Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Overnight ride to Lake Havasu City

I joined a riding group here in the valley called the East Valley Road Rascals. The organizer, Sherry, does a fine job of picking out rides and events to attend. This time we left Saturday morning for Lake Havasu City to watch the Christmas boat parade. It's a big tailgate party along the shore near the London Bridge waiting for nightfall and the arrival of the boats. I'd like to say that I was able to get pictures of the boats, but I'd be lying. I found a setting on my camera for night landscape pictures, but alas, I'm no Cory Parris (nor do I have his camera).

One big bonus included in an overnight motorcycle ride is the opportunity to sleep in a big bed with a full size bathroom just across the room!

On Sunday we headed north to Route 66 and the town of Oatman so we could pet the wild (?) burros. From there we followed 66 to Kingman, had lunch at Mr. D's then headed home. 120 miles of mind numbing, butt numbing hiway 93 to Wickenburg.

Everybody made it home safe, with only a couple visits from law enforcement (not me).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acres of chrome, paint and big engines.

Kaiser Darrin roadster
 Dave and I went to the final Goodguys event of the year and wandered through acres of hot rods, rat rods, trucks and sports cars. Dave took pictures of every Studebaker entered and searched in vain for trim pieces for his Starliner at the swap meet.

I think the Lincoln Zephyr flathead V-12 is a piece of art.
Lincoln Zephyr flathead V-12

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pretty Planes and Crusty Cars

Larry, Dave and I rode to Casa Grande to attend the Copper State Fly In.  Larry was in the Air Force a hundred years ago and thinks he still is, Dave really enjoyed his flight in the B-17 and likes old stuff and I enjoy their company.  After the fly-in, we rode to a wrecking yard that had Studebaker parts that Dave thinks he needs.  Then it was a quick ride to Tag's in Coolidge for lunch (on Larry!). A nice day.
Dave and Larry walking toward "Sentimental Journey".

Bi-plane row
Isn't this Sky King's old plane?
P-51 Mustang
See anything you need?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

WalMart workers

Seems the battery in my truck didn't hold up over the summer months. The truck started right up when I connected the battery, but over the course of the week, it died.
Since it was a WalMart battery, I returned it to them in case there was some warranty left. There was! They gave me $44.45 for it.  While I was there, I decided to get the oil changed, too.  Waiting for that to be completed, I browsed the auto parts area and picked up some wiper blades and an air filter.  When the boys in the lube bay completed their job, the paperwork magically spit out of the printer under the sales counter.  The work order did not include the battery.  The guy behind the desk went out to the garage to get it straightened out. A new piece of paper came forth from the printer. The sales clerk rang everything up, I slid my ATM card through the card reader, he handed me my receipt and I drove home. Looking at the paperwork when I got back to the park...
They didn't charge me for the oil change!
I'm not going back - it would just confuse them further.
We've all seen the e-mails with pictures of the people of WalMart. Maybe they should include some of the people that work there, too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Staying busy

Sold my little 4 x 8 shed to Frank and Kristi, moved it to their site in the park. Got my trailer situated on my site with John's help. Got the motorhome parked and all of the services connected. Put all of the stuff that was in the small shed in the bigger shed that I bought from Dave and Paige. Got the broken windshield on the Ranger replaced. Have an appointment to get the rear tire on the Harley replaced tomorrow.
Still have a long list of things that need to be done. I was hoping that the temperature would drop 20 degrees or so before I started them. Need to wash the motorhome and put on the window shades. I have to organize the new shed, but am going to wire it first - after Larry gets here to help me.
I bet you thought that I just float in the pool all day. That reminds me.... This is me and Dave last year, but you get the general idea.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

On my way to AJ


Had Friday dinner with Ross and Patti Friday night, got in the motorhome and drove to Prosser, WA, for a nights stay at Wine Country RV Park. Full hook-ups, cable television, wifi, $29 - but pay showers?

Got up and hit the road at 8 headed east on 82, merged on to 84 in Oregon headed for Idaho.  Pulled off in Wendell, ID, for Saturday night. Staying at Intermountain RV Camp. Water and 30 amp service in the pull thrus, no cable, but has wifi - $20. Still pay showers! Pretty setting. 413 miles. A shorter day tomorrow - I promise! Maybe just to Ely, NV.

US Route 93 out of Twin Falls, Idaho, is the pits. Rougher than a corn cob. As soon as you cross in to Nevada it smooths out - except for the areas under construction. To someone driving a car, this route in northern Nevada must be boring as hell, but in a motorhome with a crosswind, it's plenty exciting. I stopped in  Wells to catch my breath and get gas. On my normal walk around I noticed that two of the tires on the trailer were wearing funny. As it happens, the Shell station was also a tire store. The owner said that the bias plies had separated. Buying new trailer tires was on my list of things to do, just not right now. Near as I could tell, these were still the original bias ply tires. The owner was sympathetic and said he had four good used Goodyear radial trailer tires. Now I have them.

I made it a short day so I could watch the NASCAR race and the Seahawk game - besides I'm retired. I am spending Sunday afternoon and night at the Ely KOA. A little pricey at $39, but I'm worth it. Only 277 miles today. I was off the road by noon local time.

Up early again and no reason not to get moving, so I did. 454 miles to Blythe, CA, on the Colorado River. An elevation drop of about 4,000 feet. Only 185 miles to go tomorrow. As usual, driving thru Las Vegas is the pits, but it was better than last time. Route 93 between Needles and Vidal Junction has to be one of the worst 2 lane roads in the country. There were delays on 93 so I didn't cross Hoover Dam one last time. The bypass bridge is scheduled to open in October.

Here are my hot feet soaking in the cool Colorado River.

Arrived about noon. Moved a shed, got the truck running, opened up my awning for the first time since I left AJ in May. About 100 degrees. Floated in the pool a couple times. My ac is finally catching up and it's after 8! May ride up to Payson tomorrow.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Retirement of a friend

Sunday, Thom and I met at the Bremerton ferry for a trip to Seattle/Ballard and a visit with my friend Ken (aka "my ex-wife's-twin-sister's-ex-husband" or Kenny-Pooh).  Ken spent 30 years working for various  government agencies that luckily all subscribed to the same retirement program. Those agencies included the University of Washington, the City of Seattle, City Light and Sound Transit.  Since he didn't spend enough time at any one of them to warrant a retirement ceremony, he decided to hold his own and invite the people that mattered to him. I'm not sure why I was there.
Felipe (Let or Leto to his old friends) served as the master of ceremonies.  He and Ken have been friends since high school.  It seems that everywhere Let got a job, Ken followed.  Let joined the Marines - so did Ken.
Congratulations Ken, retirement is great.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hogs and Dogs @ Owen's HD in Yakima

Two or three hundred bikes, mostly Harleys, made their way to Yakima and Owen's Harley Davidson for the Washington Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally.  Saw plates from British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho.  Perfect weather (mid 70s), friendly people, music and food will draw a crowd.

I've always been a sucker for two tones.

This guy had the custom paint done in Los Angeles.  He said he likes women.

The crowd ebbed and flowed as groups headed out for rides.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How I spent my weekend

The hottest weekend of the year was spent helping Ross and Patti rebuild the fence that runs along the alley. Luckily it was in the shade, unfortunately so were the mosquitoes. Thirty years ago I was here to help put it up.  We didn't just put up the new fence boards that you see in the pictures. Every board was removed, cleaned up and reattached.  The main purpose was to remove the 3/4" gap that used to exist between the boards.  This will prevent prying eyes from looking in and there have been things going on in the alley that they would rather not see.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Backyard work party

All we had to do was call it a house warming party and we got some free labor today.  My Mom, sister Pam, brother-in-law Duane, daughter Erica came to help.  Thom's friends Jenny, Justin, Kelsy, Rex and Derrick put in some hard hours, too.  Boone and Wendy showed up, too.  It was so nice to see everyone.
We had too much food, just enough water, pop and beer - it is warm today.
I should have taken a 'before' picture - but here are some 'afters'.  The grass and weeds were over our heads in some places.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Da boys depart

Dave, Rob and Steve left today for Port Angeles, the beginning of the 2010 BC ride.  Every year our little group goes on a ride around a designated area.  We started in Washington, then Oregon, last year Idaho and western Montana, and this year British Columbia.  Pat bowed out early citing his intention to spend his vacation money in Ireland with his daughter Erin, then I dropped out due to my prostate problems.  It was sad to see them leave without me.  To be fair, they offered to delay the ride a couple weeks, but there is no guarantee that I would be ready then either.

You can read Dave's full report on Weenerbago Tales in my blog list to the right.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Retaining wall and fountain

When I got here you couldn't see all of the retaining wall and the fountain was a pile of rocks with some slimy water in the bottom of the pond.  It isn't much, but it's all progress.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stained deck

Another neglected part of Thom's house - the deck.  I don't think it's been stained since it was built.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Progress in Thom's yard.

Thom bought a nice little house on the Key Peninsula near Gig Harbor.  Over the years it has not had the tender loving care that it deserves, but Thom wants to make up for it.  This past week has been spent pulling some weeds, cleaning/staining the deck, fixing the fountain/pond - but mainly addressing the curb appeal of the front yard so visitors will feel welcome.
In these photos, Thom is working to remove an Alder root, and enjoying the finished burm at the front of the yard next to the ditch.  I threw in a before and after shot, too.
I'm able to help a couple hours each day and light a fire under his butt to focus on one small part of the yard and not get overwhelmed by the big picture.  The lot is a half acre, with most of the back yard undeveloped.  Lots of weeds and brush to worry about back there.  We aren't going to get it all done in one summer visit.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Safe Trip, I guess.

Well, I made the trip from Thorp to Gig Harbor without incident - mostly. Boy, the wind was blowing. It felt like I was flying a brick. As I was heading on to I-90, I realized that I had left my wifi antenna sticking out the window. "No problem" I thought, I'll just pull it in when I get to the rest area. I wanted to dump my tanks anyway. The antenna broke loose about half a mile before the rest area. Oh, well.

I stopped in the rest area and hooked up my hose and pulled the valve open - the hose blew apart! I stepped in my own mess and closed the valve, got the water hose and cleaned it up. Threw the hose in the trash and got another (I was carrying three of them). As I twisted the second on to the connection, one of the hooks broke off. Another one in the trash. One last chance. I got the tanks dumped, but the last hose leaked a bit (from age I guess), so it went in the trash, too. I moved the motorhome forward a bit and washed every bit of evidence down the drain, washed my boots (glad I wasn't wearing sandals) and headed for Camping World in Tacoma to get a new hose - and my new mattress. Except for idiots that tried to merge in to the coach (do they really think that I am going to stop on the hiway to let them in?) and the fools that I see texting as they travel down the road (I refuse to call it driving), the rest of the trip was uneventful.

I pulled in to Thom's place, gave him a hug and got my home as level as I could. He proudly showed me the 30 amp connection that he'd had installed by his high school friend Kyle. Kyle works as an electrician in Ferndale. I don't know if he has completed his apprenticeship yet. I plugged in and we threw the breaker and it immediately tripped. Strange. We checked everything, then I finally checked the power at the outlet - 240 volts! For some reason he thought a 30 amp outlet needed 240 volts. I am lucky the motorhome isn't burnt to the ground. As it is, I had to replace my microwave and the controller for my electric blanket is trash. All of the other electrical safety devices did their job. I normally check the polarity and power output before I plug the coach in to service panels at RV parks, but I gave Kyle the benefit of the doubt (he is an electrician) and almost paid dearly for it. Lesson learned.

We headed for Home Depot and found a microwave, struggled putting my mattress together and had lunch at the Chinese Panda place. Later we spent a hour or so pulling weeds and trimming bushes. We barely made a dent. We need gloves, rakes, weedeaters, tractor and a truck. I'll go back to Home Depot while Thom's at work today and get a few things.

It's a little misty and gray, but I can see blue skies up through the trees.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"The pain boss, the pain"

Okay, I have to ammend my last post. There is some pain - and it starts with P and ends with eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I called to make sure this was normal. I was told that it is and that the pain can last up to six weeks following TURP. I may be dealing with something that is 30 times more common in women than men - Urinary Tract Infection or UTI. My urologist is thinking about prescribing something similar to AZO, but has not yet done so.
A lot of things went up my urethra, now it hurts when something comes down it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In recovery

There will still be too much information for some in this post.
Here I sit in my box on wheels, waiting for something to happen. I feel great. The procedure seems to have gone well. I feel like I should just go back to my life before the incident. I have no scar, no stitches, no bandage, no aches or pains. I feel good.
I was cautioned not to strain. Don't lift anything heavier than a half gallon of milk. Use a stool softener. Do nothing.
They were right. The day after I got out of the hospital I went grocery shopping and filled a prescription for antibiotics. Later that day there was blood in my urine.
Saturday Thom and I drove the motorhome to town to dump the waste tanks. In the afternoon there was blood in my urine.
My urologist said that there would be blood in my urine for a while. Still it is disturbing when it happens.
I sit here reading anything in the motorhome, watching dvds, playing computer games, keeping up with all of my facebook friends. Good friends call to check on me, Steve and Michelle stopped to visit on their way home from Republic. I intend to sit here for a couple weeks and do nothing.
It's harder than I imagined. I thought I was doing nothing all this time since my retirement. Now I know what doing nothing means. I feel bad that I'm not out helping Ross and Patti more. They have taken such good care of me, I'll repay them in time.
I feel fine.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Well, it's not prostate cancer

The following may contain TOO MUCH INFORMATION (TMI) for some.

A couple weeks ago I suffered through a night of not being able to urinate. I could have sworn someone hit me across the back with a 4 x 4 and then kicked me in the groin. I called for an ambulance ride to the hospital. I thought that perhaps I was passing a kidney stone.

At the emergency room they determined that I did not have any stones, but that my bladder was full and my urethra was blocked. A catheter was inserted and I felt instant relief. I was referred to a urologist and sent home in a taxi with catheter in place.

The urologist visit included a ultrasound of my prostate, a scope was run up my urethra to look at my bladder and twelve biopsies were taken of my prostate. I left the clinic sans catheter and was very happy of that fact.

That is until about 3 the next morning when I went through the same symptoms. This time I drove myself to the hospital, walked straight in to the emergency room and told them what I needed. Sweet relief.

Today I returned to the urology clinic in Yakima. I was greeted with the good news that I do not have prostate cancer. I hugged the doctor. Then I was told that I needed Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate or TURP. That or learn to love my catheter. It just so happens that the doctor had a cancellation this Wednesday, so that's what I'm doing.

I'll be in surgery at about 11:30 on Wednesday morning. The procedure takes about an hour. I will be spending two nights and will check out Friday sans catheter. There are some possible risks (not as major as prostate removal) and we discussed other options, but this appears to be the best one. I have done a lot of reading on the subject over the last couple weeks.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trip to town

Went to town to get a haircut, stumbled upon a small car show. It was being held in support of a local hospice. It was only two blocks long, but at the mid point it crossed with the local farmer's market. Made for an interesting mix.
This one is for Dave.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The hunt was on

Ross and I went in search of the elusive Morel mushroom this morning. We worked our way up a gravel road to Ross' favorite hunting area at about 3,400 feet. Ross was barely out of the truck and he spotted one. We split up to search on our own and it wasn't long before I found a half dozen of the delicacies. We spent about three hours finding a couple pounds of mushrooms.