Sunday, July 31, 2011

Motor home work, in the humidity.

We seem to have cooled down some, as we are not in the 100s any more!  And that would be a good thing too, except............  When we had the 100 degree temps, we had about 45% humidity and like being in Arizona, it was a stifling but dry heat.

But today we were at 94 or there about, but as I currently look at the weather station, it is showing 86% humidity.  If you do anything outside, you rain perspiration!   I went over and brought the motor home to our house with the intentions of working some inside of it.  And it is still sitting outside at the curb.

I did go from one auto parts store to the next looking for a replacement indoor outdoor thermometer for the automobile application.  Finally at the fourth store they had just what I wanted.  Well it had a clock in it, and I didn't really want that, but if it will tell the temperature correctly while I drive the coach, it will be perfect.

I have an old one that I purchased at Radio Shack, but it must have a broken wire or a bad sensor, as it changes its mind every ten seconds about the temperature outside.  The inside sensor works, but it is on the list to be replaced, if it ever cools down enough to work on it.  I did intend to scrub the bugs off of the front windshield, but see the post above about the high humidity.

Instead, Ben and his family called and suggested that we go to a TV bar and grill called the Other Place that is not far from our homes.  They have an early Saturday special for the kids meals before the bar crowd arrives at 9 PM.  So kiddy Pizza's and corn dogs were happily gobbled by the grand kids.

I stuck to the basic build a burger and fries.  But it was a good burger and grand daughter Ema helped me eat the fries....

The motor scooter stayed in the garage all day today, as he was taking a day off........

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Haircut and a shave, two bits......

I sat here and watched the weather station as the morning began to heat up thru the mid day.  Like usual the temps shot right up to the 90s before noon.  But it seemed to pause after that.  We were forecast for another hot one so I didn't lend much credence to it.

But by 2 in the afternoon it was still only 95.  That is bearable!  So on went the motor cycle pants and the jacket and helmet.  The bike confirmed the 95 degree reading and the wind was out of the East not the South where all that dragon breath heat has been coming from all week.

I struck out for the Wendy's that is several miles to our East here from home.  It is on the way to my barbershop that is over in Missouri.  I really didn't need a haircut, but I like to keep things quite short in such heat.  Especially inside of the cycle helmet.

After the burger, I came out and jumped on the bike and was greeted by a thermometer that read greater than 100.  Oh well it isn't too far from here to the barber shop.  Its fine when you can keep moving, but the red traffic lights are brutal.

Anyway I got that haircut and as always enjoyed the banter at the barber shop.  It was air conditioned so that cooled me off.  And on the way home, I stopped by a bike shop that sells Yamaha cycles.  Always nice to drool over a few new V twins........  But mostly I was enjoying their AC too.

I came right back to the house and after a longer ride the temp was really about 98.  Still that was a bunch cooler than the 106 stuff from earlier in the week.

Tonight, Ben and myself went out on another evening ride under overcast skies that are again threatening rain.  We didn't believe that was possible and rode out thru the countryside anyway.  I suppose we did about 40 miles in total, and never had a drop of rain.  It did rain last night after midnight and perhaps that will happen again tonight.

Late tonight, I became caught up in watching another watch show, but I have frozen my credit cards in a block of ice so as not to purchase anything more in the way of watches.......  Do you think we have the start of a somewhat cooler trend of temperatures?

Retired Rod

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot continues....

It reached 105 degrees again today on my electronic weather station.  I didn't bother to take another picture of it because it is so common place now that it will seem strange when the temps don't make 100.

I think we will have to rob a bank to pay for the Air Conditioning this month!!!

Biscuit thanks all of her supporters for the nice comments about her new hair cut, but she is still looking at me wondering where her fur went to.  Perhaps she will get over it in a few more days, but when Loyce took her on a walk this morning she was skipping all around and excited as ever to go.  They only lasted 30 minutes, and they were back dripping wet.  Well mommy was dripping, Biscuit just hopped in her bed and went back to sleep.

I did have a surprise tonight, as my younger son called and wanted to know if I had seen a message he sent me on email.  And I hadn't.  But it seems that he went over into Missouri and purchased a used motor cycle from a fellow that had it listed.  A 2004 Honda VTX 1300.  I is very black and quite low slung and a previous owner had added chrome wheels and new tires.  So we made a plan to ride a little at sunset.

And so at about 8 PM I went over to Ben's and we went out for a short ride around the outskirts of Olathe.  Ben had a bike back in his college years, so he is way more accomplished as a rider than his father.  But his skills are a tad rusty, but I am betting we can remedy that with some miles.

So, a really hot day comes to a close, as it is raining off in the South of the county but still 83 outside.  The rain is just the heat cooking any remaining moisture out of the atmosphere, but maybe we might get a bit before morning.  Still the AC hasn't cycled off all day, and tomorrow is forecast to be just as bad.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 28, 2011

All is well in the credit card world now!

The CC payment that I made on Monday was posted during the night on Tuesday night.  But more importantly it was dated on Tuesday.  So regardless when it was actually available for viewing, the computer had the money with the electronic transfer, the very next day after it was completed.

That relieves me a lot, because with the new vendor installed on my brokerage web site, I can now reliably control these things.  It was a $50 lesson, but I have decided that it really was my fault for not making sure that transfers were being completed electronically.  But it had only taken about 5 days in the past, and I couldn't even imagine a two week lag.

That is their fault somehow, and we will never know why.  Loyce and I discussed all of it and decided not to toss out thirty years of experience with the local bank, by cancelling the account.  But, if more shenanigans continue that decision might reverse itself.

Today was another hot one, and we didn't even open the door other than to let Biscuit out for her necessary times.  Yesterday she went over to her salon, and had a complete haircut.  And they shaved her right down to the underlying fur.  She had some mats that we had worked hard to get out, and they would have finished the job for us if it had been winter and cooler outside.  But with it so hot, they shaved them off.

She is a skinny little rat, when she has no hair, but she was adjusting to her new self somewhat slowly.  She probably had more hair when she was first born, so she has never experienced life like this.

Dad, where did my hair go?

But it was 102 again today, and I'm certain that her cool doo was a big help to her.

Late in the afternoon, I went over to Sam's Club to check out some pharmacy items.  But while I was there, I decided that mostly the big warehouse gave me some place to walk all around that was air conditioned.  Perhaps that was what I was really doing over at Home Depot yesterday as well.  Getting exercise in a place that wasn't over 100 degrees.

Of course Loyce goes to the malls for this same reason, but I tire very quickly of that experience.  It is supposed to cool off some and go back to temps in the 90s, but we will believe that if it ever happens.  LOL

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Surprise, we got the payment!

Just a quick post tonight to say that something unbelievable happened today with the credit card company.  After 16 days, the original payment  was cashed and credited to my card balance.  Good thing I didn't stop payment on it yesterday.  I was tempted.

But the EFT payment that I made yesterday that I was reassured went out from the brokerage company did not show up at the credit card company.  What?  Its a transfer of bank funds electronically, they got the money,  the brokerage firm has confirmation that they got the money.   But no credit on my account. I think we smell a rat here.......

I went over to the lumber yard (Home Depot) this afternoon trying to decide what to do about plumbing fixtures and flooring and the like.  This is a basement, and things can be mostly builder grade.  Our house was a spec home to begin with, so we don't have really fancy stuff upstairs.  So I was trying to match what we already have.    Uh, things move on and matching is only going to be somewhat close.  In most cases things have become more cheaply made in the last 6 years.......

Anyway it was 102 outside when I left the house.  The car was soooo steamy inside, but after my medical procedure last week they said no bike for a while.  Well, its too hot to be out on the bike anyway.  We are to have even hotter tomorrow again.  I can't help but wonder if this will break sometime soon.

No other news from here, except that the UPS driver brought a pair of shoes for me today.  I decided that I needed newer shoes worse than another watch!!!  LOL  But a watch for the collection would have been more fun..........

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So where did the payment go?

Ok, let me try and communicate what I learned today without getting into the realm of tooooo technical.

In the search for our lost money, I learned that our brokerage where I use their bill paying service has two ways of paying a billing.  The oldest form from years ago was to issue a paper check and mail it for me to my vendor.  But in more recent years, they do an electronic funds transfer to vendors that will accept such payments.   The vendor has to be set up for these electronic payments though.

The system is set up to automatically check the vendors that are entered and convert them to the electronic funds transfer (EFT) where ever possible.  And today, I learned that I can actually browse the list of folks that are able to take these payments looking for my vendor, and set things up that way from the start.

So what happened to my credit card payment, was that it was set up many years ago before they did EFTs and because I didn't enter the name just exactly like the company was listed on the EFT list, it never got converted.  This means they were sent a paper check in the USPS ground mail.  That payment never arrived at the CC company.

Or if it arrived, it was never credited to my account, and has not been returned to the brokerage company.  The check is still outstanding.  So I will do a stop payment on it and that will be that!  We will never know where it might be hiding.......

Today I did search the EFT listing and found the official name for my card company. So I  set up a new vendor.  Then I ordered a payment with this new listing and the correct account number.  Now we need to see if that payment gets there.

The brokerage people explained that many banks or other financial institutions will only do payments when they can EFT.  They simply do not offer the paper check service to random ma and pa vendors.  So they are offering a service that I should be happy to have, even if there are occasional lost items in the mail and we have to do stop payments.

So did the brokerage actually print and mail the check, or did the post office sweep it into the dead letter bin, or did the credit card company fail to cash the check and credit my account?  My guess, is that we will never find out!!

But I learned a lot about all of this, and it will only cost me late fees and interest at the credit company to experience this lesson.......  About $50 as I calculate it.......

Retired Rod

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sundays are always slow.

Its raining again tonight as I write this blog.  It started to do that this morning around 8 AM.  The temperatures broke some time in the middle of the night, and we only had 97 as a high in the later portions of the afternoon.  That is more like normal here in Kansas.

Still we were home bodies again today, and I only went out in the middle of the afternoon for a ride because I was having a sever case of cabin fever.  Even then it was overcast and I had occasional rain drops that cooled 97 back into the 90 area.

So running the computer and watching TV was our entire day, which again doesn't give us much to blog about.  I didn't go anywhere near the basement as that project seems to be on a stall out.

I ran into our contractor over in Wal Mart in Gardner, Kansas, and he informed me that he was going on a vacation to Canada.  He is an avid fisherman, and it has been way too hot to fish around here, so leaving for Canada doesn't surprise me in the least.

But, that just leaves the job on a great big stall out mode, as he will not use subs that he doesn't know or essentially trust, when he is not around to supervise.  I guess that is a good thing....

But, we had no prior knowledge of this, only finding out at the last minute before it happened.

Another big clap of thunder, and I hope it rains most of the night, because our yard really needs this moisture.  Its almost too late for the local corn crop, but the soybeans will like it.

Tomorrow I get to call back into the credit card money transfer fiasco, and see if they have found my funds.  Wish me luck!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How hot is it?

Not much gets done around here when you don't dare go outside for more that a few minutes!

Our yard has a sprinkler system that runs before dawn and waters nine separate areas.  Each one gets 20 minutes of watering and I have it set to go every day.  But!

Our grass has turned quite brown in spite of the water system.  The only places that will need mowing is where the house shades the side yards.

The ACs in the motorhome are not anywhere close to being capable of cooling these temperatures, so it is parked over in the storage lot.

So today we had a lot of computer time.  And general inside activities time such as installing a new band on a watch, and other really exciting stuff!!  LOL

Retired Rod

Oh, the lost payment to the credit card company was made on the internet between the financial institution and the credit card company.  The money is lost in the online transfer system, so if you think your online bill pay system is secure and instant, think again.  The money is gone from our account and didn't get where it was supposed to go, and they couldn't trace it on Thursday......

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fightin with the credit folks..

The highlight of today was really a low light.  The mail, or the credit card company lost our monthly payment on our credit card.  They called this morning before I was up for all day, and demanded payment now!

But I sent the payment......  and we talked several times to several folks and they are really upset.   And we pay the bill in full every month, but that doesn't matter.  And it was due on the 14th and this is the 21st, but that doesn't mattter.  And we have been with the company for 30 years, but that doesn't matter.

Well needless to say, we are a bit miffed here tonight, and we never did figure out where the payment actually went.  But if it doesn't show up in the next few days, we have to go thru the stop payment on the check routine, and reissue a new check, and so on.  And this will be against us on our credit report, you know that don't you??     But I didn't do anything wrong.......

So I really didn't accomplish anything else other that fight on the phone with folks all day, so I have nothing to report other than another day above 100 degrees, and that is old news now.

I went out on the bike after dark, as it was finally in the 90s by then, but it was still hot and nasty.

Tomorrow is another of those pesky Medical Days that I have scheduled every so often, so I think I will just be absent from my post at this keyboard for a while, until I get my stuff back in one basket as the saying goes.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Carbon Copy of Yesterday!

Today was a carbon copy of yesterday, as we had to go pick up the pickup!!  Well it was done anyway and waiting over in Lawrence for us to go retrieve it.

The only difference in today, was that I decided to drive the Camry over and pick up Melissa and her two year old daughter and take them to their truck.  So, I took Biscuit along.

Biscuit always goes crazy when one of the grandkids is in her presence, and she especially goes nuts over Abby.  Once in the back seat in her car seat, Biscuit jumped back there and crawled up into the car seat too.

This was taken with my Android phone so it isn't the greatest, but look at that smile!!  Bifkut, bifkut, bifkut, over and over and over she said, and Biscuit wasn't getting down from her car seat either!   Too funny.

We parted company in Lawrence, and Biscuit was just lost, when Abby was gone.  She cried and cried as we drove back to Overland Park.  The rest of the day was spent in the basement working on some of the walls again.

I'm not very good at drywall work, so I spread the joint compound on the wall, and then sand it all off the next day, turning myself into a white powdered dust man.  Some of it stays on the wall each time, but I think I am  making some progress.  Its back in a storage area, and the real drywall folks will probably laugh at my job, but who cares?

The scorcher days haven't let up any either........

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kansas Countryside

West of Olathe, Kansas is the town of Lawrence.  This is the college town where Kansas University is located.  Its only about 30 miles over there, and for our family, it is where we sometimes purchase Toyota cars.

Today became a repair day, as we had to take my son's pickup truck back to the dealer for repairs.  Since he works in a distant city, I became elected to drive the truck while his wife followed in the car.

This is a pleasant trip, as we traveled the farm to market roads thru rural Kansas.  Oh, there is an interstate that goes out there too, but we didn't take that road.  Our road follows the South side of the old federal arsenal, where countless tons of ordinance were once kept secure.  And I am sure there are many such tons still in there, but that info would be very classified.  There is one of these places in Eastern Iowa too.

We rolled past all the tall corn fields that are now completely tasseled.   Some of the pasture ground is now very brown with the 100 degree heat.  Kansas is not overly exciting in its scenery, but the trip was very calming and away from the city, so I enjoyed it.

Once back here in the afternoon, I was back over to that lumberyard with the pickup to purchase those 2x4 studs that I needed yesterday.  Then down in the basement I installed them and cut a sheet of drywall to go over them.  I tire of that job very quickly now, and returned to the upstairs at supper time.

Another bike ride at dusk and the day was done.  We saw 102 again on the electronic weather station about 4 in the afternoon, but that is becoming common place now.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another day in the basement, and sneaking away!

Its interesting that everyone is complaining about how hot it has been, and it seems so relative as to the temperatures they report as hot.

I know that when I was riding the motor scooter over for Wendy's and a drywall knife at Lowes this afternoon it was over 100 on my scooter dash thermometer.  Well I saw 107 once but it was always 103 and such as I rode along.  The asphalt is really a scorcher as it absorbs the sun.

But I came home and found that it was only 98 on my home thermometer.  Well it didn't matter much because I was working on some drywall compound for the part of the walls that I covered.  The part that the contractor installed are still just like he left them.  It was relatively cool in the basement, so I was just working away.

Every time I came up the stairs today, I made sure that I had an armful of drywall debris.  It went in the outside can and several boxes to be picked up tomorrow.  I'm not sure the trash guys will take the stuff, but time will tell.

But back to relative temps.  The folks that are up North are complaining that its reached 90 and how hot it is.  Here in KC, we are complaining that it is 100, and the Texans have 105, but checking on forecasts for Mesa, Az, I see that they have routinely had 110.  So, perhaps we really don't know what hot is all about compared to those fine folks.  Ya, I know, its a dry heat.  But heat is heat no matter how you look at it!

I went out for a ride tonight at about dusk, and rode off into the sunset, way over beyond Gardner.  It was relatively nice at 91, and almost felt cool when it dropped below 90 to 89 out in the country.  But when I got back to the city, it was right back at 93 again and it was completely dark by then.  Still without the sun beating down on your helmet and the wind in your face, it is sure better than that 104 stuff in the middle of the afternoon.

And yes I could take the car over to Wendy's, but it is all closed up and about 120 inside.  You never do get it cooled off in the mile and a half over to Wendy's, so really the bike is almost better.  But at the lumber yard, I was remembering that I needed some 2x4 studs, and its is kind of hard to bring them home on the bike!

Just another day in South KC......

Retired Rod

Monday, July 18, 2011

Branson to KC

Its only 208 miles to the Campground  in Branson from our house in Overland Park, Kansas, but when it is over 100 degrees most of the way it seems to get much longer.

Our motor home is a front engine diesel, and I didn't realize that it would create so much heat up thru the floor and front cowling as it actually does.  It isn't bad when it is in the upper 80s, as the AC seems to overcome it.  But above 100, all bets are off.

I started the generator before I unplugged the 50 Amp cord!  It switched over and the ACs never went off.  Starting the engine started the dash air too.  It stayed fairly cool inside as we left about 11 AM but slowly as the day's heat began to cover everything, the ACs lost the battle.

By the time I rounded the corner into our Cul de sac, the thermometer on the dash said it was 95 inside.  That was 9 degrees cooler than it thought it was outside.  Its about 7 PM now, and it says 100 on my outside electronic weather station.  The sensor is in the shade on our North side.

We emptied everyting out and have since taken the coach back over to the storage lot.  The truck read 108 when I first started it up, but it was in direct sun......

Anyway, I am glad to be back in my recliner under the ceiling fan tonight.  Perhaps if we traveled at night, and camped during the day!  But we are city folks, and don't do mornings very well.

Any way the basement needs to be cleaned out to start the next phase of the construction.  That looks to be my job!  LOL

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 17, 2011

White Water

This was a hot and laid back day!  Officially it was in the mid 90s, but when I went out to go over to the Wal Mart store, the temperature gage in the Honda said 104.  I thought it was just in the sun, and it would cool down as I drove.  But nope, it only went up to 105 about half way there

I was in the store for a while and when I came back out, it was now down to 100.  Loyce and the kids big and small had gone to the water slide park, but I passed on that experience.  There are a gazillion little kids running all over the place and the lines were 15 minutes to slide down any of the attractions.

In that heat, my fair complexion would have turned into a lobster.  I am just wise to stay away.  Tonight, the rest of the family is burned, but I am cool and calm.  I alternated sitting outside under the awning, and then inside in the AC.  Biscuit seems to not even notice the heat, and pulls on me to walk her farther.  Too hot!

I did drive down to the lake on Indian Point behind Silver Dollar City.  Years ago we camped down there with our first motor home.  It was a 1978 mobile traveler class C.  We had it for four years and sold it in 1983 for the first lake condo.  At the time, we could only go on big holiday weekends and we could never get a campsite.  Forced boondocking on the fourth of July was never a fun prospect....

Again today, the Indian Point marina was a zoo...just like years ago.  There was no parking anywhere, and I could barely do a drive by with people waiting to put their boats in.  But it is Saturday and folks are out in droves.

Tonight we had a Taco Bar outside under the awning, that was arranged by Chris and Mel.  Chris grilled steak on the grill, that was chopped into pieces and rolled into flour burrito shells.  Mel made all the fixins.  I still have Taco on my face........

So tonight the kids are all in bed killed......both the big kids and the little kids.

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Road Trip on a HOT day!

Tonight we are in an RV park in Branson, Missouri.  We came down here during the day today and it was quite hot.  I'm not sure how hot, but the AC units were working overtime and not keeping up.

We left about 10:30, but immediately ran into construction on US 71 highway South of KC.  They had the lanes reduced down to a single thru lane and folks were fighting trying to merge.  I became tired of the cars trying to push each other out of the way and began to drive right in the middle with the motor home so that no one could pass me.

That forced folks to merge into a single lane behind me, and then a semi did the same thing and between the two of us we solved all the scrambling.  It was almost comical, as we almost immediately began to move faster.  That slow down cost us about an hour,

We stopped in Clinton, Mo in a Wal Mart parking lot and drove the car over to Wendy's for a burger.  That was where we started the generator and both roof ACs.  It was never off after that.  I even had a pedestal fan running as well.

We stopped for diesel in Springfield, at $3.75 a gallon, and purchased $150.  That was only 40 gallons.

The traffic in Branson in notorious for being sooo slow.  We just crawled out here to the Music Land campground.  I had made a reservation ahead, but it would not have been necessary.  It must be too hot to camp.  I did see 101 on the dash of the CRV as I was returning back to the campground later  this afternoon.

Our son Chris and his family are here also, and Grandma joined them in the White Water attraction which has giant water slides and wave pools.  They have plans to go back again tomorrow, but I will hang back as the sun will fry me.  To much of a red head......

So the basement will have to wait for a while, and that is quite all right with me, LOL.

Retired Rod

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mowing and Washing

I was up and outside at 7:30 this morning to mow the yard.  It was already showing in the high 80s and the sun on the spring thermometer had it pegged over 100.  Loyce had done some of the trimming last night as it was becoming dark, so I had the John Deere work.

It didn't take quite an hour and the entire job was done including the weed eater trimming.  I purchased a new Black and Decker weed eater that runs on a battery and looks just like the one Al of the Bayfield Bunch has purchased.  It was just happen stat that we bought matching models, or we both shop at the same store......

Any way I was back down in that pesky basement putting in temporary light switches and piecing scraps of wall board into the storage areas.  This lasted until afternoon, but I am really tired of that project and just turned out the lights and came upstairs.

I went over and got the motorhome in the middle of the afternoon, and came back to the house.  It was filthy, as we drove in rain on the way back from Red Bay.  So in the afternoon heat of the day, I was out washing the rig. It was 96, and I almost had heat stroke in the sun.

Plus the dark paint heats and drys the surface before you can chamois it off, so though it is now clean, it is  also very spotty.

We hope to use the rig this weekend if all goes well.  Just to get out of the house and on the road for a short trip.  Perhaps we will have a run without mechanical failures........or maybe not.

If we actually get somewhere, I will blog about it tomorrow or the next day.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dry Wall!

It was a long day in the basement, and the contractor and his helper were here about 8:30 AM.   They started right in and drywall flew!  I went to the Home Depot to get some plastic to put up in the doorway that goes into the furnace room.  It is packed with Loyce's storage bins, and we are trying to limit all that drywall dust.

Also I picked up some plastic that has sticky on its back, kind of like a two foot wide roll of scotch tape. I used this to make a runner down the center of the carpeted stairs to the basement.   It will somewhat protect the nasty drywall dust from tracking up the stairs so much.

But I know that nothing will contain the powder when we get to the wall sanding phase........  We all seemed to be busy all of the time.  As the guys got to another area, I would pull out the electrical outlets that are installed there.  Mostly the boxes are blank with only the rough in wiring, but some of the boxes are from the original house, and they needed to be removed as well.

We  switched on the lights by wire nutting the wires together after the switches were removed.  They are in the on position semi permanently.   But tonight I went down and fished the nuts out and separated them to get the lights to go off.

The day was very productive, as by about 4:30 or so, all of the wall board had been installed.  At least the part that they intend to install.  I will piece in some of the non finish pieces over the next few days.  Rather than throw away odd sized chunks, I will cut it down and use it in some of the storage areas.  That part will probably never be finished with joint compound, unless I get after it.  Time will tell how that will go.

Tonight, Loyce and I were cleaning up the piles of white dust.  It seems endless, and it has only begun.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New tires and Wall board!

Today was another busy day, as we planned to go get my son's travel trailer and get some new tires put on it.  The catch is that my son is working in Dallas, Texas!  But we were in luck because his wife Melissa, is also a driver of the truck and trailer combo.

I was just along for moral support, and perhaps if things were broken and needed some repair.  We didn't find anything broken, but it was much easier to hook up the trailer with two of us.  She was doing the backing up and I was trying to guide her into that exact spot to drop it on the ball.

The entire trip was uneventful, just the way we had hoped.  The only event, was that the people at the tire place slapped the tires on the rim and began to mount them without balancing them.  I griped and bit.ched a lot.  Well, until the manager began to mount them and balance them himself.  We had them take the wheels back off that were not balanced and do it over.

Later in the afternoon, we went over to a trailer place in Missouri, and purchased some small parts for the hitch on their truck.  Several years ago, we had purchased the hitch at this store, and we were surprised and pleased to find that they had parts.  The fellow installed them right on the counter, and didn't even charge any labor.  He was interested that his hitch lasted for longer than three years and only charged us for the little parts.

Back at our house, the dry wall delivery truck had arrived, and fellows were carrying 60 sheets of dry wall into the basement.  They had a truck with an extending boom.  It picked up about half of the sheets at one time and extended them on the boom across the yard towards the door.

The fellows were picking up the two sheet bundles from the truck arm and carrying them into the house and down to the basement. It cost $75 to have them do that, but oh my heavens is that worth every penny!!!

We are to have the contractor come back here in the morning, and the dry wall is to be installed.  They claim it will only take a couple of days.........  As we get closer to having a room rather than bare walls!!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forgetful!! ??

Another busy HOT day here in KC, but in the heat I pulled a beauty!  The morning was taken up by waiting for the plumber to come over and install the shower stall.

He had to take back out the part that I installed a couple of years ago because it wasn't right.  He added thin set concrete under it to cement it to the floor and then sealed and fastened it to the walls with drywall screws.

My drill was useless, because I had bad batteries.  I have been using the plug in hammer drill for the electric wire holes, but I have been promising myself that I would go get some new batteries for the portable drill.

So I thought I would go on over to Home Depot where they sell Ryobi and get a couple.  I took the scooter and stopped at Wendy's on the way.  It was well into the 90s like 99 or so on the way over.  After Wendy's it was 100 on the ride to Depot.

I went in and learned that my drill took the old Nicad batteries and that they have been replaced by lithium. charger wouldn't charge lithium.

After much soul searching and pricing everything, I determined that new lithium batteries and a charger was going to be $130.  But, just buying an entire new drill and two batteries and the charger was $149 in the kit.

So essentially I am just tossing out the old drill kit even though the drill technically still works.  That's how things go now days.  Throw out the old.......

But that's when I turned around and looked for my shopping cart that had my motorcycle jacket in it!  It wasn't there.....  I walked the entire store.........  I could have sworn it was over by the drill display.

I went up to customer service and asked if anyone had pushed a cart up there with a protective jacket in it.  Nope...  I walked some more......  Finally I got tired of carrying the new drill around and went outside to store it under the seat in the scooter.  And right there over the handle bars,  yep,  my bike jacket!

I had to go back in and appologize to the people who were looking all over the store for that shopping cart.  What the He!! was I thinking?  But then it dawned on me, that it was over at Wal Mart where I put the jacket in the shopping cart and pushed it around, while I got a new phone charger for Loyce.

Boy it is bad to get old and foregetful like this.............

Retired Rod

PS: it was 104 on the electronic guage this afternoon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dog Food, and Boy its HOT!

In case you missed Penny's comment on yesterday's blog I will reprint it here.

Since several were interested in which flavor I purchased.  Penny explains it better than I could have..........

"I am so glad that Biscuit likes the "Wetlands Canine Formula Roasted Fowl", Taste of The Wild dog food.   Mine love the "Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison" one, too.

I know my cats love the feline version, "Rocky Mountain Roasted Venison with Salmon", Taste of the Wild, too.

It is grain-free, and that is what our little carnivorous animals need to keep them healthy.

Corn meal, which is used as a filler in so many name brand pet foods, is just not good for them, and can cause skin allergies and all sorts of nasty things like kidney trouble.

Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny, TX"

Today I just forced myself to go down and finish the insulation job in the basement.  It was well over 100 degrees when I rode the motor scooter back from Lowes with a ground fault recepticle and several regular ones to put in the string beyond the GF.

Too hot to be out on the bike, since I saw 112 on the dash thermometer while I was waiting for a pesky light to turn green.  We have these lights that sense if there is a car waiting at the light.  Trouble is they can't sense a motorcycle.  So it just skips over the green for you until a car comes up behind you.  The longer I sat there the hotter the dash indicated.  I about passed out at 112......

So I really wasn't minding heading down to the basement in the AC, but cutting insulation and becoming all itchy again just wasn't appealing.  But I powered on thru it, telling myself that it would all be over once I got this bit hung........

I waited until it was almost dark and then headed out on the bike, but it was still 96 when I left the house.   But without the sun beating down, it was more bearable.

I did see 103 on the electronic weather station that is here at the house, and the temperature sensor is on the North side of the house in the shade.  Maybe we are finishing this basement just in the nick of time...........

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Taste of the Wild Pet Food

This is just a little story about dog food and the recommendation from Penny Taylor of Penny's Tuppence several days ago.  Penny is an SPCA mom and has had numerous pets in her care as a foster mom.  She is a groomer as well, and explained about a Taste of the Wild animal food.

Well I kind of did my normal thing saying Ya Ya Ya,  but when Loyce announced that we were out of food for Biscuit, I did a look up on the google site and found out where to buy this stuff.  "Tractor Supply!"

I do buy some stuff from them like trailer parts, and a pair of coveralls.  But it is not a store that I normally frequent, because I don't have need for hog waterers and the like.  But they do have all kinds of feeds and bird seed too.

They have all sorts of varieties of this Wild stuff, but the one Penny was feeding was the poultry based product.  It has Duck, Chicken and Smoked Turkey.  The filler is sweet potatoes, as it is completely grain free.

Other formulas include Bison and Venison, and a Lamb based food.  Also a Fish based food and several for cats as well.  Their web site is Here.

But the fun of this story is that when I came home with the smallest size to see if Biscuit would eat any of it, she began to follow me around.  I took the bag upstairs to show Loyce who was in her office.  I sat down and Biscuit jumped up in my lap and began to sniff the bag.

She kept licking me and sniffing the bag almost demanding that I open it.  So I did, and she frantically gobbled the handful that I poured out.  Amazing, she is the most finicky eater......

The instructions were to mix some of it with her old food, so I went down to her bowl and did just that. About a third of the new stuff in her old bowl of Science Diet.  She dumped the bowl over on the floor and took her paw and spread the food out and began to pick out the new pellets from the pile.

She stayed at it until she had completely separated the new from the old and eaten all of it.  Then she just marched off leaving the old stuff all over the kitchen floor.  What did I start here?

Anyway that was yesterday, and she will not touch the old food now and is demanding to get some of the new Wild stuff like it was her treat bag.

Like I said, Penny knows her animals!!

Retired Rod

Basement Pictures

Since we had requests for pictures I went down with the camera and snapped some photos.  This is the main room that is under our living room upstairs and will become the play room or family room downstairs.

Look at all that insulation!!  Walking over next to the ladder and looking back at the door going upstairs, you can see the little storage area under the stairs.  I put a light under there with a switch next to the door.

This will be the bathroom and a storage closet behind it.  I still have to insulate these walls.   The closet walls in the back where the tube encolsure is leaning will not get any insulation.  The plumber needs to come back and put the enclosure around the shower base.  That is supposed to happen Monday.

There is a smaller room that we have been calling an office, because we cannot legally advertise it as a bedroom.  In order for it to be a bedroom there has to be a window to the outside, so the person sleeping there could escape in case of fire.  This room has no escape, but the next room that I use as my ham shack office does have that window, so there is two ways out for an emergency.

Today, I started by installing the remaining wiring in the service panel, and the new breakers.  I broke out the slugs that cover where there are no breakers, so that the new ones would poke through, and replaced the cover.  I don't like leaving the panel open, because I never know who might decide to put their fingers in there.   SURPRISE!!!!  Ya folks are that goofy.....

Then I started to insulate the walls, and used up another roll and the remaining partial  pieces on the floor.  But by about 2:30 I began to get hungry and bolted to Wendy's on the scooter......  I never came back.....  Hard to get good help these days......

I ended up over in Missouri at a different Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki dealership.  I had never been there before, and it was huge.  I saw a bunch of bikes that I would love to have for a while, to learn how to ride.  That's the problem, you don't really need to own these products, you just want to ride it for a couple of days to learn how!

It was a total waste of time, but then it costs a lot less that way!!! LOL

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dinner party!

We just returned from an enjoyable evening at the home of our son and daughter in law Chris and Melissa.  They had home made and baked thin crust pizza and it was scrumptious.  Along with a fresh salad wedge and home made ranch dressing, I am making myself hungry again......

We sat out on the back deck as the stars came out, and the night was cool and almost delicious.  But we had a puppy back here at the house that needed to be let out for her evening chores, so we had to call it short, but thanks Chris and Mel.

Today was just another day in the basement, hanging inuslation and deciding that with every piece that was hung, it was getting darker and darker down there.

When we first moved in here, I painted all the concrete walls bright white, so the rooms were bright and seemed fairly large.  But as the wood and now the brown craft paper of the insulation is going up on all the walls, it has become dark and dingy.

So late in the afternoon, I decided that we needed some more lights in the ceiling.  Or the floor joist as the ceiling will be added as a drop ceiling later.  It was over to the lumber yard for more electrical parts, and another couple of rolls of insulation.

So with my late blooming project of adding boxes for lights to the floor joist at 4 PM, we were late getting to the supper party.  The new electrical boxes will become connection points for the can lights in the new suspended ceiling when we get that far so the work will not be lost, or temporary.

I still have three rolls of insulation to hang again in the morning, if I don't go play hookey instead.

Retired Rod

Friday, July 8, 2011

I really worked today!

Now that I did work all day, I have little or nothing to report about it.  Working all day just doesn't make for a good blog.  But I have to get going here because the contractor dude, has plans to get the dry wall hanger folks here by next week.

So with that deadline swarming about in my mind, I was up and at it fairly early.  But hanging insulation is a nasty business.  The fiberglass gives off a dust, that seems to work its way thru all the protective clothing you are wearing, and the very same clothing makes you perspire, which makes the dust stick to you all the more.  Can you see me digging away at all those itchy places?

So when I went after more rolls of insulation at the local Lowes store, I was certain that I was nuts.  But when I returned home, the contractor dude was here building the last side of the shower walls and finishing his part of the deal.

At some point the plumber has to come back, and it is rumored that it will be tomorrow, but we will have to wait and see if that comes true.   Without the plumber and myself getting done, the drywall will have to be rescheduled.  I am determined that it will not be me that causes problems.

As of tonight I am about two thirds done, and I am hopeful to knock  out the rest in the next couple of days.  But for now, I turned the lights off at about 5 PM tonight and went for that extended scooter ride!  Remember, I had a full tank of gas!

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More fun than work.

As far as accomplishing anything worth while, today was a complete bust.  It started with a visit to the Doctor's office early in the morning, and that included a tad bit of waiting around. But after that we came back home with the best of intentions.

I even called the plumber and the contractor to see if they wanted to go forward, but in mid morning, I ended up on the phone to my investment councilor in Des Moines.  And that turned into a long phone call.  I'm not sure what we accomplished, but we talked for quite a while.

And I later learned that the plumber was on the phone trying to get thru at the same time.  Ooops,,, but we did manage to purchase a stock or two and make some futher plans for future investments.

And since I was on a financial roll, I started to pay this months bills, and the day just slipped out of hand.  Especially since the slow computer time caused me to slip away to nappy time....

So my best intensions were blown away anyway, so it was out to the scooter at about 3:30 where I rode over to Wendy's for a Junior Cheese and small fry combo.  But it was 92 outside and the sun was warm and comfortable, so I headed West and South out into the country.

I didn't come back to the house until almost 7 PM, after stopping at two different lakes and riding a lot of country.

On an RV note, I went thru the Olathe Ford RV lot looking over the many RVs they have in inventory.  And then a spin around the buildings where they were working on rigs in for repair.  I was somewhat surprised to find my storage neighbor's Allegro Bay having its bin doors replaced.  It was parked in the next row from mine at storage when the baseball hail hit us in April.

I did not see any old bent doors sitting around, so I am assuming that they straightened and filled the old ones.  That is what I did not want to happen to mine, so that confirms why I decided to go to Red Bay for replacements.  I saw my old doors stacked in a pile to be disposed, when I went to retrieve the repaired coach!

But this RV place is our source for repairs here in our community, and are the only facility  in town.  So they are way behind, and if you didn't purchase your rig there, you will wait forever.  So that is how we got into the habit of going back to Red Bay, Alabama.

Any way perhaps tomorrow will be better for some accomplishment in the basement, but don't count on it!!  The scooter has gas.........

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Basement work continues.

I was thrown right back into the forray this morning, as the pulmber was to be here at 8 AM.  Up at about 7:30, I didn't worry much about him showing up, because they never come at the time they say they will.

And by 9:30 he was still a no show.  I went over to Lowes and purchased 8 big rolls of insulation.  So that became my job for today, cutting and stapling the insulation into the 2x4 walls that are up against the concrete walls of the basement.  I was in a long sleve shirt, and had a face mask over my nose and mouth.

I had about 4 of the eight rolls cut and installed, when down the stairs walks the plumber and his assistant.  Unbknown to me, Loyce had left a note on the door to come on down!  It was after lunch.

So the plumbers worked on the rough in of the bathroom and wet bar for the rest of the afternoon.  The work is somewhat tedious, and requires a lot of trips out to the two plumbing vans that they brought along.  They finally declared that enough was done for today, and turned the water back on about 4:30.

About 6:30 this evening I went back down to install another TV cable to the office room, and found that the shower head installation was leaking rather severly onto the floor.  I stapled some plastic from the insulation wraping onto the studs and shaped it so the water would drain into the floor of the shower and its drain.

After calling the guy and some use of a 10 inch pipe wrench, I think the leak is stopped or slowed to a very small drip.  The plumber lives in a small town about 15 miles South of here, so I think he was greatful that I had it under control, and he didn't have to make a late night trip!!

There is a whole lot more insulation that needs installing, and some of it still needs to be purchased from Lowes, as I only bought what would comfortably fit in the back of the pickup on this first trip.  I'm not looking forward to the rest of the job.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The last day of the holiday.

The actual Fourth of July is usually anti climatic for us when it falls on the Monday of the holiday weekend.  By then we have been celebrating all week end and it is now time to get organized to get back home.

So that is kind of how today went.  We began packing things to go home after the big morning breakfast of waffles and sausage patties.  The kids mostly packed that breakfast away, while us older folks kind of picked at the fattening stuff. 

But as the mid part of the day came we were all back down on the dock, and the jet ski was going non stop as folks took turns riding it out and about.  The kids swam, and we finally went off in the boat until about 4 in the afternoon.  We rode around coves nosing into what everyone else was doing to celebrate on their docks.

We all have it down to about the same routine.  Float out in the water with a beverage of choice in you hands held above the water line.  Lake water in your beer is nasty!  The kids run and jump over your heads doing their best cannon ball to try and get that lake water into your beer.

The jet skis are kind of like bees buzzing around the coves you go into, as the kids follow the big boats and jump over their wakes behind their sterns.  This practice is mostly unsafe, and it is a wonder that more folks aren't hurt.  They cross each other behind the heavy boat, in a weave like pattern, and tend to time their arrival to be close to the stern.  When I had the heavy boat, sometimes I would slow down all of a sudden just to see what they would do next.  Sent the message to go follow someone else!

Any way it was almost 6 PM when we finally left for KC, and after dark when we were unloading here at home.

We have more work planned for the basement project tomorrow, so I need to hang up this keyboard for now.

Retired Rod

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hot until the rain came!

It was threatening rain all afternoon, but we went out on the pontoon boat anyway.  Of course when we got about 12 miles away, a cool wind came boiling down over the lake and blew my hat off into the drink.

We circled and fished it out with the telescoping pole that we have had and used forever.  Had my sunny clip ons  on the bill, couldn't loose those!  But it was apparent that we were about to get dumped on, so I scurried off to the West up a side cove.

The wind blew but we were out of the main cell of the storm.  We ducked into a new dock that someone was building in front of a new building.  But the dock didn't have a roof yet.  We were able to tie up for a few minutes as the wind passed by.

After a while we headed back East but quickly turned North away from the back side of the cell.  We had a leisurely ride after that, but the temperature went down suddenly by about 15 degrees.

By about 5 PM we were back at our own dock, but it was obvious that the wind had blown and it had rained here as well.  We went on about our day even though it was now no longer hot.

Tonight we split two big chickens in half and grilled them on the gas grill for about 50 minutes.  The top racks had skewers of fresh vegetables to go with them.  Not a bad meal, and as we were finishing , we did contemplate taking the pontoon over to see the fireworks at the big Lodge of the Four Seasons for a while.

But the clouds didn't look friendly, so we decided to skip it on the chance of a cold rain.  Our oldest grandson objected!!  So hanging here at home we watched quite a show put on by our neighbor in the North end of our own cove.  But as he was finishing, the sky decided to put on fireworks of its own with many bright flashes and loud bangs from mother nature.

Then the rain came down in a deluge.  Darned good thing we weren't out in the boat as we would have been soaked in cold heavy rain. Caden didn't say too much after that about not being out in the boat!

Our screen porch seemed dry and friendly as the rain came driving down.  The wind was pushing it along for quite a while, and the neighbors scurried to cover the rest of the fireworks show.  But with a 15 minute intermission, they began again and finished the display.

Its late at night now, but I can still hear folks off in the distance booming away at their stash of goodies.  Missouri has always allowed fireworks, as this is a fairly permissive state.  They assume that if you are dumb enough to burn up yourself and your property with fireworks, go for it!  Not too many blue laws in the Show Me State!

So with the kids in bed and the dishwasher running in the kitchen, it is all quiet here at the lake place for another day!  But a fun day it was at that.

Happy Fourth of July!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lakeside Laughter

My only trip out of the lake home today was about 4 miles West to a quick shop gas station with three 5 gallon jugs.  The jet ski needs fuel to play the game!!  The newer jet ski that I purchased last fall is actually more fuel efficient than the old one.

But it is 1500 cc engine and 4 cylinder 4 cycle, where as the old one was 750 cc 2 cycle.  It is not twice as powerful, and does not use twice the fuel, but it does use more than the old one.  All of this means you take more jugs with you to the gas station.

And when my younger son and daughter in law arrived with their youngest daughter, the dock and swimming and jet skiing went into full force.  We already had the older two kids here, so there are 7 of us and Biscuit.  She has three kids to follow and doesn't know who to chase first.

The older kids had been swimming since early morning, so naps were in order late in the afternoon. By late evening we were bar be cuing bacon wrapped turkey breast fillets.  It was awful, but somebody had to eat it!

So a day with the family at the lake has come to an end, and all the tired kids are off to bed.  But grandpa snuck in a nap  late in the afternoon, so I am blogging away.

Hope you had fun at your Holiday party as well!

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Holliday at the Lake begins

An hour by hour replay of today would be the most boring thing you ever read!   So it will suffice to say that I am now at the Lake cabin in Lake Ozark, Missouri.

I did go over to Harbor Freight this morning looking for a box of staples for the air nail brad gun.  And of course I found a much bigger half inch drill.  But since the project is mostly complete in the basement, I didn't buy it. And I hope it will be quite a while before I get myself into wiring about half a house again.........  Or at least until my spouse decides we are starting on another of these projects.....

Again the trip down here to the lake is over roads that I have traveled repeatedly and I actually see very little.  I think you only notice things that have changed, when you have taken the same roads repeatedly. Things in the back country of Missouri change very slowly.  And I didn't go thru any of the tornado ravaged areas either, so there is not much to report.

Once here tonight, the smoke detectors were beeping away non stop.  This house has six of them.  And if one beeps they are all wired together so they all beep.  Loyce has been putting up with that all day and thru the night last night too.  Two of the detectors are up in the top of a 12 foot ceiling so I headed over to Home Depot and purchased Lithium batteries for them.  It is advertised that those will last 10 years.  The other four are on 8 foot ceilings and easily reached with a step ladder, so they just got ordinary energizers.  Since we are never here on January first, we change the batteries on July 1.....

We have the grand kids here with us tonight, the two oldest ones, and Loyce is played out.  And of course I played hooky all day by not getting here until after supper.  But one thing is for sure, I didn't go down into the basement and start working on stuff again either..

Tomorrow the holiday weekend actually begins!!!!

Retired Rod

Friday, July 1, 2011

Just endorse the check to us!

You run into the wildest stuff these days.  There is no more trust in anything you do, because folks will take advantage of anything at any time.  And so it was with the final payment on our roofing bill.

The folks that did the roof have been hounding us about the final payment check from the insurance company.  We have full replacement coverage, but they withhold the depreciation portion of the payment until you submit a final completion certificate.

That went in within a day of the completion of the job, but the check hasn't arrived.  The roofers called almost every day, "Is it there yet?"  But finally it came in last Saturday, and I told them, yes it was here now.  They were here at 9 AM on Monday to get the check........

I was going to endorse it and deposit it and then give them one of our personal checks, but that wasn't fast enough, so they had me sign the check over to them.  So I signed the check on the back and made it "pay to the order of The Roofing Company."

That made the guy go away for  a while, but yesterday they were back on the phone because the bank would not accept a two party check.  Heck, I told you so!  But the problem was they had stamped their company name and for deposit only on the back of the check, so technically the check wasn't mine any more.  But they brought it back to me to correct!  What the heck can I do about it now?

So I went over to my bank and they told me there was no way they could deposit it for me with all those endorsements on the back.  I had to sit and wait for the lady that was official to tell what I already knew.

So out of a wild chance, I went to the claims office of the insurance company.  After explaining the problem to three different folks there, the last lady said she would reissue the check!  That works...... and she did it right on the spot after voiding the original one.

So after depositing the new check back into my bank, I went to the roofing company office and wrote them a personal check.  This fiasco took all morning.

Loyce was ready to leave for the lake cabin with the two older grand kids, and I hadn't even packed a tooth brush.  So tonight I am still in KC and she is at the lake.  Evidentally they swam for most of the late afternoon once they arrived.  And I missed out on Pizza at Emo's too.

But I had another productive day in the basement wiring in the ground fault circuit for the bathroom and bar counter outlets.  Also I re wired the celing lights in two rooms adding switches at the doors.  Formerly there were no rooms or doors in this area and all the lights came on with one switch at the bottom of the main stairs.

Adding the switches would not be much of a task except that there are no hot power runs to that part of the room, so I had to add these legs first before I could have something to switch on.

I think I am mostly done with the electrical, other than adding a cable TV wire to the bedroom/office.  But at least I can turn on the light in there with a switch now.

Oh, the Harbor Freight drill is beginning to heat up now when it is used for only a minute or two.  This project has probably rendered it useless, much like my sore hands and arms from running the poor thing.

And Happy Canada Day for my Canadian readers!

Retired Rod