Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Was up with my bride for coffee this morning, Rigg's was his usually Happy to be up with Mom & Dad self, "Oh boy, Oh boy it's Morning ,time to play, Oh Boy" Labs just are so wound up, of course that slows the coffee drinking pace down for me or I would spill most of it trying to give him his pets and hugs. I went down and turned the desktop computer on in my office, It's about a 4 year old Dell Dimension, oh no I got the dreaded blue screen, for those of you who haven't seen it, it says something to the effect that Windows XP has been shut down due to some problem, and if you added any new hardware to remove it, Blah, blah blah. Well I hadn't added any and once before I had this happen on my old computer and it was the kiss of death for the hard drive.
I went back up stairs trying to decide if I should make funeral arrangements for the computer and planning a trip to the computer store to see what would be cheaper, replacing the hard drive or the computer with a used one. I wanted to wait till we hit the road before investing in a brand new laptop for Donna.
I also fired the laptop up upstairs and while I was sulking I checked some blogs and debated sending a help e-mail to RICK in British Columbia. Although if he had a window facing the Midwest USA open he would have probably heard my grumbling and cussing.
I then busied myself with little things around the house till about 09:00am when I thought I would go down and try it again, nope still the same blue screen, so I figured why not nothing to lose I have an external backup drive I can get my perishable stuff off, so I decided to try and see if I could get it working. I took the Dell recovery disk out and put it in and turned it on and it found the dvd drive and I got a "hit any key to boot from cd" this took me to of all things a C:\ dos prompt. Remember those, I don't think I have seen one in ten years, but going back into the eighties when I worked for a short time part time for Computer City. I typed in CHKDSK sure enough it launched into a check of drive C:\ and found and corrected several errors. It also told me I had no bootcfg files. I typed in bootcfg /rebuild and I was amazed to see it adding files to rebuild my corrupted boot files. When it was done I shut it down and restarted it without the recovery cd in the dvd drive and it worked it's way to my desktop and I was back in the desktop business, I guess XP has backward technology because what I did is light years old.
I got an e-mail from Paul & Helen Tempesta, Jodie & Coco's  Dad & Mom, they have taken in a yellow Lab female named Sandy and nine 5 day old puppies from a Lab Rescue shelter to raise until they are old enough to find homes for them. What great folks, they did the same thing last year, by the way Jodie & Coco are both rescues and all are getting along fine. Thank God for people with their love of animals to open there home, let alone a lot of work so that these fine animals will have another chance in life,  Kudo's all around..Look at their site for pictures and the story of their new pups. Better yet I'll post a picture for you.DSC06493
                          Sandy, the proud Mom. Look at that light colored yellow pup trying to get to the first feeding position, that would be my first choice as a puppy.
I remember when I was in High School my Grandfather would say surround yourself with good people, people you would like to be like and who your parents would approve of. As I raised my boys I would tell them the same thing and Donna & I tried to choose friends in such a way, I remember her telling a friend to leave a party we were having because she wanted to smoke a joint, The reason I have brought this up is I have noticed that in the blogging family just about everyone we have met or corresponded with have turned out to be Good People, whether from the USA, Canada or Mexico, Blogging Rv'ers seem to go out of their way to help others and yes animals too. I am really happy to have such friends in my life. it's a tough act to follow but I hope I can live up to this description myself.
Ah, I saved money, and had a good day so far, so maybe I better not push my luck, all of you be safe out there, Sam & Donna...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Musings.

Boy the weekend seemed to slip past and all of a sudden it was 04:30am on a Monday morning and we were having coffee and Donna was getting ready for work, Yesterday afternoon I got a chance to take a picture of my first hummingbird at the feeder it was a green color, but I had the camera on the auto setting and it focused on the tree about 20 feet behind it and I got a nice in focus shot of a leaf, but the bird was badly out of focus, no amount of sharpen could save it in Picasso so now I will have to set up a tripod and manually focus on the feeder if I intend to get a good picture, he came by twice yesterday once in the morning and once in the afternoon, I have been told they leave for the winter in late September so I don't have a whole lot of time to try to get a nice shot.

We got our first rain in seven days this morning, just a nice slow rain, that will surely wake up the grass.

Here's a shot of Rigg's from yesterday after he got home from the doggie park, he was one whipped pup.


Just watching him made me tired so Mom & I got an hour nap. That's what Sunday's are for.

Since it was a rainy day and I didn't go anywhere or do anything, I sat at the computer and cataloged about 3000 train pictures I have swapped and downloaded since the first of the year, I always download into a newpics folder and then later sort them in to folders for separate railroads or other topics, like Museums, and Tourists Railroads. I was three hours before I finally got them done, now for a little while I will have a small newpics folder again. I save these on a separate hard drive so it doesn't clutter or slow down my desktop computer, and backup the picture hard drive with DVD's.

Not much going on in the bustling town of Dardenne Prairie, they started to pave the parking lot at the new City Hall, so maybe that is a sign of a better economy, it has sat for three years now, I can only hope since our property is in the new Dardenne Prairie Commercial Zone, so that dictates how easy it will be to sell, right now the project is stalled.

Guess that will be it for today the big decision now will be what to make for supper, I want to have a nice meal ready when Donna gets home from the truck company, Monday & Tuesday I cook and we have supper together, then for the rest of the week she is at the restaurant and I eat alone. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday/Sunday Notes.

Didn't get to post yesterday so it is Sunday morning, Donna got to sleep a couple hours later this morning and got up while I was downstairs on the computer when I came up she was mopping the kitchen floor, I decided I would go out before the days heat set in and putter on the trailer, I saw a mod for the screen door someplace awhile back where you could fashion an inside latch so you wouldn't have to to open the sliding door to  to unlatch the screen when the main door was open. Can't remember where I saw it but after forgetting to close the little plastic door in Iowa and getting a trailer full of flies that took all day to kill, I decided I would try this. Don't think it's patented if not I'm in trouble because I shamelessly stole the idea. It's really a cheap fix, as it requires one coat hanger and a pliers, to do, I used a broom handle to help make a round shape to the inside latch part.


            As seen from the inside of the door.


              As seen from outside the door.


A hole was drilled and the wire bent around the latch.


Inside latch, push down and the door unlatches.

Rigg's was happy to see his Mom bought him a new training collar, as he's still pulling hard when she tries to walk him, he is a hand full for me and I know he is way to strong yet for her, We are also going to take him to leash training.


Rigg's look what Mom has for you, a new collar.


Oh boy, oh boy Mom I'm so excited, a present for me.


MMMM, don't know if I'm going to like this present it's a lot different than my soft collar. But Dad said Jodie & Coco where them.

If Rigg's continues to be a good boy today, Mom & I will be taking him to the doggie park, and to Pet Smart to see if the collar is fitted right.

Before I forget, again, I want to mention the book Rick from Rick & Paulette's Rv Travels has put together about Picasso, Live Writer, Wi-Fi, and just about any other thing a blogger needs  help with in keeping your blog going smoothly, I know it's been mentioned before, but after reading it, I couldn't help but think of the hours of time and effort that went into it and how Rick unselfishly offered it to all of us for free, when he could be giving for profit seminars on those very subjects. I for one copied into a book form and it will travel wherever I am posting blog's. Thanks again Rick..


            The Blogger's unofficial Bible.

We were off to the doggie park, of course the minute Rigg's was off his leash he headed for the lake and a good swim.


     Rigg's takes the lead in a race tor the toy.


Victory is his as he brings his toy back to Mom for another go.

The energy these dogs expend is amazing, Rigg's is by far the fastest and hardest swimmer of all the Lab's and Retriever's  that we have come in contact with at the doggie park. You can watch his muscles churn and he literally leaps forward with each stroke. Hopefully we will have a couple more months before the weather and the water get to cold for his swimming. Although Jody & Coco were swimming in ice water in Alaska, so we will have to see what his limits are.

That's about it for today, now that we are home it is warming up and we will relax in the air conditioning for awhile. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Up and at em at 04:30am, coffee with my lovely bride, and then when she left for work I heard those words that strike fear in a man's heart. "Honey don't forget to take the dumpster down, it's Friday." So as my pretty wife was starting her car I was hiking down 300 feet of driveway with a dumpster in my wake, only to have her smile and say "Thanks' Hon" as she pulled out of the driveway. Makes it all worth it. When I got back up to the house I noticed a full moon and right below it was Mar's, this will be the last time you will be able to see Mar's and the moon together with the naked eye until the year 2287, since in dog years I'm dead already, I  figured the chances of me seeing it again are way past zero so I ran in and got the camera.


Mars is just below and to the left of the moon, it is 05:30AM in Dardenne Prairie MO.


Same shot at 07:00AM, Mars is not visible now.

After much thinking about where to put my sewer hose holder, I decided on the rear bumper location, only because I didn't know if any extra weight would be bad for the present PVC pipes under the trailer, I knew the bumper was more than sturdy enough top support the pipe.


               The finished mod project.

Usually in the morning when I am pouring my coffee and after Rigg's has had his good morning hugs and pets, he will go to the back door and want out, as likely as not there will be a rabbit to chase in the back yard so he is anxious to get out. Ever since our first son was a youngster  and discovered monsters, we have had a succession of police dogs and labs and other large dogs over the years to keep down the monsters. We have always had the normal basement monsters, closet monsters, & attic monsters of all descriptions that go with most houses. To this day if the dog is out I will say he is on monster patrol, and I must say that for over 30 years they have kept our property monster free, except for one unfortunate possum that my police dog Heidi dispatched after it wandered into our yard. Funny how even now Adam will put Rigg's out and say he's on monster patrol. Dog's are just great, look at the entertainment value alone. Not to mention, companionship and love and loyalty.

Just got back from a trip to the grocery store, whew what a way to spend money, How many of you can remember when for $20 you could get your weeks store order, now it's two items to make one decent meal for the family.

Anyway that's about it for today Tomorrow Donna will be off from the truck company so she can sleep in probably until 06:00am which is late in the morning around here. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Another beautiful day started at 04:30am with coffee with Donna, then off she went to work, Andy has been laid off due to no work this week, so he is home. I decided on a couple of small projects, one a mod to the pickup, I wanted to put a 12 volt outlet in the back where the trailer plug is so I can plug my 12 volt compressor in when I want to fill water toys and mattresses when the kids tent camp with us. it also come in handy when video taping trains I can run the camcorder off the 12 volt adapter and not use battery power.  The other  project I have been thinking of is I had a six foot length of PVC pipe in the garage and I noticed the bumper square in the back of the trailer is getting rust inside from the sewer pipe and the sewer hose is getting harder to get in and out and it look like there is a pinhole in it from pulling it so hard. I decided to make a hose carrier out of the PVC pipe so this morning I went to Lowes and got a cap for one end and a clean out threaded plug and female adapter for the other. I then made I box to hole the pipe in while I painted it and I am going to attach it to the bumper square with two long hose clamps. The inside of the PVC is larger than the square bumper and wont rust, so this should solve my problem.


12 volt socket, I ran an FM Antenna Cable with a BNC connector for my scanner so I can plug the scanner in back here also.


              New Sewer pipe holder after painting.

I may have to wait until tomorrow to mount the pipe on the trailer as I want the paint to be completely dry so I will post a picture of the completed mod when it is done.

 Rod from Retired Rod left me a comment yesterday about a photo I posted of a jet that later crashed and we rescued the pilot from the ocean. He said that that fellow probably remembered me and was curious about if he was still with us living souls, and how many of his future family members were here because of that. I have always been embarrassed when I talk about things like that because truthfully maybe to some it sounds like heroic actions, but the truth it we were young and highly trained to do that job and it was just a great job for a young guy to have, it was like waiting to go to bat in baseball and hoping for a home run. nobody hoped the other guy would crash but you always knew that that might happen and like I said it was just an exciting job and also scary a lot of times. It was the same in my career in Law enforcement many many boring days separated by moments of sheer fear and adrenaline when something did happen, and thank God most of the time your training and practice carried you through. I must say I have always believed that each and every one of us has been placed on this earth and life with a purpose by God. Who knows what it is, in my life I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in many situations where a life threatening situation turned out great and the person/s survived to fight or live another day. I would be less than honest if I said I didn't have a good feeling of a job well done when I was finished with those things. I really have been curious to know what my purpose was or is, but we all know that is something only God knows and maybe he will share it with us in the hereafter. Thanks Rod for making me think again and maybe someday I will find out the answer to you question, who knows that LCDR may be a retired Rv'r someplace.

The more I sit here and think about the sewer hose mod, I am thinking maybe I could mount it to the pvc drain pipes on the side of the trailer where the dump valves are located, I could use the same clamps and then all the pipes would be in one place. Anybody got any idea's.

Well that's about the limit for this brain for now,I have to think about dinner for one tonight, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Happening's

Got up just as Donna was pulling out of the driveway for work, so I had to have coffee alone. We had a great dinner last night at a nearby Restaurant called Noll's, Donna got an order of Spedini for an appetizer, and then a Three Cheese Pasta dish, I ordered a Pepperoni with extra cheese Pizza, That way I have a guaranteed lunch for tomorrow. the food was great and we both came home with full tummies.

Went down to the computer and noticed I have I have three new followers, I want to give a warm welcome to Margie & Roger who I have been reading for a while and are like old friends. Karen from Country Living in Georgia. And Pidge from The Frugal Travelers. It looks like Karen was my 50th follower boy time has a way of roaring by, I can remember my first blog in Feb. and wondering if anyone was going to read about such as boring life as we lead. But hang in there, there will be adventures to come I am sure, between Rigg's and our grandson Adam something will pop up at anytime.

Today I will make a trip to the Train store, and pick up some fuel for John Deere on the way back and go over the grass again, it hasn't grown much in a week so it should be an easy 2 acres this afternoon, they are saying sunny weather in the middle 80's and lower humidity for another 5 days so I can live with that.

Just got back from the train store, Mark Twain Hobby in St Charles they had 3 new magazines for me, so I will have some reading for a couple of nights, also stopped at Dirt Cheap and got a bottle of Annisette for the camper, nothing like a little octane booster in your coffee when you camping.

Going out in few minutes to jump on John Deere to spend a couple pleasant hours mowing, it is cooler now so I don't mind it and there's always cold water in the fridge.

Hey I just noticed no pictures today how about some Navy stuff, here's a couple of my favorites.




LCDR Mitchell had to eject from this Photo RF-8 not long after this was taken and we picked him up safely from the ocean, enjoyed having a drink with him after the rescue mission.

Gosh it was great to be young and without fear, to bad you can't keep going like that forever. But we all at some point have to accept the fact that we are ageing and slowing down. Now that I have a Grandson I watch his face when he sees these pictures and the wonder in his eyes when he realizes what fun grandpa had as a young man. Although I secretly hope he will not be called to follow in my footsteps. Hey you'all be safe out there, pardner, how's that for southern style, maybe even south Canadian. Sam & Donna.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts.

Well today's the big day of the week here in Dardenne Prairie, It's my brides Birthday. We will be celebrating by going out to dinner tonight when she gets home from the truck company.
Donna's Mugshot 
Donna, The Birthday Girl, your getting better, not older.
I am sitting here at the computer and I noticed my Follower's list has grown, I hope I am not missing anyone, so I want to welcome.  Gail & TC , Pepper, who I don't know if she has a blog,  B.W. & Carol,The Ash Family I can tell you that life here in the bustling Dardenne Prairie area of MO. can get boring at times, but I will keep everyone up on what's going on with family and friend's and with our travels in our rig. Maybe we will get this house sold and be on the road soon. Thanks again for my new followers for taking an interest we what going on here, between Rigg's and the Grandson there is usually something of interest to choose from.
Today is an especially nice sunny day with temps in the middle 80's and low humidity, it's supposed to be like that for the next 5 days, just what we needed a break from the high temp, high humidity that has hung around here for the last month.
I have been tinkering with the font settings in an attempt to get something that will be easier on the eyes for some of our readers. I for one don't like to have to look at smaller print and then when your done you have tired eyes or even a headache. Let us know if it is an improvement over the old or worse..
Heard from my Sister Wendy in PA. she is looking at about the 19th of October now for her surgery, so I will have to be up there about the 15th , she needs to have a hospital type bed picked up and moved into the house before she reruns home from the hospital.
To bad Adam is in school because this weather would be perfect for another trip in the trailer, isn't that awful I just got back from a great weekend at the Lake and I am already itching to hitch up and go already.
Well that's about it for today , everyone be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings

Well yesterday was a repeat of Saturday ,Adam I I got the trailer all packed and stowed, and put his bicycle in the back of the truck and then we headed for the Lake. We got to the beach about 11:00AM  that's before the pool opens and the clubhouse open at 12noon, I told Adam we would leave from the beach at 03:00pm so I could get him home to Warrenton before supper, and then I would come back out to the Lake and pick the trailer up in the morning. We spent most of the time in the water at the beach, it was a sunny day in the high 80's a perfect weekend at the Lake.


         Got there before the Patrol boats went out.


Adam was one of the first swimmers for the day at the beach

Today started fine Donna was off to the truck company, and I caught up on some blogs. Then about 10:00AM I went out and hooked up the trailer and did all my final checks, drove it over to the dump station, was able to flush the tanks really good as no one was waiting in line and then I headed home, By 12:30pm I had the trailer back on the pad and back on it's life support ready for it's next mission. I will have to decide what to make for supper tonight, Tomorrow is Donna's birthday and I am going to take her out for a birthday dinner.

I just decided I have some leftover Lasagna frozen so that is what supper will be tonight, Donna has to stop and renew her drivers license on the way home so I won't know exactly when to have dinner ready so this way I can thaw it and then finish it in the micro. What a deal.. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Notes

Got up to a bit of fog and 72 degrees at the campground, the forecast for today is hot & humid, just like yesterday, Adam & I spent from noon to 5:00PM at the beach and pool yesterday, the water was warm and great we both had our fill of swimming.

Adamlakesherwood08-20-10fg                Adam climbing the ladder onto the raft.



Later this morning we will go back to the beach for the day and then I will have to take Adam back to Warrenton MO. to his Mom’s house so he can be back in school for the week.

What a great way to spend a weekend, to bad Donna had to work , but she isn’t the water rat’s that Adam & Grandpa are. I know Rigg’s would have enjoyed swimming if it weren’t for the no dog’s at the beach rule here.

With the limited time I had to spend at the office to get my mail & post an entry in the blog I haven’t had the time to read any other blog’s or post any comments, I will try to catch up a little on Monday, it tough when your trying to have to much fun.

Here are three shots I took through a dirty window from the dinette in the trailer of Adam at the campground play ground, I used the zoom at 88mm which is about the limit of the optical zoom and then went into the digital zoom for the last one, this Canon never cease’s to amaze me with what you can do off the tripod.




This playground is about 100 yards from where the trailer is parked, makes you kind of feel like a sniper.

I better wrap this up for today, so I can get up and post it, Hope everyone can enjoy their day as much as we are. Life is good. Be Safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday at the Lake

Adam played with his friend’s last night, just after we got to the campground it started to thunder & lightening, no rain but it looked dark in the distance, so that ended our thought’s of going for a swim at the lake. It pretty much stayed that way with off & on rumbles till dark.

Adam found a path behind the trailer and said he was going to see what it looked like, I knew it went for a couple hundred yards through the woods to a large expanse of prairie land. So I told him to take his radio and a play gun and sword, just in case he saw any bears.

He went in the wood’s and about 5 minutes later came charging back like he was on fire, yelling Grandpa I saw a bear, Couldn’t find any sign of it myself, but it was an adventure for him.

Adamlakesherwood08-20-10b             Adam getting outfitted for his trail hike.

Adamlakesherwood08-20-10a                              Heading into the trail.

Having an adventure makes a guy hungry so Adam asked for some Mozzarella Sticks for his supper, Grandpa fired up the oven and baked some for him.

Samakesherwood08-20-10a                       Adam’s cheese sticks.

Last night about 09:00pm just as I was getting ready to light a campfire, the thunder started up and really fierce lightening so I called Adam to come in on the radio and put the awning up. just as I was finishing the wind kicked up and the rain came in buckets and so we went to bed about 10:00pm to the sound of rain on the trailer roof.

This morning Grandpa baked some biscuits for breakfast, one of Adam’s favorites is hot biscuits fresh from the oven.


He then went over to his friend’s campfire and the playground for awhile since it was cloudy, the sun is supposed come out and have temperature's in the ninety’s but tonight the humidity will drop and tomorrow is supposed to be another nice day. Hopefully tonight will stay dry and we will have our campfire.

Adamlakesherwood08-20-10e                         Campground playground.

Around noon we will head up to the office and then to the beach for an afternoon of water fun.

That’s about it for now, be safe out there, Sam & Donna..

Friday, August 20, 2010


Got a great night sleep in the campground and woke up and made a pot of coffee, just sat and watched the sun come up, 2 more campers showed up early this morning and then will have their kids here after school so Adam will have some other kids to play with.Took a ride down by the dam on the main lake, here is a couple of views.


                   Left side (face) of the dam.


Right side (Lake side) of dam,water is about 70 feet deep here.

Also the bluffs on the left of the dam are where a gang of Turkey Vultures roost and watch for food.


Turkey VultureLake Sherwood08-20-10a

Not much on looks but they have about a 5 foot wingspan.

Also got a group of Mallards out for a morning paddle,


Mom Doe and her two spring babies were by the side of the road but she turned as I brought the camera up, oh well..


This is a different view of the campsite I am in I was having my coffee this morning and took this as the sun was coming up.


Got a question for Rick or maybe someone else out there using Live Writer, is there a way to change the default Font, on mine it keeps changing back to what the original was. in order to keep a bigger typeface I have to keep resetting it.

I guess I will head to the office to use Lake Sherwood’s wi-fi and check my mail and post this, the this afternoon I will get Adam from school and we will head back for a un filled weekend.Keep you posted. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Thoughts.

Up at the usual 04:30am, had coffee with Donna and then went down to my office to catch up on blogs, I decided since we are supposed to have a sunny weekend with a chance for isolated showers on Saturday, I would take the trailer to the Lake this morning and have a good chance at one of my favorite spots at the campground, so since it has all but a few food items already stocked at 08:00am I hitched up and after a short stop at Shop & Save to get soda & beer and donuts for Adam, I headed to the Lake Sherwood, When I got there one of the guys I hired when I was Chief was working the desk, Ed filled me in on what was new, and said far as he knew the campground was still empty from last weekend. I paid my fee and went on in and low and behold I had my choice of any spot as I was the first one there.

LakeSherwood08-19-10f                              Empty Camp sites.

I decided on a back-in at the corner in spot 16 in the rear right next to where I stayed in May for Memorial Day Weekend, This is my favorite spot but was already taken in May so then I stayed in spot 15, I like it because of the shade and the fire ring is right next to the rear corner of the sight, farther up the road there are pull, thru’s spots 1-6 and when I worked here I would always stay in spot 3 because it was right in the middle of the campground.

LakeSherwood08-19-10a                                            Spot 16

When I was leaving I noticed water dripping from under the front of the trailer where the hoses connect to outside water, When I opened up the storage door on that side I noticed it was wet and that a pex fitting had come loose running from where the outside water hose connection comes in and tees into the water lines. I cut the end off of it and refit it and tightened the pex fitting and connected it and there were no leaks. Good thing I had noticed it before connecting to the hydrant or I would have filled the compartment with water. As it is I opened the other side and put a fan inside and within an hour it was dry inside, I will let it run all day just to be safe.

I just realized I forgot Adam’s bike and so I will be heading back to the house to pick it up, Having a 9 years old almost(2 weeks till his birthday) without a bike is probably against some law. I will be picking up the new third grader tomorrow at 3:30pm when he gets out of school and then heading back to the Lake with him, Tonight and tomorrow it will be Grandpa’s time alone.

That’s about it for now, be safe out there. Sam & Donna…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Happening's.

Another slow news day in Dardenne Prairie MO. Up early had coffee with my bride, and then she was off to work at 05:30am ,since it's Wednesday she will go to the restaurant tonight and I will prepare a dinner for one. Rigg's doesn't get people food. Donna sent an e-mail from work and said her car is running smooth so maybe replacing those sensor's fixed it. I liked it better before all this electronic this and that when you could be a motor head and actually great greasy and fix a car, now it takes special code reader's and computers to tell the tech, ( not mechanic's anymore). What has to be fixed. That is mostly a change this sensor or that until you hit on the right one. Anyway I am hoping this will be it for awhile. This morning I took my good truck to Valvoline for an oil change and grease job. Found out that they have to get Rottella (the oil diesel engines use) from the parts store since they are not stocking it anymore. They used to have it in stock. Whenever I don't change my own oil I would take it there, but since Rottella is made by Shell and is not a Valvoline oil they stopped stocking it. I told them that Rottella was the only oil I ever put in the truck since I bought it and I didn't want to change now, and the manager said If you can wait 15 minutes I can get a couple Gallons for you, I told him better get 3 since the truck holds 11 quarts. so they pulled it in and did the grease job and by that time he was back and they finished the oil and filter change. Of course it is two dollars a quart extra for the diesel 4x4 so I ended up with a $68 oil change, still not bad for not having to crawl under and grease 11 fittings and check two differentials and a transfer case. I think with a regular car it's  about $30 and they only take 4-5 quarts of oil and have about 4 grease fittings if any. Plus whatever the oil filter costs.

When I got done with the truck I had it washed and then went to Shop & Save for some groceries. Then home for the rest of the day.

I found out that my sister Wendy is going to have to have surgery on her foot in the beginning of Oct, she is about 10 years younger than me and lives in PA. in my Mom's old house, it was made into a duplex and when my brother Rick was alive he lived in the other side with his daughter Barbara. Anyway her doctor said she will have to be completely off her feet and will need help for the first 3 to 4 weeks after she has the surgery. They wanted her to go into a nursing home or assisted care facility, but her insurance doesn't cover it. So Donna told her I am retired and I can go up to PA. and help her until she is literally back on her feet. I would have volunteered, but Donna beat me to it and told her I would be available, so it looks like a month or so in PA. is in my future, Just as the cold weather will be starting up there, I hope I can be home before any snow flies. I do love my sister and I will do anything I can to make her comfortable and I know she truly wants to be in her own home. Boy is Rigg's going to hate that his Daddy is away for that long.

I can still hope for maybe a week or two in Fla. this winter when this is over. Anyway that's the news for today. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts.

The day started normal, had coffee with Donna, and she left for the truck company at 05:30am, about 10 minutes later she came back in the door, I said what did you forget, she said nothing, the car started to act up again, the check engine light is back on and it's running rough. Naturally I was thrilled so I said take the truck and I 'll take it back and see what the code reader says. At 08:00am I was waiting for my buddy Terry to open Auto Zone and he put the code reader on and it was the same code as yesterday, It lists several cause, one was the mass air flow sensor, the other was the throttle positioning sensor, since the TPS was $28 dollars and the MAFS was $121 dollars, I elected to change the cheaper one first. I put it on and then drove it about 20 miles and it ran smooth and no light. Good I thought. My son Andy asked to use it to go to his bosses house so I told him to let me know how it ran for him, he came back and said it ran fine but the light was back on,. so he took it back to have the code read, same code, so I told him to go ahead and put the MAF sensor on as I wanted it to be fixed perfect for Donna. He came back and said the car was running fine. so we will see if it makes the trip to St Louis tomorrow.

It has been a cloudy but warm day at about 80 but i decided that it would be better than in the 90's so I got John Deere out at about noon and cut the grass, it wasn't bad and there was a little breeze, in fact I thought a couple times I felt raindrops but nothing fell to speak of, It looked better this time as it hadn't rained during the week I was gone and the hot weather had slowed down the growth so this time it mulched up pretty good.

Hard to believe tomorrow school starts for Adam, I told him I would pick him up after school Friday and we would camp at the Lake this weekend, that way he will have at least one more summer swimming weekend before the season is over. I will probably leave the trailer home over Labor Day weekend.

Not much else going on. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Musing's

Slept great in my own bed last night, got up at 05:30 am just missing donna leaving for work. I had a coffee and a piece of Gooey Butter cake, Then went down on the computer. While I was in Iowa, Donna had sent me an E-mail saying that the check engine light came on on her Escape. That happened about three weeks ago and I took it to the Auto Zone and my friend Terry put the code reader on it and said it read #5 cylinder miss fire, he suggested replacing the sparkplug and then if that didn't fix it the next step would be replacing the spark plug wire, the Escapes don't have spark plug wires as the coil pack for each cylinder sits on top of the spark plug, yep six cylinders , six coil packs. Remember when a car had one coil for eight cylinders. Anyway it stayed off after I changed the plug so I thought fixed. This morning at 08:00am I went to Auto Zone and Terry put the reader on it again, this time the code said mass air flow sensor error. Terry asked if I had cleaned and oiled the K&N air filter lately and I said yeah right before I came over the last time about a month ago. He said a lot of those sensors don't like the oil you put on the filters after you clean them and it trips the code. So we took the sensor off and cleaned it in parts cleaner and then blow dried with air, I then put a regular air filter element in. Fired it up and within a few minutes the fault cleared and the light went out. Total cost $8.99 for the air filter, which is a lot less than $69.00 I thought I was going to have to spend on a coil pack.

Got home and decided to put the lettering I ordered on the back window of the trailer. Awhile back I saw a picture of Al of  THE BAYFIELD  BUNCH's motor home and he had a sign on the back that had his website on it. I thought it was a novel idea, and asked him where he got it. Al has a son in law in the sign business, but since I am 900 miles away, I put it on the back burner. Last week when I went to the Hobby Shop I saw a place that does signs and stopped and talked to the girl in the office she showed me how they make stick on vinyl lettering that is reflectorized and easy to put on, it comes on a hard paper and you line it up and then tape it in place with masking tape and then lift the bottom edge and peel the paper covering off the letters and it installs itself all spaced and in line. I told her what I wanted and she said there is a minimum charge of $35 dollars but that would cover the cost of what I wanted plus she would mail it to the house. So while I was in Iowa the envelope came to the house.


                 Here is the result.

The sun was shining from the right and I didn't have much room behind the trailer to maneuver but you can get the idea.

Waiting for Donna to get home from work been a pretty day around here and tomorrow I have a date with John Deere, I hope it is cool in the morning. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday headed for home.

I am up at 05:30am just poured my coffee, and I decided to start a post before I start my preparations for departure for home, I want to flush my fresh water tank one more time, I did it when we came back from Ohio, so far this trip I have no odor,but I installed a valve to make it easy to empty the fresh water tank so I will empty it and flush it out again.

Judy with Travels with Emma had a question about my Dinette table, she asked if I had a jukebox on it. Well yes in a way. I found an old replica of the juke box that used to be in the booth’s at almost all Diner’s years ago. It is in reality an FM-Cassette player, but it looks exactly like those found above. Several years back Donna & I went to the St Louis Union Station, which had been converted to a shopping mall. There was a Nostalgia Shop going out of business and I saw that Juke Box replica and had to have it for the dinette, got a good deal on it since they were marked down.

Dinette09-14-10a Do you find yourself leaving notes to yourself on the frig. Since the frig isn’t metal I put some magnetic clips over the stove.

Note for today08-14-10a

Also I think most of the ladies worst fears are what the trailer will look like after 5 days of the man of the house batching it, so I decided to show what it looks like before I bring it home, and yes I scrubbed the bathroom…



Also while I was at the Burlinton IA Depot yesterday I saw a neat poster that reminded me of Jodie, Rigg’s Yellow Lab girlfriend from FLA. Aren’t Lab’s so intelligent looking, Hey Paul show this to Jodie. She sure would make a pretty cop.


Here is another shot of the Southwest Chief, Amtrak’s version of the old Super Chief, I shot it hand held at 100mm telephoto across the bean field behind the trailer, can’t believe how sharp it is.


SouthwestChief08-14-10d u

The train had about 9 cars but was traveling at the prescribed 79 mph so you get the front two and the back two. Seems like the distance magnifies the speed as this train was only in the viewfinder for second’s. What do you think AL?

Had a nice trip home a sunny drive and arrived at the house about noon, put the trailer on it’s pad and back on life support. Then went in to a rousing welcome from Rigg’s, He sure missed his Dad, As I finish this up he is pressing against me in the chair vying for attention. Had a great week. Be safe out there. Sam& Donna…