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December 1, 2006 19:05 - Another Cold Day in Colorado

Still too cold for my old bones around here. Hard to remain patient when I hear of all those folks enjoying the warmth (relative) down in my home state. Not a whole lot of options for me though! The time will come ............... and then I'll be whining about how hot and dusty it is!

Got the article about the new external hard drive
posted for those interested. Worked smooth. Nary a hitch.

Migraine woke me up about 4am this morning ............. I remember when I was a kid, and the doctor told me it was all in my head (and I thought, duh! you had to go to school to learn that?) ....... it was all in my head 'cuz only girls get migraines! They've learned since then I guess.

Anyway, took the steam out of me today, so instead of doing the work outside I had planned, I just tried to do some work building the web site. Was nearly done when I stumbled across the warning that if I put the new "work" in one place, all was well with the world, if I put it where I put it however .............. the search engines would start shooting at me! eeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiii !

So I just spent the last two hours or so moving it all to the "good" place. There are some things about this internet / web site gig I still have to learn!

Working on a dog deck for the back seat of Big Red. Also, some drawers to store Heidis Beads in the fifth wheel. Are any of you ladies Bead Queens? That's what Heidi and her friends / customers at her store call themselves. We'll be taking enough Beads with us in the Fiver that we may need overload springs! But hey, she has to have recreational activities for her too right!

Better go get dinner ready ..................... the boss lady is on the way home!

December 3, 2006 18:00 - It's all a state of mind

Was reading Nicks blog over on his Gypsy journal website this morning and he really got me to thinking. Though I turned 54 a few months ago and have often referred to myself as a broken down old cowboy, I can't honestly say I truly think that way.

Maybe the carcass I'm wandering around in has a few dents, dings and faulty parts, but I can still guarantee one thing , the fella bouncing around inside hasn't grown up yet, and he has no intention of doing so!

Remember how a lot of folks have told you that you're only as old as you feel? Well it's true! How you think, is often how you are.

Think of it this way. If you think "I'm gonna' go buy me a Big Red truck" .... chances are strong that when you look out there in front of your fifth wheel, you'll see a Big Red truck!

That thing in your skull, that most folks only use to keep their ears from knocking together, has one hell of a lot of power. Problem is, most folks don't tap into it much. If your brain tells your body it's a worn out ol' shell, it's likely that your carcass will respond that way.

However, if that hat rack on top of your neck tells your carcass ...... "let's take that hike up the mountain this morning!" it's more than likely you'll find yourself having lunch up in the high peaks.

Don't get trapped into some artificial idea of yourself by a gol' durn calendar!

It ain't the "kids" pulling all the pranks down at the hardware store where I'm waiting out the tribulations of this real estate market. It's that mustach-ee-oed, goofy Ol' "Geezer" gettin' all the laughs. If it ain't fun ..... go find something else to do!

If you think the dream, you'll live the dream. There I go gettin' all poetic again, but it's true.

Don't wait on tomorrow .... or dwell on what might have been yesterday. .... get after it today!

Go find somebody to pull a prank on! ...... just be ready to duck!


December 8, 2006 16:22 - Catchin' Up

Had to make a run back up into Wyoming the last couple days. That old gelding I retired to a friends place was gettin' pretty long in the hoof.
They were trying to trim him up, but like me, he can be a bit of a punk so I had to go talk to him ......... Cathy is still shaking her head. I guess she never heard of bribing a misbehaving cowhorse with Vanilla Wafer Cookies! Works pretty good! Better than a twitch on some of the buggers!

Only problem is, with a hog like Sonny, it takes about 3/4 of a box per foot to keep him distacted! ...... Better than fightin' him though!

Butch from up in Idaho wrote and said that in his opinion, 54 ain't dry behind the ears yet ...... I guess it depends on whether you're talkin' biological or chronological age! That last VA doctor that gave me an exam, some twenty years ago, told me I was in excellant health ...... for a man of 72! Since I was only about 35 at the time and 20 something years have gone by I figure, according to my X-rays and such it makes me something better than 92! lol

Got my new RV Dog Deck built in Big Red. Such a thing is really a nice addition to the truck. Gives us a nice place to stick stuff away from the dogs and provides a better ride for them, being able to see out the windows and all.

I had one in our Old '98, but I built it as a one piece fairly permanent installation. Had to pull the seat out of the truck so it cut down on our ability
to go anywhere with other folks ...... unless they drove. This one will pull out quick and easy and the rear seat is left installed. Much better design. I guess even Old geezers can learn once in a while .... even if Butch don't consider my wore out ol' butt Old!

Doesn't take too many RV add-ons to really make a rig work well.

Till the next time....

December 12, 2006 23:09 - Sometimes it's hard to see the progress

Started working on a new set of drawers in the Eagle today. Heidi has a huge cache of beads she wants packed in the rig when we hit the trail.

I have a design for three drawers in a forward cabinet that will hold the biggest part of her "Bead Cache". Funny, since that's the name of her store!

Of course, as soon as I got well started on that, word came that some folks want to view the house Saturday morning .... hard to complain, except how do I manage to time everything so it's always feast or famine?

What's the trick to a nice steady flow of things to do! So now it's run around and clean up anything we let slide the last few weeks of no "nibbles" ..... and try to not get our hopes too inflated!

Along with that I am doing the final design sketch for the welder to build the carrier that will transport the Yamaha on the tail of the Eagle when we leave. This was supposed to be done already, but as is common, life is what happens when you are making plans!

Keep your fingers crossed for us Saturday morning ...... I'm prepared to grovel if necessary to sell the place! I'm ready to go!

Had a little experience with the solar system recently. When I changed out the faulty cables on the battery bank the remote monitor for the charge regulator seemed to freeze up. No error messages or anything. It just never changed. The reading stayed exactly the same no matter what was happening. The reset button had no effect and I began to think I had somehow fried something when I swapped out the cables. (*edit... the monitor failed in February of 2008... so apparently it was bad!)

I finally had the idea that maybe it just needed to be "powered down" and restarted to be reset. Kind of like rebooting a computer when it sticks, like they so commonly do.

So I simply disconnected the line from the regulator to the remote and reattached it. Pretty simple thing. Worked too! Don't know what the problem really was but doing that has it all operating correctly now. I suppose I won't get fully used to what is normal until we are living with the system on a daily basis. For that I cannot wait!

Breathe in and out, put one foot in front of the other and life goes on. Sometimes so fast I can't keep up. Sometimes so slow I can't tell if I'm moving at all! Either way it's all good in the end.

I guess that's enough rambling for one evening. Take care.

December 19, 2006 08:53 - RV Boondocking Christmas Wish

I want to wish everyone a hopeful and happy Christmas and New Year. May your tires stay inflated, your Motorhome get 20 miles per gallon with a nice tail wind, and all the other RV Boondockers give you a standing ovation when you arrive!

Our enforced wait to get out on the road continues. Heidi and I apparently believe in buying high and selling low when it comes to real estate! Our timing could have been better.... We showed the place to a young couple Saturday. They seemed genuinely pleased with it. We haven't heard anything from them yet. We're hopefull though! It's a long time till sumer, so we have time.

I just keep telling myself: breathe in and out, put one foot in front of the other and keep on living until we can make the change to REALLY start LIVIN' ! One day it will happen and all of you will hear the hollerin' from wherever you're parked! Maybe even over the racket that big ol' diesel makes!

I entertain myself through some of these cold days leafing through the Mile Post magazine/book dreamin' of our expedition to Alaska this coming summer. Planning this trip, as much as we plan a trip, has been high on my wish list for one heck of a long time.

Life has always seemed to get in the way and forced postponing the adventure. Well not this year! One way or the other my carcass is goin' to Alaska in '07! I've been told that a 50# King Salmon has been sighted up there with my name on it! I sure don't want that sea going wanderer to die of old age before I get there!

So have a really fine week. Look around next Monday morning and realize just how lucky you (we) are and we'll see you down the RV Boondocking road sometime!

Take Care

December 20, 2006 14:25 - Christmas blizzard!

It's cold here! 20 degrees or so and the wind whistlin' maybe 30mph and stonger gusts. The snow doesn't get real deep here though. We just see it as it passes by! We get some pretty good drifts sometimes. Last big storm the drift around my shop was 8'-10' deep ..... couple feet from there the ground was bare!

This is one of those type storms. They're talking maybe a foot of snow which is no great shakes, until the howling wind for the next three days piles it all up on top of you!

Life in the west, ain't it lovely!

If any of you folks are RV Boondocking down there in Quartzite or any other of the "Southlands" ........ count your blessings! I don't know how rough this latest Colorado Blizzard will end up, but I know it's starting to get a little tough for some folks. Mostly because a lot of them don't have the sense to just put another pot of coffee on the stove, pull down a good book, cover up with a blanket and kick back!

We ran in this morning to get propane for the Eagle, before this thing started blowing in strong. I wanted to have plenty of propane for the rig just in case the power goes off in the house. Not an unheard of thing out on the High Plains of Colorado!

If it does, I'll just fire up the furnace out in that good Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel and use the amps of power stored in all those Trojan T-105 RV Batteries, I installed, to keep it cooking for a few days!

Another reason I'm really happy with that RV Solar Power System we installed!

Just heard that the Governor just declared a disaster area ........ it's windy and snowy, we have to slow down and drive with care, but a disaster area? Makes me wonder what some of these folks would do if it really got tough! Heck, I've sorted cows in worse than this! Not a smart thing, but we did it!

This should be a pretty good incentive to find an imaginative way to get "things" moving on our efforts to get out full-time don't you think? lol

Have a Merry Christmas and don't feel too guilty if you're snowbirdin' it down south ...... we promise not to hold it against you!

Take Care

December 22, 2006 08:45 - Do we need a reality check?

I'm going to take a lot of heat for this, I'm sure, but I still have to say it, folks now a days seem to become crippled by the littlest bumps in the road.

For the past two days I've been hearing "disaster area, Colorado is Paralyzed, all the roads are impassible" and on and on. I am here to say, in a few localized areas it may have got pretty tough to get around, but that is not a disaster! That is an inconvenience!

I swear, if they can't drive down to the 7-11 in shorts with the top of their Corvette down it's a freaking disaster area! Give me a break! Katrina was a genuine, unadulterated catastrophe for those folks. This here was a Colorado snowstorm and an inconvenience.

I went out about 7:30am yesterday morning to get an idea of conditions. The news would have me believing that I was in a desperate situation. Looking out the windows of the house I was thinking, Huh?

The majority of our road In spots there was a little bit of junk in the way The worst spot

Now keep this in mind. I drove the five miles, from our place, to Interstate 25 in TWO WHEEL DRIVE. A dually pickup in two wheel drive is like having a set of skis on the back end. Inconvenient folks .... but no disaster! Getting to I-25 I was mildly surprised to see mostly bare pavement. Sure it required slowing down and exercising a little common sense, but a disaster? Give me another break!

When I got back to the house I took these pics around the place.
Our Jayco Eagle You can see the drift on the right side. I still could have hitched up and drove away! All the way to town, through town, and on down the road, it just ain't that bad. I couldn't believe all the people complaining about how bad it was.

This one is to show how it changed in a few feet. This is from around the other side of the house, behind the Eagle.
Sure drifts form and you can't drive through them. But even if it is impassible it ain't no disaster, it's a day off!

Truth was, the only difficulty I had when we drove into town was where the plows had pushed the snow up into piles, that were in the way! I could have driven through or around what mother nature had put down, but our precious governmental "Patrons" have these guys go out and push all the snow into great heaping mounds in front of all the driveways! Thanks for the help ....... The only time I had to put Big Red in 4x4 was to get through the "man made" drifts. I drove all over Fort Collins in two wheel drive ..... a disaster? impassible? paralyzed?

Man Made Drift

I need another break!

Proof in the pics!

This doesn't really look paralyzed to you does it? Remember, the blizzard warning was still in affect when I took this shot ......

The only real problem was the snow pile keeping us away from the valuables in this wonderfull retailer! Oh my God! It's a disaster!
Clearing out the disaster!

Bottom line to my once again windy tirade is don't cry wolf! It was a strong storm,. It caused some minor (in my world) inconvenience, but it is not, was not, and will never be a disaster.

The only bad things in such a deal are the bad things that happen when people go out in conditions they are unprepared for and then expect, as their right, somebody else to come and save them. If you do not know how to drive in the snow, either stay home or get someone who does to teach you!

When I saw a rear wheel drive car (poor traction) pushing a front wheel drive car (excellant traction) on the news, THAT SAID IT ALL.

Take a deep breath. Slow down, and get on with it. It is not a disaster if you can't wear shorts, a tee shirt and thongs to the grocery store! It's Colorado!
A day you can't or shouldn't move around much is not a disaster, IT"S A DAY OFF!

Whew! I feel better now! ....... so now I'm going to go duck and run from the whacks I'm sure I'm going to take for my little tirade! It's just that I get cranky when the talking heads on the boob tube condition everyone to believe they are helpless and that the sky is falling.

That's not the sky ....... just a few snowflakes! Put another pot of coffee on the stove, pull a good book down off the shelf, wrap up in a blanket on the couch and kick back.

It is not a disaster. it is a blessing! Heidi and I got to spend two very nice, quiet days alone with the dogs for the most part!

End of Sermon!

December 28, 2006 08:23 - SOS ...... Same Old Stuff!

How was your christmas? Heidi and I had maybe our best in a long while. We spent it with our daughter and soon to be husband down in Denver. The kids bought the old man one of those video game machines ......... something I would not have bought for myself I can say for sure ........... but I can also say, when the weather is lousy and you're cabin ..... or Rig ........ bound, it's a hoot! I can see why so many folks can get addicted to the things!

At least when you play it your brain has to engage and at least part of you is moving! Better than just vegitating in front of the boob tube.

The roads are OK. I guess. The problems I've seen from Fort Collins to Denver have mostly been caused by the snow plows putting the snow they plowed in the wrong places ...... and in my opinion ....... not having enough plows, in snow country, to plow the CORRECT ROADS FIRST..........

Weatherman says another round of snow is on the way ............. You Arizona snowbirds are really gettin' me jealous now! My busted parts are really pestering me this winter! ..... likely it will be near as much as the last one. The storm last week put as much snow on Denver as they got there all last winter!
Pretty much the same thing here at the home of Goin' RV Boondocking ............. makes me really, really, really want to GET ME OUT OF HERE! lol

Haven't heard anything on the house ...... patience, patience, patience ......... gettin' pretty weary of the sound of that "attribute" too!

Been tinkering in the shop with the cases and such I'm preparing for my mobile leather craft shop. Nearly done. Building a new stitching horse and a nice, granite, portable tooling surface. Takes a bit of imagination to figure out how to pack a 16 X24 leather shop into a few tool cases to fit into the storage space I have left available on the Eagle!

Gotta get it wedged in there though. My leather carving is planned as a fair part of our RV Boondocking income ...... most of the rest coming from our little store which will be managed "absentee".

Hoping to get the Eagle pulled over to the welding shop in the next three weeks ........ want to get my bike carrier built ASAP. Because, if everything works out we are planning to roll to Tucson for the first two weeks or so of February. There is a huge series of "Bead Shows" then, where Heidi picks up a great chunk of the inventory for our store. I don't usually go but this time I'm needing to rub some rubber off the tires on Big Red and the Eagle!

If I can get that RV Motorcycle carrier built and installed on the Jayco Eagle it will be a nice test ....... and while Heidi flits around buying tons of Beads, I can roll around my home ground in the Sunshine!! ....... it ain't full-time yet but it'll do!

Well, much to do so I better get out there and get to doin' it! tool cases ...... bead drawers ..... stitching horse ........ let it snow I guess!

Take care ..... see you down the road.

December 29, 2006 07:24 - Big Red requires Good Sam Emergency Road Service! ..... sort of ......

Yesterday turned out to be a day for "blue smoke'!

First thing in the morning I fired up that big Dodge 3500 and moved some stuff down to the barn ...... no problem. Broke through a couple small drifts the wind had put up and parked back at the house.

I went over to the shop to work on some leather craft gear. After a couple hours Heidi came over with a long face ..... "The Truck won't start ..."
So, I go over and sure enough, the truck starts, but only runs for maybe 10 seconds and shuts down. Tried it 4 or 5 times. Same thing. Fires up just fine and then just shuts down.

Having gotten ready, for the most part, to be out of here full-time RV Boondocking (PLEASE!) we're down to only one vehicle, not including the Yamaha, so we can't be having a busted truck! Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh! (Blue Smoke!!) Especially with another big storm roaring in shortly!

Well, I got on the horn to Good Sam's Emergency Road Service and they had a tow truck here in an hour....... we're out a ways. What a lousy day this is quickly turning into. Second time we've had to use the road service. Once about two years ago with Heidis Subaru. Both times, quick, excellant, competant and friendly service. Nice to not have to worry about the cost. A good deal.

The driver dropped the bed and started winching that beautiful red '06 up the ramp. Big Red fought him too .... I should have listened! He locked his parking brake and drug his back wheels in hollering "NO NO, I'm fine!! Don't put me on a tow truck, PLEASE!" !

But instead, we spotted the locked wheels, released the brake and finished loading. I remember telling the driver, "What do you want to bet it's something embarrassingly simple?"

The first mistake I made was in failing to call Chrysler FIRST!

Heidi and I piled into the Tow Trucks cab for the ride to town. The driver was kind enough to drop Heidi off at Advantage Car Rental along the way. We were figuring we'd need a car for a day or two.

The Chrysler dealer was just a mile or so down the road and we turned in there minutes later..... after being held up a little by several young runts walking down the middle of the road! Not through the parking lot on the other side of the snow plow pile ..... down the middle of the traffic lane!

I swear, three wide, walking down the middle of the lane! Turned and cussed at us when the driver honked his horn. I came half out of the truck with that ...... and they rethought their behavior..... If these kids are the future, we're all in trouble!

We made it to the dealer without further incident. The Tow driver and I walked into the service desk to find out where they wanted the truck. I started to tell the service agent the problem, was in mid-sentence ....."it runs 10 seconds and the...." and he cuts me off with " You have a bad key", kind of matter of factly.

Huh? a bad key? Thats right! So he asks me do I have two keys, to which I say, sure! Did you try both? He asks ...... we'll no.......

The key I have with me is the unused key. It was Heidis key in the ignition when it failed to start / run. The driver grabs my key, runs out and climbs up on his rig and into my truck ...... walla..... fires up Big Red and he runs just fine!

"I told you I was fine! You just don't listen BRIAN!" ........ apparently, Big Red was pretty mad at me. Seems a half dozen Fords and Duramax rigs saw him up on the tow truck and he was a little embarrassed, and now, obviously, for no good reason!

Hurried back inside to call Advantage rent a car ...... "Heidi! Don't rent a car! We don't need it! the truck is fine!" Advantage was kind enough to offer to bring Heidi to the dealer ....... we needed her old key to set up the new key / keys. Of course it was on warranty so no charge.

So here is the bottom line. If you have a later model truck with one of the "chipped" key systems, and you experience a sudden failure to start or run situation, try your other key, before you call the tow truck! It's part of the theft / alarm system. The system failed to recognize the chip in the key so it shut the truck down. The truck was fine ...... the key went bad!

If I had called the Chrysler dealer first, he would have told me about the key thing, and I could have driven Big Red in to get the new key set up. But no, I have to jump off the deep end first thing! The sky is falling!

Wasn't it me that was just recently raggin' on a bunch of folks about the same kind of thing ...... pay back is uncomfortable ain't it! So stop and look around a mite, talk to a dealer, then call a tow truck!

Had to get some good out of the deal ...... and they had this awsome Blue Cummins Turbo Diesel cap with orange flames sittin' up on a shelf .................... at least I could add to my wardrobe!

Then, last night, about 4;30p.m. this latest storm started cranking up here. The wind just howled all night. Heavy snow, but little of it stayed around here. Near as I can tell it all blew south and west! lol

Life in the west ........... it just keeps keepin' on.

December 31, 2006 06:26 - Time to close out the year

Like pretty much everybody says, the older you get the faster time passes. I'm at that point where I turn pages on the calendar a lot faster than I want to!

This year, all told has been one of the better ones. My daughter got engaged to a fella that just shines. They look so good together it somehow makes me just ache, deep down inside.

There are a lot of things in this life I would do differantly. Plenty of mistakes I'll just keep to myself. That kid ain't one of them. She's turned out to be pretty much the best thing I ever had any part of ........... maybe a tie with marryin' her mother?

The other thing that has made this year shine for me is this website / blog that I started last April. The response has been nearly overwhelming! I figured I could do a decent job, but I never expected Goin' RV Boondocking too get ranked in the top 2% like it is. Thought maybe I could get into the top 10%, if I lived long enough! So I couldn't be happier with your response to my efforts.

So, many thanks to everyone that has placed any value on my ramblings. Your visits are much appreciated. I plan to keep working hard to maintain that value to you in the coming year.

Of course I better mention Big Red! and the Eagle!. Don't want our good friends The Dodge 3500 and the Jayco Fifth Wheel getting mad at me! My hope for the coming year is that this house sells soon and we can start adding a few miles to the odometer ....... slow and easy ...... but adding miles just the same!

Big Red is still a mite torqued at me for that little deal with the tow truck the other day .......... what does he expect from somebody suffering from early old timers syndrome?

All of you have a safe and shiny New Year! Heidi and I will most likely be cutting Z's when the clock ticks over into January 2007.
We're not much for partyin' anymore.

See you all, RV Boondocking in the New Year!

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