Friday, February 12, 2016

The slow lane......

Considering the heatwave we are currently experiencing TLE and I decided to take an early 'out and back' walk, and then stop off at Simple Simon's for pastry and coffee on the way home.  Essentially, our 'out and back' walk takes us along Mission Inn Ave. all the way to the Mt. Rubidoux Road bridge and is just over 3 miles. 

We left the coach just before 0830.....normally it would have been way too cold at that time of day for just shorts and a t-shirt, but that is exactly what we were wearing as we set out on our trek.  The first couple of blocks we were sheltered from the morning sun by the shade trees along the street, but as soon as we crossed under the 91 FWY bridge we were in the sun, and it warmed up quickly.  We made our turn around just after 0900 and were back to Simple Simon's by 0915.  TLE ordered a croissant to go with her coffee and I a bagel with cream cheese.......sitting outside with the sound classical music wafting up and down the mall over the outdoor speakers enjoying the early morning air is always special for us, and we lingered over our coffee until after 1000 hours before finishing our walk home.

I spent a little more time sorting through items from the trailer, and disposing of a few more things.  I took a picture of our two beach chairs, which we love, but have only actually used once in the last 4 years......

.......and sent the picture to one of my daughters whom I believed would want them and got a quick message back that she they have found a new home where hopefully they will be used!

Around 1330 I drove up to my son Chris' office in Rancho Cucamonga to pick up my mail which included most of the documents I need to file my taxes for 2015.....only TLE's W-2 from Tahoe Valley Campground was missing, and we were able to download that from the ADP website, so now I can get our taxes filed.  I hadn't had a chance to discuss the Super Bowl with my son, so we talked for quite a while about the game......he was for the Broncos, too.

The rest of the afternoon we spent outside reading and just enjoying the balmy February is good!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Living without moving

Whenever we sit in one place for an extended period of time one day begins to blend into another and writing about the same thing day after day gets a little boring for me, and I would suspect for my readers.  So the challenge becomes to find something to write about that is interesting, and I am completely stumped at what about Wednesday was interesting, or even informative......

Hmmmmm.....well we knew it was going to be hot Wednesday, and if I was going to ride my bike I had better do it early, so around 1030 hours I headed out on my bike to pick up the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) headed north 11 miles to Waterman Ave. in San Bernardino.  This time I was not riding into a headwind......there was no wind in any direction.  I arrived at the turnaround in just over 50 minutes having averaged about 13 mph for the first 11 miles.  I decided not to ride the additional 1.5 miles over to the Subway, and instead stop at the Starbucks about .7 miles from 'home' for a mocha frappuccino and then home.  In all I covered 22 miles in just 95 minutes, averaging 14 miles per hour for the ride burning some 1368 calories.  I can feel my conditioning slowly returning with each ride I take.

And that was the essence of Wednesday.......TLE and I spent the afternoon outside under the patio awning reading, and napping.  Oh, just one more thing......I recently ordered a new control board for my Suburban Gas Heater from 'Dinosaur Boards' and it arrived Wednesday, so now it is just a matter of pulling the malfunctioning heater out, installing the new control board, and then reinstalling the heater.  The hard part will be pulling that heater out of its cubby hole under the kitchen counter where it has been for almost 34 years.....stay tuned for that adventure!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

For Sale......

I tell people all the time that there are Newell Classics out there like mine at pretty good prices right now.  On our 'users group' website ( we have a section (Coaches for Sale) where Newells for sale of all vintages are listed.  Following are just three recent examples of Newell Classics for sale around the country at very affordable prices......

1986 Newell - wide body - $23,900 (Kerrville, TX)

1984 Newell Classic - $35,000 - Elkton, Delaware

1984 Newell Classic  - $22,000 - Morristown, TN

......of course, it goes without saying that if you are interested in any diesel pusher, Newell, or otherwise, you should have samples of their fluids taken from the crankcase (oil), transmission, and radiator and sent to a lab for testing to verify the condition of these very expensive components before committing to buy.  You would need to have someone qualified do a survey of the coach in which you are interested to be sure all the other systems are in good working order.  Tires almost always have 'aged out' and will probably need to be replaced right off the bat and that could run you $3-4,000 easily for 6 tires.  A good price is only a good price if the coach is sound to begin don't want to spend $24,000 to buy a coach, and then a few months later close to $30,000 replacing, or rebuilding the engine, or $10,000 replacing, or rebuilding the transmission.

Obviously these three Newell Classic examples are 30-32 years old, and not all diesel pushers of this vintage will still be in as good as condition as they are, but that is the magic that Newell is.  These vintage Newells have no slideouts, and many of the bells and whistles available on late model coaches are not to be found.  Compared to late model coaches these vintage Newells are remarkably low tech, which is why I love my 1982 Newell.....I can work on everything myself.  If being able to work on your coach is a high priority, and you have a limited budget, then a vintage Newell may be for you.

On another front, the 'trailer purge' continued with gusto.......I set up a table outside the trailer and began to fill it with stuff out of the trailer that was not being used.....what you see below is not all of it, but you get the idea.

When I was at our property in Ontario the other day I noticed my son Tim's mountain bike (Giant full suspension) was sitting on the floor of the garage with the front wheel removed, both tires flat, and the disc brakes not functioning.  I had purchased this bike at Mammoth Mountain at the end of their rental season, and then modified it for my son adding a better suspension fork, disc brakes, etc.  At any rate I called Tim and asked him what was wrong with the bike and he listed off several things that needed attention, so I took it home with me to begin to fix.  It was obvious the hydraulic disc brakes needed to be bled and have new brake fluid added, so I ordered a universal disc brake bleed kit off eBay.  That bleed kit arrived Tuesday afternoon so I decided to get busy working on his bike.......

.....I re-inflated the tires, adjusted the rear derailleur shifting, adjusted the threadless stem which had some 'slop' in it (loose), and then bled and recharged the hydraulic disc brakes.

Universal hydraulic disc brake bleed kit

On the weather side, it was HOT Tuesday.....probably close to 90 degrees, and the forecast for Wednesday is even hotter.  We had all the windows open and had the 'attic fan' going full blast all day....we managed to avoid turning on the A/C, but it was close.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"On a clear day......"

 For the next 8 days the temperatures will be in the mid to high 80's here in Riverside due to a high pressure ridge that is settling over SoCal.  One of the pleasant side effects of a high pressure ridge are days so clear it seems you can see forever......especially from the top of Mt. Rubidoux, and that is where I headed for my daily bike ride on Tuesday...... all I covered just over 11 miles on my ride, and along my route back home was a Starbucks so I decided on the spur of the moment to stop off for a salad, and a grande coffee before continuing home where I went on to do my exercises (pushups, situps, stretching, etc.). Is that all I did Tuesday?  Of course not, but it seemed like the thing to lead with today.

Before the preceding happened TLE headed over to Sharon's apartment to take her and Brayden to a pediatrician appointment, and then take care of the baby while she took a nap.  While TLE was gone I first spent time in the trailer making decisions about things which need to go to new homes, or be discarded, as well as finding places to store a few tools I brought home from our house.  That process will be ongoing for the next few weeks, but it is time now after 4 years to re-evaluate each thing we carry with us, and whether it continues to be necessary enough to our nomadic lifestyle to occupy limited, valuable storage space.

All this time I had the trailer TV on ESPN watching/listening to one Super Bowl 50 post mortem show after another all day long, and then around 1800 tuned into the NFL channel (DirecTV channel 212) to watch a replay of the actual game......the replay version cuts out all the wasted time in between plays,  and makes it possible to watch the entire game in less than 2 hours.....pretty cool.

All in all it was a laid back kind of day.....thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Da Super Bowl!!

It should come as no surprise that today's daily blog entry will be almost entirely about Super Bowl 50, and further it should come as no surprise that I would be rooting for the Denver Broncos to win, and even more specifically, for Peyton Manning to win his second Super Bowl ring, and possibly his final game as a professional football quarterback.

Realistically, on paper, everything favored the Carolina Panthers to not only win, but win BIG.  On paper it seemed that the Denver Broncos, while having the #1 defense this past season, just didn't have enough offense to win, let alone to make the game competitive.  In the back of my mind I knew a victory was possible, but not probable, but I stuck with my pick nonetheless.  As I watched sports shows day by day virtually all the 'talking heads' predicted a victory by the Panthers, and I became less sure of my pick.  Even yesterday (Super Bowl Sunday) I tried not to think of the game........I told TLE that I wanted the Broncos to win, but short of that I just wanted the game to be close until the end......I didn't want to see Peyton humiliated again.

 Defensive touchdown by Denver after a fumble by Cam Newton

Forced fumble which leads to Denver's final touchdown

 Final touchdown by Denver to seal the deal

What unfolded in front of our eyes.....yes, TLE is also a Peyton Manning fan......was almost surreal......the Denver defense just stifled the Carolina offense.  They completely threw Cam Newton off his game, and ultimately he reverted to behavior we saw in his first few years in the league which continued into the post game interview where he embarrassed himself and the organization he represents...... father used to say to me....."Clarke, it takes a thousand positive acts to build a good reputation, and just one negative act to tear it down".......Cam Newton had done a lot this year to rehabilitate his image, but when the chips were down, and he lost, his true character was revealed in his pouty, angry, self absorbed 3.5 minute post game Q & A.

At any rate, while Peyton had a horrible game statistically, and the Denver offense generated less than 200 yards in total offense, they made enough plays with the help of the defense, to win the game 24-10.

 Peyton manning gets his 200th win

John Elway hoisting the Lombardi Trophy

Peyton cherishing the moment

Let's face it......the majority of people who watch football want to see offense.....amazing, acrobatic catches by wide receivers, combined with explosive running plays for big yards by running backs. Unless you are rooting for the team that wins a DEFENSIVE game, you probably didn't like the game.  Nevertheless, I got my wish......Peyton got his second ring, and if this was his 'last rodeo' it was a great way to leave the game......just like his mentor, and team president, John Elway did after winning his second consecutive Super Bowl as a Denver Bronco back in 1999.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Ahhh....real Saturday.....back in our sticks and bricks, workaday lives Saturdays consisted mostly of time spent involved with our kids in youth soccer (AYSO).  Sundays were reserved for church (mornings) and if there were any 'do it yourself' projects they happened Sunday afternoons.  There was always this tension of rushing to get a project done in one afternoon so as not to disrupt our household too much, and taking time to do the job properly.   Essentially home improvement, or repair projects were squeezed into an otherwise already busy schedule.  There is no rush tight time frames to deal with anymore.  It's okay if a project does not get finished in one day......even if there is ample time.  Sometimes you just take a break and finish the next day.

I mentioned yesterday that I had a couple of big projects to take care of at our property, and one of those was to replace a section of ceiling drywall in the downstairs bathroom.  The ceiling had been damaged by a leak from the upstairs bathroom, which is directly above this bathroom.  My son, Tim, had removed the bad drywall, so it was time to trim, and square up the edges of the remaining drywall, cut a new piece to fit, install it, and tape it so it can be repainted.....and that is precisely what we did on real Saturday.  We met our son at the house a little after 0900, and after a quick trip to Home Depot to buy a 4' X 8' piece of 1/2" drywall he and I got to work.  As always, the work preparing the space for the new drywall took the longest......once we had everything cleaned up and ready, the installation went quickly, and by 1330 we had finished taping the joints, and applying the first layer of joint compound.  I'll return Sunday to sand the first coat and apply a second coat as needed......

.....once that process is completed it will be time to apply a couple of coats of paint, and the bathroom will be ready to use again!  Thanks to my son Tim for his help....without you it would have been a two day job.

We were back home by 1430, and relaxing......after spending 5 hours with my hands and arms mostly above my head I was ready for a good nap.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing, and later in the evening watched a 'pay per view' movie called 'Bridge of Spies' starring Tom Hanks.  If you haven't seen it yet, I can tell you it is worth the time.....a very intriguing movie based on a true story!  IMDB gives the movie 4 stars out of a possible 5.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A nice 5th Saturday.......

Friday had a little bit of everything......first off TLE and I drove over to the house we still own in Ontario to take stock of a few things which need to be repaired before the new tenants occupy it.  Most of the things are minor, but there are a couple of bigger projects which will take me a few days to bring back up to snuff.  While intellectually I know it is still our house, it is no longer our home and hasn't been for over 5 years now.  I have this sort of detached view of the house.....when I stand out on the street looking at the house it looks much the same as it did when we moved out back in late January of 2011.....I have many fond memories of the 25 years we called this address our home.  We raised our 5 children there.....they made life long friends in that neighborhood......and it is there our dream to fulltime was born.  It is the only 'thing' I still own that does not fit inside our Newell, or trailer.....and it is no longer our home.

From there TLE and Meredith drove up to Sharon and Rod's apartment to help with the new baby, and I headed back home to put in some exercise time.  It was a perfect day for a long bike ride.....25 miles to be precise.  I left the coach around 1130 to begin my ride up to the SART* which would take me all the way to San Bernardino, some 12.5 miles northeast of Riverside.  TLE and I used to do this ride often back in 2013 on our Cannondale tandem.....there is a Subway at the turn around point where we often had lunch before the return ride.  The outside temperature was a little chilly, but I chose to wear only a t-shirt and riding shorts knowing I would warm up within a couple of miles.....and that is always the difficulty.....trying not to overdress....nothing more uncomfortable for me than to be too warm.....I would rather add a layer than have to take one off.....that's just me.  It took me just over 1 hour to cover the 12.5 miles to the Subway as there was a slight headwind all the way north.  Of course, when you do an 'out and back' ride and you ride into the wind going 'out' you get a tailwind on the way 'back'.  While I averaged just over 10 mph on the first leg of the ride I averaged close to 18 mph on the way back.....suweet!

On my way back I stopped off at the USPS to pick up a padded envelope so I could ship a mountain bike disc brake rotor I sold on eBay, and was home a little after 1400 where I finished my exercise with some situps, pushups, etc. before packing up the disc brake rotor, printing a shipping label, and heading back out in the VW to drop it off at the USPS, and then over to Lowe's to pick up some home repair supplies.  Upon my return I decided to deploy the patio awning as we are getting a lot of late afternoon sun on the passenger side of the coach.

TLE was home just after 1700 hours from spending the day with Brayden James and giving his parents some time for long naps.....oh yeah......I remember those days well.....:-)

It was a nice 5th Saturday.....thanks for stopping by!

* - Santa Ana River Trail