Thursday, May 31, 2012

Harbor Freight and Costco

I am certain that I am boring all you folks out of your mind by posting all of the pictures that we get from Arizona as they build this new house.  And I know I am very concerned that it go along as it should.  But I can't be there to see for myself, so I am like a nervous nellie.  But right now this is kind of my whole life, so it ends up on the blog.

We really don't have too much going on that is really interesting here, other than passing our time waiting for things to be complete.  We don't have the motorhome so we can't head out with our kids to go camping on the weekend so we are hanging out here in KC.

Perhaps we can go back down to the lake this weekend and get back into the swing of our normal summer here in the Midwest.

Loyce went over and joined Costco this morning, since our membership in Sam's Club has expired. I don't see much difference in the two but perhaps there is a lot more stuff at Costco, and it is closer to us in Mesa.  The Sam's is way off down in the San Tan Village area in Arizona, but I have always used Sam's and not Costco, so I come along  with reservations.

I rode the scooter up to Harbor Freight this afternoon and purchased some of their lesser quality tools to take and leave at the new house.  I won't always have full tool kits along when we travel with just the car, so basic tools will have to be there.  Every residence that you have to take care of, needs some of its own basic tools like a shovel and a hammer.  Over the years we have outfitted the lake place with all these things.  Sometimes you take stuff from your main home, and then when you need it again its at the other place.  That's when you end up replacing stuff with a second item.

Really though, I think I am just keeping myself busy, thinking of the stuff that will need to be done to get us ready for living at the new place next winter.  But on the way home, I stopped at the Costco and picked up the new membership cards Loyce had purchased.  I walked thru, and still didn't see anything that was worth buying for us.  Maybe when we get to outfitting the new house in Arizona it will be better.

Tonight as I was going over to Wal Mart, the sky turned very dark, and it is raining quite hard now.  Its Kansas, and we watch these things with a weary eye.  I put both scooters in the garage before it began..

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Arizona house photos

We have some additional pictures from the Arizona house:

The realtor lady points out that we are formed up for the concrete driveway and front entry steps.  I also noticed the garage door has been hung and the windows now have their shutters.

She walked over to the front door and looked in to find the tile mechanic installing the ceramic tile on the floor.  We selected to have them installed on the bias, which makes for a lot more cutting along the walls, and is much more difficult to keep lined up all the way across the room.  It did cost some more money, but the price only purchased the additional tile because of the increased wasted cuts.  The poor installer evidently doesn't get much more for his trouble.  We thought it was kind of a neat effect.

This fellow is grouting the tiles that were installed yesterday.....  At least he was, as he seems to be missing in action.  If any of you have done any grouting, the prospect of having about 1200 square feet in front of you makes my knees ache.   So perhaps if he is off on break around the corner grabbing a smoke, it is well deserved.

This house isn't supposed to be complete until after the fourth of July, and they said mid to late July, but it doesn't seem to us that there will be that much to do to make it last that long.  But each of the trades must come back and do their finish work.  Electricians, plumbers, HVAC, counter top mechanics, blown insulation, painters, security installers and the yard landscapers.  So perhaps with only about 5 weeks we are right on target...

We are holding our breath that the roof gets completed in the fairly near future.  It only has tar paper on it and that won't hold off much in the way of rain.  But then I guess it really doesn't rain all that much in Arizona.  I do think the roofers are behind and should be back any day now.

Even then, I am watching the forecasts fairly carefully as we don't need one of those monsoon rains that fill all the washes and gullies in about a half hour.  I will be much relieved when a picture comes in with the roof installed....

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Day and the Trip Home

We were up and had breakfast again this morning, as it was our last day on the water.. And that always turns into a short day as the pack up and trip back take the best part of the afternoon.

So we did just that, boat in the morning.  This time easing in and out of the various coves at slower speeds looking at all the places and folks out on their docks.  This seems to be a sport on LO as we have just as many Looky Loo's pass by our place in their "out for a casual drive" mode as well.

The big racer boats seemed to be gone from the lake today, but the wind was killer out of the South, turning over some rough choppy seas.  We hugged the South shore line allowing the wind to blow over our heads across the water.  Most of today was at about 5 miles an hour.

In all too short of time the clock was nearly 2 in the afternoon, and we headed back to wrap up the dock with all of its assorted covers and bungee cords.  After a quick lunch Chris and his crew was headed out for KC.........

We did manage to kidnap the 7 year old to keep us company as we drove back to KC.  As a newly finished first grader headed on to second grade, she kept us spell bound as she read aloud her Junie B Jones book as it has many various chapters about this young girl and her experiences about Kindergarten and First Grade....  It's a hilarious read, even if you are 60ish.....  We were amused all the way back to the KC home.  Claire dearly loves this book that her other Gramma gave her......!  Way to go Debbie!

Retired Rod

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Jet Ski is done!

Today started out much better when we went back to the Kawasaki Jet Ski dealer...   Our machine was up in the finished row and locked up so someone couldn't steal it overnight.

It was very busy for a Sunday morning, but it was a Holiday morning and folks were everywhere.  Once we got to the counter, our guy Buck said it would be $38.  I asked if he got the tool out of the bilge and was told that they did.

That seemed way too cheap for us messing the thing up like we did, but here in the woods of Missouri, they do not charge like over in Kansas City.........  I felt guilty and asked if they had the special wrench and purchased it as well.  They should make some profit from it  too.

Actually all they had to do was take the old filter off and put on a new one, as we had changed out the oil last fall before winter came.  But still this is a really good bunch of folks and I want them to still be here next year too.

On the way back home, we stopped by the North Shore Ramp and launched Chris into the lake.  The machine must be OK because he beat me home.

We spent much of the rest of the day out riding in the Pontoon Boat trying to get away from the massive bunch of traffic zooming all over the lake.  We call them the crazies.  They zoom right by you with massive 40 to 50 foot boats leaving wakes the size of tidal waves.  Try as we might, on the way back to the house, one of these nuts managed to cover us with an absolute wall of flying water.

We were drenched from heat to foot.  Now our boat is 26 feet long and has a big 225 horse outboard on it, so we can scoot right along too, but some of these ships weigh 25,000 pounds.  They have two big inboard motors and can flip small boats.  Their captains are inconsiderate and think the lake is just for them since they are the biggest boat. What ever happened to the rule that small craft had the right of way?

I did get in a scooter ride on the Red Kymco 200 late in the afternoon while the kids were taking their naps.  The traffic wasn't really too bad by 4:30, and I had a bit of fun buzzing thru the T shirt town up by the dam.

So Happy Memorial Day as you read this it will be Monday the official Holiday.....

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Projects at the lake.....

What a busy day here at the lake place.......  It started in the middle of last night when one of the 7 smoke detectors began its chirp to let us know of a bad battery.......  Loyce and Chris went off to Wal Mart about 10 PM leaving me here with the grandkids...

They purchased 6 batteries as I thought that was the number of detectors we had.  I was wrong.......!  But by the time they got home the dog gone thing quit chirping.  We ended up going to bed without finding out which one it was.  We didn't want to wake the kids either.

Well......... at about 4:30 it began to chirp again and low and behold it was the one in OUR bedroom.  I just covered my head with a pillow and tried not to listen to it.  That's kind of hard so by about 7:30 we were up changing batteries..  That's when we found out we were one short...

In the mean time Chris began working on the Jet Ski that we couldn't get the oil filter off of last fall.  Well nothing had changed as we couldn't get it off now either.....  We went to town and got a much stronger compression filter wrench and another smoke detector battery and started again to remove the filter..........  Couldn't budge it!  Just crushed the side of the filter can with the wrench.......

Now I know we need professional help, so we hitch up the trailer and ski and go for our dealer.   He explains that it takes a special brass tool to take off the filter.  He has one and lets us try it on our ski out behind the truck in the driveway.  The tool is $45 because it is made out of brass.......  Our filter was too bent up and crushed to get the tool on correctly and we ended up dropping  the tool into the bottom of the hull under the engine.......

OK that's it,  Chris you give up!  We are leaving this machine here to have the nice folks change this filter for us even if we end up not being able to use the ski today or even this weekend!!!  Chris said he felt defeated as we were riding back home.....  Well defeated yes, but we are smart enough to know when to pay for services we can't accomplish for ourselves.....

We moved on to the project of cleaning the pontoon boat, which took most of the rest of the afternoon. And even that turned out to be not so good as we found a large starling nest in the rolled up canvas top of the boat.  And when we unrolled the top it dumped massive amounts of bird doo all over the inside of the boat we had just cleaned!!  Straw and feathers flew into the breeze!

Needless to say we were quite happy tonight to head into town for an Imo's Pizza and a couple of libations...  The kids seemed to like the thin and crispy style pizza with the provolone cheese too, since the 7 year old told us she had 5 pieces....  There wasn't anything left of two large pies......

So that was Saturday of our Memorial Day Weekend.

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back down to the lake.

Today was a pack up and travel back to the Lake House day for us.  We managed to have our seven year old grand daughter with us as we traveled, and that is always fun.

It took us all morning to get things in order to travel and it was raining for most of the time.  I thought for sure we would have to float down to Lake Ozark, but then just as we were on our way out, the skies cleared and we never saw another drop of rain.

We started the house AC when we arrived and quickly unpacked the truck.  By now it was time for dinner.  We are creatures of habit, so off to Bandana's Bar B Cue.....

As usual, the smoked meat and baked potato were slathered in their Chicago Style Sauce.  Its the beginning of another holiday weekend with our older son and his family here at the lake.  Nothing overly exciting, but the grand kids love it.

Retired Rod

Friday, May 25, 2012

The DMV is on the Phone!

I was up early and out mowing and trimming the yard for most of the morning.  Then it was wash two motor scooters, and by then the grand kids were over here and helped wiping them all down till they shined.

That was about when Loyce came out and said the DMV had called and our tags were ready.....  Now that's a switch.  A personal call that things were complete!  It looked like it could rain any minute, but Loyce and the kids were merrily washing away on one of the cars.

So I jumped on Salt, the white bike and headed over to the DMV just to see if this could possibly be true.   And it Was!

I was greeted by a greeter at the inside of the door and directed to a line of one other person besides myself...  And we had two processors taking care of this small line.  I was up to the desk in only a minute and with my name she had the papers out.  I wrote the check for the required amount and she handed me the packet as she entered the payment into the computer!  She thanked me and that was that!

I wasn't in there more than five minutes!!

On the way back, I stopped at the Suzuki dealership and picked up the top handlebar cover that I had ordered last week.  Salt's previous owner had drilled a bunch of holes in the old one for some kind of electronic item.  And with the item gone the holes looked nasty.

Back here at home we removed and installed the cover and also the new license plate!  And as one of the patrons that left the DMV with her new plates earlier this week said "I'm Free!"

The rest of the day was kind of inconsequential so I won't bother blogging about it, but I sure hope that our folks at the state are starting to get their system together, and perhaps I was there on the worst day they had.  Or at least it seemed that way to me.

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DMV Clarification!

Just for the record, in Kansas you can use the online system to renew your license tags.  But your insurance company must participate with the insurance lookup system so they can verify that you actually have a valid insurance policy..

But yesterday I was turning in a transferred title for a vehicle that had never been registered in my name before.  And the tags on the utility trailer were way over due since I was in Arizona with the trailer when the renewal was supposed to be done.  Both of these type transactions need to be done in person here in Kansas..

We are also in the process of changing license plates to a new design, and have been at this change for the last three years..  And as luck would have it, my oldest car has one of the old plates on it.  There again, they won't let us renew these old plates on line..  All of the rest of the renewals will qualify for online renewal.  So I will do what ever portion that I can on the online system, but that one old tag will have me back to the DMV in person next month too....

And no I didn't receive a call that they had yesterday's work completed.  And the unexpected shut down of the entire state's registration operation made the news in most of the large cities that have TV stations here in Kansas last night.

As for the oil change price, the scooters are surrounded with large plastic housings that we owners lovingly refer to as tupperware...  It takes about an hour to get the plastic removed from the outside of the bike before you can even drain one drop of oil.  Also the transfer case has three plugs that are quite tiny, and the oil must be installed thru small plastic fish tank tubing into the top little plug.  You put the bottom plug back in and add oil thru the top one until it comes out of the middle one.  Finally the rear end hypoid lube is also installed with small tubing.  It only has two plugs and you fill it up to the top one.  This is quite slow and with hourly rates being over $100 now, the billing has gone off the chart.

I knew it would be almost $200 to get this work done, but the extra hundred took me by surprise..  And  there is no Harley shop that would touch any Japanese motorcycle... no siree, not no ricer in here.........!!

Salt and Pepper

This might be a rare picture where the two bikes are together, since  one of them will become an Arizona resident.

In  Arizona the cupboards are now installed.

This final picture is the master bathroom since it is a taller cabinet and has the top cutouts for two sinks.

She took other pictures of the installations but I won't bore you with all of those.  We are quite appreciative of this gal going over and taking these photos, even though they are with her cell phone and sent off in a hurry.  She could describe things all day, and not have us understand as well as one quick picture..

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Johnson County Kansas DMV

Today was the day that I was scheduled to pick up the scooter that I call Salt...  And I needed to have its paper work and title processed by the Kansas DMV here in Johnson County...  As you know, we have been in the process of installing the new computer system for license tags here in Kansas so I knew this was to be trouble.......

I also need that tag for the utility trailer that was due way back in February, so I am up and on the computer at 7:30 sharp when they begin allowing checkins.  After a few attempts because there were too many of us all at once, I got a place in their waiting line....  The system sends out text messages to your cell phone as to how you are progressing, so you don't have to sit there all day.  But it said I was only 55 minutes back.  Cool!

I rode Pepper over to the Suzuki dealer and traded for Salt.  I left Pepper for an oil change....  Salt and I went to the DMV by way of a stop at McDonalds for a biscuit.  When I arrived, my hour was about up, only to find out that I was now 2 hours behind......... What!!

Well it  seems that the computer system went down yesterday afternoon and all those folks came back this morning and got a free pass to the front of the line....  And all of us for today had to wait....  I was still waiting at 1:30 in the afternoon.......  When the computer went down again.....  I was first in line to be helped next.........  My mouth fell open in disbelief!

It was supposed to take an hour to get it restarted, so I went to Wendy's for the little burger.  At three o'clock they still didn't have it back up and the manager started to run us thru the line taking our papers and information so we could be processed on a night shift....  I finally left the office about 4 PM without any new tags or registration.  But I do have a promise that they will call me on a will call basis when the paper work is processed.

Of course by now, Pepper is done at the dealership, so I ride home and Loyce and I return with the car for Pepper..  Seems that this oil change is quite labor extensive and the bill was $300.  Wow!  To change 4 quarts of oil and that rear end lube......  The motorhome wasn't much more than that, and it holds 17 quarts and has two filters......  I guess I never asked how much the bill would be, so its my fault on that one..

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More from Arizona

More pictures from the Arizona build.....

The concrete in the stucco is now dry and they have painted the under side of the eaves so that the roofers can come in and install the concrete tiles.

There are now doors on the front and inside of the garage, which can be locked at night. The interior painting is done for the first coat, so now the cabinets can be delivered.  They will be installed yet this week.  The realtor will send us some shots once they are up. Most of the interior wood work is now installed as well.

I wish this would be my back yard, but the reality is that the concrete strip in the gravel is the footing for the block wall that will outline our back yard.  There are three other back yards beyond the concrete.

These photos are kind of boring, but remember she is depicting things that have progressed in the last several days.

And to finish out the pictures, here is a shot from my son's excursion over to Whiteman Airforce Base this past weekend.  They have an annual show for those that wish to attend....  Security is high, as you have to go thru all the metal detectors and stuff just to sit on the grass apron along the run way.  But the sights are fairly stunning.....

Somebody cue up the Star Spangled Banner!   Attention!!  Right Hand Salute!!   Two!!

Retired Rod

Monday, May 21, 2012

Readers Ask?

Just for the record, we are back in KC tonight, and there was absolutely nothing remarkable about our trip home.....  But then we didn't want anything to happen that would have been remarkable.......

Rick Doyle commented today: "Maybe you should buy a 3rd scooter and name it 'ketchup'? One thing I still want to know is it still seems you have the problem of getting one scooter down to AZ in the first place? Who wins on that? The car, truck or motorhome?"

We will probably drive the truck and the trailer back to Az later this summer when we need to close the purchase of the house. Loyce is planning all the stuff that needs to be taken to this new house.  And there is no way that it will all fit in one of our cars.

As it now stands in our plans, we will be driving both the truck and the motorhome back to Kansas once we have possession of the new home.  And yes that should be a tad costly at the fuel pump.........Ouch.

Don in Oklahoma commented: "Shoot!! Just ride the scoot to AZ and fly back. Dandy road trip!!"

Don in an absolute heart beat!  If I wasn't 6 months from a dual major abdominal surgery.... But the way it is now, I could maybe make about 50 miles a day so the trip would take 24 days.. Better leave tomorrow!

And then JB had the thought: "Just because I like hearing about your DMV trips why don't you register Salt down there at your Arizona place."

Its too bad that the title for the new bike has to be registered in 30 days, because I would wait to register the bike in Arizona. But, since we will not have possession of the house fast enough, we do not actually have an Arizona address until we close.

That will have me transferring the registration to Arizona after I pay the sales tax here in Kansas.... Transferring will have to be delayed long enough not to have to pay any tax in Arizona, how ever long that is.

JB went on the observe: "with Salt in Arizona maybe you and Loyce will be able to fly down for weekends and just use Salt for your local transportation."

We are considering leaving a car in Arizona as well as Salt. So yes flying down for a couple of weeks or more will be an option. But remember how I had to ship a bunch of clothes when we came home this spring...? How is Loyce going to live out of her suitcase for weeks at a time?? Will she leave Biscuit behind?

Jenny J observes: "Salt and Pepper -- now you will always have a scoot that matches your hair!"

This is too funny, as the little Red Kymco is now at the lake, and the first thing Loyce said when I explained Salt and Pepper to her was "What's the Red one called? Hot Pepper!

And then Sam over in St Louis wondered: "I wonder how I could have got that one past my CFO Donna?"

Sam, I didn't ask for permission to buy this new scoot... I pretty much knew what the answer was going to be, so why ask? I am now asking for forgiveness, but perhaps that might take a while...

Anyway a bunch of great questions from the thoughtful folks that try and make some sort of sense out of our doings here in Kansas.... But the short answer is that we don't always think these things out as far as we should, and shooting from the hip has always caused a bunch of trouble, but then after some of the medical things this past year these problems seem rather small......

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Salt and Pepper

Every year when we get packed up to go to Arizona in the fall, it is the same problem.  I want to take the motor scooter for the winter so I can ride down there.  It provides a second form of transportation on the days that Loyce heads on out on her quilt store shopping excursions.

Not that she is riding the scooter to the quilt stores though, don't be absurd........  LOL.  Anyway it causes us to add the towing vehicle  which is either our pickup or the motorhome.........  But what about if we just want to take the car down?  Or are we going to take the truck and then have to drive it around town all winter?  Just because I want the scooter down there..

Are we going to spend $800 worth of gas driving the truck back and forth while Loyce follows with one of the cars?  Then where do we park it when we are not driving it?  See all the problems this thing with the scooter is causing....

Then I got to thinking about my friend Jim with the fishing boat scenario......  He just bought a second fishing boat to leave in Arizona so he won't have to haul the boat back and forth.....  Yep, I need a scooter to leave in Arizona.....  But a new scooter is now over 10K...... ouch.

But I am in luck, depending on how you see it, as a fellow at the Suzuki shop has traded in his 09 Burgman for a bigger faster newer rocket......  He has go fast disease, as his nick name is Fast Eddie!

Anyway Fast Eddie's trade in is a white Burgman with only 4150 miles on it.  Like new.... I rode it and it seemed tighter than mine....  But then mine has 7K miles on it.

So on Thursday when I was feeling like I was on top of the world because the cancer is gone..........!  I went over and bought Fast Eddies white Burgman.....  I rationalized that I would take it to Arizona first thing and it wouldn't take up room in the KC garage for very long... and it cost a lot less than buying a new one......  But most of all, I won't have to haul scooters back and forth for 1200 miles each way...

The white color is really kind of an off white with some light cream color included..  So I have dubbed the bikes with the names of Salt and Pepper...  Since the red dust of Arizona stands out like a sore thumb on the black painted one, Salt will be the bike going to Arizona, while Pepper will stay here in the Midwest.

Really, since the time of use will be much less when we are only in Arizona for 4 months or so, the bike with the most miles should go there, (Pepper) but perhaps it might get traded for a newer bike when it gets too many miles on it.  Who knows what the future might bring?

I didn't get possession of Salt yet, as it has some work that needs to be completed, but when I get the two of them together, I will take a picture and put it here on the blog.  Now if only Loyce would take some interest in the scooters we would be all set, but then we would be getting a bigger trailer and hauling both bikes back and forth.......  Be careful what you wish for.......

But next looms the dreaded DMV as the title will have to be registered over into my name and the tags will have to be purchased......eww.....  So I will have to get an appointment and wait for two days for it to be my turn....  This is just crazy...

Meanwhile we both worked and worked around here at the lake all day, which doesn't make for much to report on the blog....  For my part, I ran the pressure washer on the floating dock.  It has a concrete decking material, and gets really grungy in the winter.....  I also started on washing the pontoon boat as well, but that will take another full day...

So call me nuts, but I now have a matched set of scooters.......Named, Salt and Pepper........!

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend at the Lake.....

Thank you to all of the folks that commented on my news from the Hospital yesterday.....  And yes, I was kind of dreading going in to have all the tests done.....  Since every time I went in the news seemed to become worse and worse.....

I still don't want to say of do anything that might cause me to have to have more surgery.......  No siree!!  Heck Doc, my day is going just fine!

Anyway we have returned to the lake cabin this afternoon where we are sitting outside staring at the lake for copious amounts of time......  We thought we would get some shopping done this weekend and perhaps clean up the dock a bit tomorrow......

Tonight we went over and purchased a couple of chairs that swivel and rock for the screen porch.  They came in a big box in oodles of pieces.....  So I spent much of the night putting bolt F into hole Q with two ZZ lockwashers......

So not much else going on, since we spent the afternoon driving back here.  It takes about three and a half hours from KC.......

Retired Rod

By the way.......  we received this comment on the Kansas DMV post from a couple of days ago...  It is anonymous but obviously comes from someone in the know who can't state his name for obvious reasons.......  So I thought I would elevate his comment to the main body of the blog for those that might have missed it.

The software that was chosen for the new modernization project was the lowest bidder. It is much more complicated and time consuming to do the most simple tasks. It will not get much better even after the employees master the new software. FYI. The drivers license offices are next in line for the new software.
Boy I wish them the best of luck with this implementation.....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hospital fun in the morning......

I was up at 6 AM this morning as the sun was just peeking over the Eastern horizon........   I am always drastically blurry eyed at this time of morning.......  But I had to snap out of it and get ready for the day because it was muster at 8 AM at the Hospital!!

The Kansas University Med Center is way up North from out here in the burbs, and requires a morning drive time experience on the local Interstate..  Traffic was buzzing about like bees.  A guy cut me off on the very first intersection causing an angry bunch of drivers behind me to honk madly.....

I refrained from any in appropriate gestures but ya gotta know that my heart told me to go ahead and let if fly!  But after an hour of interstate fun, I arrived at the lab....  Only to find it full!!!  Too many folks to get the tests done.  Oh, well on to the next stop.......

Radiology was next, and they needed to start an IV as well, so I conned them into doing the tests that the lab should have taken.....

After several hours of this fun, I ended up at the Doctor's office to find out the results of all of this fun.

The long and short of all of this is that I was declared to be Cancer Free on this trip to the surgeon...  And he had to admire all his work on my front side too......  I still don't admire all this though as I have quite a bit of pain from these endeavors.........  But Hey!  I'm alive and riding the scooter and going RVing so what's not to like?

But this is only a short term declaration of well being.......  I have to be back again in three short months to have it all done again....   Kind of like living with an anvil hanging over your head with a shoestring for a support.........

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kansas DMV

I wonder if things at the Johnson County DMV are not a little testy right now??  I have a small trailer license to renew, and have been trying to get an appointment for the last several days.  Seems that the office opens up at 7:30 and everyone is getting appointments on line and filling up the whole day all at once....

They are hopelessly behind the curve and can't catch up because they have a new computer system and it takes twice as long to renew a tag than before.  The State of Kansas has off loaded much of the work onto the counties.......  So, no wonder it takes longer....

This is the official post from them this morning.......

Johnson County Meets with State to Discuss Motor Vehicle Concerns 
JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS (May 16, 2012) — Johnson County officials met with the top officials of  the Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka on Tuesday, May 15, to discuss the long wait times of customers and other impacts to Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices following the implementation of the new state-wide motor vehicle computer system. 
The Johnson County delegation included Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners; Vice Chairman and Sixth District Commissioner Calvin Hayden; County Manager Hannes Zacharias; County Treasurer Thomas Franzen; and Chief Deputy Treasurer Amy MeekerBerg.

They met with Nick Jordan, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue; Kansas Director of Motor Vehicles Donna Shelite; the DMV Modernization project director, and staff from 3M Corporation, the state’s vendor for the new computer system.

County officials expressed their concerns with the new computer system.  State officials are considering possible solutions to address the County’s concerns and will respond to County officials by the end of this week.

To address the long wait times, Johnson County staff have been putting in long hours, and the County Manager has approved filling eight vacant positions in the Motor Vehicle Division.

Since the new system implementation, both Motor Vehicles Offices have had to discontinue accepting new customers by late morning each day. Motor vehicle transactions, including vehicle registration renewal and title processing, currently require twice the time to process since the system became operational on May 8. With the implementation of the new system, the State of Kansas has also transitioned additional workload to all 105 counties in Kansas. 

So there you have it, but I am not really sure how they have helped the situation at hand.  Hiring a bunch of new people that don't know a thing about registrations or the laws or how it should work.  That sounds like a good solution for the backlog of thousands of angry customers......

I was out for much of the afternoon making appointments for other things that need to be completed this month.  An official oil change for the scooter since the intermediate gear case and the rear gear case need changed as well.  Remember I wasn't too fond of the gear lube on the little scooter so perhaps a dealer change is in the works.

And then it was the eye glasses shop to make an appointment for the eye doctor.........  Who was on Vacation and won't be back until after the Holiday..  Doesn't anybody still work?

I guess not me, but my retirement was official some years ago..

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We have more pictures from Arizona

Progress in Mesa..  These pictures were taken Friday night....

We have stucco

The new stucco appears to still be quite wet in the above picture.  I know it will dry for a couple of weeks before they come back and paint it.

The living room is bigger than the motorhome!
The walls of the great room here have been taped and mudded.  Then the texture has been applied as you can see the blotches or spotted effect.  Next they will be sealed and painted with the standard swiss mocha cream coffee color.

Changing that color to something else requires an additional charge of over $3 K.  Evidently they order paint by the barrel to make it way cheaper, but custom colors require the tinting of ordinary 5 gallon buckets and that drastically increases the cost.  I'm not sure I buy all of that explanation.
But I figured for $3K, I could hire painters to custom paint the interior any way we want it once we take possession. That way we will know the exact quality of the paint used...

Master Bath Shower
The light from the window didn't allow for much of a picture but this is the shower stall in the master bathroom.  You can see where the sink will be  by the plumbing that comes out of the wall.

Loyce's sewing room and walkin closet
We had one of the bedrooms eliminated and the resulting space is incorporated into several closets.  This bedroom gets a much larger walk in closet with a window.  Originally the bedroom had an in room closet with sliding doors.  Also the bedroom is enlarged by a couple of feet to make it bigger as well.

Here again you can see the blotchy spots of the wall texture before the paint is sprayed on.

As I understand it, this week the paint crew will do the initial paint application and then the finish carpenters take over installing the interior wood work.  I was told that by Friday they should have the doors in place and the home will then be locked at night.

Back here in Kansas, we put in a rather quiet day which included mowing the lawn again on the John Deere yard tractor.  The machine is almost too big for our yard as I am required to loop around several times in order to get some of the areas mowed in the smaller corners.  I do use the walk behind mower for the trimming, and it has a power self propelled option, but in the corners and up against the house the self propelled part isn't much good.  But it does beat pushing by hand ...

Later this afternoon, I went out on the black scooter  looking for that Wendy's sandwich.  And then I stopped by Chris' home to catch up on news from their side of the world.    Not much going on, but somehow I just couldn't get myself up for the DMV trip and a new license tag for the trailer.  But its got to happen sooner or later...

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back in KC and the Boat Tag

We arrived home last night several hours after the supper bell, and then had to go thru the unload process.  We had really filled the truck and trailer with stuff from the lake house that we didn't think we needed there any more.

Some of it might find its way to the new joint in Arizona, but I am encouraging the long and hard look at stuff to see if the Good Will Store might be the best option.......   As Rick up in Canada calls it, a Sally Ann run.......   I don't know how we get all this stuff, because I don't go to garage sales much..........

But once unloaded, the trailer had to go back to its storage lot..  It was almost dark by then...  Some left overs from the meals at the lake became supper and once in the easy chair to read a few blogs, I was gone..............zzzzzzzzzz.  So no blog was written.  It was about 2 AM when I managed to get myself upstairs and into the formal bed....   Even Biscuit looked at me like I was crazy for bothering her..

But on Monday morning, I did make that Department of Motor Vehicles run for the new license for the pontoon boat.  Its due to be stuck on by June 30, but perhaps having it early will keep me from disaster with the lake patrol....

I rode the red scooter up to Eldon, Mo which is about 20 miles North of the lake place.  It was cool in the morning, and the road is somewhat of a back road going thru the woods, past peoples places that want to live out miles from nowhere...  You can accomplish this goal in rural Central Missouri!!

Missouri uses privately run license bureaus that are agents of the DMV.  They are for profit businesses that want to serve you as best they can.  The one in Eldon has two doors.  One for the entrance with a large counter of gals and computers, and a door as an exit after you go past the counter.  A few chairs line the windows for folks that might need to wait a while......

I parked and walked in the OUT door because I wasn't paying attention.......  Of course they teased me right off....  Kind of like the barber shop razzing, in a good nature anyway..  There weren't any other customers in the place.  I tossed the card that had come in the mail to the gal, and she went to work on the computer...

They have to look up if you paid your property tax on the vehicle, which is billed by the county court house separately in Missouri.  But in just a few moments she had it online.  Yep, its paid....  So with a check for $103, that paid for the tags on the boat for three years....  "Here you go, a new sticker for each side, you know how to put them on?"

The personal property tax on the vehicles in Missouri is paid to the county each year along with your real estate taxes.  So when you purchase a tag or license plate, you just pay the registration cost and nothing more.  My truck that is registered at the lake has these three year tags as well....  For the truck you have to prove insurance as well when it is renewed....

So I was out of there almost 5 minutes after I arrived.........  Perhaps the rural nature of this privately run agency is in contrast to the state run DMV office here in KC, Ks.  Remember I never have acquired a tag for the utility trailer,  Yet.....

Retired Rod

Monday, May 14, 2012

We hang behind

This morning was kind of the family get together over breakfast day.  We had a few mother's day gifts to open and some scrambled eggs to eat.  Biscuit the dog had to chase the grandkids until they fell down.  The ruckus went on!

But before long it was time to pack the bags and coolers for home.....  At least Ben and Danielle did that, but I commented to Loyce that we really didn't need to go home today........... Do we?  Well no we don't, so we just watched as our company packed up.

With hugs and handshakes, they departed, and we settled into looking at the lake out the big sliding door!  Biscuit was tired and just slept in the big leather couch for the rest of the afternoon.

I think Loyce went thru a lot of our stuff that has accumulated here in the 9 years since we built this place.  We drive the pickup back and forth to the KC home and it seems that we are never happy with where something is.  Haul it to the lake, and then take another load back to the KC home.

We sorted out a bunch of stuff to run thru the washing machine since it has been since last fall that things were washed up.

And I am looking forward to going to the Missouri DMV to renew some boat tags in the morning......  So that should be another great DMV experience.........  At least they don't have cell phone preregistration, and folks will actually have to appear in order to get in line....

Tonight it is in the early 60s and it almost feels cold outside.  We had the cool front go over yesterday with afternoon rains which dampened all hopes of the kids and swimming.  Us adults weren't too keen on the idea anyway as the water is just barely 60 degrees.

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!

Since we will all travel back home tomorrow on Sunday, today was our mother's day with our son and his family.  Loyce spent it with our DIL doing what she does best!!!!  Going Shopping!!

They left about 10 AM or so, and us guys hung back at home to do what us guys do..........  No not shopping....  But Ben began to pull the many weeds that grow in the rocks that make up our steep yard here at the lake.

I mixed up some weed poison in the sprayer and my grandson Caden and his dad went at it.  We had decided to spruce up the little flower bed in front of the house, so I needed flowers.

That sent me into town to the local Lowe's store in search of Knock Out Roses.  I purchased them along with some little yellow annuals and some begonias for the flower bed.  The roses grow almost like weeds here in the Missouri soil, so we know they will eventually fill in the spots where the annuals are now planted.

But first I had to get 6 bags of that red mulch that all of us neighbors use here at the lake.   Seemed to be kind of slow as we planted the flowers, and of course we needed one more rose bush to finish the planting bed.

As we were on our way back to the garden store, we passed the girls coming home.  It wasn't too long, that we had a text message on Ben's phone that Loyce really liked her flower garden.  After acquiring the last rose bush, we returned home to find that she was out taking pictures of the plantings.  Its amazing what $100 worth of flowers and bushes can do as a present on Mother's Day.

Tonight we returned to our favorite Bar B Que here in Lake Ozark, Bandana's.  This is a chain from St. Louis.  I have blogged several times about their meals in the past, but we always enjoy a dinner from this place.  Even the kids will finish their plate with no questions asked.  Loyce and I had chopped pork and smoked sausage with baked potato and greenbeans with onions in them.  Two big pieces of garlic texas toast come piled on top of the plate.  Yum.........

So Happy Mother's day with your mom if she is still with us, and if not like Loyce and I, we will spend a moment remembering all that our mothers did for us while they were alive.....

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Leave the Line?

I never know what to report when we have spent 3 and a half hours driving to central Missouri as the focal point of our day.  But wait, the day started way before that when I realized that the license tag on the utility trailer needed renewed.  Ya, like last February..........

So I hopped on the scooter and drove over to the DMV at about 8 AM this morning.  I knew they had been remodeling the computer software last week, and I thought an early start might help to get things along...............  Uh, they opened up at 7:30 and when I arrived 198 folks had applied ahead of me..

Estimated wait time was 6 1/2 hours............  What?  Like three o'clock in the afternoon.......?  But by that time I had a position in the virtual line with my cell phone number enrolled for update text messages from the computer.

And yes they did update me about every half hour, and it only got worse.  Seemed that my position in line never improved at all, and the amount of time needed to serve each person became more......

Some 4 1/2 hours later they were still reporting that it would take 3 hours for me to be served.  After a couple of test texts, sending letters that the computer didn't accept, I got a message with the allowable responses, of which I was looking for an L for leave the line.......  I tried Q for quit and E for end and C for cancel, but none of them did anything.  I did get a charge out of M for add more time to your appointment,  you know, if your running late.........

But after an L text it said that if I wanted to come back and get in line later today I wouldn't loose my place.....  We left about 2 PM and were here by about 5 :30.  And no the cops didn't get me with my expired tag on the trailer......

We had the 5 year old grand daughter with us for the ride and we enjoyed talking to her most of the way to get her perspective of the things she saw out the window.  We didn't have any of those kids say the darnedest things moments, but sometimes she can come up with some hum dingers..........

Once here it was "go into cleaning mode" on overtime, since the rest of her family was arriving in about another 4 hours or so.  The house hadn't been used since last September and the bugs had made it their home.........

So Mother's day will be at the Lake Place this year.....

Retired Rod

Friday, May 11, 2012

Servicing the Kymco

Yesterday as we were coming back South to the far end of Overland Park, my son and I stopped at the Scooter Store, where I had purchased the Red Kymco three years ago.  I wanted the oil that is necessary to change the scooter.

The oil is mineral based and comes from somewhere overseas, but I didn't study it too carefully.  But it is special because the scoot has a wet clutch.  Ordinary car oil has some extra slick additive that make engines get better mileage, but it also keeps the wet clutch from working correctly.  I'm not an expert in this matter but know what I have been told by the dealers.

Kymco People 200cc

Of course this oil is $8.99 a liter. And that is just the regular oil, the synthetic is more like $16 a liter.  The good news is that such a small engine only takes one quart.

After putting it off for a lot of the afternoon, I had to put down the computer and go get the trailer over in the storage lot.  Now that our license testing is over, we plan to take the scooter back to Lake Ozark for the summer.  This is fun buzzing around the lake shore on sleepy afternoons.

But it needed this oil change first.   The more difficult part of this change is the rear hub, that contains the old 90 weight hypoid gear lube.  Its just a couple of plugs and it drains right out, but putting it back is another matter.  A couple of years ago, I rigged up a squeeze bottle and some fish tank tubing that will fit into the tiny hole for the top plug.

You measure out .2 liter of the stinky gear lube and put it in the squeeze bottle.  It goes in very slowly because it is so heavy weighted.  When I paid the dealer to do the change a couple of years ago, he had a funnel rigged up with the little plastic tubing.  But it took forever for the oil to gravity down the tiny piping and into the hub.  Perhaps the squeeze bottle is only marginally better, but it seems like you are actively involved in squirting it in rather than just waiting.

Changing the engine oil is no more than removing the plug and draining it.  With a funnel and the new oil, you pour the .9 liter back into the engine.    Seemed simple, but somehow it took about an hour to complete.  So tonight we are loaded up with the red scooter in the trailer.

I was a bad boy and didn't go park the truck and trailer back over in the storage tonight.  Of course fashionable Overland Park does not allow vehicles in the street overnight.   Do you suppose that testy neighbor will call the cops again?

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Perhaps I should answer some questions tonight here in the main blog....   If things go as they are scheduled, the completion of the house should be the second or third week in July.  The contractor begins to loose money if the build is drawn out beyond his scheduled dates.

If even one sub fails to complete his work on time, then that puts the next sub off in his scheduled arrival date.  That causes a domino effect as all work from that point on is delayed.    When subs have to go on to other jobs to fill in, then you have to wait for them to become free again to circle back to your job.

This becomes a big hairy mess for the job foreman.....  The good part of this is that the construction company has many houses sold this year, so these subs are working almost totally for our company.  But it still becomes a giant mess.

The dry wall contractors were about a week behind their scheduled arrival, and the foreman didn't take my call when I inquired as to where we were.  All I needed was to be told that we are behind about sooooo much....  I would have been good with it from there.  Again, I have more time that they do because they are paying the construction interest bill and not me....  I understand that the finish crew began to mud and tape the walls and the painters are in the wings now.

About the air conditioning for Speedy, it is no longer common practice in most Arizona communities to allow the AC units to be mounted on the roofs of new construction.  The evaporative  coolers that were used years ago have a nasty habit of rusting themselves out in a fairly short period of time.  Therefore, housing associations now for the most part, prohibit them from usage.

Even in older sections of town, the so called swamp coolers are being replaced with normal freon compressor units, even though they are still mounted up on top of peoples roofs.   While they still aren't particularly good looking, they are not rust buckets...  So swamp coolers are out!

Our day here included my younger son and I riding the scooters up 10 miles back into the older part of town where he needed to renew his motorcycle driving license.  Since he had allowed the old one to lapse, he had to do the driving part, and our little red 200 Kymco was just the ticket for the cone weave part of the skills.  That took about 2 hours or more to actually ride.  But we were in preparation and after ride discussion for a couple of hours more.  He passed on the very first try!

Grandma had one of the grand children here for most of the day, so she was loaded with responsibilities like going off to McDonalds to play in the play zone.....   Tough work, but someone has to do it!

And for Upriverdavid, try using for finding the cheapest gas or diesel prices in a particular area.   I just enter the zip code of the campground that I am traveling to and it returns the local prices.   Stopping thru a larger town on the way, enter its name and bingo those prices are displayed as well.  And best of all there is the phone App that is available for Android, and though I haven't tried, I'll bet its also available for the Iphone too.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Progress in Arizona

We received a couple of pictures from the build site today.  Looks as though we are moving along.

Not sure that I would want to participate in putting the drywall on that vaulted ceiling!  Where the worker's drink bottle is setting is the pony wall that will be the front of the kitchen counter.  This space is the dining room and the living room.  The arched door goes back into the master bedroom.

I tried to lighten this up, but it didn't work too well. The garage is now drywalled and seems more like the focal point of arrival that it will become.

And I do see that the hole in the front styrofoam above the garage roof has been repaired and is ready for the outside stucco folks.    We are told that they won't start on the outside until the drywall is finished inside.

Nailing the drywall on inside tends to crack or knock off the stucco coating, so they wait until the drywallers are finished before working on the outside.  We have another couple of days before the muding and taping crew comes in.

They explained that it is slow acquiring folks in the dry wall industry to work on the new houses as many of these people have left the trade.  Because of this delay, they are not sure how fast the next few stages of work will be completed.

So I need to keep my shirt on around here and not get too impatient that work seems to be at a snails pace.  Remember we won't need this home until fall, and that is several months away still.

We had a beautiful day in the mid 70s here and were able to open up the house with screen doors open to the outside air.  We both worked  inside for most of the day, so perhaps tomorrow will be more of an outside day.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cruising around and finding stuff closed.

I waited all day to go mow the yard.  It had quit raining in the middle of the night, and the skies cleared mid morning.  Sunny and bright for the rest of the day, but by 4 PM the grass was still wet.  The underground tube that carries the water out of the back yards was still flooded and that puts water on the surface like a stream.

But since I had started to mow all of the yard anyway, I just pushed on with the JD tractor.  It has fairly large balloon tires and doesn't make much of a divot in the wet yard.  The grass did clump up a bunch as the mulch attachment is installed.

That was about the only accomplishment here after spending the afternoon riding around trying to do some errands on the scooter.  Seemed like every place I went was closed on Monday or no longer in business.

I even rode down to the town of Spring Hill to see about the annual spring bike ride that takes place in June.  And the cycle store that sponsors it was closed on Mondays too.   So I guess I was just out and about riding the bike on a nice 74 degree afternoon.  The wind was out of the North and seemed almost cold.

This is to be our forecast for the next several days.  And that beats rain and temps in the 90s so I am not complaining......  Its too early to have to run the AC non stop...........

Retired Rod

Monday, May 7, 2012

After the storm!

As I sit here this morning and look outside, the sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the sky!  That is quite a contrast to the lightning and thunder show of last night.

It seems that each year as the weather becomes warmer the hail and tornado band passes over us here in Kansas.  Last year it was earlier in April as we had a massive hail storm that wrecked all of our roofs and cars on April 3rd.  Our motorhome had $7 K of damage alone.

Last night after the tornado went on by, we had additional hail in about the size of a quarter.  It bonked off of the cars and house again.  It probably wasn't of sufficient size to damage the roofs and we will have to inspect the cars carefully.

Living in the Midwest is a lot like living on the target end of a shooting range.  You may get hit and then again they may sail right on by.  Its just something we learn to put up with.

This morning our lights in the upstairs hall and the bedroom that Loyce uses for her sewing room wouldn't come on.  We went all thru the house resetting the ground fault breakers that are in the various rooms.  Mostly the bathrooms.  That didn't help, as the lights remained out.

We also have a tier of breakers in the main box that are ground fault type.  So once down at the panel, I reset each of them one at a time from the top to the bottom.  We seem to have ground fault breakers protecting ground fault outlets.........  Not too sure what is up with that one, but perhaps some of the advanced electrical folks out in blogland can shed some light on it.  But now we have power upstairs again.

Anyway, its sunny and 70 after the passage of the cold front..

Retired Rod

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday evening storms!

Its so much fun living in the South suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas!  As the cold front began to cross and chase out the heavy humid air here in Olathe, the storm sirens went off and blew for several minutes.

My son, who lives West of us about 5 miles was closer to the lowering that turned into a funnel cloud.  It never did become a Tornado because it didn't touch the ground, but it was quite close.  Chris captured this picture facing West along his house as the funnel roped its self out as it came over the city.

Its raining like crazy now and we had hail about the size of quarters.  The TV people are going nutty with the talking head type of coverage......

Retired Rod

Super Moon

Messing around with the super moon tonight, I wondered if I could take a picture of the moon with my Nikon D5100 and the two lenses that I own.  My better lens is only a 18-70 mm zoom.  The longer lens is much smaller in its wide open state.  It is a 55-200 zoom, with only f4.5 in its wide open state.  But when you zoom out to 200 then it is f5.6.  That's not very good at all.

So tonight when I put the camera on its tripod at first I tried the smaller focal length lens, but the moon was just a spot on the screen.  It was instantly apparent that I needed the long lens if I was going to do anything at all.

So I switched the lens and went to automatic mode thinking that the moon was now large enough to focus on and set the light...........   WRONG!   I had to go to manual focus as the auto focus just worked and worked without finding a solution.

Even then the photo's were terrible.   Some were just awful but this was about the best I could do.

Using Picasa I was able to crop the photo and that increased its size.  I messed with the exposure but couldn't improve much on the clarity of the shot or the halo effect around the moon.

So it was only when I went to full manual exposure on the camera and dialed up to F11 that I began to get better pictures.  I started to bracket the shutter speed and then look at the pictures on the computer.  Again I have used the Picasa editor to improve the exposure and change the light balance adding more contrast with highlight and shadow.  Finally I had to add a couple of increases in sharpness because my lens is not up to the task at hand.

So what do you think?  I think I still need one of those super expensive 300 mm zoom lenses with about f2.8 lens opening..  But Loyce wants a new refrigerator in the new house so perhaps what  I want isn't too realistic for now anyway.......

Retired Rod

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Returning to Wal Mart

I have to finish the story about the Wal Mart Pharmacy started on Wednesday...  I went over and stood in a short line and finally approached the window.   The lady found my bag but said it was going to be no charge.......  Oh Oh,,,  These pills are expensive and even at 20% they are $30.

I had to sign the insurance and then she wouldn't give me the bottle, but rather I had to wait to talk to the pharmacist...   He started in on the fact that there were only three pills in here and that I had to come back a few days later........  But I interrupted and said that I had left the script off last Wednesday....

I asked if the pills should be here by now.......  He didn't know........  After looking on the shelf where they are kept and not finding them, he began rummaging around in a bunch of boxes near the back door.  Seems that no one had put up the orders of refills since the middle of the week.  After about 15 minutes, he found the bottle that had the rest of my script.

Then he instructed me that I would have to come back.  I told him I would wait right here and sat on a bench next to the window where he was standing.....  It took about another 30 minutes before he managed to count out 87 capsules and make the label for the additional bottle.  Evidently I had to wait for my turn in his scheduled refills.

So after about an hour and a half, I had my pills and was on my merry way!  This is a refill of a script that was started last fall, and has been filled by both Wal Marts here and out in Arizona, so I had no other choice but to use them again.  My insurance company limits the pharmacies I can use to the bigger chains where they have deals negotiated.  No home town folks need apply!

I  tried to find out what has happened this week by calling the builder in Arizona this afternoon, but since my sales lady was off, the other folks in the office had no idea what was done this week.......  I was told to call back on Monday....  But even then I am to be prepared that she has been off for the weekend and not to expect that she will know much of anything.....    I really didn't like this salesman when I first met him, and had it been up to him to sell me a house, we wouldn't be building right now......

Retired Rod

Friday, May 4, 2012

Medicare study, no Fudd's and Draft Horses

Today was a day of staying close to the house.  Neither of us left all day long.  I'm not certain why because I was going over to get that prescription that I left off yesterday but just didn't muster the courage to go do battle with the Wal Mart folks.  Perhaps I was really peaceful and didn't want to upset that attitude.

Seemed as though the computer was my friend all day as I continue to try and understand the ins and outs of Medicare.  And yes Rick, we all have to sign up for Socialized Medicine here in the States once we reach 65 years old, or else go completely without medical care....  Lord knows we have been paying medicare tax to our social security system for over 40 years taking care of everyone that is over the magic age, so perhaps for a few years we can attempt to get some of that funding back.

If I live to be 100, I'll never use as much as I have paid in over the years, but I guess that is just paying my fair share!  But even after several hours of reading and watching You Tube videos I am only marginally smarter about what all of these coverages and terms mean.

After school was out, my younger son brought the two oldest grand kids over and we had a nice couple of hours visit.  Once they headed out to get the third grand daughter from daycare, Loyce and I decided that we were hungry for some supper.

We don't have a Fuddrucker's here in this area any more as it just wasn't popular enough for them to survive.  Originally we had one out here on the South end of town and another in the old town area of Overland Park.  But first the new one couldn't keep the rent paid in the upscale shopping mall and then the older one was becoming scummy inside and the business just dwindled.  Short of building a newer building, I'm not sure what else would have saved it.

So as a sorely inadequate replacement, we now go to Red Robin.  They have a good burger, but charge dearly for the fixins that are readily available at Fudd's.  But then perhaps that is why they are successful...!  As the grand kids would say, Duh!  Even Red Robin used to give away gas filled balloons and that practice has now ceased.

But in their defense, they have never ending baskets of french fries!  The waiter never lets the basket become empty.  He brings them with the first part of your order, and the basket still had fries in it when we left the table.   Not that we needed all those fries mind you....  

So when we returned home we were stuffed and happy.....

Tonight it was more blogs, until I became side tracked reading a blog that was suggested by Al from Bayfield.   The Wagonteamster.  

This is about a fellow that has a team of draft horses and a wagon style RV.  Early on in his first attempt, he was hit by a fuel semi truck and injured.  It also killed a couple of his horses and demolished his rig.  But he has acquired another wagon and a couple more horses and is back at it.

There are several opinions about this in Al's blog comments, mostly citing that it is dangerous and not fair to the drivers on the road and to the horses, who don't have a choice in being put in harms way, but putting all that aside.............  It is very interesting to read his journal as he travels from one community to another.

It will cause the hours to pass rather quickly if you become entranced.  Especially if you have traveled some of these roads in your RV as well.  He makes about 15 to 25 miles each day and then has to find boondocking or a willing farmer to put him up for the night.  The horses drink 50 gallons of water each day so that causes problems in itself.  Especially in the desert.

So another day is gone, without any real accomplishments........

Retired Rod

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wal Mart Pharmacy and other places of endearment.

Another carbon copy day of yesterday here in Overland Park, Kansas......  Rain in the morning caused us to stay under the roof.  But since I don't do that very well, I had the scoot out before the streets were dry...

Just over to Wal Mart again where I found absolutely no one at the pharmacy counter.......  But the guy at the drop off window ignored me for about 10 minutes just to see if he could get my goat.....  And I did begin to get perplexed and once he could see that he had me, he said he would be with me in a minute......   ....... .......   ............................. .....................................................

What are you going to do, the script had to be transferred from Arizona so I just had to wait to explain it to him.  Then halfway thru the process, he decided that it was time for his break, and he left me to another gal, where I had to start all over...

And I was studying medicare part D at home on the computer before I came over here, and it won't get any better once I turn that magic age this fall..    It just seems like a bunch of buzz word gobbledy gook.  But I know I have to register for something during the enrollment period!!  Thank god they can't ask any health questions......

I'm not sure how, but I ended up on the scooter ride back over at my older son's home again this afternoon.  Then the younger son's place just before supper...  Where I learned that they are booth going camping out in central Kansas at a lake this weekend.  And our RV is in Arizona  oh well!

I made a home made Pizza tonight for supper, and it came out quite well.  Just Italian Sausage and triple cheese but simple seems to come out the best.  Made the crust dough in the bread maker, and that always seems to be good.

Wish I knew what was happening on the new house................?   Seems like I live to go back to Arizona.  But there  are no grand kids there, so get over it.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not a pressing day!

Another routine day in Kansas...  But it started out with rain, and I wanted to go ride the scooter over for a haircut....  "Drat, I'll have to take the car," I thought.  But I busied myself paying bills on line as it was the first of the month.  That always takes my mind off of problems in the near term..

So by noon the rain was over and  I was off on the scooter for my haircut and shopping trip.  As usual, we had a good time over at the barbershop with good natured teasing and the ebb and flow of the usual BS.

Then a short stop over in Wal Mart for adult beverages that aren't allowed to be sold at Wal Marts here in Kansas.  Remember that Carrie Nation and her Temperance movement began here, and the laws still very much reflect this.  Not so in Missouri.  In Kansas we have to use free standing liquor stores and they are quite a bit higher priced (Taxed).

Wendy's was in the mix somewhere there too, and I ended up over at my oldest son's and DIL's house for much of the rest of the afternoon.  Not a pressing day, but then who wants one of those when you are retired..........

Retired Rod

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back home means work.........!

I thought I would be reporting that we were totally dead today and laid around and did nothing, but that isn't exactly what happened.  We awoke at about 7 AM to the sound of our back yard neighbors out mowing their lawn.

They were the ones with the broken mower that I helped a couple of weeks ago.  They have a restaurant and perhaps the lady of the house felt she needed to mow the yard before going into work.  Well so much for sleeping in any later...  7 AM equals 5 AM in Arizona, so it still felt quite early..

We were only out there for a week, so really we shouldn't be that acclimated, but somehow just as we were becoming accustomed, here we are back here in Central time.......

Of course here in suburbia, if one neighbor mows their yard, that starts the fall of dominoes as each neighbor follows suit.  So by about eight, I was out there too.  It was raining yesterday so the normal Sunday mowing didn't happen for most.

After mowing, the truck and its full trailer was still sitting there... It all had to be put away in our overly full garage.  And then the Suzuki 650 scooter had to come out of hiding..  Remember I was riding the red 200 which is fine, but no where near the 650.  So once out of the trailer it had to go for a short ride, but it is still rather cool here so I chickened out and came back home.

Besides the trailer had to go back to the storage place, and my list was quite long after that too.

Its all too boring to go thru line by line so I will spare you, but when I came inside and started to catch up on the computer, my eyes drifted off to a nap..    Loyce was running the washing machine non stop all day as well.  The joys of the first few days home from a 12 day trip.

That scooter sat there all day waiting for me to quit being such a wimp and come ride......  So after supper the sweat shirt came out and I rode for about an hour.  Cool!!!  Literally!

As I was typing this, the heater came on tonight.  Its supposed to be May 1st.... We shouldn't need heat!    Then a bit of thunder was heard, good thing I mowed the yard today.....

Retired Rod