Sunday, September 29, 2013

Just A Little Upset And Fall Is Here

I know it is a little later than normal for my rant here in my blog but I have been fighting with myself over a decision whether or not to discuss the current political landscape or just be mad as hell and forget about disturbing others with my rantings.  The old saying about what we Americans don't talk about came up during my argument with myself.  "Don't talk about religion, politics or money".  This statement certainly applies to work, dinner and social outings but what about blogs?  The conservative side of me won and I won't get up and bounce up and down on my soap box over politics today.

On a less depressing issue the Washington State Huskies won their fourth straight football game last night in a 31 - 13 victory over the Arizona Wildcats at Husky stadium.  I know, I said yesterday they were in Arizona.  My bad.  Washington moved up one spot in the AP poll from 16 to 15.  This is the first time since 2001 that the Husky nation has seen a 4 - 0 start.  Next week will be very interesting as the Dawgs will take on Stanford who beat Washington State last night.

Yesterday was ugly in the Pacific Northwest.  Rain fell from buckets in the sky forcing most people to stay indoors.  The temperature was cool and there was some strong wind gusts.  I found the indoors to be very comforting and I basically laid low all day.

Obviously Fall has arrived as we witnessed yesterday but there are other signs as well.  This plant was totally green and the grass surrounding it was parched, brown and dormant last month.  So there are signs of life and death that come with Fall.
Other signs that Fall has arrived.  This a neighbors front years.  Fall is always harvest time.  Fall and Winter are my favorite times of the year.  I  viewed Fall and Winter in the small towns across the east part of the country through the eyes of art and photography.  I dream of viewing it in real life.
As you recall I purchased a Terry Redlin painting depicting the Fall harvest season.  I really enjoy it.
We went to Costco this morning because it is Fall and every year we get pumpkin pie from them.  We love their pumpkin pie.  It is the best we have ever found.

It is back to work tomorrow.  I'll be so busy that I won't worry about anything but work.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Under 200 Days To Go

Time is getting short.  In 199 days I will drive onto this lot for the last time as an employee.  The next time I visit I will be just that, a visitor.  I may end up helping part time in some small way but it won't be as a manager and I won't be working my current 12 - 14 hour days.  In someways I am definitely looking forward to it and in others, not so much.  I truly enjoy my work, frustrating as it can be sometimes.  I haven't had any short timer feelings yet and I really don't expect too.  I have been working for so long that I will just keep doing what I do until the last hour.

Mia will be gone today so it will just be me and Honey on a rainy, fall Saturday.  I have a few things to do about the abode and then I will enjoy the Husky game this evening.  They are visiting the Wildcats in their first Pac12 game of the year in Arizona.  They are 3 - 0 so far this year and have come along way in the past couple of years with at new coach that seems to get it.  Sadly, one of the all time greatest Husky head coaches, Don James, is taking chemo treatments for pancreatic cancer.  Our current head coach, Steve Sarkisian, has dedicated his team to the ideals that coach James developed over his tenure as head coach.
James and Sark.
Of course everyone who enjoys football is wound up about the Seattle Seahawks and their prospects for having an exceptional season.  They head to Texas to take on the Texans tomorrow.  I am not a big professional football fan like a lot of folks I know.  I will watch but I don't get crazy.  My daughter is a rabid Seahawks fan (and WSU, but that is another story).  I thought she had just about everything a Seahawk fan could have and she comes up with this.
It is a cool, wet day outside.  As I sit here typing, I can hear the rain and wind outside ominous even it the darkness.  It sounds like fall is truly here and winter isn't too far away.

I see that many of you are on the road and having fun.  I can hardly wait.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wife Appreciation Day And The First Day of Fall

September 22nd is a big day.  The end of summer becomes official and believe me when I say Mother Nature has chosen to bring fall in with a bang.

I don't know when it started but it was pouring buckets as I got up this morning.

Mia and I went to dinner last night and we sat outside to eat because the weather was absolutely perfect.  We had a seat right next to the railing as we hung over the water.  The place is called Katie Downs and we had some great deep dish pizza and drinks while enjoying the last Sun we'll see in awhile.  The view was fantastic.

Today is Wife Appreciation Day and there are no words to express my appreciation of my partner in this life.  She is everything I am not.
A sneak shot taken at Katie Downs
Years ago when I was in a world of hurt from all kinds of different issues with life, I turned towards the invisible being that supposedly has all the answers.  At the time I was Presbyterian but as I have said many times before, my mom disliked them so much after her illness that we never set foot back in their church.  I knew some folks who were Catholic and one of them sponsored me in Adult Catechism.  Basically you attend weekly classes and learn what you need to know to be a good Catholic.  Some of the teachings were strange to me and others were not.  Symbolism plays a big part in the Catholic religion.  Interpretation of the Bible seemed different to me but of course they have their own Bible that is published in accordance with Catholic Canon Law.  No reason to go into detail but suffice it to say that the teachings and rituals in the Catholic Church were quite different from any I had experienced in any of the churches I had attended up to that point.  I was later baptized as an adult into the Catholic community.

Once there, I volunteered to work with kids in a Wednesday morning meeting with teenagers from a local senior high school.  I had to study and know my stuff to meet and teach the kids.  They were intelligent individuals who often came up with questions I couldn't answer.  At the time, the priest couldn't answer them any better than I.  Some of them involved the Church's view on gays.  The kids read the teachings of Jesus who never turned anyone away and wondered why the Church chose to ignore and put them down.  I wondered myself.  The priest didn't wonder.  They just followed the teachings of the Church wether it coincided with the Bible or not.  It was an interesting time and I stuck with it until I finally dug myself out of the gutter and stop doing all the bad things I had been doing.

Then those questions started to get to me and I found myself not attending church or having anything to do with my adopted religion.  I am sure a lot of my decision came from the Church's handling of the Priest verses child issue that raised its ugly head in the media not to long ago.  It seem like no one cared enough to make some kind of law or rule within the organization that it would no longer protect these individuals.  It has finally come to pass.

Along comes a new Pope.  He is silent in the beginning.  Not causing waves as he appears to study the landscape and finally conclude that there might actually be something wrong with the way Catholics think.  So he makes a speech and sends everyone scrambling to find out if he plans to change the Roman point of view for the church and give more latitude on specific issues.  I am look forward to see what he plans to bring to the table after the controversy of this recent move dies.  I say more power to him and I hope he is able to make some change that appears to be long overdue.  A church should be a place to go and be loved and not a place that tells you all the things you did wrong and how much it is going to cost you in the afterlife.

Honey loves Saturday and Sunday mornings when I am home.  She sits on my stomach and looks out the window while I give her a morning massage.  She is starting to get some of her hair back so it looks like it might be time to trim her.  She has healed quite well from her earlier attacks.  I am really surprised at how much we look forward to seeing her at the end of the day.  She returns that by being equally happy to see us.

Yesterday the Washington Huskies embarrassed Idaho State with a 56 - 0 win at home.  It was their last tune up before PAC 12 play begins.  This coming Saturday they will meet Arizona who, like Washington, is undefeated so far this year.  It is a home game and the fans will be in their best form.   Here in Seattle it appears we make too much noise for the opposing teams and they want us to stop.  I don't think that will happen anytime soon.  What I do hope happens soon is a way to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

Somewhere along the line the new up tempo offense appears to be having signal issues in their opening three games.  Washington gained a total of 680 yards but they had 16 penalties totaling 130 yards.  These penalties might cost them in games against ranked or better opponents.  Hopefully they will get it worked out by next week.

I am off to the store for the weekly shopping.  I could get on my soap box about the government and politics but what use would that be.

Have a great week....only 204 days to go.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's All Very Shocking

I just read an article that kind of has my hair standing on end.  Has anyone every been electrically shocked by their RV?

According to a recent article in one of the RV newsletters I follow over 21% of us have.  That is a big number.  Makes me wonder about traveling around the country, plugging into campground power sources only to grab the door handle of my RV and get set on my backside (pratt).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Am Up, I Think

I am sitting in front of the computer with my television on NBC for Sunday Night Football as the Seahawks play the 49ers.

Friday I had to work late so instead of going in early and missing traffic my commute ended up looking like everyone else's.

It has been a wonderful weekend even though I had to work on Saturday.  The good news is it was quiet and I was able to accomplish a lot.  I was way behind in my paperwork and I managed to get all of it caught up.  The office will not like me much tomorrow because I have a huge stack of work to turn in.  My new employee starts tomorrow but my most experienced guy is gone visiting family in Boston so the next couple of weeks should be very interesting.

Each month I generally look over the financial statement from the previous month to see how we compare with the same month last year as well as a year to date comparison for the past five years to see where we are compared to where we have been.  I don't know what happened.  Perhaps my subliminal mind wants to leave a month sooner, or make me think I wish to leave a month earlier.  I was comparing August.  I should be comparing it to August last year but I discovered this morning that I actually was comparing it with September.  That can make a really big difference in the performance standards.  I put them on the bosses desk and sent him a text to let him know they were there.  I asked him what he thought of last month because I found the month (YTD) to be kind of miserable when compared with last year.  I discovered my mistake when he text me this morning to see him on Monday.  Once I discovered it, I sent him a text and told him to toss the comparison and I would have new ones for him in the morning.  Leaving early would be fun, but I don't believe my making mistakes is going to help me exit faster unless he doesn't enjoy the pun.
Mia enjoys the conversation waiting for breakfast

After work Saturday I joined Mia and Honey at Gold Bar for the evening.  We are getting ready to wrap up another fun summer with the trailer.  I am hoping to get it washed next week and then move it back down to our house and wrap it up for the winter.  We worked around the trailer last night, had dinner and went to our friends and visited for awhile.  I came home a little early and took Honey for her last walk of the evening and we hit the sack early.  I picked up dinner and was supposed to get eggs for breakfast but I forgot them so Mia and we went to breakfast at the clubhouse this morning.  Then we went back to the trailer, took Honey for a walk and then made further preparations for winter.  We left and got home around noon.  Something new for us.  We usually linger and get home in the mid afternoon when we don't have the grandkids.

The weather has gone for pretty hot to overcast and now thunder, lightning and rain.  Not like some parts of the country yet, but wet none the less.  I would say fall is arriving.  This tree in our complex has been changing for a couple of weeks.

 I have discussed the park before but I just don't quite understand folks who spend tons of money on a trailer to put on a small piece of property that they don't own and then consider it valuable when they go to sell it.  Unless a lot has improvements it most likely isn't worth more that $2,000.  Add a shed, gazebo, fire pit, etc and you can increase the amount you ask.  If the lot has a trailer then the value obviously goes up and it can be considerable depending on the trailer.

But a lot of people think that with all the amenities and a 40' trailer equals a high value.  Big trailers are like automobiles.  They depreciate.  They don' appreciate.  But some folks apparently think they do..  There are a lot of lots for sale with trailers that are really over priced and sitting.  I did see one today that might be priced right.
It is a smaller lot, but has a 2000 Nomad on it that looks to be in pretty good shape.  Fully furnished and ready to go for 10k.  If I had the money I might buy this one and make it look like the 45 - 50k units others have for sale.

Lightning has put a stall in the game.  The officials have suspended the game until the weather clears some.

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Oh, my new license plate for the trailer, "RV We There Yet".

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blogging and other stuff

In the past the opinion page of the newspaper provided a place for folks to sound off about their concerns.  Someone would state an opinion and there would be letters to the editor from others who either agreed or disagreed with the original hypothesis.  I recall having seen several letters to the editor when a particular subject was brought up by one of the opinion writers that really got someone up on their soap box.

Blogging is a different world and yet a lot like the opinion page of the newspaper.  We have opinions or things that we are doing that we think others would enjoy.  (Facebook is just a quick one line version of Blogging)  I began to wonder what it is that makes another individual respond with a comment about something you have written and I really haven't come to any conclusion.

I have never had more that one or two responses to anything I have written.  I note that other bloggers have many responses to their comments regardless of what they say.  A couple of months ago, I did a blog titled, "Looking For Friendly Suggestions".  While 62 people read the blog only 2 responded.  A couple of days ago I wrote a blog titled, "With A Little Help From My Friends".  There were 28 folks that opened the blog, but only 2 responded.

As I look at my reading list I see that I am following more than one hundred blogs.  I try to read the posts every couple of days or so and comment when I see something of interest or I can help in someway.  If everyone is following as many blogs as I am, I can see why comments are very limited on any one blog.  Who would have time to follow all those blogs and comment on each one?

So how does a blogger get recognition?  For me, the number of people reading is far more important than the number commenting.  We are all busy, retired or not, and our time is very limited.  Commenting on everything you read would be nearly impossible.

It has been very hot here lately.  We hit 93 degrees yesterday afternoon at the peak of the heat.  The heat was the same in Dallas, Texas yesterday.  We beat the previous record of 87 degrees for September 11 back in 2009 and tied the all time record for summer heat set on June 30th.  I need to start looking for a place to sunbird much like the snowbirds.  I don't like this heat.

I am off today and of course the computer at work has decided to stop working.  I have had calls from several employees looking for answers and I am here at home in my underwear with no plans to go to work today.  I am usually the first one in the door and I have the access to fix things when the computer decides to shutdown.  Unfortunately I believe the issue this morning is merely an overheated circuit breaker but none of the folks who have been calling can locate it.  Of course the one day I decide to take off, something goes wrong.  I see this as a training opportunity because as my countdown indicates there is only 215 days left to use and abuse me.

I will be working this Saturday but I plan to join Mia at the trailer in the evening and make some final preparations to move it home for the winter.  Camping World is having a sale on covers for RV's so I need to measure up the trailer so I can get the correct size.  Last year I used the one we bought for our old trailer but we soon realized it was just a tad bit short as we pulled it over the rain gutters and it tore.  I fixed it with some duct tape and tossed it when I removed it this year.  ADCO makes some nice universal covers that fit very well and are a reasonable cost considering the protection they offer.

We have a few things to do before I get away from work.  Tires for the trailer and the truck.  I have to make an appointment with the dentist.  I hate dentist.  I suspect my mouth is full of problems.

We have a solution to the medical insurance issue.  Mia went to a seminar and it looks like we can continue our Group Health Insurance as a supplemental to Medicare for a reasonable amount.  I feared that the cost would be like Cobra which can be a small fortune for two people.  Small fortunes I do not have.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

With A Little Help From My Friends

It is an early Sunday morning and I am up as usual watching the sunrise but there doesn't seem to be anything in the sky but light gray clouds.  I can see them really well because I washed all the outside windows on the condo yesterday.  That requires some effort especially on the second floor where you have to step out through the window and close it behind you.  If Mia wanted to leave me there she could just forget to reopen the window.

I asked yesterday about grilles.  Hidden in my ramblings was the question about which grilles you prefer.

When Mia and I started back camping we bought one of the grilles with legs that folded up when you stored it.  I didn't like the fact that it was constantly falling apart whenever you tried to move it.
So we got rid of it and found a small Coleman unit that was both portable and table top.  It has a grille and burner and it works fairly well except the controls for the gas are weird.  If you turn it down to far it  shuts off the gas supply before it gets to the off position.  We can't regulate the burner because it is either on full blast or down really low.  Nothing in between.  So we are now looking at getting rid of this.
Now we have a decision to make.  I have been reading reviews until my head is about to fall off so a little help from my friends (followers) would be greatly appreciated.  Which grille do you use?  Is it everything you want a grille to be?

Thanks in advance.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fall Might Be Here

Wow did we every get hit with a nasty storm a couple of nights ago.  Heavy rains, lightning, thunder and I heard someone say we had dime sized hail somewhere around the area.  Can't remember every hearing any reference the size of the hail around here before.  We had a motorcycle rider struck by one of the 28,000 strikes in the state, a portion of a major highway suffer closure after a slide, a sink hole developed in one of our suburbs, Lewis County reported 4" of rain, sewers overflowed in Everett, there were flood watches on all rivers and Sea Tac International Airport reported 1.7" of rain in a 48 hour period.  We went from muggy, hot to cooler, wet inside of a few hours.  It is currently 62 degrees with no rain, very comfortable with a forecast of sun returning tomorrow.  September 22 is the official end of summer but I think fall is creeping in a little early.

Mia and I have visited the trailer the past two weekends.  Last weekend we took the grandkids up with us for the Labor Day weekend.  I had to work Saturday so Mia and the kids left Friday night and I joined them after work.  We had a lot of fun with them and our friends.  It was the first time I can say that the two kids got along with each other for the entire weekend.  It was very refreshing and different to see them interact without all the drama and nasty stuff that goes on sometimes.  I hope they can find a way to enjoy each others company the way or son and daughter have finally been able to find each other.

I fixed hamburgers on our little grille Saturday and did all of the breakfast preps while we where up there.  As I have said before, Mia and the kids are night people and I am a morning person so I would get up and make coffee and since every seating area was used up in the trailer and the weather was decent, I would go outside with my Kindle and read at the picnic table and enjoy the sunrise or take Honey for her morning walk while I waited for them to get up.
What of grilles do you use or prefer?  This one doesn't have much adjustment between very hot and very cool.
I have two Kindles.  This is the first one I got as a present from my kids and wife.  I use it a lot and really enjoy reading with it.  Without a backlight it is difficult to use in the dark but overall it has been great.  We got another Kindle not to long ago.  It is the HD color version with many more features that this one.  I like it as well, but I seldom get to use it since Mia enjoys using it to play games.  It has replaced our old HP laptop she used to use.

If you like breakfast I can fix it for you.  I love breakfast.  It is hard to ruin and everything tastes soooooo good.  Loved the strawberry waffles but sad that the whipped cream lost it body once the can was opened.  Still, it tasted pretty good.
Sunday I got out the ladder and climbed up to see what the roof looked like.  It was a nasty, blackish, grey with pine needles everywhere.  I had purchased the vent cover a few weeks ago, so I got a wild hair and decided to install it.  Once done, I took a little break and climbed back up with a can of Comet, my trusty hand scrub brush and the hose.  I cleaned to roof from one end to the other.  I was dripping with sweat when I finished but I was truly amazed with the difference once I was done.  Now I need to move the trailer to our winter home base and cover it until next spring when I take it in to get it gone through for our retirement trip.  Going to have all the systems gone through as well as replacing the tires that have been sitting for several years and have date stamps that will soon expire.

Work is moving along.  I have actually found some additional bodies to help so it looks like we will be moving forward.  220 days to go.

Hope everyone is have a great time.