Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grandson and Fan Fest

It has been awhile since my grandson Zach and I have spent any quality time together. He asked if we could do something together and we came up with the annual
Seattle Mariners Fan Fest that occurred today at Safeco Field in Seattle.
We got up early and went to our favorite cafe and bar, the Mecca, in the lower Queen Anne section of Seattle.

He and I used to eat at this little cafe when we would go to the Key Arena at the Seattle Center to watch the Seattle Thunderbirds WHL hockey team. We were never disappointed by the cafe. The staff was always great and the food...ahhhh the food...these people know what a plate of food should look like. My grandson had ordered several different items and had always managed to clean his plate. Not this morning.
He ordered something called the "Deck Hand". I am pretty sure you need to work like a deck hand prior to eating this thing so you have an appetite that will allow you to finish it. Two large pancakes, hashbrowns, two big strips of bacon, two big breakfest sausages and three eggs was too much for him and he couldn't finish it. The first time ever that they put a plate in front of him that he couldn' finish.

We had some time after breakfest so we went up to West Seattle above Alki beach and took some pictures of the city of Seattle. One nice shot of the space needle
Then we headed down to the baseball field. As we walked up to the stadium it was apparent that alot of people are enthused about this season.

We got lots of pictures of the field, look up from the field, the phones in the dugouts to call up relievers, walked the bases, went to the Diamond Club, the Interview room, the Mariners dining and locker rooms.

Zach hit this ball and another one over the center field wall and up into the back row of seats in the stands.
All in all a great day with my grandson.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Long Week

It has been a very long week. Sorry I haven't input anything recently but I have been working very long hours.
Welcome to all the new followers.
As the week comes to a close I must finalize my annual inventory and take another one for our second store.
With only Sunday off this week, I plan to have some fun with my grandson. We will be attending the Seattle Mariners Fan Fest at Safco Field. I look forward to a fun day with him and dinner at the Mecca near the Seattle Center after we are done at the stadium. Hoping to have time for him to help me move my bookshelfs as the electrician will arrive next Friday to move some wires and install a heater.
Be safe out there..

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Not a good Sunday

I awoke at 1:30 not feeling good at all. Most of the last couple of days I haven't quite felt myself. Kind of like I going to get sick but I don't. Right now Mia is on the way to help our son paint his newly redone bathroom and I have planted myself on the couch in front of the laptop transferring picture files to my FreeAgent Drive. Killing the ones on the laptop might free up some needed memory and make things work a little faster.
Hope you're having a better Sunday than I.
Be safe out there...

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Weekend Begins

Except I have to work tomorrow and will only get one day off this week and next. I am so glad that retirement is near.

I need to get my garage finished and cleaned up. It has been allowed to go long enough. Since I will have a Friday off the first week of February I plan to get the electrician to come and move an electrical outlet and wiring for a wall heater. Once that is down I can finish installing some built in cabinets. I look forward to filling them with all kinds of cook books and other helpful kitchen instruments.

Be safe out there....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to Wonder

This is for the man who lives in the cold, snowy regions of the U.S. and just doesn't have everything

454 cubic inch big block Chevrolet V8 produces 412 horsepower
Just in case your havin' any trouble removing snow from your driveway... this baby will blow snow back to where i t c ame from... more at the bottom...

And now for the rest of the story....

If you're tired of anemic, one-lung snowblowers with their slipping drive belts, you migh t c onsider Kai Grundt's V8 snow blower which raises the bar on the traditional snow blower in every respect. With electric start, electric block heater, antifreeze heater and eigh t c ylinders, it has no drive belts to freeze up and you'll never get bored with the job as the 454 cubic inch big block Chevrolet V8 produces 412 horsepower, 430 foot pounds of torque and can throw snow 50 feet at just 3500 rpm.

Nor will you ge t c old as the machine has been ingeniously designed to route the engine coolant through the handle bars, with the rear mounted, enclosed radiator keeping the operator nice and cozy.

Maneuvering the massive beast (it has a total wet weight of 912 lbs) is a breeze thanks to the hydraulic-drive 4WD skid steer on independent walking beams which offers a zero turning radius. It's also as fast as you like, with an infinitely adjustable speed range on the drive wheels via dash mounted flow control. At the opposite end of the scale, it has more than enough torque to pull your car out of the ditch before the hydraulic motors stall!

Adding to the well-balanced feel of the unit, just 15 pounds of down force on the handlebars will lift the auger blade off the ground in order to climb stairs/walkways for ease of snow removal. Safety has and continues to be paramount with spring return to centre "fail safe" type directional controls with emergency stop and tether cords.

Safety is one of the key theme, with a flashing blue light (as required by law in many areas) being the least of the safety features. No-one will fail to hear you with those twin throaty exhausts, which come standard with 92 decibels at the controls, though if the rumble of a V8 exhaust is music to your ears, you can obviously go much louder. Even at the standard baffling, hearing protection is strongly suggested.

The powerful yard machine lights and a dashboard with backlit gauges complete the package to ease the burden of this normally reviled task. The custom 42 inch, two stage auger has a Chevrolet 10 bolt truck differential with spool and a centrifugal auger clutch with shear pin protection, further adding to the image of this "automotive theme blower." As each unit is cutom-built, optional extras for the snow blower are both diverse and outrageous as the base unit - there is unlimited auger choices from single to multi stage designs and various motor combinations to suit the religious preferences of the customer (Chevy, Dodge Hemi, Ford) and such exotica as a V-10 or a diesel engine or remote starting can be accommodated. And if, after a while, you feel you've outgrown the 400 horses, this particular engine is well catered for in the performance modification area, with Lunati camshaft, Milodon Gear drive, Holley and Edelbrock components to name a few, and there's always the fuel injection option too, if you feel you need to throw the snow out of the county or ensure your seat in the "neighborhood blower blingster hall of fame."

I really don't know what else to say....Be safe out there

Monday, January 17, 2011

To A Mouse, Poem has me thinking...

Welcome to Karon, Kathy & Robert...

So I am thinking to myself that the "The best laid schemes o' mice and men", Robert Burns, "To A Mouse" might just go asunder.

When we purchased our Trail Sport 24BH we considered many possibilities and thought we made the right choice. Budget was a really big concern. While I am not certain I will opt for bigger I have noticed that nearly everyone on the road is in something bigger than 3o feet. We purposely got a unit without a slide out thinking that what we really wanted was easy set up and easy go. We will have that but I wonder how well it will work for long term traveling since storage is so limited. We have since determined that we don't like the dinnette, kitchen sink or the bathroom sink. Oh well, the discussion will go on. At least there will be lots of living space outside.

I also notice that many bloggers mention certain tips on their blogs but there doesn't appear to be a place where all those tips appear in one place so someone like me (planning an extended road trip) could find them. Things like a post about the livetime National Parks passport or the Arizona annual pass or highways and byways to see or pass up or getting around toll booths and where to stop if you're cheap and don't want to pay alot to camp overnight or for a week. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this information would be invaluable to many people including those that haven't been to a particular state yet.

Be safe out there.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So I decided to sit on my backside today and I am doing a really good job of it. As a matter of fact, you might say I am a professional. I have pretty much wasted this four day weekend away. I do plan to get a few things done around the condo tomorrow while Mia is at work.

Spent some time working on a trip to Montana. It is just a possibility.

I watch on quarter of the Seahawk game and came to the conclusion that the wrong team went to Chicago. Too bad, no Super Bowl rematch with Pittsburgh. Right now I am watching the Jets/Patriots and wondering who will win here.

In the slow cooker with about two more hours to cook is a nice little pork roast. We'll be shredding it, adding sauce, coleslaw and a nice dinner roll...perfection on another windy, rainy day in the Seattle area.

Welcome to John, Sandy, John and Bridget.

Be safe out there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dog show, Antiques and Lunch

This morning Mia and I got up and went to the Puyallup Fair Grounds to attend a dog show that one of her girlfriends was participating in. There were all kinds of dogs from all kinds of breeds and they were everywhere. Mia has been preparing me for a new addition to the family by saying things like, "I am not sure I want one, but I'd like to go look". I am never against looking, so off we went.
Now you have to admit that is one cute face. But also a pure bred and worth from $1400. - $2000. I could purchase alot of camping equipment with that money. The breed is Havanese and we learned that they are stout little dogs that give very little trouble and actually are very social.

After the dog show we moved downtown and spent time in some antique shops looking for tea cups and saucers with yellow rose patterns. Mia is a member of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensible) and she gives her fellow members a cup and saucer when they reach a goal. The yellow rose represents friendship and joy. Mia has been doing this for several years and our supply of them had run really low. Antique shops seem to be the place to look for them and find a reasonable price. So we went looking and found two before we both said enough.

And after all of that lunch at a Tacoma landmark.

The rains have come so we are napping this afternoon before meeting our friends for dinner at Red Lobster.
Be safe out there.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I have noticed as I wander through the blogs that I follow that many of the ladies love to Quilt. My wife, Mia is a quilter and wishes she had more time to dedicate to the practice. She doesn't think she is very good, but the family keeps telling her she is great. She has made lots of beautiful things. And, when we are on the road I am expected to stop at any and all quilting shops she may see. It has been an adventure.

Seattle and surrounding area is scheduled to get up to 9" of rain in the next three days. I think I'll stay inside where the fire is warm and cozy and read with my Kindle.

Be safe out there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow came, snow went

And right after it left the rains force. It is really wet.

I am officially on vacation until next Tuesday. Looking forward to doing some work around the house, especially in the basement/garage.

Thanks to all of you that are following us. I really have enjoyed reading your blogs although some of you have been at this a long time so I haven't gotten thru all of them...

Be safe out there....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow, what snow?

Although it might still arrive the weather people have once again missed the start time by several hours. According to weather alerts we were to have snow by 4:00 pm here in the Puget Sound region. While it is snowing or has snowed in every state in the union today except for one (Florida) it has yet to snow on Puget Sound. I really wanted snow....wait...maybe it is just late..

Welcome to my new followers,Rick & Paulette and Mike McFall.

So I have started to think about digging out all the 2010 state visitor brochures that I ordered. They are in a huge box under the table next to the couch. The more I think about this trip the more I believe I need to divide it up into small chunks so I can enjoy it more. So I think the first leg will be to get to South Dakota to visit family and tour their state. Instead of turning east, I think I'll turn west and visit in depth, all the states I blew thru on the way to SD.

Then we'll plan another trip to take us south and to the Alantic in Georgia. And another to take us up into the northeast. I am hoping gas doesn't inflate too much or I might have to work my way across the country.

Be safe out there.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Welcome to new followers, Erik, Beth, Gail and Mactrailer.

It was back to work after a difficult weekend. This whole mess in Arizona is just beyond comprehension. What did this lady do to deserve being shot in the head? She voluntarily ran for office with the hope of bringing some change. The same thing that the mayor of Santiago in Mexico was trying to do and now he is dead. I can't believe that people can't agree to disagree.

I Google removing an RV Dinette and found several articles on the subject. It looks like it might not too hard to take it out and replace it with a free standing table and chairs. I plan to investigate further.

It is cold in Seattle and the weather professionals are predicting snow tomorrow. They aren't very good at predicting weather here in Seattle but I would like to see some.

Be safe out there.......

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slow Day

Spent the day with my lovely wife and didn't do a whole lot.
We went to Des Moines so she could visit a quilt shop. It is a nice shop, located on the main street. While she spent time looking through all the goodies I walked down the street to B & E Meats to investigate a real meat market. It was very interesting and I think we will purchase a freezer pack from them next month.

Spent some time reading blogs and other RV news on the laptop and found the picture of a car that I took while visiting Lewiston, Idaho last year. It is a 1947 Chevrolet, built the year I was born and was my very first car. Mind you, this car looks alot better than my first car which was well used and abused by the time I bought it in 1965.
Be safe out there.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Defending Champs Go Down

Made nachos and watched the Seattle Seahawks win a game against the defending champion New Orleans Saints. Probably the best game I have watched all year. Half way through that game the Washington Huskies began a basketball game against the Oregon State Beavers. Washington is now 4-0 in Pac 10 play. It has been a wonderful day.
I read some more of my books on RVing and discovered the Golden Age Passport from the National Parks Service. I am thinking I need to take a trip to the Enumclaw office of the Rainier National Park to get my lifetime passport.
Be safe out there.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This week makes me wish for early retirement

It was a long and hard week. I spent alot of hours at work and not so much time at home or doing fun stuff like planning for retirement.
Our grandson advanced in DECA this past week. We are very proud of him.
Tomorrow I am going to try to clean up and rearrange my garage and make nachos for the big game between the Seattle Seahawks and those guys from New Orleans...oh yeah,
the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Be safe

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have been making lists. Things that either need to be purchased or done to the truck and trailer prior to leaving on the trip. The list is long and extensive but I have lots of time to finish it in time.
I have heard that there are LED lights available to replace the tail/brake lamp units on the trailer and they appear to be fairly easy to find. I heard or read somewhere that there are LED lamps to replace the interior RV style lamps as well. Longer life, lower temperature and better use of electricity. Anyone know where to find the interior lamps?
Have a great day...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

North Bend and Beyond


So I spend part of my day, a couple of times a week at our dealership, Chaplin's North Bend Chevrolet in of all places, North Bend, Washington. I copied to following of the city website and would add that they are home to Nintendo's North American production and distribution facility. The popular televsion show, Twin Peaks was filmed in North Bend and neighboring Snoqualmie.

North Bend is located just 30 miles east of Seattle on Interstate-90. The City sits at the heart of an impressive array of year-round recreational opportunities including hiking, bicycling, kayaking, fishing, climbing and skiing. Surrounded by stunning vistas of Mount Si, Rattlesnake Ridge and the Cascade Mountains, North Bend charms with its Historic Downtown and offers an eclectic mix of dining and shopping, including the Factory Outlet Mall and its breathtaking views. The area presents impressive hiking and bicycling trails and paths, including the most famous and popular hike in Washington State, the Mount Si Trail, a strenuous 8-mile roundtrip hike with an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet. There are many other outdoor adventures and indoor discoveries awaiting you at the gateway to the Cascades - North Bend . . . easy to reach . . . hard to leave!


While reading the idiots guide to RV Travel I was struck by how many things there are to see and do in so many of the states we plan to visit. Seven months isn't going to be close to enough time for this venture. Don't tell Mia, but I think it is going to take more than one trip over several years to really get the full benefit of going to different places.

I am so looking forward to it.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Besides my kids, Jeffrey and Katie, the blog now has four followers. Welcome to Kenny and Angela, Donna, Sam & Donna, Randy & Pam.
I picked up two books at the library yesterday. RV Vacations for Dummies is packed full of information however some things are touched very lightly. There seems to be a need for more information. RV Retirement by Jane Kenny is another book that lacks depth. It touches on many subjects by doesn't go in detail on any of them.
I was thinking today that there are a couple of things that I must do or get over the next few years. A lockable cover for the bed of the truck is going to be a must. I need to make some alterations to the trailer to ensure space for everything. I need to get an electric tongue jack...I'm too old to be winding the tongue up and down in the rain or heat.
So much to think about and do. I have been reading other blogs and it seems that every time I do I discover something new that I haven't thought about..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Map

View Retirement Trip in a larger map
So here is the purposed map for our trip. Around 8,300 miles but I'll bet it will be closer to 10,000 by the time we are done. I expect we will take some side excursions for example, in Pennsylvania we will no doubt go to Lancaster County again. Bird in Hand had a really great Amish bakery when we there a few years ago and I feel the need to revisit.

Sunday morning

It is early Sunday morning and the Seattle area weather is clear and very, very cold for this region. Seattle is showing twenty-seven degrees this morning when we should be in the 40's.

I decided to put up a picture of our trailer. This is the unit we intend to use for our retirement trip. It is small, compact and doesn't have any slide outs. We have a queen front bed with a rear bath, two bunkbeds (storage area during travels), a nice kitchen and the normal built in dinette that neither of us likes. Oh well, it was what we could afford at the time.

I found out that I have one follower on my new blog. I am excited. I have been reading other blogs and travel journals this morning. One thing I have noticed; most people go all in when they decide to go on a trip after retirement. There are very few articles about those who just want to take one long loop of a trip across the United States.

While it is four years away, I believe the planning should start now.
I hope to remember to keep updating the blog.

This Christmas my son got me a Garmin portable GPS. (I think he wants to make sure the old man doesn’t get lost on the retirement trip). So I experimented with it and order a couple of accessories that didn’t come in the box. It appears to be very easy to program and works very well, giving plenty of notice prior to arriving at any turns or destinations. When deviating from the scheduled route it continues to attempt to get you to take a u-turn to get back on track. “She” repeats herself over and over but doesn’t get nasty or make derogatory remarks. I was hoping for a more forceful GPS. Anyway, I plan to use it and get used to it before we take off on the first leg of our trip. It seems so far out in the future but then if I look back in the past it has taken a long time to get here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1, 2011

Retirement is actually on the horizon. We have a new truck to go with our nearly two year old trailer.
I have begun some planning for the trip by sending away for State tourism booklets. I have many to review.
My intent is to make a giant loop around the country and cover as much as possible during a six to seven month period. Hoping to be back home before snow flies anywhere in the continental U.S.A.
I hope that you will follow this blog as I develop our trip plans and leave for what promises to be a real adventure.