Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Lost Room + solar power

Well a few things have come about since the last post. A friend gave me a couple of tips on background work. One of them was a part during the filming of 'The Lost Room' a Sci-fi channel flik. It was set in an institution (the old Harwood School) I was to be a slightly looney type. I don't own pajamas so they picked me to walk across the street as the big old Lincoln Continental with 'the principle actors' driving. The car was mounted with the large camera and lighting equipment on the long hood, looking in at the main people. A small Honda generator slung low under the back end was the power for the robotic controlled camera. This stuff takes a lot of time and labor to set up. I was then to walk across the street as the Continental passed. The 'Shrink' walked towards me and a little at an angle behind the car. Of course we did it a few times untill it was correct. That scene then 'poisened' me for the day. I was just a local pedestrian and not an inmate. While waiting for the sets to be made ready we danced around the room at the urging of our casting director ( She knew that one of the assistant directors was coming. He then saw us and thought we really were a little wacky not just pretending to be. We do have a fun time while waiting for the sets. I wanted to play a slightly 'off page' person. Oh well things happen for a reason.

The reason being to install a solar panel kit on the roof of the Motorhome. I did it with out drilling any holes. 3 M makes an indoor/outdoor double sided sticky tape. The entire setup is about 3' x 3' so it takes up a little space. I fished the wires down the vent for the refrigerator to a compartment below. The controller is there. Now only the wires to the battery compartment remain to be layed in. finished on oct 5th. The main reason for the solar panel set (200 dollars at Harbor Frieght) is to keep from running the generator while parked for a few days or weeks at the seashore or ?...Wherever.
The panel set (three pieces) is advertised to charge the battery bank at 45 watts, 3000 ma. Which is totally unrealistic and grossly overated. This is the older style panel that looks black. The newer style panels are Polycrystaline and blue in color. ( I believe their panels to be more efficient as well as the advertised performance of their controller. Of course the price is higher (about double). You get what you pay for.
The plan was to replenish the power used at night from the four, six volt golf cart batteries, during reading and such. On my installation the output voltage is only at 12.91 vdc. This controller prematurely 'shunts' the 22 volts output from the panel down to 10.5 vdc. It also errantly, sounds the high piercing alarm to indicate it is saving the batteries from overcharge. This is much less than the touted 14.5 (normal with the motor running) vdc advertised. A call to Harbor Frieghts Tech dept resulted in a promise to ship me a new controller. I still am not as strong a believer in Solar cost per watt obtained. Of course the next days sun has a lot to do with the results. The total days power could be enhanced by keeping the panel facing the sun directly. I do not care to climb the ladder to keep doing this. It will just have to do it's best laying flat. I climbed that ladder about 50 times today during the install.

This week I have to go to a friend who has horses. He said he would give me a training seminar to get me in shape for the riding scenes in ...3:10 To Yuma. He lives in the mountains so we will ride like in, 'The Man From Snowy River', remember that famous ride down the mountain? Oh yeah...We will do it just like that. I was in my twenties when I owned horses and have ridden on occasion seldom since then. I need an overhaul of my latent riding skills. Jay (a real Cowboy) is 'The Man' to help me with the Overhaul.
Life is an interesting, fascinating scene in itself. I can't believe there are people in this world today that purposly live their life, only to die as martyrs, taking as many lives away from others as they possibly can.....Now that is really, really sick, not just 'pretending' to be.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Call,Horse, Party, turtles, DSL

The casting call is still in my mind. Now I have to practise mounting a horse again. It helps to be able to swing aboard with ease, especially when you tell the directors you can still ride. The knees don't function the same as a few years back. The local Santa Fe NM 'Movie Sets' of years past are showing their age as well. The film and construction crews will deal with that, as they did with the Comanche Moon set. It looked very good when they got through with it. Amazing when you think about what they are trying to project to the viewing audience. The time frame even felt historically correct to us during that 1860 Austin Texas scene. Austin did not even have a thousand residents during those days. Who would have imagined?

Today was glorious, bright sunshine with no major heat. The turtles came to the door for snacks. The cat was waiting for breakfast when I walked out for my two mile walk at 6AM. The wife had ordered cheese danish from the local bakery. I picked up that order of 8 for her brunch group. My daughter-in-law held a jewelry party at our house this morning. I left before the guests arrived. After a little browsing in my favorite stores, the time passed enough for me to return. There was some chow left over so that was lunch.

Last night we switched over to DSL. We set the system up ourselves. Only a few problems arose. Pay attention to the instructions and where the wire plugs are supposed to go. It is definetly faster but I miss some of my old easy to use features. Everything is a trade-off today. Probably always was, Just never noticed it due to faster thinking in previous years. The film clips are now worth opening. No hour long downloads. Good bye dialup. The History icon seems to have disapeared from the screen. Oh well, I'll find it another time. History is past anyway. The future is where the action is.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Casting Call Line

Well the casting call went well. I'm on the roster, I made the cut, I aced the call. We start filming in late October, just in time for some cooler or cold weather to set in. I hope the wardrobe people have appropriate weather garments. The line had many of my former coworkers in it,, both Nathans included. Lots of fun people to do the background stuff with. My 'first day' lady from Comanche Moon was present. One conversation between the casting directors assistant and a beautiful young woman, well made up, with sparkling shoes and sparkling painted toenails, after looking at her perfect resume and very professional 8x10 glossy headshot, "Why do you want to be in a western"? She answered that it was something to do. He then said " We only need a couple of Prostitutes"...Next.... Now when I say blunt, I mean blunt.... My casting director assistant asked how well I ride. I told her mid level, nothing dazzling anymore. I rode bareback often when I was younger and we bought rundown starving horses from the 'Killers'. Every ride was an adventure and I envisioned myself as a rider in the old west. Ah to be in my twenties again. Back then I could ride like I meant it. During a conversation last evening with a friend from North Carolina, Ken mentioned he was in a film in 1963. Gallup NM was the site. He rode a McClellen army saddle. (the real hard one with the long hole down the center) After several days sitting that thing, he had a mega saddle sore in spite of several sets of underwear. The film starred Trevor Howard I believe. If I get a riding part I will take his experience seriously. Do they make padded Butt prosthetics? Maybe a butt falsie? How about memory foam? I just do not have a lot of natural padding back at the 'exhaust pipe'. If you have any suggestions, please comment. This film will have 1,500 people in it. The westerns of years past are seemingly returning. I may get to relive my younger years. Maybe I can master the look of Lee Van Cleef. Now that was a squinty eyed look to beat all. Clint Eastwood met his match in that look. I did save my little black cigar from Comanche Moon.

Today I removed the old front 'Wussy' shocks from the Motorhome. The new Bilsteins are awesome in comparison. Nitrogen Gas filled and 50/50 action. Now the blue and yellow color looks good as well. I also increased the front airbag pressure to 40 lbs from 20. Work like that is not easy at my young age. Ah the excitement of it though. I can just visualize the improvement. No more bounding along like an Australian Kangaroo. (Dam...I miss Steve Irwin.) The handling should be better. Thats important when driving along the narrow two lane highways while gawking at the scenery in the great Rocky Mountains of the west. The front tires bounced up off the road during the great leaps of before. Kind of like a basketball during full court press, driving in towards the net.
We have so little time before filming starts, I want it to be quality time. Texas is quality time. The Gulf is calling with it's warm balmy days and evenings in the fall. North Padre Island and Corpus Christi will be great after the Pacific Northwest and the fog. All of the USA is dazzling and an adventure. Come join us Ken, now that you have a new Motorhome, bring your wife away from her DNA work and lab stuff. times a'wastin. The whole Country is waiting. Live each day like it is your last and you will have fun, I guarantee.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

3:10 To Yuma

Now today is a great day. The website tells of a casting call to be the most wonderful of late. Starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale no less. Cast of over 1,500, Extras a'plenty no doubt... "3:10 TO YUMA"..The 24th of September 'Casting Call' is going to have to take precedence over the 'Workshop' I had planned to attend. I did leave Kathy a message cancelling, as soon as I was aware of this excellent opportunity to work in our NM 'Filming Industry' again. I really like westerns and that is what this is going to be. Maybe. The building of 'The Transcontinental Railroad' no less, is the story line. Ah, I can see it now...A Cast of Thousands, like C.B. Demille was fond of saying. Maybe I should re-read the site. My imagination gets the best of me at times. I really have no idea what the end result wiil be. Beerfest was one of them. As a background actor, the final showing looks so much different than what we see during filming. My anticipation of the Casting Call is going to keep me awake nights until Sunday. My plan is to be at the call before , as we said in the military, "0 Dark 30", Now that 'is' early. I may need a flashlight. Even then, the call is not untill 11:00 AM
Am I dedicated to this life? "You bet your sweet Bippy" as Rowan, or was it Martin? used to say. Remember 'Laugh In' the best fun TV show of all time?, many years ago, before most of todays fast food servers were born.

Today (dollar day) my wife and I went to our annual outing of the NM State Fair. Years ago they had fun stuff like the 'Diving Mules', really, they loved to dive in the water. They got all excited because the weather was a little hot and the water was cool. Sometimes a Mule was left behind and had a fit because the others got to 'Dive'. As happens a little too often today, a group of 'Save the Mules from water diving' put a stop to it. It was, in their words "Inhumane", Gag! Now all we can do at the fair is launch those people into the air with big 'Bungees'. Hopefully some day with no 'Bungees' to bring them back down. We also ate our favorite 'Indian Taco' which is, to the unknowing in the crowd, a flour 'frybread' covered in beans, cheese, meat, red chile, onions and last but not least, lettuce. I have been told by my son, who lives in the state of Wisconsin, in the midwest, the term used for our Indian Frybread is, get this, 'Elephant Ears'. Our Indians have not seen too many elephants in the wilds of our state. That means they have no actual reference to it's ears. I could have understood calling them 'buffalo ears'.
The other sideshow was 'Wildlife Wendy's Bird Show. Birds that talk and do funny things, as seen on the Jay Leno show. The rest of the fair used to be about Agriculture and the fall Harvest. At that time of year the weather was a bit cooler than the cities residents liked, so the Fair Commission moved the date forward to stay warmer and enhance revenue. Now the harvests do not understand and the crops are not going along with the program. We are now a, more or less, city carnival. Not near as many Cowboy hats, boots, jeans, colorful shirts and livestock. Oh well, there still are big County Fairs to take care of that stuff. Too bad. State Fair, and Oklahoma are two great films from my past. They will have to do for my memory of those times.

We are getting rain often now, and that is bringing our long term drought to an end. A local Sandia Labs scientist did a 3000 year study of climate in the southwestern US. It showed that we are in a 300 year period of wetter than average. This happens only four times in the past 3000 years. So much for todays popular News theories on global climate causes. Most people only think of 'History' as pertaining to their own lifetime. The famous claim on the News..."It is 'the Worst Period of (whatever blah-blah-blah) in History, said with a glaring 'all-knowing' stare by "The Anchor" (who is nothing more than an actor or actoress). We fall for this nonsense and repeat it to everyone we meet, as if we had just attended a seminar by the top scientists 'all in agreement' (which never happens) about whatever scientific wonder they imagined. Ah the human species is so gullible.
Our sand dunes never did lose the green overgrowth that they picked up since I arrived here in the mid 60's. Hence, they are no longer real sand dunes, like the type we raced motorcycles over, back many years ago. This drought was never as intense as the earlier ones in the 30's and 50's. Maybe we will become a tropical Savanah in the future, the way things are generally headed, the forest will bring the treeline lower each ten years or so. Maybe we will also get to see more of the old Mountain Lions of years past. Ah the good old days..

Monday, September 18, 2006

RV project,wireing

No calls from the casting offices yet. My 'Character' is not in demand lately. Not to be easily depressed, I guess I will find work in the back yard finishing my projects. The RV conversion of the liftable bed works very well. The two, 45# lift, gas struts (from the local surplus store) do not hold the fully made bed up but sure make it easier. I finally got another 12 volt accessory socket installed to power the CB radio, 100 watt linear amplifier (kicker) and the charge circuit for my 1,ooo,ooo candlepower hand spotlight. I also installed a small 12v 'Chime' speaker (from the local Radio Shack, 10$) into the flasher circuit so that when I make a turn I am reminded of the turn signals being on. A small speaker on the 4 way flasher, and a little buzzer from RS on the 'Antenna up' light. I don't want to drive down the road with the TV antenna sticking up, it doesn't like the wind. Motorhomes have big dashboards with lots of carpet under them. Faint little clicks are hard to hear when rolling down the road. My age has nothing to do with it...I don't think.

The unfinished project for today is installing a deadbolt lock in the entry door. This is not as easy as you might think. The door is steel. Cutting holes in it is not so easy as wood in a 'site built' home. I still have 3 holes to go. I also installed a very low amperage draw, surplus, muffin fan in the outside compartment of the refrigerator. The purpose is to encourage the air flowing up the heat exchanger when parked in hot stagnant weather. LP powered RV refrigerators are old technology. RV fridge's are 'Reborn' as the 'Servel' gas powered, fridge of years ago, and still in use in remote areas of the world where no electricity is available. My relatives living in Chicago years ago had one. I still remember the big round coil of tubing and fins on top of it. A solar powered fan would make a little more sense but I did it this way for now. A vent mounted, 'Solar' panel from Harbor frieght will likely follow soon. I linked the wireing to the LP gas solonoid. When it is actuated the fan runs. This is supposed to help keep the freon from overheating and causing the unit to get ...shall we say warm instead of cold. I understand the British 'like' warm beer.....Not I, the colder the better. I have been an avid motorcycle rider. When the subject came up during conversations about older British motorcycles and their 'Lucas' lighting system, referred to as 'The Prince of Darkness', We always surmised that 'Lucas' built their refrigerators. North Padre Island can get warm. We have also been there when it got cold. The trip there is soon. The test will come of my additional fan..

In a previous blog or comment, I mentioned the family of turtles in the back yard. They are coming to the back door each day now as fall approaches, to fill up on catfood and papaya. The superworms are still their favorite, You know the ones people on fear factor eat. Maybe because we put papaya in with the superworms, they taste like papaya. Remember you are what you eat....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Kathy Brink's workshop

Now that the time is right for seeking re-employment in the career I have chosen lately, I called the casting directors to inform them of my availability for some 'background work. I am sure they were enthralled at the news that I have returned to 'Tamalewood". Now the waiting begins anew. In the meantime I called for a reservation to attend a workshop presented by the very attractive, famous and talented Casting Director, 'Kathy Brink'. At the workshop, we will be taught the basics in stage presentation. I will recieve a script two days before the workshop date. I will rehearse my part to the best of my abilities in that two days, which is a normal time frame for such work. We will then be placed in front of the camera to portray the individual we have rehearsed to be. At least that is the way I picture it happening, after my conversation with Kathy. I am taking this newfound career to the next level with this workshop. Sometimes we have to challenge ouselves to improve our mind and relieve our boredom...Oh yeah, like I'm bored.

The latest DIY in the Motorhome owners schedule, is to remove the bed frame lid, and line the machinery, (bedroom slideout), covered bottom with a Luan 1/4" thick panel covered with a light grade of felt. Now we have a place to store winter blankets and little used other light weight items. The lid was screwed in place but did have a piano hinge at the head end. Now the only items missing and to be installed, are the two 'Gas Struts' to assist in lifting the lid with the entire mattress and bedding in place. The next trip, to North Padre Island should be comfortable. I still would like to install Solar Collecters to maintain the 'coach' batteries during sunlight, so I do not have to run the generator as much. We park on a paved area at the North Padre Island National Seashore. There are no hookup facilities, so we must be totally self sufficient. Some people even park on the sand beach right at the seashore. We did that for two nights. The tide is slightly unpredictable, so the water, yearning for a taste of rubber, lapped at our tires. I preferred not to encounter that again, so we use the paved, elevated, area to preserve our coach for future trips. Preferable to letting the sea claim it as a prize to be photographed and shown on the front page of the Corpus Christi Newspaper. Emblazoned with the caption...Jackass...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Newest Grandaughter

Last night my youngest son called to inform me that we were the proud grandparents of another grandaughter. She weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and is the most beautiful latest grand child in the whole world (what else did you expect?) We now have five and they are all girls? Funny because all three of our kids are boys. They live in the midwest so she will have to learn how to dress warm in winter and cool in summer. She will have to learn about mosquitos. Her two year old sister was asked if she wanted to talk to the new baby. She said no, but do you want to hear 'me' whistle? I guess she is feeling as if her castle and servants are going to be shared now. Life will never be the same for her. Being an only child is like being in Paradise I guess.
The day was spent doing everything but what needs to be done. The new MH is slowly getting all of it's upgrades installed. The technician is slow and old, forgets where he puts things, bloodys his fingers, drops his tools, but does good work, and is real cheap. The reserve water expansion tank worked just as I expected, and only had a small fitting leak which I fixed quickly. (well, slowly) The alarm light is installed and the new Bilstein shock absorbers are ordered. Four days from now I will crawl around under the 'Belly of the Beast' (it really likes it) and wrench off the others (skinned knuckles?) and install the Bilsteins. Maybe the Beast will calm down to acceptable levels of great leaping bounds when it encounters wavvy sections of highway. The previous owner installed aftermarket airbags but that seems to make it a bit more bouncy. Bilsteins are the latest and greatest. (I hope) The internet is filled with good suggestions. (and bad) Phone calls to the dealers seem to help somewhat.
Yesterday we brought home a Pentax mini-digital-camera-video blah-blah-blah. My wife, who tries to read about and figure out anything, gave up on the user friendlyness of this little one. It goes back to the store tomorrow. The new Verizon phone was whipped by her in no time, one or two days. The camera? not so easily. Oh well we have not the time to watch life over again after we have lived it once. The cabinet is filled with old VHS and 8mm tapes we recorded years ago. No one seems to want to watch them.
'Well Duh! Soon the machine that is needed to view that stuff, will no longer exist. Just live life this time around and enjoy it to the fullest...AMEN.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lighthouses,Pacific Coast

I found a little known ACE Hardware store on Tramway just south of Paseo Del Norte,here in the great city of Albuquerque NM USA. The people are very helpful and found the little plumbing fittings that I needed for the motor home, water expansion tank, I am installing, to prevent the little electric pump from having a nervous breakdown from cycling off and on every time the water faucet is turned on and off. Did I mention the shower goes hot and cool in sync with the cycles. That 'sick puppy' will be 'well' soon now. When I find a business that gives good attention to it's customers, I tend to brag them 'up' to everyone.
Since our return from Oregon and Washington, I have been thinking about the numerous Lighthouses built there in the late 1800's. All of them are interesting in their own way, some stand out for the location. Tillamook Rock, two miles offshore, is one rough place for a lighthouse. After it was decomissioned, it picked up the name of 'Terrible Tillie' The waves crashed over the top of it from time to time, no small feat due to the top being over 150 feet above the ocean. Big 'Rogue' waves are out there sometimes.
Another one along the Oregon Coast at Winchester Bay, I found fascinating to watch, was 'Umpqua' river Lighthouse in the Umpqua park we stayed one night. The lens is a First Order Fresnell installed in 1894. The distinction is the beautiful octagon with red and white colors it beams out to sea and into the surrounding forest as it turns on it's Chariot Wheel base. First order Fresnel lenses are capable of being seen over 20 miles out at sea, if positioned above 150 feet high. Umpqua lighthouse tower is 65 feet tall and on a hilltop 100 feet above the ocean. This is a must see, if anywhere near at nightfall or before dawn. Fresnel (pronounced FRAY-NEL named after the man in France, that invented the system in the early part of the 1800's) lenses are built of hand crafted prisms (hundreds of 'em) and weigh in the neighborhood of 2 thousand pounds or more. Some of them floated on a bed of mercury, and could be turned with one finger. Some were as tall as 12 feet and you could easily stand inside to clean the hundreds of prisms. The focusing power of the prisms was such that allmost all (over 70 percent) of the light from the burning wicks, (five or more) was concentrated in the beams. The oil was various depending on supply. Coal oil, Kerosene, Whale oil were common. Huge supplys were kept on hand due to the remoteness of these engineering marvels. Remember, there were no roads to most of them and supplys were months away. A certain type of person was required to maintain the light, and at times, the 'monster fog horn' which was boiler steam driven. 'Tillie' had no less than five lightkeepers on station with one on 'shore leave' at all times. Isolation was the 'curse' or to some a 'blessing'. The 101 highway was built in the 1930's. that was a long time to be isolated from 1894. Shipping along the Oregon coast was primarily to serve the logging industry. The light houses were the savior for thousands of ships trying to find the harbors at night or in storms or both at the same time. 'Tillie is south of the dangerous Columbia river 'BAR', where the, 'out flowing' Columbia river, meets the incoming Pacific Ocean tide. Wild to say the least. A monster storm, and the stakes were unreal as to survival of the ships. Today is still not perfect, even with all of the modern ships and navigation aids in place. Astoria Oregon has one of the best maritime museums I have seen. Good presentation of the facts of life along the coast. Thank the Engineers of years past for the marvels they accomplished in civilizing our nation. We tend to take so much for granted do we not?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hwy 101 sights

"Crikey", I am thinking about Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter extradinaire. He did go out at the 'top of his Game' doing what he loved to do, as they say. We should all be so lucky. What a fantastic performer he was. I can't think of a replacement for him in the future.
Some performers are like that. The late great Glen Ford was one of them on screen as well as many others from the days of the 'Silver Screen'. Makes me want to watch old 'Fliks'.
Gasoline is still falling due to that old free market force of 'supply exceeding demand'. Friends just got back from Kansas and Oklahoma where they saw prices below 2.30 a gallon.
The Media always blamed someone when the prices were going up but they just can not give anyone credit when they start to come down.
Isn't that a common human trait? To admit that would discredit their 'All knowing' aura of the only source of true knowledge.
I did not call any casting offices today due to it being Saturday. Days seem to get blurred when traveling. Have you ever seen the clocks that have the day of the week instead of the hours and minutes? That is what I need from time to time.
One of the interesting things we watched on the coast of Oregon above Newport, was the performance put on by three guys on surfboards, being driven by big flying parasails, they controlled with two lines. Fast is putting it mildly. Endurance is necessary as well. Surfboarding takes skill. flying a parasail takes skill. Now combine them and do it for an hour endlessly out over a mile or so into the offshore fog, leaping through the waves and back in toward, but not touching, shore. Getting 'Big Air' over each curling wave crest.
Not all people are created equal. Some are definetly more 'equal' than others. Oh well maybe in another life.
The Harleys were running all up and down that 101 hiway along the coast. What a motorcycle drive to be enjoyed. 'Rice Burners' were also cruising the route, but not in the shear numbers as the 'all American' 'HOG'. They rode in groups of dozens or pairs or singles, They pulled tent trailers, had big pack racks or just carried only the neccesities.
There was something for everyones taste on that hiway.
A trip along the coast is recommended most surely. Don't rush it. Do it at a slow schedule, even if you have to do only a small part at a time. The 101 hiway is also a bicyclist's dream as well. I talked to a man in his forties that just decided to do it before he got 'too old', however 'old' that is.
A lot of people are from other countries, and have come a long distance for the experience of a lifetime. The little cafes along the route are a collage of nationalities. Some of the serious riders are dressed in the special clothing you will only see in magazines. Everything from Jeans to leathers to exotic new Kevlar padded racing suits. What a nation we own.
The world really loves to visit us and see all of the different mix of mountains, Oceans, Plains, swamps, forests, massive canyons, valleys, deserts, lakes, and whatever the earths fascinating, awe inspiring, features we are blessed with. The United States of America. We live in the greatest country the world has ever seen or known. Enjoy it while you can. Do not put it off until it's too late..

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nano Technology

Today The agenda was to fill the tank on the MH for the next trip to the south. Fuel is priced at 2.47 so not bad as gasoline goes today. I used a lot of soap to get the busted bugs off the big front end. Did you know that a type of bee harvests the dead carcasses of bugs that are smashed on the grill? They did not like me to wash them off. After cleaning, I had to give it a quick wax job with my favorite Eagle One Nanowax. It is a fast liquid spray in a dark blue bottle. It lasts as long as any other waxes I have used and is a lot easier and faster. Nano technology is not new but is just now being exploited. A Nano is the size of one billionth of a meter. Small particles go into the surface to give a great long lasting shine. Check out the website for the company.
The university in Euclair Wisconsin is setting up a special education facility for advanced education in Nanotechnology, I have heard. This could revolutionize medical procedures as well as many other future operations tomorrow.
Tomorrow by the way is when I intend to contact the casting offices to find a background acting part. I have missed the roll as Film Extra since being on the road for the last 5 weeks. I hope something is happening in ABQ that needs my character to be seen. Some of the other background people I work with have been busy. Now that is what Keeps us driven. I wish all of you well and hope you had a great holiday. Now 'Get back to work ye sluggards' or 'Twill be the Lash fer Ye', "Keel Haulin will be too good fer Ye'

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Port to Starboard

Well we finally made it back to ABQ NM. While we were away, the house outside faucet, leaked into the bedroom where rugs are not supposed to be wet. After working untill 12:30 Dark time, and sucking up a few gallons of water and turning on a fan to dry it fully, we are almost back to normal. I Changed the oil and filter and greased the new MH in preperation for the trip to North Padre Island later. Sounds like we like water doesn't it? The MH is getting a nautical decor. A ships wheel instead of a steering wheel, at least in appearance, a light house on the dash along with a Pelican on a post and big old brass telescope looking out over the ocean. I still need Port and Starboard running lights, is that legal? A bit of trivia...'Port' came from the left side of old Dutch freight carrying sail craft, pulling up to the dock (Port) with the left side because the right side had the rudder oar mounted there. It was called the 'Steer Board'. Saying that in Dutch and translated to English, sounded like 'Starboard'. How many people know that little fact? Isn't the internet fun?
Now the trip back from the 'Left' Coast was an adventure in mountain pass driving. I think we crossed at least 40 of them on the highway from Brookings Harbor Oregon, to Grand junction Colorado. That highway across Nevada and Utah

has the name of the 'Lonliest Highway in America'. We were happy to drive it one time because it is so awe inspiring. I cannot describe the panorama views using mere words. It has to be driven to be appreciated, but not more than once in a 35 foot MH. First gear was used a lot, up as well as down the 7,000 foot passes. The road from Grand Junction Colorado to Cortez Colorado is fascinating and has many historical sites including the water flume hanging on the wall of a canyon for the last hundred years. (and not to be driven again in the MH). The Colorado highway dept needs some lessons from other western states in highway maintance. The scenery is second to none on the entire trip across 4,000 miles of western USA. I woulld not trade our country for any other no matter what it's minor faults are magnified to be.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Newer MH

Well the 4,000 mile trip is over and we arrived back in ABQ all intact. The Wi-Fi proved less than totally reliable due to the number of souls using it at the same time in the marinas we camped at. Marina camping is is different than National and state park camping. The various classes of pleasure and commercial craft at the docks are my main reason, along with the characters I met there. When a desert rat such as myself gets to meet old 'Swabs', time flies. My other half was concerned about my hours long absence at times.
We did drive over to Junction City Oregon and bought a replacement Motorhome for the return trip. The newer one has many amenities to get used to. The higher torque engine and five speed Allison transmission along with the automatic 1500 Watt inverter are the most important from my perspective. Jack Lewis, and his crew are great at Guaranty RV sales. I highly recomend them for anyone buying a replacement travel home.
We returned to Newport Oregon to complete the trip. An interesting side trip to a bay north of Newport, showed us the fantastic antics of surfers using parasails for wind power. Fascinating show of endurance and control over those big kites pulling the surfers out to sea, jumping the waves with lots of 'air' beneath the surfboard and doing this repeatedly over a long time span.