Mueller of Postville, Ia.  And her two daughters, Natalie and Lindsay Loy, Thayer Louis Bauman of Aurora, Illinois, his wife, Pamela, and children Spencer and Dana, and Betsy Blythe Bauman of Urbandale, Ia. And a sister, Demaris Thompson of Jesup, Iowa.  He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and two brothers, and a grandson, Leroy E., III.

Leroy was an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church and served churches in Fall River, Mass., Bridgewater, Mass., Lime Springs-Chester, Ia., Grundy Center, Ia., West Branch-Springdale, Iowa, First United Methodist Church, Mason City, Ia., Kimball Avenue United Methodist in Waterloo, Ia., and Kenwood Park United Methodist in Cedar Rapids, Ia. He was a member of the Iowa United Methodist Conference.

Leroy served on the Board of Missions and the Board of Education of the former North Iowa United Methodist Conference and was the chairman of the Town and Country Commission.

Leroy was also very active in youth activities and directed several high school youth camps.  During his career he also had been a member of the Rotary and Lions” Clubs.  He served as chairman of the Fall River, Mass., Mason City and Waterloo Ministerial Committees.

Leroy was active in community activities wherever he lived and served at times on the Red Cross, Visiting Nurses, Eagle Boy Scouts Boards, and Rotary Club Committees.

Leroy was a devoted husband and father and grandfather, and deeply loved his wife, Loyce, and their seven children.  And ten grandchildren.

Now ten years after this was written, he now has 7 great grand children as well.  With his death yesterday, this obituary written so many years ago is now final.  He has touched so many lives that there is no way to know how much good work he has accomplished.

If you care to leave a comment as to how he was involved in your life or your memories, please do so.

Retired Rod

The passing of Rev LeRoy Bauman

We lost the final corner stone of our family today, as Loyce’s father, Leroy Bauman passed away around noon.  He was in a Nursing facility in Des Moines, where he has been a resident for the last several months. With his loss we now have no living parents.

Last winter when we were in Arizona, dad suffered a stroke that set him back, and made it hard for him to be alone.  He lived with Loyce’s sister Betsy in their home in Urbandale, Iowa.

With his passing, I have lost an avid blog reader, as he often would read my scribbles here on the web site.  He thought it was great, as he could keep up with us in our travels and daily thoughts.  I privately wondered what he really thought, as he was an English major before he went to divinity school.  But ever his gracious self, he would compliment me for the writings!

When he could no longer work the computer, Betsy would often  print out some of the blogs for him to read.  He wanted to go see the motorhome last summer, even though he would have been too weak to climb the stairs into the door.  He loved travel, and would encourage us to go see everything.

Dad was 93 last fall when his birthday rolled around, and had been retired for many years.  As a minister, he had served 8 churches and so many parishioners that it would be hard to even know the number.  He was an approachable  and likeable fellow that folks bonded with almost instantly.

He refused to see bad things in any person, but rather sought the things that were right and commendable. Perhaps one of the most positive folks I have ever met.

There are so many things I could say here, but perhaps it will be summed up by dad we’re going to miss you!

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Riding out in the Country

Since we are going to be gone for several weeks,  today was overdose on the Burgman day.  I headed out about 1:30 and rode to the storage lot to look in the motorhome and see how the storm last night did with its blowing wind driven rain.

I just barely squeaked by on that one.  It was sprinkling BIG drops as I ducked into the garage with the motor bike last night. Big blotches on the front screen of my helmet!  And it rained for most of the night, off and on.  Still wet today until about noon.

But no leaks were apparent, so that is good.  From there, I rode off to the South down Metcalf Ave. As I got to Stillwell a small burg out of our area here, I found a storage place that I didn’t know about.  Not locked or fenced, but the folks live right on the property.  Hmmmm…….

From there I rode down to Rutlander, the even smaller burg that I was looking for several days ago.  This is another  Camp Ground locally here to KC.  Rutlander Outpost, RV Park.  We have very few so I wanted to check it out.


This is more than a Campground, it is a country music theater, and an outpost shop, and a church and a bunch of other stuff.  There is a big line of buildings. But I didn’t take a picture of all of them as they were mostly empty and unused.

Here is the campground from the back fence in a panographic  picture.


Its your basic gravel and grass full hookup park.  No amenities except the country music show on Saturday night.  They do have a small restaurant in the show building.  But I didn’t go in to check it out.

But they do get entertainment from Branson, Mo. and some of it is names that are recognizable.

This was an antique shop, I think.


So if you were out here on a Saturday night, and you had no other plans…..  But you have to like Country Music!

Recognizable? Well, maybe not.

From there I rode over to Paola, Ks about 10 miles to the West.  I was getting hot by then, as  it was 95 or so outside.  Not 102 or some of the nasty numbers we have been having, mind you, but still hot unless you are going 60.  And I was.

Lunch at Micky D’s with a big glass for ice cold diet pop!  And the AC was on inside the dining room. Not nirvana but close. LOL.

From there I rode back to Spring Hill and the motorcycle shop PowerSports4Less.  I hadn’t been there since the day of the group ride back in June.  I tried on expensive helmets, and gloves, but ended up just buying a throttle device to keep your hand from cramping. 

The owner had a new Can Am Spyder, the big one!  It’s a front wheel trike, and blue just like the picture. So we had to go ogle over that.  It costs $25K!!!  He really needs to sell more helmets, I think!!! LOL.


By that time it was after 4PM and I knew that the girls would be waking from their nap.  We had the 5 year old over to swim with grandma this morning, so they get tired. 

Tonight the Burgman is put up for a while.  And we will be taking grandkids to the lake for this weekend.  Hated to miss the big show down in Rutland, but I guess there will be others that will make it!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One more day closer to departure.

Yesterday's Blog

As the comments came in, it became obvious that more folks than I realized had narrow screen laptops and desktop monitors.  And, that there was not a slide bar at the bottom of the screen that allowed for viewing the rest of my tables that held the pictures.

So at first I explained it away with a comment at the bottom, but then that began to work on me, and then Gipsy chimed in that she couldn't see it all either, and she has a fairly new laptop, so that meant it needed changed.

So late afternoon, I went back into Live Writer and changed the table size back to 675 pixels wide, from the previous 900. Then divided up the columns into equal sizes and resized the pictures.  As I reposted, I watched on my 15 inch monitor on the Ubuntu machine. 

I think we have a successful blog post for yesterday now.  So if you couldn't see it all, go back and look again.  But for those on wide screens, it made it a little less impressive.  But you can click on the pictures and they will expand to a full screen height.

That is the problem with wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) programming, because that is not always true.  Better look with several screens and browsers!

Insurance Issues

Enough about that, I am working on redoing the insurance on the motorhome, and have directly challenged my direct write insurance agent to explain why the Escapees and the Good Sams of the world condemn ordinary car insurance for your RV.  Even Geico gets into the act.

He called me back tonight and wanted to know the exact MSRP of the rig and its associated options.  He is working on what the adjusted value would be for a total loss.  Since we are doing stated value insurance, we need to know what the number would be.

The thing that some of the companies are doing is providing replacement cost insurance in case of a total loss.  If five years or newer.  Total it and they will buy you a comparable new one.  My direct write agent says they simply don't offer that coverage from his company. Many of the other reasons to buy from Poliseek and the others seems to be centered around full timers that do not otherwise have a homeowners policy to back stop the liability issues.

Also the homeowners covers the contents of the RV in a total loss.  So I am learning, and the agent is having to do his homework to underwrite me this time.  I'll continue to report on these findings as I learn more.

One other thing I did today, was to order a Surge Guard 50 Amp power protector.  This is a bit expensive, and I have known that I needed one since I started back into RV ing.  After reading Ellie and Jim's blog about their electric pedestal burning up with arching and popping as it slowly fried itself, I can't put it off any longer.

Yes and after talking with the insurance agent, and him saying that a power pedestal that burns up is a maintenance issue not and insurance issue.  If it is lightening in a storm that causes a surge that burns up the electronics, your covered.  But the wiring burning up on a hot day because it is old or not up to the job of way too many AC units running, that's maintenance!  The insurance company doesn't cover your starter motor when a bad battery causes it to fail.

Since we can't all stay in perfectly maintained parks, the surge protector seems like really cheap insurance.  At least I'll sleep better.  I bought it from Camping World and hope that it ships in time for us to take it with us to Colorado.

Do you folks have these surge protectors? Yes Al, I know you are never plugged in, but its summer now.

I've gone on here long enough!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Messin with Live Writer Beta

We again saw 40C or 104 on the back wall thermometer today.  I’ve decided to quit bit---n about it.  Remember last winter when it snowed a ton while we were here at Christmas.  I’d have traded all the 40C weather I could get about then.  LOL

But that said, I didn’t start the scooter all day.  Not even tonight.  I went out to the garage about 8PM and it was still sweltering, so I got the car key and left.  I had gone out for a Wendy’s about 2 in the afternoon, and took the car then too.  Boy that first little while when the AC is blowing its dragon breath is worse than the scooter!

The most important thing I did today was read Rick’s Blog!  He wrote about Live Writer, and the beta version that is out.  In his post he explains a lot of what he has learned and gives the link to download the new software.  At the end he recommends the new software and says he is not going back!

Well if Rick thinks its great, that’s enough for me, so I downloaded it.  And I am writing with it as I post this. I think it is a keeper!  Go get it! You can figure it out! It’s a lot better with pictures!

DSCN1339 DSCN1340
DSCN1343 DSCN1341
DSCN1342 These pictures are taken at Helen Keller’s girlhood home, Ivy Green, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. We stopped there one afternoon when we were down there to get the RV serviced.  It was late and they had closed the house up.  The caretaker was waiting at the gate for us to leave, but I didn’t know it.  I was walking around taking these pictures.  But since we didn’t get to actually go in, I never reported on it.

To read more about Helen Keller’s Birth Home,

click HERE.

I have inserted these pictures into a simple table, and edited them to size so they can be displayed side by side. It will be too wide for a narrow monitor, but I am hoping that most of you have the wider screen.  If not you may have to use your scroll slide at the bottom.  As Rick has reported, you can set up your photos as you like them and then set that default as your standard upload.  I have used a little different background than Rick picked, and added the watermark.  It stored it as a default and added it to everything from that point on, without me going back and doing it over and over!   Sold!!!!

One thing to remember, is that this is a complete update of windows live, and if you use live mail or any of the other live programs, you will get the entire update.  So if your partial to the email you have now………… Your mileage may vary.

I am not trying to steal Rick’s fine post on this program and its use, please go read his blog if you haven’t done so already and download the program.  In about 10 minutes you will wonder where this has been all your life!

We are still talking about Colorado, and it looks like it should be a go!  First, we have to go back to the lake and secure everything there for while we are gone.  We also need to see if the woodpecker has knocked the humming bird feeder for a loop!


Give this new version a try, even if you gave up on the old software, it is new and fresh and should be easier to understand.  You can ask questions of Rick or myself, and I will attempt to answer.  Rick is much better at software training, but for simple things, I can answer too.


Retired Rod

P. S. As much as it pains me, I came back and reformatted this for the narrow screen folks!!!

Click on any photo and get the full screen view.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday is still Hot!

Again we had temps higher than 100 degrees F.  The needle touched the 40C mark on the inside dial.  We stayed inside, not even opening the door to sample the air.  We already knew it was more than we would be able to stand.

I left the motorcycle in the garage and felt happy to do it.  I very much enjoy riding, but the heat so totally exhausts me that today anyway, I decided it wasn't worth it.

That gives me nothing to report around here except that more magazines are now read, and the computer was studied for much of the afternoon.

I was surprised at having several comments on my passing mention of going to Colorado sometime in the next coming weeks.  We have no reservations, and no itinerary, but the grandkids will stop first to do the Colorado Springs stuff.  We have our sights set on farther West, but may stop and spend a night or so with them on the way.

We all seem to have different ideas of what we would like to do in Colorado.  I'm thinking Black Canyon and Ouray, but I am chicken to drive the motorhome to Silverton.  From there South doesn't look too inviting on the map either.  Have any of you made that trip?

Late tonight I headed out on the bike just to kill cabin fever.  It was close to dark, but the temperature was still in the 90's.  It did seem much cooler with the sun over the horizon.  I went to the store and grabbed a quick sandwich, and was only out about an hour.

So nothing new here, so I'll end on a very laid back Sunday.

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Even hotter!

It isn't often that I see this thing read 40 C.  Ya that is a 104 F.  I think it is reading too hot, as I only had a 100 on the electronic model.  But then the electronic model could be reading too low.

When I left Wal-Mart about 15 minutes before this picture was taken, the motorscooter was reading 101.  It changed to 102 when I was in the middle of downtown, and then went back to 100 when I got home.  So somewhere in that range was our actual temperature.

I had on all the mesh jacket and pants when I was riding, but I cannot go for more than about 15 minutes, and I have to get parked and into a store or something.  I resist doing the bar thing, but one does what one has to do.  I my case it was park in the garage and hide in the AC.

Our day here was an easy one, as we had the 3 year old here all afternoon, and grandma took her swimming at our subdivision pool.  I'm not sure what I did, but it wasn't any type of work! LOL.

Mostly computer and reading.  Oh and I messed with the new camera figuring out the HD video function.  I was using the HD AVCHD lite format, as that is the one that I was not familiar with.  It works flawlessly, recording HD and compressing it into a file that is not much larger than the old non HD Motion Jpeg.

I was concerned that the Windows 7 Media Player would not be able to play it back.  But not to worry, it played back without a hitch.  This laptop is a full 16x9 screen model, and the HD fills it from side to side.  I was very pleased.

I have not found something suitable to load up to you tube as a test of their acceptance of the AVCHD file format, but I would be very surprised if they didn't accept it.  They have to be right on top of this stuff as it is their business.

Otherwise we went out to dinner at 54th street bar and grill, a local chain here in KC.  We are beginning to discuss with our son and daughter in law plans to head out of KC for a little vacation.  These plans are made in Jello, but include Colorado as a destination.

Sitting here when the thermometer is over 100 doesn't seem like the brightest thing to do when you have a portable house!

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 17, 2010

More of the same

I was up at 7 AM this morning, as I just had to mow the lawn.  Or so I was informed by leadership.  The garbage truck had arrived and banged their packer truck and crushed everything several times.

I surmised that no one could be asleep now, so I started the John Deere about 7:30.  It was about 85 by then, but it still felt much cooler than yesterday.  Of course it was humid, and the hot riding lawnmower made me hot fairly quickly.

It almost seemed cooler when I began to trim with the walk behind Lawn Boy.  But of course after a little bit of the trimming, I really got hot and had to quit for a while.  By about 10:30 we had made the 90's again.  I finished and put it all away in the garage.

We had to go after the Camry, as the bumper cover had been painted and was finished yesterday.  They called right at 5 PM when the traffic was at a peak for us to come and get it.  I called and explained that we were at least 45 minutes away in the evening rush hour.  And of course I was washing on the motorhome and didn't want to go anyway, so they agreed to keep it over night.

It was after noon when I got home.  Since I had been out side all day yesterday in the heat, today I loafed around inside and messed with the computer.  After reading all the blogs about voice recorders by Al of the Bayfield Bunch and Gypsy of on the Road, and Rick up in BC, I had to mess with my Blackberry phone and its recorder.

I spent a good share of the afternoon deciding what software it took to play the Blackberry file on the Windows 7 PC.  Windows media player turned up its nose at the file, stating that it had never heard of such a thing.

Rick and I up in BC got to exchanging Email and messing with the files, but determined that both Real Player and Quick Time from Apple would play the sound files from the Blackberry.  Rick sent me a sound file from the itouch, and it played on the windows 7 machine and the blackberry.

So not only can you use these voice recorders to make notes to yourself, you can email the files to others if you want to explain things by voice rather than type a lengthy email.  That is rather cool!

Boy speaking of cool, we had a cool front come thru here and cool us off about 6 PM.  It rained in sheets, covering the windows with water so hard that it was impossible to see out.  The wind blew branches out of trees all around us.

So tonight it is 74 outside, but with all the rain it is a dripping wet 85 % humidity.  But the AC is off for a while!  I'm sure that will change in the morning.

Retired Rod

Friday, July 16, 2010

Washing the Motorhome

I knew it was really hot out there when I came inside and it felt like a deep freeze in the house!

This old thermometer is called Acu Rite, but it reads a little warmer than it actually is.  But I about had heat stroke, as I drank a full liter of water in about one swallow.

Hey this one's an Acu Rite too.   But it thinks it is 96 outside, and the humidity is 62 percent.  But the trend of the temperature is UP!!!!  The battery is shot in the wind sensor, and I haven't replaced it so that part of the device is blank.  Gotta love that indoor reading of 75 and 38 percent.

So which one is right?  Who knows, the sensor is about 6 inches away from the analog gauge.  So they should be reading the same thing.  But all I knew was it was way too hot to be washing the motorhome!

It didn't seem all that bad when I started, but the sweat just ran from me.  The coach hadn't been washed in weeks, so it had all those streaks on it that the rain makes.  Had to scrub with the brush on the pole.  Then it comes out all water spotted even though I was using Rain X soap to wash it with.  They advertise no spots.

Ya, Right!  I didn't do much else, other than I went over to Wendy's for a $2.99 burger meal.  I drove the motorhome, as it needs some miles.  The parking lot is the outskirts of Wal-Mart, so I parked and walked back to the restaurant.  I left the generator running and the two roof airs on to try and cool the insides.

By the time it was ready to go back to storage, I was drenched again, and Loyce felt sorry for me and came out and put the power washer and buckets away in the garage.  It seems cleaner anyway.

I also drained the water tank to the bottom.  It ran for about 2 hours, but the little stream is about the size of a pencil.  The tank holds 75 gallons and it must have been fairly full.  I only put about 30 gallons of fresh water back in.  No sense in carrying so much weight around.

Actually I ran a minutes worth of water into a 5 gallon pail.  I judged it as about 3 gallons.  Then I hooked up the hose to the tank, and ran in 10 minutes worth.  Somewhere around 30 gallons.  How do you judge how much water is in your tank?

Tonight I have been reading blogs, and catching up on web site forums that I haven't visited in a while.

Anything, as long as it is in the AC!!!!

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too Hot and the storage place..

For some reason blogger never posted this last night!  The dates and times looked right, so who knows?  Anyway I just caught it, and posted again.

It was a scorcher here in KC today.  I knew it was going to be hot, when at 10AM it was already 93.  One of our neighbors was out mowing his lawn at 7AM this morning, so he must have known today was going to be a hot one!

I generally leave the lawn long on these hot days, as it tends to protect itself a bit.  We need to be mowing sometime soon, but that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

I did pull on my cycle pants and mesh jacket for a ride over to the barber shop.  It is about 8 miles over, and I was full of perspiration when I arrived.  Temp was 95.  But the shop had the air going and I lost the bike pants while there.

Once I got back home, it showed 97 on the electronic weather station, and the old fashioned needle pointer was almost at 100.  Time to stay inside!  Somewhere in there, my eyelids got heavy for a few minutes.

By four PM it was back to 96 so I headed out on the bike again to go and discuss the arrangements for our RV parking with the man at the storage lot.  A second trip, as the first time ended in me becoming upset, and nothing was being solved, and I left.  That was Monday.

Today the assistant was there, and he rides a motorcycle.  I walked in, and he asked if I was out on a cruise!  We talked bikes and didn't get to why I was there for about 10 minutes.

They had upped the rent by $6, and I had paid the old rate automatically with the bill paying service.  Realizing the problem, I ordered a second check for the $6 a few days later. They haven't given me credit for the additional second payment, and have disabled my gate code because of non payment.  The motorhome is held hostage!  I can't get anywhere near it.  The manager said he would let me in, but that the motorhome  couldn't leave.

Now this fellow was way more understanding, and said "Over 6 bucks?"  "That's bullsh-t!"  So he immediately reactivated my code, and told me how to get in if they cancelled his reactivation!  Now there you go!  Just because I rode up on a bike!

I do hope they get the second check, and we can be done with this problem, but until then the manager is to be back tomorrow, and he thinks I am locked out.  Loyce wants some stuff out of the coach, so maybe it will be right in front of him.

Fun will be had by all!!!!   How do I get into this stuff?

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tire and another bike ride.

My tire guy had that new tire all mounted on my wheel when I went back today, and had his employee put it on my car.  Of course they have all the right equipment, and did it in no time.  He had a big torque wrench and set it on 100 ft lbs and started to tighten it but then looked at me to see if I knew how much it took.

I had to admit that I had no idea, so he went and got a big paper back book and looked it up.  The metric converted to 103 ft lbs so his 100 was the right answer all along.

After the $300 charge to my credit card, I was good to go.  Of course that put me in a particularly bad mood!  I hate spending money for stuff that you have no control over.  Type A personality!  I drive my wife nuts.  But perhaps there is some good to a control freak somewhere.........well maybe not.

So I came home and parked the car and hopped on the motorscooter.  It was 95 outside, so all the mesh jackets and pants, while safe make you perspire profusely.  I drove out to the South of town where the roads are country.  I got on US 69 and rode down to Louisburg.  It is 4 lane highway, and has a 70 mph speed limit.  I was only going about 65. The air seems cooler at that speed.

Cars zoom past you like you are the plague!  It was really windy, and as they pass it swirls up even more wind.  Hot wind, as the cars give off an enormous amount of heat at speed.  So I stepped it up to 70 to keep from getting passed so quickly.

Stopped at a rural stop sign!

I was looking for a campground that is down there, but never did find it.  I came home and looked on RV Park reviews and found that I was only a mile or so away.

Tonight I have been working on blogs, trying to catch up with reading.  Seems as though I am always behind.  And I read with great interest, that BP thinks they may have capped the oil well that has been leaking the crude oil out in the gulf.

This would be a major accomplishment if it does indeed work.  They still have to drill a relief well and pump mud and concrete into the broken well to seal it off permanently.  But stopping the flow until that permanent repair can be made is huge for the environment.

Again, the 50 mile bike ride improved my attitude this afternoon, so that is really good.  I almost have 1,200 miles on the clock since the last week in April.  And I really have no where to go with it, except on errands and such.  That's a lot of runs for milk!!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A run around day!

First let me be a little clearer on the flat tire.  Since 2007 or there about, in the US it has been a requirement that all cars have tire pressure warning devices.  Our BMW is a 2005, and had the device on it early.  I never had the sensors before then.

It was that sensor that lit up the warning light on the dash.  We were just driving the car and did not have the motor home along.  We usually do not tow a car so we have never purchased the pressure pro or other warning device.  Yet!  I am fairly religious about checking the tire pressures almost daily.

But when or if we begin to tow the car, the pressure pro will be a must have.  There will be no other way of knowing that the car has a flat.  Well until you see the smoke from the tire in the rear view mirror!

We have several cars, as some were left over from selling cars with my son Chris two years ago.  We kind of got stuck with the ones that didn't sell.  Our problem is that we didn't have any cars that can be towed with the MH.  All three are full time four wheel drive. And can't be towed.

No Toyota product can be towed unless it is a stick shift, and even then they have problems.  So the Camry can't be towed either.  We got the Camry out in Arizona when we had the car rollover accident.  We keep saying we are going to get rid of some of these vehicles, but never do it.  And of course I am attached to the Beemer..........

Last month when Loyce was up in Des Moines, she was bumped from behind in a chain reaction accident.  A lady talking on her cell phone, plowed into a pickup truck.  She caused the truck to skid into the Camry even with his brakes on.

You couldn't even see any damage, but the bumper cover needs to be repainted, so today was the day it had an appointment.  We were up and on the road to deliver it by 7:30.  That made us drive in the morning traffic headed downtown here in KC.

I'm really glad I don't have to do that every day any more.  We didn't even have to go all the way downtown, but into 24th street, but that is close enough to experience the 15 mph on the freeway bumper to bumper.

The rest of the day we worked on clean up of cars and Loyce worked on the garage.  Seems like we always have a mess in there.

I took the tire over to the tire shop, and the fellow instantly asked if I could come back tomorrow after he got a new tire in.  The screw is right in the corner of the sidewall and cannot be repaired.  I knew that already, but one could hope.

The tires are 255/55r18 and Michelin too boot, so the price is about the same as one of the motorhome tires.  Like I said yesterday, Ouch!

Late in the day, I went on an extended motorscooter ride.  Just blew off some steam going no where in particular.  That seems to help my attitude, about all of these things!

Retired Rod

Monday, July 12, 2010

An ouch in the rain!




Well we are back in KC!

The tire pressure sensor did its job and illuminated the little yellow tire outline with the exclamation point in it.  Never a good time, but in a driving rain that had folks pulling over to the side of the road because they couldn’t see a thing, and now I had a tire going down.

I aired it several times at filling stations and kept on coming at a much slower speed.  As it would get low, you could feel it in the steering, and I had to find another air hose.

Tonight I jacked it up at home and put on the spare.  The wheels are 18 inchers and they are heavy for this old guy, but I got it done.  And it looks like it is in the sidewall, so the tire will have to be replaced. 

Some days are like that!!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Talking about the duckie in today's post.!

We never did feed the duck anything other than Loyce playfully tossing him that grape, knowing he couldn't eat it.

Ducks here at the Lake are born in nests in the wooded areas between the houses, and are soon following their mothers swimming in the lake around the boat docks.  At first there are six or seven little guys.

But then you will come back next week, and one or more are gone.   We have large predator fish like Gar and big turtles in the lake, and they take duckies.  The red tailed hawks soar overhead, and we even have turkey buzzards.

The remaining ducks, still rely on handouts from the docks, and true to form, our tame duck went over to one of the neighbors when he left us, and promptly got part of a sandwich.

What I worry about, is that when they migrate South for the winter, that they do not have a fright of humans. He will easily become prey for the hunter, that doesn't think he is nearly so cute!!!

Retired Rod

Afternoon at the lake!

Parasail anyone?


The rope is about 600 feet long.


Our Dam was built in 1930.


Old cranes used to open the generator doors.


Not many on the ride today.


No fires today!


Back at our house.


Hey you guys got any food??


Now I’m serious about that food!


The last dock had bread!


Why did you throw me that grape?  I’d rather preen than eat grapes.


I’m going to sit right here until you give me some bread, and no your flash won’t scare me off!



Its been a good day at Lake Ozark!

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Working and the Woodpecker returns

Its always hard for me to know what to write about when we have a work day, and that is what today became.  Not serious work, or hard work, but steady jobs all day long.

I started by using the computer to study some investments, and then had the lengthy chat with the stock broker.  That seemed to take up a lot of the morning, and we didn't really change much, but at least we know where we are.  That is as close to work as I come now days.

So then it was all the odd jobs that I have been putting off.  I went into town for some light bulbs for the landscape lights on the sea wall.  Home Depot has these, and they are a lot like old fashioned flash bulbs from years ago.  They have the little bent wires on the bottom of all glass bulbs. 

Each fixture has to come apart one after another.  I have found that the best way to do this is to stand in the lake and reach up over the wall to take apart first one then the next.  It probably isn't the best thing to do, standing in water, working on electricity, but then it is low voltage.  And I was careful not to contact the little electric sockets.  And I didn't shock myself even once!

This took a good portion of the afternoon, as I replaced all the bulbs.  They burn out, and when one is gone it seems to take out the next one.  So now they are all new.

That required a big swimming session in the lake for about a half hour, as I needed to cool off from being in the sun.  During this swim, I got to talking to the neighbor fellow next door, and lost about an hour somehow.

But next I had to uncover the Jet Ski and go up stairs for a hair dryer.  Every three years the license stickers on Missouri boats need to be replaced.  They are up on June 30, so the hair dryer is used to soften the adhesive without damaging the gel coat.  Next comes the Goo Gone to take off the old sticky stuff left behind.

This is all done over the water, as the ski is sitting on a floating boat lift.  You have to contort yourself into an unnatural position, and when the new stickers went back on, they suffered some about being straight.  Well one side is just crooked.  I could say I was drunk, maybe!

Then it was back into town to get another can of gas and some sta-bil gas treatment.  I always use the stabilizer in the gas for the boats, when I don't know how long it will be until it is used up.  Since I don't ride the ski much anymore, it may sit a while until its gone.

The Kawasaki Jet Ski is quite old, and needs another new battery, but with the help of the battery charger, I managed to get it started this evening.  It had been used over memorial day, so it wasn't that long ago since it was run.  We are quite marveled that a 1995 750 Jet Ski has run without a hitch for all these years.  I think we replaced the plugs once, and have had to clean floating debris out of the impeller numerous times, but other than that!!!!!

I was tired tonight, as I ate my supper here in the house.  But as I watched the bird feeder out the slider, our woodpecker was back. He sits on the perch, and tips the feeder sideways.  The male hummer puffs himself all up and tries to look all mean.  Then he darts right at the woodpecker. 

Well the activity of the hummer didn't impress the woody guy one bit.  He never even moved from the perch.  He just kept on slurping down the nectar.  Then several of the hummers went after him at the same time.  He mostly ignored them.  Finally when he had his fill, he darted off.  Flying across the cove to parts unknown.

If he is going to be a permanent customer, I had better increase the nectar budget!

Retired Rod

Friday, July 9, 2010

A little more Rain and a strange bird

We sat here this morning and watched as it went from overcast to rain.  Then back to sprinkles and almost a clearing.  But then rain again.  I wanted out of here, but not in the car.  Boat or motorscooter, I didn’t care.

Mid morning we were watching the humming bird feeder, and it was being guarded by the resident male, who was sitting up on my ham radio wire antenna.  He would dive after any intruder other than his females.  Hummers are really territorial like that, but sometimes the others will gang up on him, and as one keeps him busy chasing, the others feed away!

But all of a sudden we had a full sized or even larger than full sized bird on the feeder.  He sat on the perch and pecked away at the little nectar holes.  It wasn’t an oriole because they are yellow and black, or orange and black.  This guy looks like some kind of a wood pecker. Perhaps a Ladder back woodpecker.  But they are supposed to be farther out West not here in Missouri.


I looked on the bird web sites, and the nearest I can tell, he is a sap sucker!  I thought sap suckers were make believe!  But there really is such a thing as a yellow bellied sap sucker.  They peck holes in tree bark, and suck out the tree sap. 

I have no idea if this is a sap sucker, so if someone knows more than I please leave a comment for all of us to learn what is on our bird feeder.

Finally I could stand it no longer and I convinced Loyce to go out on the boat.  It seemed almost sunny.  I sprayed on the suntan stuff, and hoped for the best as we left the dock.  We had some towering clouds, but it seemed to be off in the distance.

We boated up the river (Lake Ozark is the Osage River that is dammed up.)  At about the 12 mile marker we have another old lake side restaurant called Ozark Bar B Que!  What else?  We have gone to this place for 30 years, but it is on the other side of the lake from where we live, so it has to be by boat.

By car it was almost 100 miles around, before they built the community bridge over the lake.  The bridge is toll, and takes around $8 each way.  The price changes at different times of the year, but in the summer it is the highest.

Sitting outside, we ordered a big bucket of onion rings and a sandwich for each of us.  I’ll spare you the food pictures, but we like it a lot.  But it is expensive.  We were almost alone on the deck, as most other customers were inside.


As we were eating, the sky to the North began to get seriously dark!  Really dark!!  We finished and paid.  Once we were back out in the boat, we decided to boat away from the storm. 

We went over by the Lodge of the Four Seasons to the East.  The sky got blacker!  So we headed back West to the darkness.  We had to go around the Horseshoe Bend, but we could see the rain pouring around the curve to the North and then back to the East.

We ducked in next to a dock where  friends of ours Jack and Connie have a condo.  We tied up on the end of their condo’s community dock.  It just poured!!! I was on the covered dock, but Loyce stayed on the pontoon under the canvass top.  She was wiping up the water that was coming in under the canvas roof with a sponge.

After a while, we untied and left as it was now raining at a more normal pace.  But of course, as we were moving at 15 mph, the rain hit us in the face.  All we had was the top, without sides or a windshield.  We pressed on.

I made it back to another condo unit that is out on an island in the middle of the lake.  They have dock slips for customers to come look at the open house units.  But as I slowed down to perhaps take shelter under their roof, it wasn’t raining hard enough to come in under the top any more.

We idled on past the island, and most of the way home.  As I was rounding the corner into our cove, it began to seriously come down again.  The roof of our dock was a welcome refuge.  We were both soaked as though we had jumped into the lake.  We often do just that on really hot days, if we are only wearing shorts and a T shirt.  That is exactly what we had on, so oh well,  so what?

At least I didn’t have to sit up in the screen porch all afternoon and wish I had gone boating.  LOL.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More rain and the washer works.

Our friends were up early, and all packed to head on up to Iowa.  They have been on a Caribbean Cruise, so they were in a hurry to get home. 

So by early morning we were on our own again.  We decided to go out to breakfast, and went to the local Shoney's.  They have the all morning breakfast bar, that has everything.  Needless to say we didn't have any lunch this afternoon.

So back on that washer, I installed the old switch which I had epoxyed together back into the washer.  Loyce and I both struggled to get the case back on the machine, as the sides had to be held in just right to get the latching clamps back in place.  A couple of clamps hold the whole thing together.  It caused some colorfull language to be used in the process.  Oh darn and so forth!

Well before long, we had the washer spinning on about 4 loads of clothes, and I worked really hard while that was taking place,,,,,,ie....nap time!

So not much was accomplished after that.  But I did see it rain from over the top of the computer screen.  Several times.  I kept wanting to go out in the pontoon boat, but every time I looked out it was raining again.

Later tonight we gave up and went back into town for a one dollar Arby roast beef sandwich or two, and a stop by our local meet and greet location.  Wal Mart!!  Seems like we always find our friends there.

Tonight I was sitting out on the screen porch, and watching it rain yet another time at dark, and it felt like I could cut the air with a knife.  I mean steamy humid.  It is only in the mid 80's which is not really hot by Missouri standards, but the air has to be totally saturated with moisture.

We still haven't decided if we will go back to KC any time soon, but the grass is growing, and will need to be mowed one of these days!!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fixing the washer and friends

I started into that washing machine in the morning and decided that all I needed to do was lift the case straight up and it came off in one piece.  It went out into the garage.

Now since this machine is here in the lake house and really only gets about 1 months worth of laundry a year, it really doesn't have very much mileage on it.  It is 18 years old but looks very new inside.  But still it is broken.  Poking and prodding didn't find anything wrong with its inner workings.  I couldn't measure anything that didn't work with the volt ohm meter either.

Now that seemed odd, but still it wouldn't spin or drain.  But then I went out and looked at the only electrical piece on the case in the garage.  The door lid switch.  It was broken.  Missing its paddle that the poker piece on the lid moved the switch with.  I found the piece on the floor under the machine.

The long story made short is that I ordered a replacement from Sears Parts Direct on the internet, and I also epoxyed the old piece back onto the switch.  If I can put it back on temporarily to get a few loads out of the way, I'll bring the new piece next time and put it together correctly.  Time will tell.

Of course when we are set to entertain some friends, it must rain on the parade, and it just poured here until mid afternoon.  We did finally get back out on the lake with the pontoon mid afternoon.  We had a nice ride, and then came back for supper.

And where else but up to Bandana's Bar B Cue.  We had a really nice dinner and spent the rest of time catching up in missed gossip. 

So we had a nice day, and didn't spend it all worrying about the broken washing machine.

But it is rumbling outside again tonight so rain will be here again before morning.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Holiday comes to a close.

Since folks are supposed to get a day off on the holiday, today was the day.  But mostly around here is was the day that everyone packed up and left.  All of the folks that have been partying all weekend down in the end of the cove with the live music left.

The new neighbor with the big long boat two doors over LEFT.  He keeps revvvvvving the big motors in his big long old boat.  He can't quite keep them idling  so he is constantly vaarooooommmmmm, varrrrooooommmmm,, and so on.  We sit and shake our head.

Our next door neighbors with the older kids and their kids friends, are dear folks and we lovem to death, but they left too.  And the young kids that are always out on the dock across the cove that blasted the biggest bang firecrackers that I have heard in years, also left.

So some of us old folks that are here and retired and don't have to leave will quietly hold down the fort so to speak. 

I did make a little noise as I rode the red motorscooter up the hill and out to the highway.  I like to put around the other coves to the West of here, looking at nothing in particular.  I didn't go up town, but I'm fairly sure that most of the Biker crowd is gone tonight as well.

But we are here awaiting our dear friends from Des Moines, Rich and Sally.  Rich is one of the guys that I go to Dayton with and another amateur radio operator.  I have known him since 1995 or somewhere in there.  He is also a pilot in his day job.  So he is interesting to talk to, as he has flown all over this country.

They should be arriving for a short visit, as they are on their way back to Des Moines after a cruise that ported out of Texas.

And as usual, right as you are expecting company, the Sears Kenmore washing machine decided to let out a big bang and stop entirely.  We had to let the water out of the tub by lowering the hose into a bucket and dumping it by hand.  I started to take it apart, but couldn't remember how I got the case off the last time it failed.  It is a 1992 model, so perhaps we need to let it rest in peace.

But I didn't need that right when we were expecting company!

Well that's how it usually works!

Retired Rod

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

A very laid back and enjoyable Fourth of July here.  We never left the place, but I did go down to the dock and take the cover off of the boat.

Things get all covered with tree pollen here in central Missouri, and I have to pressure wash the big snap tarp that covers the boat every time that I take it off.  Otherwise, when I carefully fold it up, the pollen gets into my eyes and nostrels and then I can't see for about two hours.

We spent some time filling up the humming bird feader, and then putting new zip ties on the metal palm tree that it hangs from.  You know the rope light palm tree that everyone has out on their deck or dock down here.  The UV in the sun does a number on the little ties that hold everything together.

So with the boat uncovered and the palm tree re tied, it was time to get the chicken ready to bar b que.  Or did we smoke it.  I've explained drunk butt chicken before, so that is what we did to it.

Our revelers were still at it when I went to bed at 1 AM last night, but I couldn't hear them too well from the bedroom.  Every once and a while, they had some kind of a horn that they were blowing, but I went to sleep and didn't worry about it.

As I sit here and write this Fireworks are blowing off all over the lake.  I can see several displays right from our screen porch.

Here's hoping you had a wonderful Holiday where ever you are.

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fireworks on Saturday Night!

Cabang!! CaPow!!!  Missouri is a fireworks legal state!!!   They open up the stands about a week prior to the Fourth of July.  And sell like crazy, and tonight and tomorrow night are the big event.  Its about 10:30 and the blasting started at dark, so its been going on for an hour and a half.

It will keep on mostly till midnight, when folks will start to give it up and go back inside.  They blast the fireworks down at the waters edge on the sea walls or rock rip rap.  Some go out on the floating docks and shoot them off, however, I never thought that was overly smart, because if you get one that goes crazy or comes right at you, there is no where to run.  Jump in the lake maybe!

Also we all have boats in the docks, and every one is made from fiberglass that is a resin.  It burns like crazy.  Also every boat has a plastic gas tank that holds 30 to a 100 gallons of fuel or more.  You want to shoot off big rockets next to that now don't you!

But in my younger years, I did my fair share of rockets and stuff on the Fourth of July.  So I mostly just hope for the best.  When my sons are down here they always get some mortar shells and shoot them from out sea wall too.  But I am enjoying other folks blasts tonight.

There are year round fireworks stands here too, but only people from out of state are supposed to be buying after the first week in July.  And with our Kansas licenses, that means we could buy all year.  But its not legal to shoot them in Missouri or Kansas after the holiday.  Well its never legal to shoot them in Kansas.

The video that I posted last night seemed fairly clear, but was not HD.  It was recorded in VGA Jpeg at 640 x 480.  I do think that it looks much better because the original is 12.1 Mega pixel.  I will need to experiment with HD next, but the camera uses a Panasonic proprietary mode called AVCHD.  It is also used by Sony as I understand it.  

The CD that came with the camera has a program on it to play these files back.  The benefit of this format is that it is stored in a much smaller file than full motion Jpeg.  I will need to get the computer ready to play these back, and then see if You Tube will accept the upload.  

I read that there is no conversion program on the Panasonic disk, so since I wanted to make a quick and dirty upload and I had about 5 seconds to get ready to shoot the scene with the boat, I just quickly set the camera to full automatic and 4x3 Jpeg full motion.  You Tube accepted it first time without question.

If you know more about this subject you might drop me a comment or a personal email.

I never did uncover the pontoon, as the lake was full of Holiday revelers.  They zoom all over the lake at high speeds, and I mostly think they have had a couple too many.  Our budget for Lake Patrol must be really down this year as I have not seen a single boat with a Lake Patrol sticker go by this weekend.

I did go up town on a ride with the little Red Kymco 200 motorscooter.  It will go about 60 mph wide open, and the main Northshore lake road is speed limited to 45 so I can keep up reasonably well.  The T shirt town was inundated with the Holiday Harley Banger crowd.  They mostly will not even recognize that you exist on the little scooter.  They will wave at the bigger Suzuki......sometimes....... if their buddies aren't around to see um do it.  LOL.  Gota be rough and tough ya know!

I went back in and got some steaks and baker potatoes tonight from Wal Mart, so we ate really well for the Saturday night.  We seem to do more grilling down here at the lake than anywhere else.  Even in the campground for that matter.  I guess the LP gas grill is right outside the sliding door on the patio and lights with the push of a button.  Its gotta be the lazy thing, ya know, too much work to get the grill out of the basement compartment and set it all up.  And then clean it up to put it away.....I'm breaking a sweat just writing this.

The folks about 10 doors up the cove are all out on their dock having a drunken party as I type this, and have a live singer with a guitar.  He wails some and sounds like he has had a few too.  They join in and really sing off key when he gets going good.   I wonder how long they will go into the night.............

Retired Rod