Sunday, June 30, 2013

Learned Something From Our Long Trip

Traveling great distances listening to whatever local radio station that you can find (and there aren't many in the plains states) gives you reason to pause and reflect on ways to make the journey at least seem shorter.  While on our recent trip we experience the phenomenon and had it not been for the extreme weather conditions we ran into just before reaching our destination, the trip there would have have seemed much longer.  I understand that everyone must start someplace but the announcers at some of the country stations we listened too were really sadly lacking in skills.

Mia picked up a couple of books on tape at our library but after trying to listen to one of them we decided that wasn't a good idea.  First of all, it is difficult to drive and listen to someone just read a book and follow along.  Secondly, the dry, mono tone reading is enough to make you want a nap.  So we quickly disregarded the books on tape.

While in Watertown we visited with our family one of whom is a long haul truck driver.  We discussed the issue with the radio, books on tape and the like and he asked me if I liked Westerns and history.  I said yes and he introduced me to his method of making the miles go by faster, Graphic Audio.  This company produces movies for the mind.  They have tons of titles and most sound like B or C class movies however the series he gave me for the trip home was very good and the miles just flew bye.
The series is called Eagles and there are many different books that comprise the entire series.  It is rated mature due to content.  It is the history of a man named Jamie MacAllister and the family, town and land that he develops over the years.  Set in the mid 1800's it traces the family history through the Civil War, Custer's last stand and other historical events.  The book is narrated as well as acted out by several actors and had sound effects and everything, just like the old radio shows.  We enjoyed what we heard.

I so love the old radio shows on Radio Classics provided by Sirrus/XM Radio, but I am too cheap to subscribe.  My company cars all have it and I love listening to the station as I travel to and from work.

So I got to thinking.  I wondered if there was someplace to get some of the old radio shows.  ITunes to the rescue.  I found that they had many of the old radio shows that I have come to enjoy on Sirrus/XM as podcasts and the best part....they are FREE.

So I have begun downloading many of the shows that I enjoy for use on future trips as we tow the trailer across this vast country.  Now I even have more reason to look forward to retirement.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Long Trip Is Over 6

We awoke fairly early on Monday morning and decided to drive awhile before stopping for breakfast.  Instead of using Highway 212, we were advised by the family to try Highway 12 which runs parallel with the North Dakota border, slips into North Dakota and back into Montana and comes out at Billings.  Actually, I 90 is Highway 12.  The father of the bride is a truck driver by trade and we had told him that we purchased some books on tape to take with us but discovered that it was pretty boring listening to some read a book.  He suggested Graphic Audio, A Movie In Your Mind.  He brought us William W. Johnstone's, "Eagles", four DVD series on the history of the west involving one family.  We started listening and never stopped all the way home.  These are a great way to make the miles go by in a hurry.  So I got to wondering, are there pod casts of old radio shows that I can down load for our travels?  Why use there are and I am in the process of putting some on CD as well as in my IPOD.

As we traveled down Highway 12 we found an IHOP in Aberdeen, SD and had one of the most terrible customer service experiences that I have ever seen.  I didn't leave a tip and couldn't wait to get back on the road.  We traveled through farm country in the early morning and watched the sun come up before slipping into North Dakota and then on to Billings.  When we arrived in Billings we had plenty of time left in the day so we moved on to Bozeman.  We found a nice motel and went to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ.  We had a wonderful dinner and went back to the motel and I found myself fast asleep.

We packed up and hit the road for home at 4 am.  We stopped at a Perkins Restaurant and had a wonderful breakfast.  Once again we were on the road along I 90 in the plains area of Montana.  The trip was uneventful except for the near miss of almost hitting a doe outside Butte.  Poor thing was in the  middle of the freeway, crossed in front of me.  I swerved to the outside lane and just barely missed her.
Mia said there wasn't much more than a matchstick between the truck and her backside.  That was enough to wake both of us up and we traveled the rest of the way home with no further incidents other than a down pour as we arrived home.

Tired and wanting to see Honey we quickly unpacked and went to get her.  We had stopped at the Yellow Chapel Cafe in Ellensburg around 2 pm and had their big 1/3 pound angus burger on heavenly bread so neither of us was very hungry.  We had taken a large piece of carrot cake to go and we enjoyed it after the reunion with Honey followed by bed....sweet bed in our own bed.

So ended the trip.  2884 miles in four days.  I don't think I'll be doing that when I travel after retirement.

Long Trip Is Over 5

After an excellent night of sleep we decided to take in breakfast at the IHOP in front of our motel.  During breakfast we discussed the evening before and planned the day upcoming.  Since we were fairly certain the kids would not get their wedding photos for some time to come we decided to take my SD card to Walmart and have some pictures printed.  We picked the two pictures of the bride and her new husband and father that I posted in the last post and we wanted to do something for Viola so we had prints made and framed of these two pictures.
Viola, Me, Viola's daughter Scarlett

Viola with Mia
As you can plainly see there are three really nice look gals and one pretty ugly guy in these pictures.

After the pictures were done we headed over to the Terry Redlin Art Center that opened a noon.  I love this guys work.  He is a local renown wildlife artist who uses light in all his spectacular paintings.  He isn't like Kinkade.  To look at a Redlin painting is to step back into the past and remember things you long forgot.  The last time we were there I wanted to purchase a print but didn't.  This time I picked "Above The Fruited Plains" and it already hanging in my kitchen.
We went to the family home for some family time.  The bride, her husband, the grooms mom and dad, brides mom, dad, brother, grandma and granddad and great grandmother all hunkered down for a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship.  I really enjoyed the time spent with these folks.  They are so down to earth and family oriented.  I was sorry when it ended and we had to head back to the motel for another night of rest.  Tomorrow, the trip home

Long Trip Is Over 4

As we approached our destination we could see that nothing in the area had electrical power.  A little concerned as we pulled up to our motel we were greeting by a very friendly lady who immediately had us checked in by candle light.  Apparently key cards don't require electricity to work.  We unloaded the truck removing our nifty little cooler.  Since none of the restaurants had power we had to make due with the food we had in the cooler and it worked really well.  Off to dream land in anticipation of the next day.

Saturday morning we got up and had a quick breakfast, went to Walmart and got a call from my cousin's granddaughter.  She was ready for us to surprise her grandmother.  Just about everyone in the family was aware that I planned to visit except the 92 year old main reason I decided to make the trip.  She was busy having her hair done for the wedding and so it was thought that I should walk in and ask if I could get a haircut while she was still in the chair.  At first she didn't react too much.  She didn't have her glasses on and I only suspect that she recognized my voice but couldn't quite place it.  It took her a while to catch on to who I was but being 92 she was pretty quick.  I think she recognized Mia first  and then realize and blurted out that she should know me.  She finally made the connection and her granddaughter had a great laugh.  We all had a laugh and then went into the meeting room of the facility she lives in to spend time catching up.  Her daughter and her husband joined us for a couple of hours.  We made it perfectly clear that this day was the brides, her great-great granddaughter and that we would stay in the background at the wedding and reception.  We enjoyed our conversation over lunch and then left to go back to the motel and change, giving them a chance to do the same.

Mia and Viola chat
We arrived at the wedding just in the nick of time since I got lost getting to the church.  But we made it and sat with the family to watch the occasion.  It was very nice and very quick.  The church is a beautiful and fairly modern building.
I thought the altar was very nice and seating was great for viewing the whole program.  They had a soloist who was very good but you couldn't see her behind the wedding party.  She sang exceptionally well and sounded very professional.  The bride entered the hall with Dad and all I had was my phone but I got a picture.
The vows were exchanged and we were introduced to the happy couple and it was off to the reception.

We spent a few hours at the reception, had dinner, watch some dancing and great great grandma was ready for bed as were we so we left.

Bride and Groom share their first dance

Father/Daughter Dance
From what I heard everyone had a great time and we went back to the motel and fell fast asleep.
Tomorrow, Terry Redlin and family.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Long Trip Is Over 3

As we left Faith, SD we noticed the winds were starting to pickup.  Having some experience with windy conditions during my days in Eastern Washington I thought it was no big deal and we continued on down the road.  Well slap me silly.  As we approached the Missouri river crossing about mid way across the state the winds were continuing to build.  Long flat stretches of plains make for some really strong winds.  Combined with what looked like lightening strikes and ever darkening skies we were starting to get concerned.  We switched on the radio and started to hear reports of gale force winds, tornado warnings, hail, mass rain, flood warnings and thunderstorms with lightning.  At this point I am beginning to wonder about the families choice of date for the wedding.  We appear to be driving into the eye of the storm.

When we got to the Missouri river crossing we stopped at a small road side park just to get out and walk around, use the facilities and stretch.  I could barely open the cab door on the truck as I fought to get out.  Getting in was even more fun as Mia was laughing as I tried to keep my feet and hands from being slammed in the door and keep my hat on my head at the same time.  The door slammed against my shin and gave a nasty bruise with a minor cut.  Ouch!!  At this point we had some nasty winds and some rain but the sky as you can see isn't that bad.
That changed as we left the little park and headed east towards Watertown.  Reports were now coming in of trees, power lines down, no power throughout Watertown, shingles flying through the air and gale force winds.  We became even more concerned as we drove on and noticed how much our large truck was wandering at Mother Natures whim.  At this point I stopped worrying about taking pictures and started concerning myself with getting us to Watertown and to our motel as quickly and safely as possible.  Highway 212 enters Watertown on the west edge of town and goes right through the center of the town.  Our motel was known to us having stayed there before.  It is on the east side of town across from the Terry Redlin Art Center.  As we approached town we were still hearing warnings of thunder and lightning, tornado warnings and high winds.  No wonder all the farmers for the past 100 miles or so had left their equipment where they stopped it in the field and high tailed it for cover.

Once in town we got the opportunity to see some of the damage as we drove slowly down the darkened streets.  There was absolutely no power to be found in the town.  In fact, Watertown depends on pumps to move their sewer water to the sewage plant and all of the lift stations were without power causing them to advise against using any toilets, showers or sinks.  We moved on to the motel and found it without power.  Tomorrow, fun times at the motel.

Long Trip Is Over 2

It was very early last Thursday morning when Mia and I arose in the darkness and loaded our cooler and luggage into the Silverado.  We said our goodbyes to Honey who was going to be watched by a neighbor.  I am sure you are wondering why we didn't take her with us but we felt it would be an injustice to her and our neighbors at the motels if we just left her in the room.  She was very happy to see us when we got home and cuddled all last night.

We drove out Highway 18 to I-90 and started our long journey east.  We had planned to make Billings, Montana by nightfall and we actually succeeded.  The trip to Billings was uneventful.  We made several stops along the way to rest, stretch and use the facilities.  All of our stops were very short in duration due to the time constraints.  We had a little trouble finding a motel for the overnight stay but we managed to locate one and went to dinner at a small, family owned Mexican restaurant right across the street.  We ate light and went to bed early.

The first day obviously drained us more that we thought because we both slept pass the time we had planned to get up.  We had planned to be long gone before they served their free continental breakfast at 6 am.  We weren't so we stayed and ate before hitting the road.   It was enough to get us started on our way.

Our second day went pretty much the same as the first day.  We traveled a short distance out of Billings and decided to take Highway 212 to Watertown.  212 is a long stretch of two lane highway thru small South Dakota towns, farm and cattle ranches.  Some of my favorite scenery.  212 also takes you through the south eastern corner of Wyoming past the Crow Nation Reservation and the monument where Custer met his doom.
As we arrived in the small town of Faith, South Dakota we noticed the skies were turning dark.  This little town is about a third of the way across the state so we still had a good distance to travel.  As we headed east on 212 we noticed the winds were beginning to pick up and the sky was becoming darker and more eerie than we had ever seen before.  We had noticed the wind in Faith when we stopped for a quick bit from our nifty little cooler in the back seating area.
This little cooler runs on AC/DC and has room to store lots of goodies.  We were surprised at how much we could stuff in this cooler.  We took a smaller portable cooler with items that didn't need a cool environment.  This little cooler was plugged in and running most of the trip and kept us from spending bunches of money in restaurants.  We tried to have a good morning meal then snacked and made sandwiches for the day time and ate a decent meal at night.  This little unit ended up being a very handy in some adverse conditions a little further down the road.

Long Trip Is Over

I knew this was going to be a long trip and that it might be very difficult to finish in a timely fashion but everything worked out just like we planned and we managed to meet our timelines even with some nasty weather conditions.

Let me start by saying how impressed I am with my 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.  I had researched trucks for sometime realizing that the Trailblazer we had purchase was under powered for our intentions.  We settled on this vehicle after much debate.  The EPA gave it an 15/21 mpg rating with no load using gasoline.  It will also use E85 but I haven't tried it because the miles per gallon fall dramatically.  We purchase two wheel drive with very few options.  It has a variable timing and EcoTech technology that allows it to switch seamlessly from 8 cylinder operation to 4 cylinders.  On the highway, in those long straight stretches this vehicle switches from using 8 cylinders to more economic operation using only 4 cylinders with no loss of power.  Steady throttle pressure such as cruise control allows the engine to switch back and forth as power is needed giving optimum miles per gallon.  At one point during our trip, somewhere in South Dakota, we registered 22 mpg.

The cab is comfortable, seating is good, storage in the back with the crew cab is great.  The ride is smooth and you almost forget you are driving a pickup.  Last but no least this truck performed exceptionally well in harsh conditions as you will find out later in this or other blog postings.  I am really impressed after our first really long trip.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

1421 Miles InTwo Days

We made to our destination and took around 23 hours to do it.  Twenty three hours together in the truck with no way to get away from each other was far more pleasant than we had anticipated.  Retirement will suit us fine.

We left the Seattle area early Thursday morning and drove to Billings Montana before looking for a room.  Not a good plan. I didn't make reservations in Billings because frankly I wasn't convinced we would make it that far on the first day.  Huge error in judgment.  We visited three hotels before finding one with a vacancy.

The second day we had no choice but to make it the rest of the way to Watertown.  We decide to take route 212 from Billings south across the corner of Wyoming and into South Dakota.  We passed thru several Indian nations.

As we traveled east we about weather warnings throughout the area.  About half way to Watertown the skies began to change and there was an eerie overcast.  We continued to drive along 212 and it became apparent that this was one long road that just kept going.  We reached the Missouri River and the radio was discussing severe weather warnings in the Watertown area.  Thunder, lightning, hail, high winds, and tornado warnings were in effect.  The winds were blowing so hard that I had difficulty opening the door on the truck to step outside.  We continued on across the Missouri River and saw good size white caps.  Pity the poor people on the river when this storm hit.  As we passed the boat launch we noticed four trucks with empty trailers.

As we approach Watertown we heard more reports of damage.  Trees down, power lost, sewer system no working due to power loss, power lines down and warnings to stay home. Too late we were almost there.  We entered town and drove through a dark Watertown to our motel.  They were without power but checked us in and got us to our room.  We had a cooler full of food in the truck so we made sandwiches, had some fruit, and munched on goodies before turning in.  The power returned a couple hours later but we were too tired to care.

We enjoyed the day visiting with some of our family as they prepared for a wedding at three. We went to the wedding and the reception and had a great time.  We have a big get together this afternoon and then back to our room, sleep and tomorrow we hit the road again.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One More Day

I have to spend one more day at work and then it is up early Thursday morning to hit the road.  Roughly 1500 miles in two days.  We plan to make Billings Thursday night and continue into Watertown, SD arriving sometime Friday night.  I am so looking forward to seeing my cousins again.
Got all the device batteries charged.  Charged the camera.  Washed the truck.  A lot of driving coming up.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers Day

Another Fathers Day is upon us and my brother brought back a memory of Dad through a status comment he left on Facebook yesterday.  He has retired from years of driving truck and has a brand new Ford pickup and a trailer that he bought a few years back and he is off Monday to enjoy some downtime at Alta Lake located in central Washington just north of Chelan.

I don't rightly remember how old I was but it was after I had gotten my drivers permit and Dad who was a truck driver was trying to teach me how to drive.  We had a 1955 Chevy three speed on the column with a 235 cu in motor.  It was baby blue with very little trim.  In fact, Chevrolet made the 150 as a fleet vehicle.  Here is a picture of one of these vehicles.  Unfortunately I could not find one with the stock wheels as ours had but the color is right.
Anyway it was the only trip that I recall that Dad and I took alone when I was a kid.  I don't recall why mom or my brother didn't go.  We drove around Lake Chelan and Lake Alta on the way to the northern tip of the lake to a beautiful state park.  We had a sweet camping spot within easy walking distance to the lake.  After setting up we were visited by the ranger who informed us that the lake had an issue with  something called swimmers itch and we should stay out of the lake.  I don't remember the details but I don't believe we stayed very long.  We had a good time, but we had come to fish and there wasn't going to be much of that in an infected lake.
I miss my Dad.  I wish that we had been closer.  He was a tough person to live with in a sometimes difficult situation but he was raised to do the right thing and he toiled for years to provide for our family.  I suspect we might have been closer had it not been for his occupation.  RIP

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Two humorous stories...
I decided to buy lunch for the my co-workers the last Saturday.  There are three of us that work in the parts department on Saturday and I had been treated to lunch more than once by my fellow workers.  We have a small teriyaki restaurant in a strip mall next to the dealership so I handed one of the guys my Discover card to pay for our order.
He comes back with the food and tells me I played that just right.  I looked at him and said, "what, why?"  He looked at me and said, "They don't take Discover."  What?  I thought I had used it there before.  Going to give him my MasterCard this week.  Hopefully they will accept that cause I have run out of credit cards.

One morning this last week got a call from a customer upset because their car wouldn't start.  Really upset about the fact that they had purchased this new car so it would be reliable and start.  They had the vehicle towed into the shop and were extremely upset at the counter as the service advisor was writing them up.  He handled the situation, got them a loaner car and as they were walking out the customer said, "We had an interlock installed."  The advisor asked when and the customer stated, "Yesterday."
They apparently didn't understand how it worked.

Life Is Really Interesting

There are times when things just kind of get you starting thinking and I guess that is what makes life interesting.

As a child I was raised on a parcel of land that was just outside the Seattle city limits when my parents first purchased it.  Being in the county there weren't many restrictions as to what you could do with your property so my parents kept chickens, we had a dog, several fruit trees, grape vines and annual vegetable gardens.  It was a long lot with the house near the street and a shop and garage just behind the house that had mom's fruit locker attached to it.  There was an enclosed patio with lattice work (not the sheet stuff) and a fence just behind it with a gate leading to the remainder of the property.  Mom planted a Weeping Willow tree behind the house which soon took over what we called our back yard.

Through the gate and up the sidewalk there was a huge area with a downward slope towards the house.  On the right side of the walk at the far side and running parallel with the neighbors fence was a row of grape vines.  Between the vines and the side walk was garden area where mom and dad grew vegetables a few seasons of my young life.  On the right side of the walk was a peach, plum and I think an apple tree.  About two thirds of the way up the hill was a side walk to the left next to a small tool shed that led to a deep, concrete lined hole for all the compose.  Further up the walk was the chicken house with an outdoor pen and standing tall just in front of them was a large pear tree.

It was an idilic sense not unlike the fine piece of art below by Winslow Homer.  We always had fresh produce, eggs and chickens.  Mom was in charge of taking care of obtaining a chicken for our dinners. The chickens weren't considered pets but they were well taken care of with plenty of space to roam.  Mom and Dad cared for them from the time they were chicks seeing to their every need.  Of course there came the day with a decision to eat one.  I still can remember the first time I saw my Mom take the life of one of our chickens.  I won't go into to detail and I only bring this whole subject up as background for the "rest of the story".  I am not a prude.  This combined with living on a wheat farm gave me the knowledge that there is more involved in getting food to the table than just going to the store and buying it.

Painting by Winslow Homer swiped from
The sun was rising in the east as I made my way through traffic to work on Monday morning.  As I traveled down one of our long I 5 hills a truck passed me and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the passengers.  As you can see it is a truck load of cages with chickens huddling to stay warm as the wind from the fast moving vehicle tears through their cages.  

I lived on farms for a long time and while we slaughter to eat we never mistreated our animals.  I can see why animal activists are upset with the way these animals are treated.  It is enough to make you strongly consider not eating chicken again.  But I expect I will once again put on the blinders and proceed with life.

Tuesday evening I left work to head home and there were several accidents along the I 405 corridor so I decided to take a longer way home by heading east to Highway 18 and crossing to Federal Way.  It is a nice ride on a nice day and when I left Bellevue the sun was shining and white clouds were drifting along in front of a beautiful blue back drop.

Not fifteen minutes and fifteen miles later at the summit of Tiger Mountain the sky turned black and mother nature let loose with a deluge.  Ahhhhh yes, living in the Pacific Northwest.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant time.   I am off today and I will be doing another dinner for my lovely wife.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What A Week

I hope this coming week is better than the one just ending.  As a manager, employee issues have to be without a doubt the most difficult, time consuming and sometimes whack out issues that I have to deal with.  I sometimes just want to throw up my arms in frustration when people don't understand, aren't willing to change and don't care to work.  And what really surprises is the most recent one is coming from a member of the team that I would not have suspected would have any issues with the change and what is going on.   Retirement can't come soon enough.  I'll keep plugging away until my time has come, but I'll definitely be saying goodbye when the day arrives seven thousand, four hundred twenty five hours and nineteen minutes from now.

Mia came and picked me up at work yesterday afternoon and we headed up to the trailer in Gold Bar via the local Albertson store in Monroe.  We purchased a roasted chicken, some salad fixings and a couple of munchies.  When we arrived at the lot I went to work fixing a couple of outside lights that Zach had mentioned were not working.  One was completely burned out and I had to replace the bulb.  After a generous lather in anti corrosive agent I put the bulb in and presto, I had light.  The other one that is out appears to be a combination of corrosion and a intermittent switch.  New bulb, more lathering with anti corrosive goop and the light works but the switch is still intermittent.  I suspect it is just corroded and after turning it on and off several times I believe it may now function as intended.

We spent a quiet night after dinner.  Took a long walk with Honey, read and watched a couple of old TV shows.  We have some TV reception with the antenna but we are limited to some channels that either carry religious broadcasting (there are five of them) or some local old time TV stations.  Gods channels always seem to work.

This morning we had breakfast and Mia headed up to Wallace Falls for her climb up the trail.  I took Honey for a long walk in the park, came back to the trailer and did the dishes, made the bed and got everything ready to leave.  When she came back we went to visit friends for a short time and then came back to the trailer for a quick lunch, packing up and leaving.  She dropped me off at the dealership and I picked up my demo on the way home.  As I type this she is laying in a warm bathtub.   Seems she got a little stiff driving home after her walk.

Hope everyone is having a good time.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fantasy Becomes Reality and Dinner Was Great

First there was fantasy.  A TV program starring Mary Louise Parker as a divorced mother of two trying to make it by growing and distributing marijuana in a fictional suburb somewhere in California.  Yesterday we learn there is a real life mother living in an upscale New York neighborhood with a warehouse in Queens and three million in street value marijuana plants in various stages of growth.
Does reality spawn fantasy or the other way around.
Mary Louise Parker

There don't appear to be many pictures of the alleged mother other
than those showing her riding a horse.  Sorry, I couldn't help putting up this picture.

On to dinner.  I promised pictures so here they are.
The menu was:
Ribs, country style
Corn Bread
Dipping Sauce
Jello Goodie


A Day Off And How To Stop A Leak

I have the day off so I can't work Saturday again this week.  I don't mind.  I actually kind of enjoy working Saturday.  The only issue is I can't go to the trailer for the weekend.  It seems fruitless to go up for one night and part of a day.  When we get back from our road trip I am hoping to spend some time up there.

Mia is at work and I have been looking high and low for 5 1/4" flexible duct tubing for our upstairs bedroom air conditioner.  You have no idea how hard it is to find and how easily it breaks down over the years.  Just gently try to expand it and it breaks.  Lowe's and Home Depot, no help.  None of the local appliance stores stock it.  So I go to the manufacturer, Sharp.  A call to service got a customer representative named Amanda.  Very nice young lady who was very empathic to my situation and then had to tell me they didn't have it either and didn't expect it to arrive until June 26th and it would be $70.00.  Seems a bit extreme for 4' foot of flexible tubing.  6" dryer ducting doesn't cost that much.  I suspect that I will be spending some time at Lowe's looking for away to adapt 6" tubing to the current set up.

I did the dishes this morning and cleaned the kitchen.  Before Mia left for work she put some ribs in the crock pot and I have to make corn bread, prepare some Bush beans and fix a nice dessert using Jello pie filling and Cool Whip....yum.  Guess I'll go fix lunch for us and continue this later this afternoon.

Mia is on her way back to work after eating grilled cheese sandwich.  I love to fix them and eat them.

I just read on MSN that the person who won the big jackpot in PowerBall has finally come forward.  Apparently they live in a very small town and the secret was not spilled.  Obama could use some cabinet members...maybe he should look to Zephyrhills, Fla. for his next cabinet member.

I hear the garbage an in the distance and one of the things I need to do today is wash out to foul smelling garbage container.  It is really bad.  I just finished washing the front porch disposing of all of the yellow pollen dust and dirty bird droppings.  Onward and upward.

Dinner will be next after that.  Maybe I'll post a couple of pictures later.....

Sunday, June 2, 2013


If we can believe the weatherperson it appears we will leave the rain behind and move into some sun with temperatures in the mid 70's.  In Seattle, the mid 70's will be comfortable and tolerable.  If the needle inches over the 80 degree mark things start to get very uncomfortable for some folks.  Many have issues with heat at that point.  It has to be in the 90's before I become effected by the heat.  If it is damp heat like here in Seattle I can tolerate mid 90's but I can go higher if in a dryer climate.

I have been investigating the weather history for many of the places we want to travel over the coming years.  NOAA is a great source of information and data that indicates that the temperatures at the surface have risen significantly over the past few years.  Snow now melts faster in the North Hemisphere and we have higher Carbon Dioxide ppm than any time in our history.  Tapping the local weather prognosticators from around the country and you can pretty much put together a plan that will keep you out of bad weather.....well almost.  Mother Nature doesn't like to be fooled.

My prayers are with those suffering in Oklahoma.

Technology and Me

Mia and I purchased a room air conditioning unit several years ago to keep our bedroom cool during the hot summer days.  We have a large window that faces directly West and it tends to get a little stuffy and warm when the temperature starts to exceed eighty degrees.  It is a nice unit with a remote control and has worked well for us.  It does require some maintenance and here in lies the story.

Last year as always, I drain the unit in the bathtub and wrap it up for the winter to keep it clean and dust free.  This year we pulled it out when the temperature and humidity got a little out of control a couple of weeks ago.  I turned it on and it ran fine.  Cooled the room as expected and I was once again a happy camper.  Then one Sunday night disaster struck.

I am sitting up in bed reading a book as I prepare for dreamland when I suddenly hear a gurgling sound and what sounds like water running from the direction of the cooler.  I got up and investigated and found water shooting out the back so I shut it of determined to fix it at a later date.  

Today was that day and let me tell that I really feel like and idiot.  First of all the lower drain petcock was open...caused by the sudden expulsion of water.  I put it in the bathtub and lowered it but I got no water.  Of course not.  The water shot out the back and into the carpet before I shut it off.   While I had it laying on its side, I decided to read the instructions plainly located on the label on the back.  After reading them I discovered the problem.  I left the drain knob in the open position allowing the unit to drain anytime it wanted and when the pressure built up to a certain point the drain plug popped and the water drained...into the carpet.

Either technology is getting ahead of me or I am getting old.  I think I need to read the instructions more often.