Wednesday, December 01, 2010

How can you travel through the Palm Springs area without a DATE SHAKE?

I've been the in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area for about 3 weeks, this area is famous for the date shake. My first date shake was last year, when we drove up from the Slabs to Oasis Date Garden and had shakes and many date samples. This year I tried three different stores, all recommended for the date shakes. Besides Oasis, I tried Shields Date Garden and Hadleys Date and Fruit Stand. While Oasis has a good shake and they use date puree, Shields tastes better, more date flavor and you could taste date through the last drop, whereas the Oasis, after a while, you could not taste the dates. Shields uses date flakes, and it's important for them to sit a while in the ice cream for full flavor.

However, neither have the flavor and creaminess of the Hadleys Date Shake, made with real ice cream and date puree, plenty of it, the Hadleys shake was creamy and tasty to the last drop, and then I wanted more, if I wasn't 50 miles away from the store, I would be tempted to have one every day. So far, of the ones I've tried, Hadleys takes the WIN. The sampling room at Oasis make the stop worth while, you can get your fill of dates for free, then you want to take some home too.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Apparently it's not as easy as I thought.

As promised here are some shots of me loading my ATV on the truck. Once I look at the photo, I know this attempt was "DOOMED TO FAILURE" (the majority of my weight (considerable) is behind the rear axle, popping the front end up.) A couple of more attempts just get me sideways as I try to correct the problem, on the last attempt, I get on top, my weight is so far forward, my "dicky doo" is pressing the horn button and I can't engage the brakes, so I roll backwards all the way down. I reposition the truck, stop, and look at photos, and reposition the truck again. (Apparently it's not as easy as I thought...)

I've loaded this damn thing on and off over 20 times now, sometimes it's easy and sometimes not, today was NOT

What's that old saying? "Reposition and try again" (various puns come to mind)

I'm at Delta Shores once again, getting ready to continue my journey and go to Palm Springs on Saturday..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Found a nice place in Ilwaco/Seaview area for my New Horizons fifth wheel

I've been looking for a while now for a place to settle down and think I've found it. I love ocean communities. Since retiring I have ventured up and down both coasts, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Don't get me wrong, I love the mountains also, but never liked shoveling the snow in the winter, but then again, the skiing was good. Getting older, I've skied less and less. (and started traveling.)

Enough of that, back in 2004, I came across the communities of Long Beach, Seaview and Ilwaco during the Washington State International Kite Festival, as you can see in my blog, I have returned again and again. I have put in an application to buy a place/membership in the "Safari Association of Ilwaco." There are a few wonderful places for sale there and I am looking at getting into one. I hope to place my New Horizons 34 foot fifth wheel on a lot there. I'll still be traveling with the smaller travel trailer (until I can't travel anymore) but would like a place (near the ocean) to settle down. The New Horizons fifth wheel has been a lot of places in the country, I've put 28000 miles on it, that I can track, but with the price of diesel now, it's just too heavy to keep pulling around the country.

Whoohoo, just learned that the Board of Directors has approved my application, now to make offers and get the New Horizons fifth wheel approved (update 9-13-10 12:25p)

On the road near Kamiah, Idaho.(with mom.)

Parked in the driveway of the house in Idaho.

Making a pit stop in Zion National Park. (Utah)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ocean Mist- K/M Resort

The totem marking the entrance to Ocean Mist from the beach side.

Sand dunes and driftwood...

Beach side of resort.

I'm staying on the coast away from the heat in the interior of the country, so I'm at Ocean Mist, a K/M resort, between Ocean City and Copalis Beach, Washington.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kite fest again, WIN's nearby

I'm in Chinook, Washington near the Long Beach Peninsula where the International Kite Festival is now taking place. A local remarked today was the sixth day of sun this summer, what a great day to fly kites. The WIN group is nearby and oh boy, do they have a full plate? From kayak trips, lighthouses, interpretive centers and watching salt being made, to campfires on the beach, they are on the go.

Also I got an ATV to test drive, a rather small Yamaha Moto-4 200, shaft drive, after extensive rust rehabilitation and working on the fuel system, it appears to be running fair, there is more work to be done on it although the plastic and rubber is in good shape. There are places all over Oregon to ATV and miles of beach at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. There doesn't seem to be much ATVing area in Washington, or maybe I just haven't found it yet. I have found you CANNOT ride ATV's on the beach, although other licensed vehicles are fine as are scooters.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Northwood Mfg. made a new Friend, and hot cities.

Traveling west again to the Coast where it will be cool, it's too hot here. I was in LaGrande, Or. (96F) at Northwood MFG. getting the hole in my Nash trailer repaired, I got a new front end.... they did a super job for about 1/4 the cost they quoted and in 1/4 the time. It's always great when a company goes "beyond expectations." They also manufacture Arctic Fox and Desert Fox toy haulers, campers, and trailers. I got the trailer to them about 8 am, met with Matt, went and got some donuts, I was just getting ready to get on the internet near a Starbucks, when I got the call about 1030, "It's done" a voice said, "Already, I didn't even get my nap yet" said I, "Come on in and we'll lighten your wallet" says the voice. I checked out my trailer, it's looks better and brighter than when I bought it... I walked into the office and met with the voice (Matt), he lays down a sheet with the price, my jaw drops, I'm in a quandary at this point, you see, I filed an insurance claim after getting the quote. and the price for the repair is the same as my deductible. (way less than the quote.) I'm hopeing that I can cancel the claim and my State Farm insurance will just forget about it and NOT RAISE the cost of my insurance...

I happily pay my share, wave goodbye, (blow kisses at the women) and sail into the sunset.. (oh... thats another story)

On the way from Seattle to LaGrande, Or. I had planned on boondocking, casino-docking or whatever so I could hit Northwood Mfg. early Monday morning for my appointment. While in the planning stages, I got an invitation from a new friend, he said I could stay at his place in Cove, Or. just 12 miles from the Nash factory. I gratefully accepted and was amazed at the little slice of heaven, he and his wife have carved out for themselves (and wandering AFP's*.) Phrases like "salt of the earth" and "good people" do not do justice, they fed me, gave me wonderful well water, powered the trailer, let me wash my trailer and truck and many other things. We laughed, fixed things, and watched nature take it's course. Deer and birds abound and wander around his place. The last evening dropped a gorgeous sunset on us as we looked out over the valley. Truly wonderful people and "Thank you"

It was 102F in downtown Pendleton, Or. 100F in Hermiston where I stopped for lunch, and 108F at Three Mile canyon near the Columbia River. I'm at TT Sunriver-Bend for a couple of days before I hit Coos Bay, Or.

*AFP's =Arctic Fox people (and other Northwood products too)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

How long can your shower be?

It's been a while since I wrote a satirical post on the blog. Although I have spread the good cheer and wrote elsewhere. The following is from a forum discussion. I'm afraid after seeing who asked the question, I may have abused him one too many times, but doggone it, he makes it so easy.

nate- I'm really curious as to how long you guy's get with a hot shower. I know it has a 30 gal tank, but I'm sure the hot water heater couldn't keep up with it that fast. Reason is, when we get back from long back-country hikes, I need to know how to "divide" up the shower time, and I'm just really curious to see what others on here get. I didn't plan on taking a 20-30 minute shower, but perhaps 10 minutes of hot water?

(Understand this is a 22 foot trailer with a 6 gallon water heater fired by propane, there were several comments about "Navy" showers before mine)

My answer:
Great question, lots of variables to consider. facetiously speaking however,

The final answer is: 8 minutes

I'm "assuming" a great many things here...

You like hot showers..
The water tank is 6 gallons (higher is longer)
The heating of the replaced water in the tank is exactly the same as the colder water introduced into the tank during the shower. (So we have exactly 6 gallons of hot water in the formula)

The temperature of the water in the tank is 180F (it may or may not be)(lower is shorter)
The temperature of the ground water is 50F (very common)(higher-longer/lower shorter)
(The temperature will vary depending on temp of the water in the hose, for a small amount of time)

If we use the formula (Va * Ta) + (Vb * Tb) / Va + Vb = T
Va = Volume of water in hot water tank
Ta = Temperature of water in tank
Vb = Volume of water from ground source
Tb = Temperature of ground water
T = total temperature of the combined volume
(6 *180) + (6 * 50) / 12 = T
1080 + 300 /12 = 115 degrees F.
Again an assumption made of half and half (6 gal. hot water and 6 gal. ground water)
Therefore we have 12 gallons of 115F water
Typical shower head flow restriction is 1.5 gpm
12 gallons / 1.5 gpm = 8 minutes.

Fire retardant suit on..

(It's not like I didn't leave hints in my comment "facetious", "assume", "fire retardant suit")

I only had one comment on it, RF said, Love it! :D:D Thanks...Wouldn't think of any kind of flaming response....

Props to you RF...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Not a good day, View from the Front...

While traveling through Boise Idaho heading out from the Northwood Rally, I... well I'll let the photos talk first.

A semi-truck in front of me tossed "something" into my lane, not able to avoid it completely, I ran over it and kicked it up into the trailer. I checked when I stopped and found this.

A few pictures and an email to Dave Mann/Northwood brought back the quick response, of an $800 job. Looks like I'll be heading back to LaGrande, Or. But for the moment, I'm in Hagerman Id. and will be doing my yearly Bratwurst sales with the Moose(Lodge #305,) in Buhl ID. for the Fourth of July Celebration at the Park.
Mid-July I'll be heading to Seattle to see a close friend, back to LaGrande, Or. for a July 26th appointment to get the trailer fixed, then over to the Coast (Or.-Wa.) again. Aug. 11th, I'll be in the Long Beach, Wa. area, I'll meet up with the WIN's again.

As usual, the plans are written in Jello, (green you know.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A valiant sacrifice, my Hughes autoformer dies...

I am in Rock Springs, Wyoming, at my friends place, the one with the shop and all. If you remember, I blogged about the voltage problems last year while staying here. At the time it was low voltage, and the electric company changed a tap on the pole transformer to make things better.

My line voltage alarm went off while sitting in my trailer today, I was taking a rest, from a small welding project I did. I checked the alarm and it showed 137 volts, my inverter circuit had kicked in protecting my TV and computer, but the Norcold fridge is on the circuit and a few other things. I heard a pop and a hiss, and white smoke started filling the trailer, I have heard the pop hiss before working in electronics, and the smell was reminiscent of fried capacitors and/or transformers, I ran around flipping off circuit breakers and the main battery switch, the smoke continued filling the trailer and forcing me outside. I unplugged the trailer and waited for the smoke to disperse, rushing in to open my electric area, and rushing back out when throat and eyes started burning. My fans wouldn't work (I had turned off the 12v power.) Since I could not see flames nor smell burning wood, I waited a bit with extinguisher in hand. The smoke cleared and I could see my autoformer was smoking and had left some goo splattered around. I pulled the autoformer out, still hot and smoking and took it outside.

I pulled the autoformer apart, and checked the wiring and circuitry, I am unhappy, there were no MOV's in the unit, it appears they were not installed. MOV's are small self sacrificing components to protect from over-voltage and voltage spikes. Instead the autoformer sacrificed itself to protect the trailer. The goo is the transformer potting material that was heated into liquid goo and smoke.

The autoformer got hot enough to melt the vinyl flooring making it stick to the autoformer, the wood underneath is not burnt but has some goo on it.

If I had a Surge-guard inline this would not have happened, or if the autoformer had overvoltage/undervoltage protection. I have been very happy with my Hughes Autoformer and undervoltage problems up till this point, it seems it was an older unit that did not have the MOV surge/overvoltage protection. After my research it seems that Franks RV voltage booster has under/over voltage protection built in.

Also see I'm tired of RV resort excuses for Voltage

Sunday, May 30, 2010

You know..

I started this blog to chronicle my journey in retirement, to express myself, to inform, to teach. I always have something to write about, I'm afraid it just won't interest people, because it's everyday life for me.

Then I read about other people's lives and they fascinate me, like Nick Russell, Bob Parker and Donna Huffer, Diana Tolerico, Karen Minard, even Jim Twamley at times. I follow a lot of blogs and the people are so interesting.

The hits on my blog mostly show up around my Hughes Autoformer (rv voltage regulator) discussion, my 454 Casull and Raging Bull blog, and the Delta Shores blog, so I can see what people are searching for.

Very few people visit the Natalie Anderson blogs, even though she's a fascinating person, she has not been discovered yet. One of these days, I will say "I knew her when..." or "I was in a serious relationship with..."

Ahh, memories..., soon I will have some more, I plan on attending the All Class Reunion in Greybull Wyoming, I graduated high school way-back when. I've been in Idaho, doing the yearly thing on my mothers yard, setting up watering, killing/chopping weeds and various "getting ready for summer" things to the house.

I did take a 3 day trip up to Lewiston, Id. to pick up a single ATV rack, all aluminum, even though I don't have an ATV yet, I'd like to be prepared when I find that perfect bargain. The first night(60AH) we (I took Mom) stayed by the road side on Hwy 95 near Mesa, Id., the second night(112AH) we "wallydocked" in Clarkston, Wa. and the third night I found a cute little RV park near Huntington/Farewell Bend, Or. (Oasis RV) $13 for full hookups. This allowed me to recharge the batteries(down 80 AH), get a shower and dump the black water tanks before getting back to Mom's home in Idaho. We even spent the day in Nampa/Boise going from Treasure Shop to Treasure Shop.

On recharging the house batteries while driving.. since I listed the AH (Total Amp Hours used) each night. Whether this will be of interest to anyone will be seen in the hit counters.

I've found driving on the road will recharge the batteries about 10 AH for every hour of driving with my diode setup, I suspect if I used a solenoid, I would get better recharging since I would not have the voltage drop of the diodes. I have a Trace 500 amp-hour meter and battery monitor, to go along with the Tripp-Lite 3000 watt inverter.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I am HERE among you.

And you never knew..

Of course I'm in Las Vegas at the moment, (Vegas baby) What goes on here stays here.. Unless they have photo's...

It's getting rather warm during the day, so it's time to head north, chasing that 70 degree weather. Then I find out it's still snowing up north. I'll just run the A/C a few more days.

Went down to Fremont Street to enjoy the FREE shows, wandered around and was introduced to the "Shark Tank", a swimming pool with shark tank in the middle, a thin piece of glass separating you from the sharks. What fun, like swimming with the sharks....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fruity Ideas

Most people have heard about the new Apple I-pad that was just introduced, some people like it some don't. You know Apple has the I-pod with I-tunes, I-phone, I-touch, besides the I-pad.

All of Apples' technology is geared towards the younger generations, that's not to say that I can't use it, it's just not geared toward me. One of the complaints I've heard is that the fonts are too small, hard to see with "older eyes," the movements, flicks, taps, pinches and drags need to be quick, and we often don't feel like being "quick."

I'm marketing technology called "Prune" for obvious reasons. It's geared toward the large "retired" generation, using familiar movements and ideas, I'll have Prune (P) technology, I already have several items ready, there is the P-ad, which can be written on with the P-encil, the P-en or the Shar-P. I also have a cellular P-hone, which will take P-hotos, and my P-pods are nutritious and good to eat. I also have a P-touch, but I'm not going to elaborate on that function.

(c) Prune-Tech/Ron King/P-tech

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wow, what a pizza experience..

I'm staying in the Phoenix area with the WIN group, tonight we went out for pizza, all I can say is WOW. The pizza itself was okay, I don't like crunchy crust pizza myself, preferring a chewy pie instead.

The best thing? the tremendous show, the Worlds Largest Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. Some information about the organ, the organist started with "76 Trombones", then played the theme from "Titanic","Pink Panther" and many others. It's hard to believe all of the flutes, pipes, strings, drums, cymbals, bells, accordion, tambourines, birds, and oohgah horns came from one person at the console, stroking keys, flipping switches and pushing pedals. It was the best show ever, (I stayed through two sets) for only the price of a pizza. The sounds soared through the rafters and vibrated through the floor, one moment taking you on a flight of fancy and then crashing to the earth. It was one of those WOW moments....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Salvation Mountain - Midnight Ridazz

Shouts out to the Midnight Ridazz that I met at Slab City and Salvation Mountain. From Yuma/Winterhaven area, I decided to hit Slab City before moving east.
The WIN dance rally will be in Casa Grande, Az. and it sounds like fun. Hope my feet can handle it, I've been walking between 3 and 5 miles a day so the feet are tougher. Salvation Mountain (wiki) (official website) was a hoot, so much has been written about it, but you have to go there to see and experience it for yourself, nothing will prepare you for the grandeur, love and color in the area. I took a few photos, (Midnight Ridazz) but cannot hope to capture the feeling there.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quartzsite-2010 style

"Necessity is the mother of all invention" didn't get it far wrong. I had decided to stay in a warmer climate again this year. The place I had stayed in years past in Quartzsite Arizona was having legal problems along with the rest of the town of Quartzsite.

Out of necessity I decided to try boondocking, I have a different rig, more efficient than the New Horizons fifth wheel I had before, so I parked out at the Dome Rock 14 day area for a while and then moved up to Plomosa Road after seeing the WIN group had an area. I finally managed to join the (W)andering (I)ndividuals (N)etwork and even had Diana Tolerico, who writes the excellent "Life on the Open Road" blog sponsor me into the group.

I am not the "purist" with solar panels that a lot of boondockers are, I only get by with the help of a Honda EU2000i generator. With my electronic laden lifestyle (satellite television, cell phone, Verizon aircard internet and laptop) I can buy a lot of gas for the cost of a photovoltaic system (which experts say will NEVER pay for itself). The other side would say it leaves a smaller carbon footprint (I'm not so sure) (is greener) (less noisy.) However, I almost bought a windmill, and saw a couple mobile ones being put to good use. However, after studying mounting specs, I don't think the metal sided Nash 22h would be a good base to mount it. But in the typical male way, I buy gas and survive nicely, thank you. I moved back out to Dome Rock, (it has faster Internet.)

By the time I get to Yuma, (Feb 3rd,) I will have been in the Quartzsite area an entire month, I went to the big RV tent show, got some bargains there, didn't see much new RV stuff like earlier years though. I have managed to scour the other swap meets in the area for desperately needed items, (like I have room,) I got many items for future projects, but didn't manage to get a compact ladder yet, which I need for some "projects."

Again, Quartzsite has some of the most wonderful sunsets. (and Dome Rock is in the photo.)