Friday, December 30, 2011

Driveway Incident

I recently put my motorhome in my driveway at home. I thought it would be the easiest to just back it up the driveway, and put it on the grass next to the driveway. I was a little concerned that the back end would drag on the concrete, and it did. However; it was just the bottom of the hitch, and it made a little scrape mark on the driveway. So I decided to attach a couple of heavy duty casters to the bottom of the hitch, with the idea of them lifting the back end up just a little on the suspension. The casters were rated at 600lbs each.  So last Sunday, I thought I would try it to see if it would work without scraping. It didn't.  I pulled down the driveway, and started the turn out the driveway, when Alex motioned me to stop.  I got out and the hitch was resting on the concrete.  At the bottom of the driveway there were ball barrings everywhere. I looked under at the casters and they were both broken. I got back in and attempted to back up, but the wheels on the right side began spinning. I tried to go forward and they again spun. The front of the motorhome was blocking the entire street, and the neighbors were having to go around the block. Drew, the neighbor across the street came over to lend a hand. We decided to jack up the right side and put a 2x10 under that tire to give it some traction. I used the right rear leveling jack to pick up the wheel.  However; the tire on the left side then started spinning.  I attempted to used the left leveling jack and when I tried to pick up the left rear wheel, the jack missed the concrete and sunk into the mud on the left side of the driveway. I had already started turning out of the driveway when I stopped. When I went to lift the jack to put a 2x10 under that side, the jack would not retract. It was stuck in the mud under the motorhome.  It was time for some shovel work. After we got the jack up and put the 2x10 under it the jack went down and broke the 2x10.  Drew volunteered to get a piece of 2x12 white oak, which also broke. After digging the lumber out we stacked several pieces on top of one another and finely was able to get it to pick up the left side. we then put 2x10s under the left side and was able to get the motorhome out of the driveway. All in all there was no damage to the motorhome and no injuries, so all is well that ends well. I owe Drew a piece of oak and maybe a bottle for being a good neighbor. And as I like to say, "If there are no pictures, it didn't happen".

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blue Light Treatment

I have not posted in a while, so thought I would try to catch up a little. I went in for the second treatment on my skin yesterday, and I still have one more to go. This treatment is to be effective at preventing squamous cell carcinoma that I have been more regularly lately. My Dermatologist said that about 10% of the Actinic Keratosis ( age spots) turn to squamous cell carcinoma in light skinned people like me. As I posted earlier, I have to stay indoors, out of the light, for the first 48 hours. There is another similar treatment called 5 Fluorouracil, or 5 FU. With a name like "5-FU" I didn't think that could be good, but the doctor said that both options were equally effective. This treatment is called ""Photodynamic, therapy for actinic keratosis".
Anyway, in the meantime, we have had several house showings, and one very low bid offer. We don't have $40K to bring to closing, and even if we did, we are not. We have had very good responses form all the showings, so we are keeping our hopes up. We have been looking at the things that we will need to live full-time in the RV, and only have a few things to buy. One thing is a tow hitch and brake buddy to tow our car behind the RV. I would like also to have another slide out tray on the outside in the bay that has the TV and Phone jack, and a 110vac receptacle, to build a stereo and TV into it to view from the outside, under the awning. Well that is all I can think of for now.

So,  be safe and enjoy your friends and family.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Devil's Fork State Park

Devil's Fork with Lake Jocassee in the background
On Friday, November 18, I had the first treatment for my skin cancer. It went very well, and I have another on Dec 16th. Saturday we took the RV to Devil's Fork State Park in South Carolina. It is about 150 miles from our house. We stayed there till Yesterday.  I had to stay out of the sun light or keep my head covered for the first 48 hours.  Anyway, the RV had no problems, and everything operated great.  It has an old antenna on the roof that you crank up.  The TV's are analog, and so before we left, I stopped at Best Buy and bought a converter box.  The antenna was able to pick up about a dozen more channels than you can watch at once. Some friends from our congregation also came for the weekend and watched the football games on Thursday. In all there were lots of kids and lots of activity all around the campground.
Left to right-Sammie, Lilian, Eric, and Quintan Blando

Friday, November 11, 2011


Yes, today is 111111. I have not posted in a while. I have not dropped off the edge of the earth, although it seems like I have been around it twice. I've been trying to keep things afloat. I went to Little Rock, AK, for a work project. We were visiting Little Rock because they have a street car line that uses the same Gomaco, reproduction street cars that we have in Charlotte. It is common practice that agencies will share lessons learned with other agencies. In the cooperate world you would never admit mistakes to a competitor, but we are not competitors. Little Rock is a tourist town and their street car has a slightly different purpose than we have in Charlotte. Little Rock street cars set the stage for their historic city tourism. Charlotte will have a dual purpose of tourism and transportation. The future street cars will be modern cars like the Kinkisharyos that I posted in January of this year. Charlotte has 3 replica Gomaco cars that are the same as Little Rock, as you can see from one of the pictures. These will eventually be phased out in favor of new technology. Next week I will need to go to the dermotologist on some more skin issues. I think after that we will take the Bus on a little R&R for a few days before I winterize it. And as you can see parking and overhead powerlines can be an issue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Break from the brakes.

Saturday, Alex told me that the brakes on the car were making noise. So I drove the car around and they seemed OK, but were making a little noise in the rear. I jacked it up and put stands under the back and took the wheel off the right side. When I pulled the drum off, pieces of broken springs fell out. The brake adjusting lever was bent and the piece that separates the shoes was also bent.  The drum was scratched and shoes were also chewed up. I went to the auto parts store and bought a brake hardware kit and shoes and a new drum. However; the separator piece was a dealer item. So, I went to the GMC dealer across the street and ordered the piece. I won't get it till Tuesday.  So, the car is on vacation till then.  We finished the day by going to our friend David and Carol's house for a fish fry. Very good time and a welcome break from the brakes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Last night Steve Jobs laid down with his ancestors in death. Death is not natural, because man was created to live. He will stay their till the creator of all things says it is time to bring those sleeping in death back. I like a lot of people, learned of it on my iPhone. He has changed almost everyone’s way of life. Even his competitors try to imitate his vision. He will be missed, till he returns.

This last weekend Alex and I went on our first weekender in the Bus. We went to Myrtle Beach Travel Park, where I stumbled through figuring out all the different systems on the bus. Learning the gas, sewer, fresh water, the inverter and even how to operate the stereo.

Everything seems good, and here are some pictures that we took.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Registration for the Bus

Yesterday was a little stressful for me. To explain, I will start by saying that, like most things, we bring it on ourselves. When we went to financing our bus, we found a very low interest rate. That is the other side of not being able to sell our house. We got the loan in my wife and my name. Then I purchased insurance for it from Nationwide insurance. All was good so far. Then a friend told me about a company in Montana that will set you up with an LLC, and you can register your vehicles to your company, and just drive a company vehicle. The company that sets up your company, will go to the DMV and register all your vehicles and send you the plates. So, I ask, "Why"?

The State of Montana has no state sales tax, and any vehicle over 10 years old will be issued a permanent plate. The cost of this service is about a thousand dollars, and they provide a permanent address for your LLC business. After it is complete you pay a fee of about $150 per year for the permanent company address. You only need to file income tax, on an LLC if you make a profit.

My personal integrity, will not allow me to be dishonest in any way, which includes paying taxes. However; this is legal for those who do the necessary research and follow the law as written. We all know that the intent is to flees as much money from working people as possible. I have no problem with avoiding unnecessary taxes if it is done legally.

This brings me to why I paid North Carolina $1470.00 for the license plates on the bus, yesterday. I learned of the Montana laws after I got financed and purchased insurance in my wife and my name, and this would require us to refinance and buy insurance in Montana under the company name. All said, this is just food for thought, and may help someone else. My plates will expire on 9-30-2012, and will require a safety inspection to renew.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumnal Equinox

The march of the seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—stems from the "clearly definable" position of the sun. The solstices are very accurately measured as the northernmost point that the sun rises along the horizon in June and the southernmost point along the horizon in December.  However, the autumnal equinox and vernal—or spring—equinox aren't exactly midway between the solstices "because the Earth's orbit is not a true circle, but close.

Anyway, Friday was the Autumnal Equinox, and I use these times of the year to reflect on the past season and to do a couple of chores, like changing oil in the vehicles.  This summer went very well for Alex and me. We did not have any tragedies or other problems in our immediate families. We enjoyed good health and a little time off.  We got to spend time with our children and grandchildren.  I witnessed my youngest daughter dedicate her life to Jehovah God by getting baptised, which is very heart warming to me. We put our house on the market, although it has not sold yet. We also purchased our motor home in preparation for retirement. In all, we have much to be thankful for and nothing to regret. I hope that the summer was as good for all of you who are reading this short blog today. 
In the coming season we all need to slow down and reflect the important things. Work and play safely, and offer a helping hand when we can.  And remember to treat our loved ones like they are loved ones.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This is just a quick update on the last couple of weeks. The purchase of the Bus, came quickly and as with everything poor timing. I have been looking for a good deal on a Class A motor home, for the last year or so. I found this great deal on a bank repo, and just couldn't let it pass. But, the timing was not great, as Brahm and Dagmar, has asked us to go to Puerto Vallarta, for a week with them to spend time on the beach. As you can imagine, with me being in rail-transit safety and security, we did a lot of security preparation for the prevention of a repeat attack of the 2001 attack. We flew home on Saturday, and I was at work on Sunday. We can be thankful that all was quiet around the country.

My daughter Tammy, Mont, and Malana, are coming to visit this weekend and part of next week, and we will be going to the beach again. I think we will go to Folly Beach in SC, just south of Charleston. I do not like Myrtle Beach, and it is only 40 or so miles closer. So for me, Charleston has great restaurants and the beaches are close, that’s my choice.

Sunday evening Forest and Erica came by and we went to dinner in their 64 GTO. -Perfect end to the weekend-

Monday, August 29, 2011

Backyard Camping in the Bus

Yesterday, we went to Patrick's house, where he so graciously lets us keep our Bus (Motor Home), and grilled some lunch, drank a couple of beers and tried to get more acquainted with my Bus.  Richard and wife Dawn, live next door and are great friends, that let us plug to his 30 amp receptacle. We also need to stock his cooler back up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2001 Holiday Rambler Endeavor

Last weekend, Alex and I purchased a used motor home.  I think that we got a good deal on it. I have been looking for the past 6 months or so.  I don't know if we will sell our house or not.  If it doesn't sell by the end of the contract with the realtor, we will just try to rent it out.  The way the banking has went the last 3 or 4 years, the banks have no problem throwing families out of a $100K home, and turning around and selling it for $50K to someone else. But to the family that were thrown out, they wouldn't even talk about so much as lowering the interest rate or reducing the debt for them. Families have had to have 2 incomes to afford a home. If one were to loose their job, it's out the door they go.  That family now can't get a loan without perfect credit, and 20% down.  That is why renting is now at an all time high, and home sales are low, except foreclosures .  After witnessing this, I don't think I would want to finance a home from a bank again.  We hope to build as we go and live in the motor home.  Any way maybe we can find some one in need that will live there paying rent forever.  I will also attach a couple of pictures of the bus.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Living in a Realestate House

I haven't posted in a while, due to the fact that I have not done anything worth printing.  It is difficult to live in a house that is on the market. You must have it look like no one lives there.  You must leave at an hour’s notice.  I wipe the sink each time I turn on the water, and so forth.  I hope this doesn’t last long.  I think that if it doesn’t sell by the time the realtor commitment expires, we will try to rent it out. Although I don’t like the idea, it might be the only alternative.  We did go to Isle of Palms and Charleston this last weekend, and looked for a place to stay when Tammy comes to visit, next month. We love the old south feel in Charleston, and Isle of Palms has some beautiful beaches.  It is about 15 minutes from Charleston, so you can have both.   David, my youngest son called last night and we visited for about an hour.  David likes old cars and is trying to resurrect a 1950 Chevrolet.  It is a very cool car. It’s a 2 door fastback. He said that he is in the process of prepping it for paint. We will see how that goes.  Those cars use to be $100 dollar cars, but, I guess I’m telling my age. My first car was a 1953 Chevy Bellaire, that I paid a whapping $160.00 for in 1966. Two years later I was into muscle cars, and now I would prefer the “Stove Bolt’’ Chevy. They are comfortable, economical, and easy to work on and very reliable.  I better stop.  If I type 2 more lines, I will be looking for one myself. Thanks for dropping by, and take extra time today to work or play safely.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tomato Worms

Friday morning I went out to the back patio and I noticed that the tomato vine looked skimpy.  It was still dark, but I went and investigated.  I pulled off a 3" long tomato worm. I put him on the patio brick and took his picture, and ended his career.  Then I left for work.  When I got home the rest of the tomato vine was almost completely stripped.  I found 2 more.  I wonder if they taste like tomatoes. That is all they could be made of.  Anyway I feel violated :-).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tammy's Comming to Charlotte

My oldest daughter Tammy called on Monday evening. She, Milana, and her husband Mont is going to come and visit for a few days on September 15th, or 16th. After my last blog post, that could prove to be interesting. We will rent a place on the beach and go to the coast.  Milana has never been to the beach or coast.  That will be the weekend after we return from Mexico. We have a week booked in Puerto Vallarta with Brahm and Dagmar for Sept 3 to the 10th.  Tammy is a Physician's Assistant (PA) and has a limited window that she can get away from her office.  She wants the weather to be warm so they can get some beach time.

Yesterday afternoon Alex called me to ask if we had an additional cartridge for our carbonator. We like to drink seltzer water and have a carbonatorto do our own.  However; the cartridge costs $30 plus shipping to refill, so I bought a 20lb bottle of CO2 to do it myself.  I also had to purchase an adaptor to connect the 2. So, when I got home I refilled the cartridge for the first time.  The 20lb tank cost $17.50 to refill and should be able to refill it over 22 times. The cartridge is 14.5 oz.  With a little spillage, I should get maybe 20 refills.  The refill went very well last night, but I didn't have batteries for my scale, so I don't know how much CO2 transferred.  But for $0.87 per refill it won't take long to pay for the adaptor and CO2 bottle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

House on Hackamore Dr

We have been busy working on getting the house on the market. I hope that we can get an offer soon. It is very hard on Alex to have to prepare for a showing and get Shiloh and leave in one hour. That is how much notice the realitors give when there is a showing.  We will see.
RES - One Page Cust Full

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Denny's Recovering From Dog Bite

My grandson Denny is recovering from a dog bite. This is the second time that he has been bitten by that dog. He may have been agitating the dog, but the dog is pretty aggressive anyway.  Becky took him to the ER and he has 4 stitches.  The dog now has to be euthanized (Colorado state law).  I was pretty upset when Becky called and told me about it.  Then she Text me a picture, and that made me feel better, because she told me that it was close to his eye.  The dog belongs to Denny’s grandmother (my ex).  I’m sorry that this has happened, but I also feel that, like people, if they are a threat to the safety and security of others, something must be done.  If you cannot train them to conform, then there is no choice.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Becky's Baptism

Becky is 4th row with a braid and black dress

My youngest daughter got baptised on June 11, 2011, in Loveland Colorado. I flew to Colorado for that event in Alex stayed home. Becky lives with my ex, and I stayed with my oldest son Louis Jr.  Louis and I went to my property in Southern Colorado on Friday and when I opened the door, there was a rattlesnake guarding the door.  The fact that we wanted to get past without any issues, was to his demise.  The picture is just after we removed his head with a .22.  I found that the outside hydrant was not working and that the water came through an overflow.  I will have to repair or replace it the next time I go.  On the road leaving I took a picture of a few Pronghorn that were grazing what was available.  It has been very dry in the southern part of the state. Part of the southwestern drought I guess.   In Loveland, about 200 miles north it was very green.  Brahm and Daggs took me to a special event that was at Centennial Airport, where they were displaying a B-17 bomber.  They had a dance, served spam sandwiches, wine and beer. People were dressed in 40's attire, and it was great fun.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Firefly Sweet Tea 
Alex and Shiloh in the courtyard of the Indigo

Me taking a picture of Brahm taking a picture of me.

Charleston buggy tour

Tea Garden tour

Cutting tea

Original Growth Live Oak

Alex and her oldest son, Brahm

Differant old mature Live Oak
We also spent a couple of days in Charleston, SC.  We stayed at the Indigo Inn. They allow dogs.  Great court yard with wine and cheese from 5-6:30pm every day.  We definitely took advantage of that. We went to The Charleston Tea Garden and then to the Firefly distillery.  They buy tea from the Tea Garden and make great Ice Tea Vodkas. We ended up bringing back 8 bottles.

Coca-Cola 600 Pictures

Great Seats
B-1 Fly By



I don't know why it doubled the scenes on the last post, but here is some more still pictures. B-1, Brahm and Dagmar.

2011 Coca Cola 600

The kids flew in for the weekend with tickets to the Coca Cola 600. We tailgated and had a great time. Thanks Brahm and Dagmar!  At the beginning there was a Fly By of a B-1 bomber. The first one that I have actually seen.  I have no favorite driver, but the fans clearly favored Earnhardt Jr.  He was in the lead the last 10 or so laps, and on turn 4 of the last lap, with a 5 car lead, he ran out of fuel. Made for a great finish. He finished  about 8th. I guess I was secretly hopping for Kyle Bush. He got a speeding ticket a week or so ago in the Charlotte area for 128mph in a 45. It would have helped with his fine.

No Problems With Barrelponics

My barrelponics have been running trouble free for several weeks now.  I have added a couple of gallons of water to it, and I feed the fish every day (except for a couple of days we were in Charleston, SC). So I think that it proves to be the most effective and waterwise way to grow veggies.  I also think that you could make manure tea with cow, horse or other animal waste.  This tea could be soaked in water and the water pumped directly into a grow bed the same way.  This may not be as water wise as the fish. Perhaps that when the tea was diluted to a point that the it needed to be replaced, it would go to the landscape or regular garden as a soil builder.  Anyway it is something to think about.  I use these large tweesers to pick bugs off the plants. They are fish food suppliments.