July 1, 2007 06:35 - Ramblings with my morning coffee and John Denver on the stereo....
Finishing up, transferring our 'goods' from the rental shed to our friends basement turned out to be more work than we had the ambition to do in one day... Even if we did manage to transfer a good amount to dump status... it was just too dang hot!... so, we knocked off and went and did laundry! Now that is much more fun right?
So, we have the last of three pickup loads of boxes to move... still, way too much crap.... I must claim though, that two stacks, eight feet tall, are boxes of records, our gentle, helpful government requires us to keep... for nigh on to a decade.... business records from Heidi's store. Takes up like 1/3 the space.... Oh Well.
Picked up Slick from the Yamaha shop after load number two... Turned out, the tire the previous owner had put on the front was the wrong size! Between being a mite too wide, and a different tread pattern it had a less than shiny affect on handling. Didn't notice anything wrong until I climbed on the bike to roll home with the NEW tire.
That's when I noticed how much better it was handling, I'd thought it was fine and dandy before. Now I can easily see that weren't the case! Funny how something as little as "5 millimeters on each side" (as the kid at the shop described it) could have such a noticeable affect. I guess I'll play close attention to tire size and tread patterns in the future... or at least have the same tire makers tires on both wheels!
So, Slick is ready for his next daytrip in the mountains... Hmmm.... where can I go? Somewhere with a lot of views and 'twisties' to test my handlebar camera mount on! :-)
I'll try to do that maybe on tuesday.... got to finish swamping out that durn shed on Wednesday! So it will be DONE! .... even Heidi, who is more attached to the junk than I am.... suggested..... "Maybe we could just leave the shed door unlocked.... and somebody would just steal it all!" :-)
I countered with an offer to host a BBQ bonfire.... she declined.... I think she knew I was serious!
For the newest readers.... and there has been a whole bunch of you in the past few days, Thanks to Ms. Tioga and George! Welcome! I am still working weekends at a hardware store while we wait for the 'closing' on our house. But... the rest of the time, I am trying hard to just let go of the old ways of work, eat sleep, work, eat, sleep.... and do what we all should have started doing a long time ago! PLAY a good bit of the time!
Heidi is beating me at that goal quite a bit. She is down in Brighton this weekend, at a Dog Agility Trial with Buck, after just getting back from a Trial in Utah last weekend...
This just ain't fair... George is now wandering in Wyoming, Nick (Gypsy Journal) is running around up in South Dakota and Idaho.... my wife is all over Colorado and Utah.... and I.... the proverbial Gypsy Cowboy is stuck in TOWN... selling nuts and bolts! It just ain't fair... Boo Hoo, poor me!
Till we meet again... remember... the only thing worse than a lawn mower that won't start.... is one that WILL!
July 2, 2007 06:45 - I don't know if the world is gettin' faster or I'm aging awful darn fast!
I always figured my relatives that 'retired' were tellin' stories when they claimed they didn't have time to get anything done..... How in the heck could that be?
Now, Heidi and I aren't retiring, didn't put any money aside cowboyin' for sure! But, the last few years have been good to us and we've made up a lot of lost ground. Between building that house we're in the middle of getting sold, and the Bead Business Heidi has built, we're doin' a lot better than I thought we would be.
So, what we're doin' is really just a change of lifestyle... we'll still have to work.... just not as hard.... Kind of like Nick and Terry at Gypsy Journal... At least that's the way I have it figured... got a few things figured out, how we'll run things from where ever we're parked at the moment...
The goal is to do what I calculate we should have been doin' all along... LIVE! instead of just racin' hard all the time to keep the banker happy! Sort of a Cowboy Thoreau sort of a deal.
I get up each day figurin' I know what I'm gonna do... I run hard all day... and when the sun is goin' down I look back and maybe half has got done!
No grass to mow, no horses to feed .... no feed to haul!... no irrigatin' to do... no paintin'.... yadda yadda yadda.... You'd think I'd have plenty of time to do anything I had a mind to go after wouldn't you? ... nope!....
So.... either the world is spinnin' faster an' faster .... or I'm movin' s..l..o..w..e..r and s..l..o..w..e..r!
I'm doin' more and more of things that are just for fun, so I'll not really complain much!... but if this ol' globe we're all sittin' on gets to spinnin' any quicker, I'm not sure I can keep a hold on it! :-)
My closest friend's son gets hitched Wednesday... Gettin' married on the Fourth of July! I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere... but I'll be good.. Never thought I'd live long enough to see my own Daughter get married let alone the kids of my friends... I should have been a lot more carefull how I did things.... I wouldn't walk so funny in the morning if I had!
Haven't decided where I'm gonna go on my 'scooter cruise' this week.... I may just get on it and see where I end up! That way, it'll be as new to me as it is to you! Maybe up past the old ranch and over to Red Feather? That's a whole lot of dirt roads.... might be fun to see how Ol' Slick handles 50 miles of rutted gravel! :-)
Time to get on with what I'm 'supposed to do' today...
Something I learned back along the way..... There are two theories to arguin' with women.... neither one works!
July 4, 2007 06:57 - I may have developed a bit of a problem!
I set out a couple weeks ago to get my head back into the 'Boondocker' mentality. You know, slow down. Take things a lot easier. Don't get all cranked up when things don't roll along as you planned....
Slowing down hasn't really been too awful difficult. Fact is, if I get any slower they're likely to start callin' me "Reverse!". I may have to back off slowing down and actually DO SOMEHTHING! :-)
Heidi and Buck got back from their last agility trial Monday afternoon... Buck wasn't running well Saturday and Sunday but got in the groove on Monday. With his good runs he managed to gain the remaining points he needed to gain his AAD title... for us laymen that's 'Advanced Agility Dog' title. Not too bad for only having trialed for I think eight months. (lots of training before that, but only competing for 8 months or so)
I have it on good authority a heck of a lot of pairs (people and the dogs) compete quite a bit longer than that before they get to that level. So, Heidi and Buck are running around with their heads all swole up!
I'm getting pretty good at this 'waiting' game. About three weeks ago, I ordered two more tool boxes to mount on the truck. There have been two in there already, for several months, getting tested. They work pretty good for me so I figured to add the ones on the other side. Who would have figured that a company selling tool boxes wouldn't have any in stock! They told the guys where I ordered them, "they had to build a couple!"
Fine bit of management right there! But, they're supposed to be in shortly and I'll have some more fun gussying Ol' Big Red up some more! Two more boxes, matching aux fuel tank, and an idea I have for aux. propane bottles. So, stay tuned!
The wedding is this evening so I can't get too far from town.... so as slow as I'm moving :-) I can't get too far from town.... that means my 'cruise' for this week has to wait until probably tomorrow, maybe Friday.... we shall see! I just continue to improve my 'waiting' skills.... geez! That is likely to get old... my feet are already gettin' awful itchy... time to be on the road!
Hope all of you have a good Fourth of July... Do one thing OK? Sometime, as you're celebrating the day with all your family and friends... give a thought to all the Soldiers that remain in Harms Way. And then thank the next one you see for providing us with this day!
A thought to maybe save you some grief; A mountain lion had finished eating a whole Bull. He was so full, and felt so good, he started roaring. He kept it up so long, a passing hunter heard him, came over and shot him!.... the moral of the story?... If you're full of Bull... keep your mouth shut! :-)
July 5, 2007 07:11 - Don't know which way I am going to roll other than North
We got Mike's boy married off last evening.... pretty little ceremony... though I must admit... weddings make me quiver... At mine, 28+ years ago, folks thought they were gonna have to call the para-medics... I was standing up there wheezing like a busted steam engine... I believe the audience was taking bets on how long I'd make it before I passed out!
I'll tell you what... Broncs, Bulls and bar brawls never held any fear for me.... but a woman..... whooooey! Nothin' quite as fearful as a pretty lady!
We're having breakfast with Mike and Cathy shortly, before they have to head back up to Devils Tower Country. Heidi has to go to work at the store.... and I... am going to... s..n..e..a..k... back to the Eagle and climb on Slick... Don't know for sure where I'm going to head. Getting indecisive in my old age. I'll head north and see where I end up... Maybe the old ranch... maybe Red Feather... but then off that way is Laramie, Woods Landing and Rob Roy Reservoir up in Wyoming... too many choices for a G.O.W ---- that's a Geezer on Wheels :-)
I'm sure there will be a few pics this evening... assuming there ain't no Kenworth that converts my runty butt to a hood ornament!
Talk to you then!
July 5, 2007 20:21 - Slick and I made a wide circle today
I gave Slick a bath at the carwash behind the 'Egg and I', while I waited for everyone to arrive for our sendoff breakfast. After the meal, Heidi went to her store, Mike and Cathy headed northeast for Devils Tower country, and I strapped on my leggins' and rolled northwest up US Hwy 287.
I found an 'issue' that interferes, a little bit, with the handle bar camera mount. With most digital cameras, my little Kodak included, you can take a picture either horizontal or vertical. Apparently, the vibration of the bike, when the camera is secured to the handle bar mount, is just enough to affect the system that recognizes the camera position... so a picture, that should be horizontal, is made vertical... kind of wierd, but not catastrophic. I'll just need to learn how to deal with it.
The pics I took using it today are less than prime.... clear, but nothing special, so I didn't use any.
Had some more fun.... I was still a few miles from the Wyoming border. A pickup, hauling a horse trailer was passing, going the other way...BANG!... the tire blew. I looked in my left hand mirror to see maybe a four or five foot piece of rubber flying across my lane. It looked to be the entire tread section of the tire... if it had disintigrated a few seconds earlier, I would most likely look a lot different right now!
Have you ever seen the Steve McQueen movie; "Tom Horn"? The Wyoming Territorial Prison, where they hanged Tom is in Laramie. They have a tour through the place that we took, probably 10 years ago.
Slick was thirsty, so I got him a drink at the Conoco and then rolled out the west side and up WYO 130 toward Centennial.
Did you see George's post? If you look real hard at one of the pics captioned 'Centennial View' you might be able to see Slick and me rolling along hyw. 11 at the base of the mountain, across the valley. George was sitting up on the mountainside above me as a made a quick stop in Centennial and then rolled south... :-) Though, I didn't find that out until I was building this post after I returned to the Jayco this evening.
For all you folks traveling across I-80... that want a few days rest RV Boondocking, the area around Rob Roy Reservoir is super. Rob Roy is south of Albany, accessed by Wyo 11.
The pavement runs out at Albany and then it's a few more miles into the reservoir area. Once you get there, you'll find great spots to boondock all over, as well as a few campgrounds between ALbany and Woods Landing. It's a good, gravelled road. Pretty much all weather, and lots of folks use the area.
A person could use the National Forrest, Rob Roy Campground for a couple days, while they go hunt up a good spot for a longer, RV Boondocking Campsite.
The reservoir itself is decent size, though for some reason, Wyoming doesn't even put it on their 'official' state map! It's an awful pretty place.
Like I said, there are lots of places to park your rig... some are a little more private than others... can you see the RV Boondocker in this pic?
Look at the lower left hand corner. See the dead tree? Look behind it for the bit of silver... there is an Airstream trailer and a mess of kids tucked into the trees!
Going back to those gravel roads; I don't know how many of you know it, but a typical road bike just ain't built for gravel. Have you ever been really scared, unexpectedly? Like when a big dog jumps out from behind a tree, barking like seven demons, and you jump so high you get wind burn coming down?
Remember how you wobbled and quivered when you tried to walk away? But your feet refused to go in any direction you tried to send 'em? That's pretty much the sensation of a road bike on gravel.... sort of like pushin' a rope! After crossing something like twenty miles of graded dirt and gravel, my arms feel like I've been lifting weights all day. Between the gravel and hanging on in the wind for well over two hundred miles today, I'm tuckered out.....
Maybe, not for sure, but maybe, I went a mite too far for one day of back road wandering. :-) I need to keep reminding myself... it's been a while since I was twenty :-)
I'm not regretful. As always the country is beautiful and it feeds the spirit. From the hills...
to the Beaver Dams....
That whole country is a Cowboy's idea of Heaven on Earth!
If you're lucky, and paying attention, there are more than just trees, creeks and lakes to see up there in the Snowy Range Country. Me and Slick had wiggled and wobbled our way almost down to Fox Park when I saw this gal slidin' through the trees.
She was kind of 'goosey' so I declined to push too close, to take her portrait. One thing I... DON'T.... need are Moose tracks on my fuel tank... or other, possibly even more delicate, parts!
Came out of the woods, to Hwy230, just a touch east of Wy-Colo Lodge and had to make a decision... turn back east and catch the highway I'd ridden in on, just below the mountain? Or... turn southwest and head for Walden?
Southwest won the day and off we went, dodging thunderstorms all the way home. I fueled again in Walden before cutting back east, headed for Cameron Pass. For those who might be interested in the area, and want more 'amenities' than boondocking provides, or maybe a place to 'refit' for a day or two after a couple weeks of boondocking, there is a KOA in a pretty nice area, between Walden and Cameron Pass.
Heidi and I have gone there for ice cream on some of our mountain drives.... as well as a horde of Humming birds.
Coming back down the Poudre was the quickest way home from where I'd ended up, and just like last week, I got wet! Heavy rain caught me part way down the canyon. This time though it was a lot quicker... and I had my leggins' on so I didn't get soaked clear through this time :-)
If you're going to be passing by the Laramie, Wyoming area... and need to rest up for a few days... or live along the front range and need a place to retreat to .... try the southern end of the Snowy Mountains... nice, nice, country! It will feed your soul.
A long post, for a long day. Long but fine!
July 10, 2007 13:36 - One foot in front of the other
Bunch of trouble getting on line the past three days.... got there a bit ago... only problem is, I don't know what I did to fix it! A fella can't help but just love technology!
The rest of my tool boxes for Big Red finally came in... ordered several weeks ago. Don't know what the 'issue' was but they're here now, so I have to get on with their installation... Then, after them, comes an auxilliary fuel tank. I'm going to put one in, similar to what I did on the '98. This time though, it will be a 'prettier' polished aluminum diamond plate tank. Same size, but I am also going to put a pump on this one. Also, I plan to install a fuel gauge in the cab, so I know what I have in it.
I've found a gauge mount that goes above the rear view mirror and under the existing overhead console... should work pretty well. It also has ports to mount a Pyro and a boost gauge... Then I can bolt on all that horsepower electronics and show them kids how foolish an Ol' Geezer can be! :-)
No 'bad word' on the house... sooooo, as far as I know the 'closing' is still on schedule.... (whistling softly as I go by!) .... and growin' ever more impatient with this enforced 'wait'.
Hope to make another circle with Slick this week... as always, unsure of which a way I'll head. Never know till I let the clutch out. It's a common thing, that I don't know where I'm goin', till I look back to see where I've been.
Some folks have asked over the last few weeks about our 'Retirement'..... The true story is.... we're not retirin'. Simply can't afford to. I'm just weary of the life we were livin' and want something much different and much simpler. The changes I'm makin' eliminate any and all debt and really prune our living expenses down to a nubbin.
My thought is.... if you don't have the expense.... you ain't gotta work to make the money to pay for it! Ain't that clever? So any work time you eliminate, becomes YOUR TIME. You can spend it however you choose. Art, music, hiking, or kickin' a pig.
Soooo, while I (we) ain't what is commonly thought of as 'retiring', we aren't going to continue on the usual treadmill of work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep..... either. We have income from a couple of sources... we'll likely 'work kamp' here and there down the road, and I'm working on a couple of other 'projects'..... over time we'll sort it all out.
The most difficult part is finding the courage and energy to simply.... step off the treadmill. To STOP doing, what you are EXPECTED to do.
You run into a lot of obstruction from every direction. A lot of folks can't tolerate anything that ain't 'approved' by general opinion; and will do everything in their power to derail your effort, while telling you, "It's for your own good". I for one, couldn't give a rat's pah-tootie for 'public opinion'. The only guy I've got to please is that geezer who gazes back at me every morning, while I scrape the whiskers off his ugle mug!
And, you know what? That's the only one YOU need to please too.... yourself! If other folks can't be happy with your finding pleasure and contentment, as you follow your own trail... advise 'em to keep their 'spoiler' opinions to themselves.... don't waste a minute of your own life trying to straighten out their sorry attitude. Just smile, nod, let it go in one ear and straight on through, and right out the other!
Don't allow 'em to splatter one drop of their sour grapes on your day! If they can't see the shining sun, that's their problem! YOU.... go on out and enjoy the day!
... A lot of good luck ain't been earned.... but then... the same can be said about a lot of bad luck.
July 11, 2007 08:11 - Another day... another bump
Having a real hassle getting online the last few days. The Wi-fi I've been using has become real unreliable... I've gone to several locations around town and have different 'issues' at each one.... not sure if it's with my Ol' Toshiba or just a run of bad luck for the different Wi-Fi locations... but, where there's a will there's a hook up, so here I am!
Picked up those truck tool boxes yesterday. Got the installation completed and it looks good. Wrote the page last night. Was trying to upload everything when the Wi-Fi chucked me off... Hmmpf!
So this morning I've run down to our store to do my 'work' before it opens... by way of a land line. I'll be happy when I have my own Datastorm equipment set up and not have to rely on the 'generosity' of others! :-)
Check out the new page with All the pics.
This is what the new boxes look like for them that ain't got the time to go over to the page.
Shorter post today than my usual windy self... need to try to get some of the 'stuff' put back in the truck... now that the tool boxes are in.
Till later... if you come to the end of your rope... tie a knot in that sucker and hang on!
July 13, 2007 07:06 - A hard rain
Something about the rain I just like. Don't know if it's the sound or the sweet scent, whatever it is I get a pretty content feeling when it's raining. The storms of the past few days have missed us where we're parked. Until yesterday afternoon.
I sat here at the table, working on a couple projects, on the Toshiba, and the rain just came pouring down. The cool wet air blowing through the window did wonders for my attitude. The down side is, wet weather seems to set me up like that Ol' tin man. I can still move, but I look kind of like a broken pretzel trying to walk.
That's when it's nice to be able to just sit at the table, by the window, writing. The sound of the rain rattling on the roof with the freshened air coming through the screen .... the stereo singin' soft, hot coffee steamin'.... and them bozos who can't read the road closed signs, turnin' around out front! :-)
Went by the house yesterday morning as well. Wanted to make sure that the folks buyin' it... who are now just leasin' it, are keepin' up the watering. Was surprised to see a crew putting in what I'd estimate to be a $15,000 fence. Maybe more. Seemed a mite premature, seeing as how they don't own it yet...
Talked to the realtor.... though I have no desire to rock the boat any. She agrees, they're takin' a bit of a chance. They're financing falls apart, and they have to leave.... the fence stays... It does give a fella a mite stronger confidence though. It would seem they're pretty serious about makin' things work! So, it would appear that we're right at around 30 days or so from closing this ordeal!
Still having a lot of trouble with wi-fi. Different problems, in more than one location.... so I don't think it's my hardware/software.... or it's all of us! Maybe it's just my electric personality creatin' a lot of interference! I can't get on, with different error messages, or I get on and it drops the connection... just like a dang cell phone! What do ya think? Should I just pull the string tighter? :-) Some time I'll get this post posted!
One of the first things that will get done, when the house closes, is get the Datastorm internet system installed.... then I can have a whole new set of technology problems! :-O
Have you been following Ms. Tioga and George the past few days? Lucky buggers are drifting through some nice country. Sounds like he's heading toward Yellowstone country. He mentioned heading in a "westerly" direction. Yellowstone and the Tetons are my absolute, favorite parts of this country.
I rode the Teton Wilderness for a living, before we got married. Up Two Ocean Pass and Enos Lake way. I could use a little bit of that country right now. It would be a good salve for my spirit, once this never ending real estate deal is finished... though we might not get up that way until next spring.
My 'circle' this week got side tracked by furniture.... still trying to get rid of a couple big pieces we have stuck in a friends garage. Thought we had 'takers' a time or two. But thought wrong.... They're nice pieces so we were reticent to just discard 'em... at this point, I'm about ready to convert the suckers to kindling! Have an appointment today at a consignment shop, to see if we can off load 'em. After a month of screwin' around with it I'm done!
A whole month has gone by! We're half way there.
And, like I said before.... if I ever talk of buying or building another place.... get a hold of somebody and get 'em to kick me good and hard in my sitting parts!
I've decided; It's awful darn agitaitin' to argue with a fella who knows what he's talkin' about...
July 16, 2007 14:28 - Whittling on a 'new' idea
Shifting gears in mid stream. So what the heck is new? If I ever actually follow the exact trail I set off on in the first place I think I'll fall over from surprise!
I've been planning, all along to put an auxilliary fuel tank up in the front of the truck bed. I sure don't want to go up the Alaskan Highway short on fuel..... and there are still some areas of the west I really like the security of a bigger tank.
There has been more than one occasion where I hitched up after a week or more, back roading in some deep camp...and wondered: "Did I have enough diesel left to haul back to the nearest station?"
The other 'problem' I have is with the Water/Waste tank size on our fiver. It's the only real fault I have with the rig. It needs bigger tanks.
That's where my diliema lives. I only have so much room to play with and I just haven't yet come up with the layout that allows me to put three tanks in 'ONE' space! Fuel, Fresh Water and Waste Tank.
But I may be close.... I've found a couple outfits that build plastic tanks that will work for the Water and Waste transfer tanks. I'm trying to figure out now, how to squeeze in the largest auxilliary fuel tank I can find.... At this point, the only thing I can find is a fairly expensive 'Transfer Flow' brand tank. Rather than an auxilliary tank, it replaces the factory tank, adding 21 gallons capacity.
At somewhere around $900 it ain't cheap.... at something like $43 per gallon of increased capacity.... but it's all I can find so far.... SO .... I may need to polish up my Bank Robbing skills..... or get good at the lottery!
It all boils down to trying to figure out how to put 10 pounds in a five pound sack!
Let's see, pry bar, sledge hammer, tamping bar.... a little vaseline.... bar clamps.... somehow I'll get it wedged in there!
Did you know that Man is the only critter that feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds?
July 24, 2007 15:01 - I'm Back.....
At least for a little while. I went from just having unreliable wi-fi.... life is tough when you're a pirate! To the laptop just shutting off.
They did what they could, and I've added a 'cooler' that it sits on now.... but the AC is still acting spastic. At least now it just pops over onto the battery. Before, it was completely shutting off. I'm finding out that finding a computer repair shop... that actually can, is as difficult as finding a good mechanic. We'd had a place for several years that did all the work we needed, and did it superbly.
But, a couple months ago the bum retired.... what the heck is he thinkin'? :-)
So.... I'm looking into a new/backup computer. Guess I'll just have to follow in Ol' George and Tioga's footsteps. Add a little redundancy to keep me online.
That right there is pretty funny. At least from where I stand. 10 or 15 years ago I wouln't let one of the infernal machines on the ranch. Now, if I can't get up in the morning and get an 'Internet fix' with my morning coffee; checking my numbers and such, I start to flip out. It ain't pretty!
I really appreciate the e-mails I got wonderin' if anything was wrong, since I hadn't posted in a while .... of course, I didn't 'get' them till I got the computer back. Let's a guy know someone is paying attention to him though! Many Thanks :-)
I also see that my buddy Mike was commenting on my 'Ground Guiding' skills in the comments areas.... Hmmmm
Some folks just have a fanciful interpretation of history! As .... I .... remember that incident he swore he could spin something like a 45' rig around in a 42' hole! As it turned out, he was the only fella surprised when it stuck!
The conversation went something like this:
Mike: " Oh yeah! Let's go!"
Brian: " It won't fit... don't go there."
Mike: "It'll be fine"
Brian: "Don't go there"
Mike: "It'll be fine"
Brian: "Really.... Don't go there"
Mike: "Girly Man! It'll be just fine!"
Brian: "Mike..... listen..... just this once.... don't... go.... there!"
Mike: " What a whiner! See? It's gonna be just..... uh oh...... Hmmmphh! ..... Damn!..... uh..... Brian?
Mike: "I'm Stuck"
Brian: "No! Golly gee whiz! How in the hell could that have ever happened?!" :-)
Moral of the story: Work out some signals for guiding each other when you're moving your rig.... and then 'listen' to he/she who is doin' the guiding.... and you won't be arguin' ten years later about who told who to what!
.... if I dissappear again... for a few days, fear not! It's only this machine and the gymnastics to replace it if it takes a dive!
Till I get back, remember.... some folks have twenty years of experience.... others have one years.... twenty times
July 25, 2007 12:30 - My education continues....
I'm too dadburned old to have to keep on learnin' stuff!
As it turns out.... that good Ol' Toshiba has been workin' just fine.... it's the power company that has the problem. :-(
Talkin' to a kid at Best Buy yesterday, where I went after the computer continued having 'difficulties', after the 'other' computer shop worked on it for a few days..... He said something, I forget exactly what, but it got me to questioning 'other' things.
So, I called my Battery expert who gave me a simple test to do and Wa La.... The answer! (The test being crank up my multi-meter and find out what the line voltage to the Fifth Wheel is)
The power, from the utility company is only 113.9 to 114.2 volts. In the afternoon.... when everybody gets their air conditioners and fans cranked up full speed it drops below that. I measured it yesterday evening, at 105 to 107 volts! A utility guy who happened to be working across the street this morning told me they are supposed to go no more than 5% either way from 120 volts.
That makes the absolute minimum 114 volts. The way I do math 2+2= 4 and 107 is considerably less than 114!
Since I can't fix the utility company there are two trails I can follow to fix my problem.
One takes about $370 to $550 (30 amp/50 amp). That would be the purchase of an 'AUTOFORMER'. This expensive miracle box takes whatever the input is and 'forms' it so that the output to your rig is always within the proper operational limits. For folks who spend a lot of time in RV Parks, which are notorious for power 'issues', this might not be a bad investment.
You just plug it into your RV pedestal connection... and your RV umbilical into it.
That low voltage we're experiencing now can really do a number on motors. i.e. refrigerator condenser motors, air conditioner motors, etc. An AUTOFORMER also protects you from voltage spikes that can tear up sensitive electronics.... and it provides the clean power a computer needs to keep on keepin' on.
My other option, is to pull the umbilical cord plug... do whatever computer work I need to do, on inverter power.... and plug back in when I'm done to let the charger fill the batteries back up.... the charger still functions on the low voltage .... probably just a little slower. I could just go 100% on our solar power.... if that big Ol' elm tree we're parked under wasn't there. All that shade has a negative impact on solar power production! :-)
I apparently have to completely unplug to use the inverter. We were thinking that just turning it on would cause it to isolate the inverter served ciruits and supply them with inverted power, but so far, as long as the rig is 'plugged in' it wants to power everything from utility power.
I am more likely to 'unplug' and use the inverter power at this point. I don't know that we will ever use RV parks enough to justify the purchase of an 'AUTOFORMER'. .... That said, the price of a new air conditioner or computer, from failing to have one, might prove that to be a poor choice.... It only takes one solid 'spike' or a short while at low votage to make a guy pay the price. :-0 .... hmmm..... think I'll cogitate on this a little more....
The good news in all of this is, of course, that I don't have to fit a new computer into my budget right now! And, knowing what the real problem is I can figure out 'work arounds' to deal with it. Not quite as frustrating as having a computer dumping every few minutes and thinking it's dying!
In amongst all this commotion I went shopping this morning for materials for a new project.... I've decided I don't like the 'desk' setup I have, sitting at the dinette. So.... in spite of a little 'reservation' from the boss lady, I've decided to take out the dinette table and install a 'desk' surface along the outside wall. That will give me a 24" X 72" desk top to work at....
With a couple of small table gizmos I've seen, that are designed to work with the couch, we'll still have plenty of eatin' space in the event of foul weather..... we usually eat outside under the awning when the weather is nice.... this article will be comin' along in the next couple of weeks.
Needless to say, I'm planning on that Big Red Dodge keeping me in places where the weather is nice! :-)
... Don't let so much reality into your life that there's no room left for dreamin'.
Take care... 'till the next time
July 27, 2007 23:19 - Goin' RV Boondocking and the Eagle have a New Office!
The clutter and confusion of my 'circumstances' finally got to me today. I got fed up with the poor function of my setup; sitting at the dinette working on the computer just hasn't performed to awfully well.
I've been talking with Heidi, for some time, about doing some sort of another remodel, to allow me a proper, dedicated work space. My first idea was to tear out the couch, replace it with one recliner type chair and fill the rest of the space with a small desk.
The chair would have been for her, as the end of the couch is where she sets in the evening, knitting or beading or watchin' the idiot box. I'm usually 'writing' or surfing on the computer, sitting at the dinette.
She didn't like that idea as it would eliminate the last additional bed we have.... just in case we have any sort of an overnight guest. I already eliminated the possibility of a bed when I did the previous dinette rebuild. That one was to provide a sturdier table that I could tool leather on.
Well, I got to thinking that since we've rarely used the dinette to actually eat at I might could do something else there. When we're in camp, we most usually eat outside at a pic nic table in a Forest Service campground, or at tables of our own, under the awning.
I'm thinkin' that if the dinette were gone, and the weather was bad, we could set a small table in front of the couch and sit side by side and eat.... all romantic and such.... and if two old gummers, smoochin' and sparkin', makes your skin wiggle.... I could set a chair on the other side of the table and we could keep the table between us while we dine! :-)
So I went to Home Despot... the store you love to hate.... and picked up the materials, rolled on home and put it together quick time! I'll still have to put a finish on the desk top, and do a little trim out work, but otherwise it's up and running. Works well! and I even got a regular, genuine rinky dink office chair at Wal Mart.
Hey hey hey... the old guy is uptown now! Can you see the difference in my word wranglin' ? It should really shine with this new desk! I'll get a page wrote and some pictures organized shortly, so you can see my latest chainsaw carpentry project.
Actually, I didn't use a chainsaw.... already gave that to my son in law.... and I couldn't find where I put the handsaw I had figured to put in the rig either.... so, I picked up one of those Japanese style 'pull' saws. This one is a cute lil' sucker. Supposed to be for detail work I guess. Got the cuttin' done I needed here. Might come in handy if I try to whittle up some camp chairs, of an afternoon, sitting in camp some time!
Rain fallin' on the roof tonight as I write this. A steady soft patter. Nice after the heat of the last several days.
We're down to less than a month before the 'scheduled' closing.... my fingers are tightly crossed! No word one way or the other.... so I'm not rockin' the boat by askin' just yet.... maybe next week.
Haven't been able to access my 'pirated' wi-fi for a couple days.... if I can't get on in the morning to post this..... I guess I'll have to go in and buy a cup of coffee at a 'hot spot' tomorrow evening, when I get off from the hardware store.... I can't wait till that is over! This 'wranglin' nuts and bolts has worn out it's welcome for this tired Ol' Buster! ..... (had to go in to Heidi's store to post... can't wait until our Datastorm is in!)
A western cookin' secret..... The best way to cook any part of a rangy ol' longhorn is to throw it in a pot with a horseshoe.... when the horseshoe is soft and tender, you can eat the beef!
'Till we meet again
July 30, 2007 07:05 - I've either got Hitch Itch or a bad case of Old Timers disease
Got that new 'Desk' in the other day like I said.... figured it would really get my writin' shined up fine.... then my brain went into neutral. It would be a fine thing if it was just that I was takin' the time to look around and appreciate things. Problem is, I wasn't doin' anything.... that sucker is just sort of stuck in neutral!
I get up from the desk to head into that 'little room' on the tail of the rig, and I forget why half way there. It's not like it's a long way, we're talkin' two steps! I think somebody has a really bad case of hitch itch, and here he sits, bolted to the ground like a stop sign.
My hope is that this imposed 'patience' I have to use will just make it all the sweeter by comparison, once we're cut loose and yondering.... which is supposed to happen before too awful long. The last week of August keeps gettin' closer all the time.
Now, since it is so late in the season, it's pretty obvious that we can't go to Alaska... that will wait for next summer. I'm confident that King Salmon and that Halibut that weighs more than I do won't spoil before I get there. Nope, we can't go to Alaska so we've decided on the next best place.... that's New Jersey right? :-)
Really, that's where the boss lady is takin' me... The Australian Shepherd Club national show is there this year... and she competes in the dog agility so that's where we're headed. Supposed to be there at the end of September... then it's a circle up through New England for the fall color and then cut back west, across the south.
It's been a wish of mine since I was a little kid to go tour a lot of the battlefields back there as well. So, she gets the color and that Assateague (sp?) Island (the place with all the pony's) while I get Shilo, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Bull Run, Fredricksburg....
I'd better make the best of this circle.... it's fairly unlilkely I'll get back that far east of the big muddy again.... I still can't really grasp the fact that she's talked me into makin' our first really wide circle.... to NEW JERSEY! Hope the pictures I looked up were actually taken there and not in some other place.... people tell me that most of the state really don't look much like Newark! :-)
Here's to keepin' my fingers crossed that the closing goes off without more hitches than I can get untangled in time.
.... If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some great influence... try orderin' somebody else's dog around...
Time to go get pretty enough for a day at that hardware store...
July 31, 2007 14:19 - Buttoning up some loose ends
Trying to get some odds and ends of a couple projects finished up.
Need to finish the desk remodel, (I'm really happy with the way it's working) the kitty potty installation and a few other tasks. Hoping to have a couple more pages on the site re: those projects this week.
After my post saying we're going east as soon as the 'closing' happens, I started getting all sorts of tips about places to go and places to stay.... awsome... it's almost like having a guide. In spite of the thick population I'm not accustomed to, I'm looking forward to the trip.... the history that's happened back all through that part of this country has always been a great interest to me.
I can't wait... guess I have few options though huh? Trying not to 'count down' but it's difficult to not think about it much. That's got to be the hardest part of making the transition from the 'regular' way of living to the Yondering ways; having the patience and endurance to deal with all the harrassing obstructions that always pop up.
It's almost like the 'system' is an all seeing beast that knows you're trying to escape and does everything it can to keep you penned up under it's control. It fears losing you. Like it knows that without you it's going to go hungry.
All I can tell it is; Better cinch up your belt sucker! 'Cause real shortly, I'm outa here! :-) There may be another couple twists and turns, but in the end.... We Shall Overcome!
I've had some success this past week doing some more culling too. I've gotten pretty good at sayin': "Ain't worn or used you in quite a spell....hmmm... you're outa here!"
That just may be the best thing for a would-be Boondocker to learn; How to make that 'divesting' decision. I'm telling you, the less I have, the more comfortable I'm feelin'. The fiver to keep me warm (or cool!) and dry; The truck to haul us around... helped by 'Slick' the Yamaha; Enough groceries to maintain my handsome figure and clothes sufficient to keep me from gettin' arrested. Anything beyond that is pretty much gravy! I'm gettin' down to just enough gravy to suit me.
A couple more weeks, fiddling with the rig as we wait, and we'll be ready to shake rattle and roll!
I read once that: Life is sorta like juggling pitchforks: Everybody is sure to know when you screw up.
Back to my chores....