RV Boondocking the Good Life

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December 1, 2008 05:59 - They say it's not Winter yet...

... But... it's 'bout 20 degrees on the other side of the wall I'm sittin' against... and the Calendar says the first of December... So as far as this button puncher is concerned... it's Winter!... That and the fact that in not too long... I'll go out and fire up Slick to roll down to the ranch store for this weeks 'Friday'...

Nuthin' like a half hour on a rumbling motorcycle at 20 degrees to put a smile on a fellers face eh?

It's all kind of confusin', if I think about it too much... my Fridays come on Monday... :-) Hmmm... makes about as much sense as ridin' a motorcycle when the thermometer says twenty I guess! :-)

Slick is a lil' lame to boot... so I'm hopin' for an uneventful ride this mornin'... He's gettin' a lil' like me maybe... lackin' in ambition this time of year!
There's a lil' hitch in his git-a-long sometimes... the clutch didn't want to engage the other day... some sort of bind in the cable I believe... which I'm hopin' to have dealt with...

... 'cause it's kind of embarassing to be sittin' at a red light... that turns green... and you let the clutch out... rev up the motor... and then look around a lil' while later... and you ain't movin'... Just sittin' there, blockin' the road!

So... Noticin' that the clutch lever didn't go all the way 'Home'... you give the lever a push... only to have it 'pop' and stall the scooter... right out there in front of ever'body...

One benefit of havin' that hood on under the helmet... people pretty much can't see you blushing! :-) So... after some whizbang maintenance... We'll see if it don't function a lil' better this morning...

Otherwise... life is pretty slow around the 'homestead'... with not one dang thing happenin' in any great and rushin' hurry... sometimes a good thing... sometimes... just slooooooooww!

But now, since it takes me so long to get armored up for the winter road on that bike... I better go start strappin' stuff on so I get there on time!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 2, 2008 09:45 - Thinking Through all the 'Particulars' of Building the Ultimate RV Boondocking Rig.

Boy-O-Boy!

I might really have created a monster with this one! :-)

Building a list, of everything you would want on your Ultimate RV Boondocking Rig is the easy part... a pretty simple and enjoyable chore.

Just sit down with a cup of coffee, a blank piece of paper... and the suggestions from the experience of a lot of other people.. and pretty quick... badda bing... you have the outline of a pretty dang awsome rig!

But... here's the rub... You can't Live... in a piece of paper... You gotta actually build that 'dream'. Convert it from paper... to Steel, and wood and fiberglass reality.

Right here is where that big ugly bugger raises his head... That nasty sucker that seems to wreck a lot of good ideas and plans that folks conjure up.

That big Ol' beast called Dinero! :-)

The way I see it... there's about four options for a fella like me... With the biggest part of each choice being it's cost... and energy/ambition factoring in there as a close #2.

Option #1... Just send the 'List' to New Horizons... and have 'em custom build the rig to your specs... not a bad option for those not inclined to do the work themselves... or who lack the place to do it... But... Near as I can tell... You'll need a check book with something well over $60,000 in it, even for a Travel Trailer... Or the willingness and ability to carry the debt on it...

Option # 2... There are a lot of Factory built rigs out there that could come pretty close to meeting the specs... and could be 'brought up' to our 'standard' without too much difficulty. The way things are you can find some suitable new rigs for a 'Base' to build on... for well under $30,000... a lot less than that if you're willing to go the clean, used route.

Option #3... (Where I've been for a while)... You can take the rig you already have... and modify it to come as close to your requirements as you can... Usually this is going to require some sacrifices but... that's life in the west... Right? Mostly those sacrifices are going to be along the lines of; "Guess we'll have to do without that for now!"... but... that's not really a bad thing... It builds character! :-)

and then, there's Option #4... the one that got this 'branch' of the blog started.... Setting up in a decent shop space... and Hand Building a Rig... from the ground up.

This has been a sweet 'fantasy' of mine for a long time... one that I've never successfully pushed up the 'Priority' list to first position... and still haven't... I think it would be a sweet time, probably one or two years... in the shop... building such a rig...

I've just never been able to make the decision to dedicate the time, space and $$$ to the project... and now... after the whuppin' Heidi and I have taken the last two years... I just can't bring myself to say I'm in any better place to start such a deal now!

Let's just say... we're in a lot better place than a lot of folks... but it don't change the fact that we've still been slapped around for a while! :-)

The thing that got me to contemplatin' a major rebuild... is my Motorcycle, and I have to say... that... it's a little unexpected.

I didn't anticipate the impact, getting 'back in the saddle' was going to have on me. I didin't realize, just how much I missed the rumble of a bike, the wind in your face...

... well it is!... If you raise the faceplate on the helmet! :-)

... and now... I find that I would really admire a lil' bigger motorcycle...

Only problem there is... I'm kind of pushing the envelope with the current rig. To make the Eagle work, with a bigger bike... would cst something in excess of $4,000 (for frame and axle upgrades) and a bit of a gamble... would it actually work? or not?...

I'm pretty sure it would... but just not 100%. (getting indecisive in my old age!)

So... for me... that 'Sacrifice' just might end up being... the bigger motorcycle... and continuing... in Option #3 ... and continue to build in to it... the requirements to improve it's RV Boondocking capacity...

... and there lives that monster... the frustration of havin' a good idea... but lacking the wallet to build it out. I wonder if he's related to that 'envy' beast? ... That is one ugly mutha ain't he?

Aw well... all that falls away when I'm rollin' down the road on Lil' Slick... Guess I should just keep him rollin' more... and I won't be thinking... and waffling around that 'other' stuff!

and anyway... a lil' more"doin' without" might build me a little more character... something I can always use more of!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 4, 2008 06:56 - Housekeeping Day!

AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

Compared to Microsoft...The only outfit shoveling an equal amount of baloney is Apple! That hardware store I burn time at uses MACs... And I can say ... those ads on the Boob tube about them bein' so shiny and without fault... would best be used in your garden... pure unadulterated hooey! They crash all the time... slow as old Grandma... and evey time they 'improve' 'em... it doubles the steps to do a task....

... and a few weeks back the 'system' got hit with some sort of worm... so I guess that part that they don't get those is hooey too...

But... Microsoft! AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!

Just got an email today... that reminded me of one I got a week or two ago that I'd forgotten about... Both of 'em notifyin' me that 'They' were at it again! ... Don't know what it is... but every once in a while... Microsoft Explorer just up and decides to start 'Seeing' a page or two all wierded out....

There is never an 'answer' that can be found... and the only way I've ever been able to 'fix' it is to go back... delete the page... and completely rebuild it... What a pain!.... and they're Top Dog? .... Why?

... Especially considering that if a person just loads the FireFox Browser... which is completely FREE! They get a better browser, more security, and it doesn't Weird Out pages!

SO... If anybody wants to know... FIREFOX is the way to go... and then I'd not have to keep on rebuilding pages that don't have anything wrong with 'em... at least according to the GOOD Browser! :-)

... and if you should run across any pages where the 'text' seems to disappear off the side of the page... drop me a line... and I'll get to rebuilding that one too... (I've built the site to a size now that there's no time to go inspecting each page every week!)

hmmm... maybe Microsoft could go to just selling cell phones!... People seem to accept poor performance in that business! :-)

Guess you know what I'll be doin' today!

Winter has finally gotten here... without any room for argument... According to the snow piled up on the deck railing... 'bout 4 inches last night... and more comin'... or so they say... so, not a bad day to just set inside... rebuilding some web pages!

Good thing I just got a fresh can of coffee! Guess I'll go put another pot on... and start my housekeeping...

Take Good Care
Brian

**** an 'Owning Up' - 8:20 A.M. UPDATE ****

I Hate Feathers! AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH! ... and here I am... having to eat 'Crow'!

So... After my lil' Tirade 'bout the shortcomings of MS... and Apple... I went to work... trying to fix what 'weren't broke'...

um.... OOPS! .... sorry MS.

Don't I feel sheepish... :-)

I couldn't fix it... it kept bein' broke!... right up to the point that I discovered a missing '/ ' ... Each page that I claimed MS was mucking up... had one missing ' / ' in a bit of code... and that screwed it up...

Moral of the story... before you start slappin' folks around... make sure YOU'RE not the one who left the muddy tracks on the Carpet! :-)

... though I must say... FIREFOX ... is smart enough to spot the goofs of an ignorant button puncher and make it right to begin with!

... and... ain't it a scary thing... that a bowlegged, puss gut... can hunt around on a web page and find fouled up computer code? :-)

Aw what the heck... it's freed my day back up for something more fun!

Later...

December 5, 2008 07:39 - Too bad... You coulda been here!

Just to make all you guys that are suffering through the heat, down there in the desert, or the Florida swamps... Jealous... Up here on the Northern Colorado Plains... Lookin' out at the Shining Mountains... Jeweled with their fresh load of White Gold...

We got up today to a sweet, balmy, gentle, 0 degrees... none of that heat stroke you poor, poor, boondockers have to suffer through. No having to run the generator 24/7 so you can keep the air conditioner goin'. Not Here!

Nope... If you get too hot here... it's 'cause the furnace is stuck on... and all you got to do to cool down is step outside... and you'll freeze solid in about 6 seconds! :-)

... so much for any of the maintenance chores I was ... weakly... hopin' to do this week...

This 'buster' don't crank on no wrench... when there ain't even any numbers on the thermometer... unless there's cows to get fed!...

Since we got no cows, sheep, hogs, chickens or even horses any more... I get to sit inside... at my computer stand spinnin' yarns, looking outside and sayin' things like; " My ain't the snow purty? " :-) ... 'course It's only purty... when you ain't gotta wade through it to get to the barn... to dig the doors open... so you can feed the critters holed up inside...

... or fight through drifts to the hay stacks... on foot... to chuck feed over the fence to feed the herd... 'cause the feed truck can't get through it no more!

Oh yeah! Cowboyin' is dang romantic! ... Nothin' like frostbit feet and icicles hangin' from your moustache to attract the girls!

... I'll keep my coffee cup and view... the one lookin' through the window...with me inside!... Thank You Very Much! :-)

... but... get it up to two digits... maybe 15 degrees? and I'll give it a run! :-)

Keep Your Nose in the Wind
Brian


December 11, 2008 08:00 - BOHICA!... well ... he's baaaack.... one more time!

... Geeze!

How do you spell DUMB? ... How about B- R - I - A - N ?

Sometimes I figure I'm the victim of an advanced case of 'Early Old Timers'. It's either that or I've erased whatever IQ I used to claim I had!

Anybody who has been workin' on one of these electronical confabulations... for any length of time... and has built up a stock of work on the dang thing knows... BACK IT UP!... even yours truly! ... THIS Bozo even wrote an article 'bout it...

So now... I'm tellin' ya'll... Do as I say... Not as I do! aaaarrrrggghhhh..

In all the moves into the trailer... out of the trailer... wide circles... back to the house... I got OUT of my backin' up routine... and then... what with my electric personality... I ZAPPED the laptop Wednessday or Thursday last week... and 5 very big files went POOF!

A lil' spark from my fingertip to the keyboard managed to illuminate the empty space between my ears... so ... the BIG project I've been working on... which was up to something around 63,000 words... is now reduced to the partial 'Hard Copy' I have... which is only about 55,000 words... which I now have to manually type back in... and then recreate that missing 8,000 words or so... before I can get back to working on it's completion....

Moral of the story? Don't SAY you're gonna back up... DO IT! I Promise... if you don't... IT WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND CAUSE YOU GRIEF!

But, you're not tryin' to write a book you say?

It don't matter. Didn't you take a whole lot of pictures at your daughters wedding? ... or on that trip to Alaska?... or how about that big Grizzly up in Yellowstone... I won't tell anyone about those 'other' pics you took.... you bad bad boy!

You don't want to lose any of those pictures do you?

... That's what I thought... so go get a lil' flash drive... or a good external hard drive and back up those files... so you're not like me... sittin' at your desk with a boot in your hand... WHACK! WHUMP! WHOP!

... and that is why I haven't posted in five days or so... the laptop has been at a data recovery fellas shop... tryin' to find the missing work... He found a couple of small pieces... but the BIG ONE is simply gone!... This is a lesson I won't soon forget!

Just got the thing back last night...

... and now... I have to get to work... putting that hard copy back into this machine...

Take Good Care
Brian

December 12, 2008 07:44 - I'm cornfuzzled, distracted, and itchy footed.

Anyone who has been reading my gas here for any length of time knows two things... one, I've been trying every which way I can to get loose and go yondering (as in sell the dang house and just go)... since the beginning of this site... and two... I'm stubborn!

Those two things, if you put 'em in the same place and keep 'em simmering, can leave a fella mixed up, stretched out tight and restless...

In the interest of 'gettin' along' with everybody I keep tryin' to bend my eyes to a different project... but it just ain't workin'. It's kind of like teachin' a fish to walk... I think the desire has to be there or success is just not real likely thing.

A couple of weeks ago, I told Heidi one morning; "I've made my decision... we'll just stay here for a year or two, quit trying to hit the road... until things improve."... to which she just nodded, said; "Hmmm", and kept her nose in her book...

"That wasn't much of a reaction!" I complained... and then I got one... "Well, Why should I get all excited? You're just gonna change your mind back in a week!"

Don't you just hate it when somebody has you figured so close? But, the lady is right... No matter what I try to Force... my head keeps circling back to the same place... So I just keep on puttin' one foot in front of the other... and keepin' my eyes and ears open, hopin' to stumble across some opportunity to get things back on 'track' and get on with it!

Along that line... I re-read an article I wrote for 'Ezine Articles' a year ago... or so... 'bout reworking the rig you have to save money... and considering the thumping Heidi and I have takin' in the financial corral the past two years... along with ever'body else... I've also 'circled' back, full circle, to fiddling with ideas to take the Ultimate Boondocking Rig idea and put it into conjuring up ways that I... or anybody else might juice up the rig they have...

... and improve it's Boondocking ability...

Maybe... I can scratch some of my 'itch' if I keep blinders on and just focus on that subject... while I wait for the financial weather to clear enough to let me crack out!

Helping that idea along... I've found... It's not too difficult to NOT go out and start an expensive new project... (Like custom building a one off rig) when 'bout the only thing in your wallet is the space to put... the money you ain't got! :-)

The rest of this winter... I believe I'll just tinker with ideas to shine up the Eagle... and Big Red... and maybe, come the end of the snows... or some time in the spring... we'll find another opportunity to try and market this place...

In the mean time... tweaking the rig should keep my spirits up... but... it's gonna take me some time to get used to the looks I'm getting from people... I guess they've never seen a fella wearing blinders before. :-)

On the electric personality issue... did you know they don't sell ... or at least nobody stocks, the gadgets to deal with the static electricity you can get in your house (that frys computers) any more?

So... I replaced the gizmo I rubed up last winter... and what happened to it... I haven't a clue... Simply take a piece of automotive wire and crimp an eye type electrical end on it. slide that 'eye' over the ground prong on a three way plug and plug it in the wall receptacle... run the wire up to your desk top, strip the insulation off of the last couple inches and wrap it around a common washer.

Tape that to the desk in a convenient spot... and just tap it with your fingers when you walk up to your desk... BEFORE you touch the keyboard! ... or every little bit, if you build up a charge sitting at the desk... Only way I could come up with to divert that juice, and keep it from cooking any more of my laptop!

Take Good Care
Brian


December 13, 2008 06:21 - Don't Ya Just Hate it?

... When $$$ seems to be the thing that decides whether you can go... or have to stay? Ain't it curious that a fella who really has never been motivated by the stuff... still gets snared by it?

Kind of makes me think about that Ol' question... If I had it to do all over again, what would I change?

How many times have you heard folks say; "I wouldn't change a thing!" ?

Well, I don't mind sayin'... I would! ... I would change a lot! ... I can see a whole bunch of times I/we could have just stepped off the 'mill' and gone the way I want to go now... Fact is I wanted to... but let myself get talked out of it by other folks... "Who Knew Better"... hmmmm .... guess they were wrong! :-)

'course... 'bout 98% of the time, anybody who thinks they 'know what's best... for somebody else is talkin' out of a place that's a pretty rude thing to use for talkin' in public!

If you're twenty something... or whatever age for that matter, don't wait... I heard someboody say it the other day... "Don't dream of your life... LIVE YOUR DREAM!".... and then there's the old one by Mark Twain that went something along the lines of; "When you look back on your life... You'll regret the things you didin't do a lot more than the things you did!"

... and that is sure where the majority of regrets I have live... in all the Coulda Beens.

One day, I'll slog myself out of the swamp I'm mired in... and Big Red will drag a whole lot more rubber off the tires on that Eagle... My Gypsy Cowboy eyes will see a lot more fresh country, and I'll be able to be jealous of the folks, that were so much smarter than me... and pulled out early!

You go now... we'll catch up! I keep sayin' it... and I'll keep on sayin' it... What other folks think don't count for diddley... they're probably the same ones who told you to buy Enron Stock! ... grab hold of your dream and squeeze that sucker for all it's worth... THAT is all that counts...

When you look back at a big trip you made... do you wish you'd cut it shorter so you could get back to work? When you're back at work are you glad about it? Or... are you wishin' you were back on the road?

So... if Wanderin' is your (My) Joy... or Hiking,.. or Painting... or Gardening... or... Pedaling your bike... or whatever... why do you (I) PLAN to keep on working?

Why don't we PLAN to do that thing that puts the smile on our faces? ... Hmmm .... I for one really start feelin' pretty manipulated... if I think about it too much... But I have to think about it... some ... to keep focused on cuttin' the ropes the 'man' has talked me into tyin' on to myself all these years.

They say that a long trip is started with a single step... so I guess the only thing for me to do is keep on stickin' one foot out there in front of the other... and see what happens... Seems like nothing will happen... if I don't!

Take Good Care
Brian


December 14, 2008 06:13 - Understanding Grousin'

Just to make sure folks don't misunderstand where I'm goin'... or what I'm thinkin'.

I was a soldier for a few years... and I started Cowboyin' when I was 14...

Now... If a grunt... or a cowboy... ain't complainin' about somethin'... call the Doc... 'cause that suckers sick! :-)...

We do our grousin'... and then get up and get back to gettin' the chores done...

We simply ain't 'unfortunate'... leastways not when it comes to things. Sure, we could have a lot more... but... we could have a whole lot less! So... my grousin' is never about that... fact is... I'm just about happiest when I've got the least. Most 'stuff' to me is just a burden that has to be toted.

The main thing I've got... that I could do without is a good load of mostly self inflicted frustration... Boo Hoo.

My intention here is... and always has been... to show that the wanderin' life, that appeals to so many people, is a genuine possibility for folks of my 'economic status'... not just lucky buggers with a big thick wallet.

I mean, if all you have to do is choose which way you're goin'... open your wallet and buy the diesel... your a lucky son of a biscuit. It's a lil' more complicated if you're workin' with a lot more meager resources. :-) ... and Timing is a big issue...

My timing, this time around, has not been a money makin' ride. :-) and... that... is the only thing I can claim as unfortunate... so... all I have to do is hold things together... till the timing comes around my way again...

... and an occasional grousin' is a good thing for a fella to do... leastways... as long as he can make it colorful... and not let it stop him from doin' his chores... I mean... if you hold it all in... you're likely to swell up... and eventually... POP! ... and all that pressure buildin'... is an unhealthy situation for your spleen!... so... on occasion... just vent it off!

... and that's what I'm hopin' to put across to folks... if you 'cowboy up' and tough it out... live each day as best you can... keep your outfit together and ready, your eyes open .... you'll be sittin' pretty when that next opportunity comes along...

Once you do the hard, hot, work to climb that rough trail, with it's steep grades and detours around the unexpected washouts and deadfalls... the stark contrast of the cool shade along the creek, in the pretty lil' box canyon you find at the end of your struggle is a pretty sweet reward.

You have to go through that rough country to get to the High Meadows... it's the only trail... so don't quit. I ain't...

And... don't worry about grousin', complainin', whinin', or whatever you want to call it... it's not a bad thing... if you keep it in perspective... once in a while you got to take the garbage to the dump... or it piles up and makes your rig a pretty unpleasant place... just make sure that once you drop off a load... you get on back home and get back to work! :-)

Take Good Care
Brian

December 15, 2008 05:38 - A little cool this morning

When we got home last night it was a bit chilly... -9 when we pulled in the drive... had trouble lettin' go of the door knob... according to the NWS the reporting station nearby, at the Pawnee Grassland, it's -14 this morning.

Mornings like this, still bein' here... makes me kinda glad for the house!... havin' six inch walls twixt me an that stuff is a mite more comfortable than those lil' two inchers in the Eagle! :-) ...

I remember such days not so many years ago... choppin' ice... loadin' hay by the ton... It didn't seem so cold back then. :-) What with global warming an' all... is zero colder than it used to be? :-)

'nuther six weeks or so... and we'll make an Arizona run for a couple weeks... that'll let me warm up a bit.

In the mean time... I'm gonna work on upgrading the desk I built in the Eagle... I've pretty much decided, in the interest of eating... that I need to start my leather carving back up... to add a bit to my 'wages'. To make that easiest I need a solid spot inside the rig to sit and tool... The desk top has proved to be a lil' to springy for that... absolutely fine as a desk...

... punchin' laptop buttons don't bounce much! but pounding on leather can make things rattle. So, I'm going to remove the existing 1/2" surface, and replace it with a doubled/laminated pair of thicker, 3/4" pieces... to take out that 'bounce'.

I'll keep that other... 'sideline' dream/fantasy of building an awsome, one of a kind, boondocking rig tucked back in the recesses of an increasingly empty brain pan... and, for now... keep on upgrading the good ol' Eagle... not a bad option in itself... considering the good job it's done for goin' on eight years...

Every time I add a bit... or change a bit of it... it gets harder to think about tradin' it or such... 'cause when it's all said and done... the darn thing does an ever better job with each improvement... and becomes an even closer 'friend'... When I go and get 'practical'... and start thinkin' of the cost of changin' out... Whew!... keepin' the Eagle starts lookin' like the only thing to do... for a fella livin' in my world.

Talkin' 'bout a new rig is fun... and even more fun to sketch out all the things that would be sweet to have... but Lordy... start addin' up the bill for such doin's and my oh my! You had better have just won the lottery... and kept Uncle Sam from knowin' 'bout it! :-)

Yup... I'd guess... that if you find me, some five years down the asphalt... you'll find a grumpy, Ol' geezer... cussin' his thin wallet... whinin' 'bout how dang cold it is in southern arizona in the winter... bein' all the way down to 65 degrees and all! :-) ... and livin' under the awning of that good Ol' reliable, shined up Eagle!

... bangin' on leather to help make ends meet. :-)

Time to go make the donuts!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 17, 2008 07:58 - What is it 'bout some guys... ?

I wonder if maybe it's 'cause I'm in kind of a 'suspended' situation... it gives me more time to think?... and that's always a dangerous thing to have happen! :-)

The preparation to improve my desk in the Eagle... so it would serve better to work at tooling leather started out fine... just doin' some sketches to figure out exactly what would be the best way to go... Just replacing the top seems simple enough don't it?

... yeah, but you weren't puttin' ME into the calculations...

So... while I'm sittin' there, sippin' coffee and sketchin' ideas, 'bout upgrading that desk top... I got to thinkin' 'bout how my tools have to be wedged in here and there... and what a hassle that can be...

The first tool case I built just hasn't worked out very well... It fit poorly where I thought it would... and the result is that when the tools are put in the rig... some are in an outside compartment. Others are stuffed under the desk... here, there... It's just a confusion... I have to run around tryin' to remember where the double sided whizbang got wedged!

The upshot is... I had another one of those epiphany siezures... whoa baby... them suckers can sting! ... and this one has got me spinnin' in place! I've come up with a sweet design... which involves building two tool chests to fit on either end of the desk top... Kind of like woodworkers chests for chisels and such...

It would leave something around 2/3 of the top in the center open for tooling... or my laptop... when I'm bending words around... and would actually look pretty nice, when I ain't doin' anything...

Now... if this was 2 1/2 years ago... no problem... just head into the shop... a mite of cutting... some pin gun and glue work... a few screws here and there and wa la! Tool chests!

But... now... all those tools have gone to other homes... I'll have to run down this project mostly the old fashioned way... since at this point I'm not ready to replace big power tools... I've got to do it with handsaws and such... not a bad thing... just takes a bit more effort at doin' things accurately... and with my short attention span... that can be a real challenge! :-)

... one good thing... I do still have my pin and finish guns... that'll ease things a bit!... as long as I can make that handsaw cut straight.

Well, what the heck... it's a while 'fore spring ain't it? and Pumpin' a hand saw should keep me out of the bars for a while...

So... some more sketchin' ... schemin'... and shop time for the Eagle... and then it'll be back to cuttin' leather... anybody need a fancy shmancy Photo album or Journal? Carved by a genuine, double busted, puss gut, grumpy Ol' one time, cow nurse? :-)

Gotta go... I need the truck to chase pieces and parts today... so I have to go in wth the Boss Lady... so I have quite a bit of work to do... to get this carcass presentable for the general public.

Take Good Care
Brian

December 20, 2008 06:17 - ... and the Winter just keeps on blowin'

The wind gusts are rattling the windows, blowin' something like 24 mph this morning... and at 13 degrees, it makes it kinda cool. I guess Slick will stay parked for another day... Snow threatening later today.. I've only been gettin' maybe one day a week, riding...

It's been either too cold for even a silly Ol' Geezer like me... or there's snow and crud on the pavement... though... even when it's dry this time of year... it can be an adventure... what with all the sand layin' about.

Those storms that have been whackin' the east have only been a discomfort comin' through here... a big blow... and then pffft! They must be swellin' up somehow as they cross the plains... 'cause right here along the front range... they really haven't been doin' a whole lot... 'course, when a 'big' storm here, is when you get 54" on the flat... 4 or 5 inches don't seem to get much attention... :-)

As slow as time seems to be passin', lookin' forward... what with 'waiting' and all... it sure seems to have flown when you look back don't it? Another year dang near done... a week and a bit left of it... and for a lot of folks... a year they could have done without... though... that 'without' part is kinda hard to describe... and just might be a poorer deal.

... it generally involves boxes and shovels and preachers and such... I'll let that wait for a while if I can!

I'm lookin' forward to our desert trip in February... It's been an annual thing for Heidi for 11 years now I think... I've tagged along, draggin' the rig for only the last two or three... It's main purpose has always been the gem and mineral show in Tucson... but nowadays... I'm thinkin' that the gem and mineral show...

... is being used as an excuse to go to Tucson for a winter dog agility trial!... Heck... don't matter to me... I'll use either as an excuse if it gives me reason to put the 5er on the road and get down to some warm for a couple weeks... and maybe some more of that shirt sleeve cruising on Slick...

Motorcycles, Wandering in an RV... Freedom and SUN! I can close my eyes when the wind is whistlin' high, and the thermometer is plummeting... and... thinkin' of such things...

... Look pretty silly!... Sittin' there with a grin on my face, a sighin' ... with my eyes closed! :-)

Got most of herself's Dog Agility Dog Walk put together the other day... not my best work... but it will hold together I believe... and a needed 'warm up' for the work I'll be doin' shortly in the Eagle, reworking the RV Desk top and putting a pair of leathercraft tool cases together...

Guess I'll have to keep the shop heater running for a day or two next week to get the Walk painted... a bit difficult when it's like, 15 degrees in the shop... rubbin' a chunk of frozen paint on the boards just doesn't get 'er done.

From the blogs I follow... sounds like near ever'body is down mostly below the frostline now... They've dropped down out of Virginia, Montana, and other 'points north'... and here I sit... Boo Hoo... Someday!

... Hey! I've got it figured! How about a 'Cowboy Bailout'! ... Goes with the season don't it? Ever'body can just kick in an extra buck when you buy a tank of diesel! :-) ... then I could pay off this shack... lock the doors... and roll our trailer south! :-)

...and I promise!... I won't use it to pay myself no million dollar Christmas bonuses either! :-)

No? ...Oh well... guess I'll head on down to the hardware store and sell some more nuts and bolts then...

Take Good Care
Brian

December 21, 2008 05:34 - Jack Frost is still visiting

-3 this morning as I sit here... lookin' for a high of 20... hmmm... I think Slick will stay in his shelter... under the fifth wheel... Thats where he parks when he's not rollin'... under the nose of the 5er... good thing they get along so well... considerin' that bike is at one end of the trailer or the other most all the time!

The fella who bought the old '98 came in the store yesterday... It's kind of nice when a guy you sold a used truck to, two years ago, can come in and NOT be mad at you. :-) ... That truck had 135,000 miles on it when he took it over... today it's got 147,000... Hmmm the NEW truck we bought to replace it... so we'd have a fresh rig to start our wide circles with... now has 75,000 miles totaled on the odometer...

... so much for fresh... I guess I'll run to Alaska with whatever I'm sittin' in!... Whenever I get there.

Christmas comin' in a few days... Christmas eve we'll be havin' a small group of friends over to warm up the night... I remember other Christmas eve's. Far from home and scared... Seems like a long time ago... and yesterday...

... A group of friends, gathered up in a warm living room, with a table full of choices to eat... lights twinklin' though the windows... snow and cold locked away outside... sure beats the other!

Hopin' to get the new desk/bench top put in the Eagle next week... though more likely it'll get held off till just after Christmas... we'll see... I gotta get it done before I can start on those two 'built in' tool cases... which I'm anxious to start carvin' on... so I can get back to whittling on leather... I do poorly with it, if I don't have a proper place to work at it...

so... gettin' that lil' project done is high on my 'to do' list...

While Heidi and I, seem to be, fairly secure in our 'employments/income'... I'm wantin' to add some opportunity, for adding a bit, to strengthen the situation... just in case. Restarting my leather work in a modest way, fits in to that thinkin', which makes organizing and improving that RV workspace a priority for me this winter.

The way things are these days... having a 'fall back plan'... or a Plan B, seems like a sensible thing... even to a guy who often does things which defy the sensibilities of a lot of folks. :-) It's that Ol' 7P's thing again... (Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)

... and now, something that I've got to get taken care of ASAP... something hanging crooked under the Fifth Wheel caught my eye the other day. Somewhere along the road recently... a shock got shocked... and now it ain't shocking any more... and it would be best to have those RV shocks do their shocking properly... so I don't get caught up in a shocking 'RV Event'... 'cause a shock didn't shock when a shock was required!

... so... I need to hunt up a set that will fit... and get 'em bolted on... 'fore we go rollin' down the road some more... 'cause even as slow as I go... with the cruise control set on 'Road Block'... I'd guess it would be best to have the RV Suspension in top condition... especially consdering how many roads - aren't!

Take Good Care
Brian


December 23, 2008 07:59 - Many Years Ago... But not so very far away...

When we were still living up in the back country... and I was still spendin' time as a cow nurse...

This guy was one of my main inspirations to write anything... I only wish I'd listened to Baxter a bit more... and a bit less to other 'voices'... :-)
His view of the world, and mine have a real similar look to 'em I think... probably comes from followin' along, starin' at the southern end of northbound cows for long periods of time!

... I gotta say, his job of puttin' his vision to 'paper' has a mite more shine than mine.

He used to live, just a few dozen miles down the road from where I'm punchin' these buttons now... A few years ago... he up and moved his outfit down to the Benson, Arizona area... and I wondered... "What in tarnation was he thinkin'?"

Now... I've crossed that line where it come crystal clear... "Well, ya pin eared donkey! It's warm down there in the winter!"

A friend sent me a hookup to this video of Baxters' on You Tube... Seemed to me it was a pretty good sentiment to fit into this season... and especially, this year... So I'm passin' it on here... Not his usual off-center humor... but I'm calculatin' that most of you will forgive that!...

The man continues to inspire me...

Thanks Baxter!

" class="entrylink" TARGET="_blank">Baxter Black Lucky to be an American

Hope you enjoyed that... and if you see that Baxter is gonna be doin' a show around you somewhere... I'd recommend you go see him... He's what I want to be if I ever grow up!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 24, 2008 08:40 - Makin' Preparations for the Big Do

The Boss lady is rushin' around... scrubbin' this... polishin' that... tryin' to get the house shined up for all her guests comin' for the celebration tonight.

I say her guests... 'cause with something like 15 of 'em expected... that's 'bout 14 more than I could get to drop by on my own account! ... and I don't think that 'one' is likely to run all the way down from northern Wyoming for frozen lasagne and fudge! :-)

In this family, it's the women (Wife an' Daughter) that are the outgoin', cheerful ones... with lots of friends circlin' about... The cranky ol' bald headed puss gut is better left to his own mental meanderin's most of the time! :-)

But... tonight, he'll pull on his good boots... the jeans without holes... along with his best shirt... he'll brush his teeth and rub on some right guard... pop a cap on his head to prevent blinding the gathered crowd, from the reflected glare of all the twinkling lights... and enter into some genuine, western, social intercourse....

... He'll walk into the fray with the pure intent of not speakin' his mind when somebody says somethin' that makes his eyes cross and his liver quiver!

He'll behave himself and just nod... sayin' ... "Hmmm... !" and "I hadn't thought of that" and other such attempts at civility... all the while... chewin' on his tongue... till folks think he's suckin' on and droolin' over, strawberry candies!

... It's true! I Vow!

I'll save the stompin' and cursin'... the poinitin', the jabbin' and throwin'... the hootin' and hawin', the hog tyin' and horse whippin', along with the occasional verbal lightning... to start off the New Year with some reinvigorated energy!

Tonight... Christmas Eve... is for appreciating the fact that the Boss has blessed me, with a life where I can do those things... and have folks just shake their heads... and call me 'colorful'! :-)

You Folks, Every One... Have a warm and wonderful Christmas... and if this holiday don't fit your religion... That's OK... use the time to remind yourself how grateful we should all be for the life we're able to live...

Right here in America!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 26, 2008 06:56 - I did it!...

... Almost...

It took me better than three hours of socializin'... 'fore I stepped in it! :-) That there is some sort of a record for me... generally... with more 'n a dozen townfolks under my roof... I can say something inappropriate long 'fore that! :-)

Hey! Maybe I'm finally maturing...

The best day how-some-ever... was yesterday... didn't go anywhere... didn't do hardly anything... just sittin' around with the kids... when they're tottering past 26... can you still call 'em kids?

Heidi and Keriann played around with jewelry smithin' while Josh and I talked Motorcycles... sittin' in the sun streamin' in that glass wall we have on the west end of the house... The Snowy mountains off on the Horizon...

Like Baxter said... "It don't get any better 'N this!" ... ummm... the four of us... sittin' in a camp on the Mogollon in Arizona would run it a fairly shiny horse race!... :-)

Lots of ideas, plans and schemin' for the comin' New Year... We'll be haulin' for Tucson in a few weeks...

Wonderin' on how it will all turn out is kind of a curious thing though... I mean... one day, many years from now (Hopefully!)... sittin' around a fire... with a nearly wore out Eagle shining in the firelight :-) and a rusty ol' Red Cummins parked in front of it... I'll be sayin'...

"Remember that winter trip way back in '09?... Ahhhh.... THOSE were the Good Ol' Days!"

Here's to the 'Good Ol' Days!... May we all carve many more of 'em!"

Take Good Care
Brian

December 28, 2008 06:15 - ... and then I didn't!

Or at least Slick wouldn't!

At 18 degrees that motorcycle was willing to start... but yesterday morning... at 11 degrees all that Yamaha V Star would do was kind of whine then pffft! What he wouldn't do was fire up.

That's one thing 'bout horses... never had one refuse to walk out just 'cause it was cold... A few humped up... and stuck my head in the sand... but once I climbed back on we went to work!

So although the flesh was willing... the motorcycle metal was weak. :-) Big Red doesn't worry 'bout no cold though. That Cummins fired up just like usual and hauled us in just fine. This morning the mercury is sitting at about 13... so it's unlikely Slick'll be willing to roll today either.

Bummer.

Folks just don't believe I'm stayin' comfortable on the highway at those temps... I'm a little surprised myself, after bein' so cold last winter at 30!... Hard to believe that simply changin' out the jacket has made that big a difference... but that's the only thing that changed.

... and the looks I get from the folks rollin' the other way, would make a credit card commercial, they're just; "Priceless!"

I can hear 'em thinkin' too; "We're all in trouble if those crazy kids don't know enough to not ride a motorcycle in weather like this!"... and then, in the parkin' lot... when I get there... and I pull the helmet off... and they see NOT some ignorant kid...

... but a pussgutted, bald headed, goofy, Ol' geezer! ...

Aw, it's just worth a million bucks! :-)

I was gonna run Slick up in the shop last night... and rig up some sort of a heat lamp motorcycle oven to keep him warm enough to start in the morning... but... Heidi's Dog Walk is still sitting in there ... and a 36 foot walk... wedged into a 40 foot shop... with all the other junk... has got one door blocked.

Guess the Boss Lady 'll have to haul me again today... and I'll invent some sort of a 'warmer' Tuesday when the weather's cooperating a mite.

With the warmer weather... at least a day or two is expected anyway... I'm also hopin' to make a lil' progress on redoing that desk top... Guess I'm gettin' kind of wimpy... or maybe just cheap... when I start thinkin' about whether or not it's warm enough to fire up the heater in the shop!

Hmmm... Warm enough to fire up the heater?... Now THERE is a fella with 'issues'! :-)

Hope you all had a fine holiday... and that your 'issues' are few!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 29, 2008 05:57 - ... and then I Did! :-)

... and don't I feel sheepish.

It comes from that Ol' Ass-u-me deal. When I went to bed Saturday night it was 19 degrees... and the weatherman claimed it would drop to 13... so when I climed out of my bunk in the morning, I Ass-u-med it was... and spread that misinformation in yesterday's post...

OOPS!

'cause when I stepped outside I said; "Huh? This ain't no 13." It was better than 30 ... a gol darn heat wave! So I DID ride Slick yesterday... and will again today... Nearly lost another day of straddlin' that Motorcycle, and that's a day you can't never get back.

A guy has to watch those weather fellas. They just aren't as sharp as they're tryin' to be... hmmm... sounds like another fella 'round here don't it?

'course, if it were on me... I'd probably not know anyway, 'cause that idiot box never gets turned on when I'm by myself... Weather Underground on the computer might mislead me, but not the talkin' head on the tube.

I had a conversation with a fella at the ranch store yesterday... He wanted to know why I was still here... Claims he's watching, 'cause he wants me to 'ride point' and show him it can be done... (how a guy with a thin wallet can actually live the dream)

Now... I know I stumble and get discouraged once in a while... and I don't try to hide it too much when I'm whittlin' words here... glossin' things over ain't gonna help anybody who's trying to find the way by keepin' an eye on me and maybe followin' my trail a ways. Seems every time I get feelin' tired and get to feeling like maybe I should just pack it in, somebody comes along and gives me a boost.

That fella... and several readers of this lil' internet campfire did just that over the past week or so... Many Thanks.

You know, I really do think that just might be the key to this deal for a lot of folks. A good way to keep the fire lit is to keep a circle of friends around you, a circle of folks who will bolster your spirits when you get wore down.

Now... HOW they bolster you changes from time to time. On occasion they'll take hold of your arm and give you a bit of gentle guidance... and other times... if you earned it... they'll take a boot and plant it where it'll do the most good. :-)

Generally, bein' the stubborn fella I am... it more often takes a good thump with the boot to get my attention. :-)

So now, gently lead... and soundly whumped... I'm off to sell some nuts and bolts... and continue scheming our escape!

Take Good Care
Brian

December 30, 2008 08:10 - A few things to keep in mind... as we get ready to step off yondering through a new year...

Something I learned a long time ago, was that Murphy's Law was written about me... They just changed the name... so the don't have to pay me royalties on all the books and calendars they sell. :-)

Reader Len sent me this a couple days ago... gave me a good laugh... These are the 'other' 15 Murphy's Laws that go along with his Law of Probability... That anything that can go wrong... WILL! :-)

Murphy's 15 Other Laws;

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until
you hear them speak.

2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

3. He, who laughs last, thinks slowest.

4. A day without sunshine is like. . . Well, night.

5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something
right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end, some
taxi would be stupid enough to try to pass them.

10. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

11. The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who
got there first.

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he
will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

13. Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

14. The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in the dark.

15. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve
people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.


Take Good Care
Brian

December 31, 2008 22:16 - Some New Years News

Happy New Year Ever'body! Here's hopin' it's a fine one for you... but, just in case, keep workin' at it... just hopin' things work out, often don't get the job done. :-) ... and you know what they say about the Boss; "He helps those that help themselves."

Along that line of thinkin'... I've got kind of a big deal coming up for Goin' RV Boondocking!

No not that... Don't I wish?! THAT is gonna happen one day... as long as I keep workin' at it. Just not right now. :-)

But I do think I've got a fine way for Goin' RV Boondocking to start off its' Circle through # 2009.

After two years and more, of word knittin', phrase carvin' and paragraph stackin' ... I've built something 'round 200 pages here on goin' RV Boondocking.

I'm not finished by a long shot... I've still got plenty of ideas for others... how-some-ever, they're not comin' together with any rushin' hurry... not like back in the beginning. Lot's of 'em are just hangin' around out there in the fog... a fuzzy idea for a story... but not comin' clear so I can build 'em out... a lot of 'em, I think, are waitin' for me to get unstuck and on the road... (for which I'm keepin' my fingers crossed)

... But, that's another story. :-)

The thing is this... No matter how hard I work at it... No matter how much I've managed to learn... (and you know... I have to not only learn it... but then I've got to remember it too!) I can't know but a lil' fraction of what there is to pass on, 'bout RV Boondocking, RV Solar power... gettin' by in 230 square feet...

...Let alone, rewiring the single widget recirculator transformer on a double shovel fifth wheel converter overload transponder buss! :-) -don't worry... I ain't got no idea what that means either! :-)

And even what I do know can be wrong at times... since there's almost always several ways of doin' just about any job right.

So... What can I do 'bout that?

Well... Plenty! A mite over a year ago...Site Sell... the webhost that created the system that makes it possible for a fella like me to build this site in the first place, launched a new program...

If I plugged that program into the site... it would make it possible for the readers of the site, to write and publish... (upon acceptance/minor editing of the story)... stories of their own knowledge and experience... Bottom line? A huge amount of experience, and knowledge about all parts of RVing... dwarfing my own feeble self... could become available, right here...

Not just how I've done it... or how I would... but how You folks have done it... and often, done it better!

I've been ponderin' on it for a while. My problem was, I couldn't get clear in my head, just where and how it would fit in here. But like always... if I let things simmer for a while... An idea will take shape... If there's one in there in the first place... and I think I have come up with a few good ones...

... and just like usual... the answer was sittin' right there in front of me the whole dang time! DOH!

Thing is... Bein' that there still ain't no free lunches... unless of course you're a big corporate exec. :-) the system ain't free for me to use. Wishin' to avoid the expense... If it's not something that toots anybody's whistle... and wouldn't be used... I've been hesitatin' pullin' the trigger...

... Sometimes a fella has to just have confidence that when he thinks something is a good idea... it actually is!

SO... I've decided to just suck it up and jerk that trigger... :-) ... With any luck... I'll hit more than just the ground.

Over the next few days/weeks... I've got something like six 'subjects' I'll be adding the pages for. These are the pages where you'll be able to share Your tales.

The subjects I'm planning on adding are...


  • Your RV Destinations (stories of your trips)

  • Readers RV Tips

  • Your Custom RV (Your remodels, add ons or 100% custom rigs)

  • Your RV Accessories (What works... and what doesn't)

  • Your Recreational RV Activities

  • Your Solar Power Installations

If you've got a hankering to share your story about pretty near anything having to do with RVing or RV Travel... start gathering your thoughts... and keep watching...

I'll be sure to point out the 'Invite' pages right here, as soon as I get 'em built... and we'll see what happens!

Take Good Care
Brian

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