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Monday, February 29, 2016

1300 to Yuma.....

Usually when we are staying in Riverside, and we have a dental appointment in Los Algodones we leave very early in the morning to drive the 213 miles south, and then make the return drive the same day arriving back in Riverside late afternoon.  Our next appointment (TLE gets her crown installed, finally, and I get impressions for the crown which will go over the recent root canal I had) is Monday.  To change things up a bit we decided to drive down Sunday, spend the night in Yuma, then go to our early morning appointments in Los Algodones before making the return drive.

We decided we would leave Riverside around 1300 hours to make the drive south.......prior to leaving I took time to dump our gray and black tanks......the gray tank gets dumped every few days, and it was getting full, and it had been 11 days since I dumped the black tank.....a little longer than I usually wait when I must macerate its effluent into my daughter's sewer cleanout.

We were in the car and headed south by 1300, stopping at 1440 at the ARCO travel center in Salton City, as we usually do, to change drivers......I took the first driving shift and TLE the 2nd bringing us to our lodging for the night by 1715 (Historic Coronado Motor Hotel on 4th Street).  We paid for our room, dropped off our bags and began our half mile walk over to Prison Hill Brewing by 1730 arriving just 15 minutes before the end of 'Happy Hour'.  Usually we sit inside because it is either too cold, or too hot, but Sunday evening it was perfect weather for alfresco dining.....


.......to get things started I ordered an Expresso Porter, and TLE a Milk Stout......for dinner I had their fish and chips (beer battered talapia), and TLE their Halfway House salad (half the regular Big House Salad).  We enjoyed eating outside and enjoying the early evening air.

By 1930 we were back in our room for the night.....Monday we are off to our dental appointments!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Keep it 'Simple'.....

It's been a while since we've visited our favorite breakfast place, Simple Simon's, in Riverside, so we decided to walk over on Real Saturday about 0830 to meet Nick, Kate and Charlise for breakfast.....they would normally have walked with us, but they were a little behind getting their home ready for 'Open House' so they drove over to meet us.

The walk over was delightful.....once again the high temp for the day was forecast to be in the low 80's, and the skies were clear.  It's only about a .75 mile walk each way, and takes less than 15 minutes to cover.


We almost always sit outside as it gets a little noisy inside on Saturdays (they are closed on Sundays) when occupancy is at it maximum......


I love their brief breakfast menu!

....Simple Simon's is in what we call the 'walking mall', which used to be Main Street, along the western side of the famous Mission Inn.  They serve breakfast from 0730 to 1100, and lunch from 1100 to 1700 each day except Sunday when they are closed.  I love their breakfast menu as it is so 'simple'....they offer 10 things, and their omelettes are to die for.....I usually order the Spinach/Bacon omelette which comes with fried country potatoes, and toast, which is what I ordered this day.....


......they make all of their bread, and pastries on site.....all ingredients are fresh......plus we love their coffee which features unlimited refills......it's not hard for me to believe they still have a 4 star rating on Yelp based on 676 reviews.  The alfresco dining area is a place where you are inclined to take your time eating and just enjoying the ambiance, but soon it was time to move on....

 You can see part of the Mission Inn to the right in this picture

Walking back toward Mission Inn Ave. after breakfast

.......while Nick, Kate and Charlise headed for their car, TLE and I walked across Mission Inn Ave. to the Mission Galleria antique shop......it is 4 floors of really cool stuff!  I think we have only bought something there one time, but love spending an hour, or so browsing through all four floors.....


....we were home by 1100 hours.  I spent some time watching golf, puttering around in the trailer, reading, and taking a nap.....the 'Open House' was from Noon until 1500 hours so we just hung out mostly inside.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dreamin'.....I'm always dreamin' *

The days are beginning to blend one into another, and when that begins to happen I begin to dream of rolling our wheels once again.......of changing our view......of being in South Lake Tahoe.  Don't get me wrong.....please.....we are loving being here in SoCal being able to see our kids, and their kids on a regular basis.....we are loving seeing our newest grandchild, Brayden James......we are loving our walks around downtown Riverside....I am loving my frequent bike rides to the top of Mt. Rubidoux.  Of course, it goes without saying that we usually love being where we are, or we wouldn't be there in the first place, but once you have gotten used to changing your view on a regular basis you are always wondering when the next adventure will begin.......your mind begins to drift repeatedly to visions of the the highway stretching out before you as you float down the road with everything you own in tow.

Nevertheless, until the day arrives when we roll our wheels north we put those dreams aside temporarily and continue to live our lives.  Right now dental schedules are keeping us where we are for a few more weeks.  

Friday TLE wanted to go shopping so I bid her adieu, got my bicycle out and took a 15 mile ride......of course the beginning of any ride in Riverside must include a run to the top of Mt. Rubidoux, so for the third time in as many days I crested the summit and began the plunge down to the Santa Ana River Trail where I continued northeast until I hit the 8 mile mark then reversed course back to the turnoff for Fairmont Park,  making a run around Fairmont Park and Lake Evans before stopping at the local Starbucks on Market for the requisite mocha frappuccino, then the last mile home.  

By the time I made it home it was after 1300 hours and getting warm, so I took a shower to cool down, then sat outside reading the rest of the afternoon.  Even though it has been getting into the mid 80's every day it is, after all, winter, and we technically live in a desert environment, so it is quite cool in the morning, and begins to cool off in the afternoon after 1500 hours.

TLE had bought a london broil for me to grill so I got grillin' around 1700, and by 1730 we were eating dinner, and another day closer to the day we are no longer dreamin' about rolling down the road.

Thanks for stopping by!

* Song - Dreamin' - Johnny Burnette, 1960

Friday, February 26, 2016

Rubidoux Redux......

If it is possible I think Thursday's skies were even clearer than Wednesday and with that in mind we decided to repeat our hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux.  We left home for our 1.5 mile drive over to the trailhead about 1000 hours, and were on our way hiking by 1015.  It was immediately obvious that the temperature was already higher than Wednesday....fortunately there was a bit of a breeze which provided a some relief.......

 Not a cloud

 The Mt. Rubidoux cross just peaking over the rocks

.....even on a clear day there is always a little bit of haze in SoCal.  To the west of Mt. Rubidoux there is a solar farm that has been under construction for about a year.....each time I climb to the top via bike, or hike I have been noting the progress, and it looks as if it is in operation, or almost there.

A large solar farm being built next to the Santa Ana River

After our hike I dropped TLE off at home, and then drove over to our house to pick up a couple of things, then up to my son's office to pick up whatever mail had accumulated before heading back home.

We spent the afternoon reading and enjoying the cooling afternoon temperatures......while it gets a little warm between 1400 and 1600 hours, it cools off quickly after that, and we are able to leave a few windows open at night, which I prefer.

We did get a call from the new manager at Tahoe Valley Campground about this summer wanting to know if we can start working earlier than May 1st, but that really depends on when our dental work is completed, so we'll see how that work out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ottomanless........

Wednesday was another beautiful SoCal day with temperature highs in the mid 80's once again, so TLE and I decided to do the 3 mile round trip hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux to get a little exercise, and enjoy the view.....




.....we thoroughly enjoyed our hike, and stopped to sit on one of the many benches on the way to the top and just enjoy the day.  We were back home by noon time.

If you have been following my blog for a few years you know that a little over two years ago we removed our queen size hid-a-bed couch in favor of two Euro style recliners.  We bought a relatively inexpensive recliner for TLE....it was the one she liked......

TLE's first recliner

......that recliner did not stand up well to full time living, and began to show signs of wear within the last 12 months, so TLE began to look for a replacement.  A few days ago we pulled the trigger and bought a replacement off eBay, which arrived Wednesday afternoon......


.....this recliner is covered in real leather, and does not have an ottoman, which means more floor space, plus it matches our decor even better than the old one.  My recliner, bought over 3 years go, is still holding up, but beginning to show signs of wear, so we will probably be replacing that one sooner than later with something similar to TLE's new recliner.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Off the shelf.....

Ahhhhh, we woke up to NO wind!  A perfect day for diving head first into the electrical bay shelf project I bought the materials for Monday.  Since the forecast was for upper 80's temperatures I got to work by 0900 and within minutes was deep into the weeds of this project. 

I had been thinking about installing this shelf for a couple of years at least, and by now had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do, but there are plans, and then there is reality, right?  My plan had been to install a one piece shelf, but within minutes after cutting the 3/4" piece of plywood to size I realized that would not be possible.....it is just too tight a space to squeeze in that piece of wood.   TLE tell you I am not a very, as she says, 'spacial' kind of guy.  By that she means I cannot look at a space and determine if an object will fit.....she can, and so, therefore, she is the one who usually packs the car for a trip when we are taking more than will seem to fit our limited space in the Beetle.  I am more of a hands on kind of guy......so I measured everything carefully (measure twice, cut once) then took the board over to the electrical bay and immediately realized I would have to cut it into two pieces to install it.....

 The plywood cut to size....

.....I cut a piece wide enough to cover the Progressive Dynamics charger/converter, then using the scraps resulting from cutting the plywood down to size built a 'T' platform to support both pieces......

 The reality.....cut the board into 2 pieces....

Both pieces installed.....

.....once that was done the rest of it went together pretty quickly, and I was ready to put the cords, etc. back in the electrical bay.........below is the before picture I had in yesterday's blog, and below that is the after.......

Before....

 After.....

.......it's not perfect, but I am pretty happy with how it all turned out.....one more thing checked off the 'to do' list.

Once I was done with the new shelf I began looking at those two organizers and wondering if I could use them in my trailer cabinets.  I didn't know if they would fit, so I took them into the trailer, emptied out two of the cabinets and then inserted the organizers.....perfect fit!  So now my trailer cabinets are also better organized, and I can see everything that is in there!


By the time I was finished in the trailer, and had cleaned up my mess it was getting warm, and it was time to get out of the sun.

Around 1830 hours TLE and I decided to walk down to Tio's Tacos for 'Taco Tuesday'......my son Tim, and his girlfriend, TBL*, met us there for some alfresco dining replete with great Tio's Tacos!  One of the things I love about Tio's is the large alfresco dining area, of which every square inch is paved with hand laid mosaic tile.......


.....this picture does not do the mosaic tile justice, but you get the idea.  We bid our adieus about 0800, and were home by 0825......another day well lived!

Thanks for stopping by!

*TBL = The Beautiful Laila

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The perils of 1st Saturday.......

I've still got a few items on my Newell 'to do' list to tackle, and one of them is to install a shelf in my electrical bay.  I store 50 amp, 30 amp, and 15 amp extension cords in there, a couple hundred feet of cable for my Winegard Carryout G2 in case I have to run it out over 50 feet, the support arms which are used to tilt my solar panels, and various electrical adapters (50 amp to 30amp, 30 amp to 20 amp, etc.).  I've been using a couple of organizers TLE was getting rid of a few years ago, but they really aren't deep enough to do the job.  What I wanted to replace the 'temporary' set up with was one 20" X 41" piece of 3/4" plywood (the existing organizers are only 14" deep and 20" wide each).  Although the current arrangement has been in use for over 6 years I have never been happy with it, and always feel like I'm having to re-organize everything to fit a bad configuration.....that is about to end.


What a mess, huh?

Around 1100 hours I headed over to the local Home Depot to pick up what I needed, plus to buy a few things for the other 'to do' list I am running right now......the 'house to do' list.  I love going to Home Depot on any Monday that is not a National Holiday......it is so uncrowded!  And when it is uncrowded it is easy to find someone to help you find that for which you are looking.  I can usually go right to the correct aisle for most stuff, but some things are just not where I think they should be, or I'm one, or two aisles away when I ask for help.  It has been a while since I've taken the time to just wander up and down aisle after aisle.  By the time I left HD it was going on 1300 hours, and the wind had come up to a point where I had no interest in spending much time outside working on the electrical bay shelf, but at least I came home with the materials.

Around 1500 hours I headed back to our house in Ontario to meet a realtor about possibly listing the home in the next 60 days, and to work on the gate to our back yard......it was sagging and dragging on the ground so while I was at HD I bought six feet of wire cable (1/8th"), a couple of 'lag screw eye bolts', and a turn buckle to install on the gate to remove the sag.


Just in case you wondered what a 'lag screw eye bolt' looks like


Turnbuckle

By the time all that was done it was almost 1700 and rush hour was in full swing......it took me almost an hour to get home.....I really should have made that appointment with the realtor in the morning, but that is down side about being retired.....I forget about rush hour sometimes since I treat every day like it is Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 22, 2016

DIY - Day 2

On Sunday TLE and I went to our house together to do some more cleaning/repairing.  We arrived a little after 1000 hours and left just before 1500.  Whilst TLE worked inside vacuuming, and cleaning I spent about an hour in the backyard applying some black Rustoleum to the outdoor fireplace which had become quite rusty over the last 5 years.  Then it was into the garage to finish cleaning up the work bench I built 30 years ago.....WOW.....30 years ago!

Next up was to do some sanding on the new drywall my son Tim and I installed in the downstairs bathroom ceiling to repair the water damage from the leak in the upstairs bathroom.  I always forget what a big mess sanding joint compound makes, so once the sanding was done, and I had applied a final coat of joint compound, I spent the better part of an hour cleaning up my mess.

While I was busy making a mess and then cleaning it up TLE continued on relentlessly cleaning the downstairs.....by the time she finished and I had applied a coat of Bruce Hardwood floor cleaner/polisher on our way out we were ready to call it a day.  The house looks much better now, and I've only got a couple of things left on my 'to do' list.

When I add up the hours we have spent at the house the last couple of weeks it is just about equal to the amount of time we spend in an entire year cleaning the coach and trailer.  Does that mean we don't spend much time cleaning our coach.....of course not!  It means it doesn't take us that long to clean the coach and trailer.  It is one of the blessings of  'tiny house living'.......less time spent cleaning/repairing your stuff, and more time spent recreating/relaxing.

We were back home by 1530 relaxing, and giving thanks the house will be someone else's home soon!  On the weather front it will continue to be mostly clear with temps in the 80's for the next week, or more before it cools back down into the 70's.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

DIY day.....

Saturday will mark the end of our 5 days of cooler weather as it will begin to heat back up into the mid to high 80's Sunday.....a great day for working outside!  It's been a while since I went to our house in Ontario to take care of DIY* stuff.....there's still a lot to do, so I headed over Saturday morning to dig further into my 'to do' list.  I still need to finish the down stairs bathroom ceiling by sanding the drywall joints I taped the last time I was there, plus fix the rain gutters on the south side of the house that had come loose, clean up the garage, fix the small garage door opener, and straighten up the backyard.

I arrived a little before 1000 hours and got to work on the garage.  The kids had already done a pretty good job of removing most of the stuff they had accumulated, and stored over the last 5 years in the garage, but there is still some stuff left from the 25 years we lived there that needs to sorted through, removed and/or disposed of in the next few weeks.  I divided what was left into stuff that stays with the house (extra paint, stain, tools, etc.), stuff that should be thrown out (TLE will have the final say on that), and stuff that needs to be removed and saved by us, or our kids.

Once that was done and I had swept out the garage  I moved on to the job of fixing the rain gutters, and cleaning a few years leaves out of them, then next it was time to straighten up the backyard.  By the time I was done with the backyard it was after 1300 hours and I was getting hungry, so I called it a day headed for home.  I've still got quite a list of stuff to do, so I'll head back over with TLE on Sunday to try and whittle it down a little more.

It's funny.....when I spend a couple of hours climbing up and down a ladder (fixing the rain gutters) I am reminded that I am getting older.  I felt fine at the time, but later in the afternoon after sitting for a while I found I had gotten stiff, and my ankles were complaining vociferously.....:-/

I spent the rest of the afternoon napping, and watching a few 'A Football Life' vignettes on the NFL channel (212 on DirecTV) which feature one hour documentaries on various NFL stars from the past......very interesting.

TLE made her famous burritos for dinner, and I was in '7th Heaven'......that made 4 consecutive evenings I've enjoyed Mexican fare this week!

Thanks for stopping by!

*DIY = Do It Yourself

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Suburban Life.....

As you will recall I've written previously about the Suburban propane heater (one of 3 in our Newell) in our salon that was failing.  We first noticed a problem back in November when we spent the one frigid night on the shores of Mono Lake and the heater would not stay lit at first, but eventually did work......that was the last time it worked.  After doing some trouble shooting it became apparent that the control board had failed......


The failed control board

......I had sort of dreaded this happening because it seemed to me that any of the 3 Suburban heaters would be difficult to get out of their cubby holes.  These heaters are now 34 years old and it is inevitable that they will begin to fail......I know because I have a few Newell friends with Classic coaches like mine that have had to repair theirs.  It seemed to me that just getting any of the heaters out in order to fix them would be a full day project, so I kept procrastinating.

Well, Friday was the day I chose to dig into the removal of the heater......TLE was going to be gone for a few hours getting her hair done, shopping, so I would have the kitchen area to myself.

First I had to remove the three drawers above the heater, then all the 'Tuppeware' TLE stores in front of the heater, then the metal cover giving access to the heater itself......

The heater inside it's box

.....next I needed to remove just two screws which secure the heater inside its aluminum box......there is one inside the heater box (see below), and one outside where the heater vent is (see second picture below)......

First of two screws to remove

Second screw outside at the heater vent

.....once those two screws were removed I had to disconnect the gas supply line from the heater.........

The propane line disconnected

......then four wires (yellow, red and light blue) shown in the picture below........

 4 wires that must be disconnected

 ......once the aforementioned was done it was just a matter of sliding the heater out, removing the old control board and installing the new control board shown below.......


The new Dinosaur UIB - L control board

.....in all it took less than two hours start to finish......once I had reattached everything and reconnected the gas I turned on the heater and waited.....in about 10 seconds I heard the ignitor sparking, saw the burner light......with the failed board the burner would light for about 7 seconds, and then go out.  This time, with the new board, it stayed on and soon heated forced air was coming out the vents!  YAY!

The burner is on....it stayed lit!

Now I know it is not that hard to repair these heaters, and when the next one fails I will not procrastinate again.

One of our favorite local Mexican restaurants is Pepito's down on Magnolia near Arlington, and we had made plans a week ago to meet my son Tim and his girl friend Laila for dinner there.  They have the most gigantic Margaritas I have ever seen at this place, and the food is excellent!

Moi, TLE Tim and TBL* - dinner with good friends who happen to be my 'kids'

We met at Pepito's around 1900 and had a wonderful evening of interesting conversation, great food and Margaritas all around......life is good!

Thanks for stopping by!

* TBL = The Beautiful Laila

Friday, February 19, 2016

Patchwork.....

After our marathon driving/dental appointment day Wednesday we both slept in, and I, for the most part lazed around all day Thursday.....well by my standards.  

I did switch our DirecTV over from our crank up satellite dish which was struggling to get a good signal due to the big tree on the east side of the Newell.  You will recall that when we were here at my daughter's home the first time in November the tree had just been trimmed, and we were able to get a pretty good signal (about 90%), but now, the second time around, that tree is beginning to leaf out again and the signal has weakened considerably to 59%......not a formula for good TV reception.  In fact, we were completely losing the signal at times.  Since we carry around a Winegard Carryout portable dish for just such a situation I decided to do the switcheroo before it started raining again.  Just as I finished hooking up the Winegard 'Carryout' it began to rain.....good timing!  I was able to get a 90% signal again by placing the 'Carryout' on top of the A/C unit at the rear of our coach.  Before the tree was trimmed our only way of getting a signal was by placing the 'Carryout' on the back of the roof of our trailer.

Next up it was time to dump the gray and black water tanks.....I must point out that since we are macerating the contents of the tanks (pumping their liquid effluent into a sewer cleanout) I don't wait for them to be completely full as it takes much longer, obviously, to empty them, especially the black tank.....it takes much less time to flush out all the gunk when it is only 2/3's full.  Once that was done my day was done.....time to read!

TLE, on the other hand, embarked upon a really big, all day project.....repairing our 17 year old bed quilt.  She has been looking for a replacement quilt for a number of months, but hasn't found what she wants yet, so she decided to replace/repair some of the panels on our existing quilt to extend its life another year, or so while she continues to hunt for the perfect replacement. This essentially was an all day project, and by 1500 TLE pronounced the project finished.....I think it turned out well!



It rained until about 1100 hours, and by 1500 the clouds had parted and we were on to the next warming trend.....we'll be back into the 80's by Sunday.

Since it was throwback Thursday, here is a picture from 2010 of TLE and I at Sandia Crest, NM.......


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"I appreciate your professionalism" - Part 6

My date with the 'ROOT CANAL' doctor (Dr. Hernandez, Endodontics) was Wednesday at 1030 hours.  The last root canal I had was some 20 years ago, and even then it was still something very unpleasant, and to be avoided if at all possible.  So, naturally, I was not looking forward to my date with Dr. Hernandez, even though I knew I really had no choice.....avoid the root canal and have an even bigger problem in the not too distant future.

My first appointment, to have my stitches removed, was at 1000 hours at Dr. Urena's office, and since I also wanted to get my new optical prescription installed in my existing frames we needed to get there by 0900 to give them the 2-3 hours it takes to make and install the new lenses.  All that being said I was up by 0300, and TLE a short time later.......we were in the car and on our way south by 0430 to drive the 213 miles to Los Algodones.

Sunrise over the Salton Sea

TLE took the first driving leg to the ARCO Travel Center at Salton City where we took a bathroom break, and then I continued the drive south from there.  We arrived at the Quechan border parking lot at 0900, parked, and were at 'Best Optical' by 0910 placing my order.  Since I was using my existing daily wear frames, and my sports glasses frames all I was paying for was the lenses.  In my daily wear frames I have both 'transition' (bifocals with no line) and 'progressive' (they get darker out in the sun light) lenses, and just 'transition' in my sports optical glasses.  Back when I first got my Bolle sports optical glasses it cost me over $300 (in the USA) just for the transition lenses......the lenses for my daily wear glasses were over $200.  My total cost at Best Optical for both pairs with a 2.5 hour wait......$158!  

After paying for the new lenses we walked down two blocks to Dr. Urena's office where I had my stitches removed, then over to Dr. Hernandez' office (a 100 feet away) for my root canal....my appointment was for 1030, but Dr. Hernandez did not begin the root canal until 1100.  I'm used to waiting in dentist chairs, but this is were the similarity to prior experiences ended......it took about 45 minutes for the entire process, and I was never in any pain, or discomfort (beyond the obvious discomfort of being in a dentist's chair).  The whole process was so much faster and pain free than my previous experiences.  My last root canal (20 years ago) cost close to $1,500 (20 years ago).....my cost at Dr. Hernandez' office in Los Algodones.....$430.

  New lenses installed!

We were on our way walking back to Best Optical by noon time, picked up my glasses and were across the border getting into our car by 1220......I might add that the optical technicians were very professional making sure the new lenses were what I was expecting, and being sure the frames were properly adjusted to my facial features.  Since we hadn't eaten since 0400 it was time for lunch so we stopped at the Quechan Casino (where we stayed in the Newell a few weeks ago) to at their food court to eat before getting on I-8 for our trip home.  Our drive home was totally uneventful, although we did stop briefly at the Red Earth Casino (Indian casino) near Salton City to fuel up before arriving home a little after 1600 hours.  By the way, the $2.29/gallon we paid for Premium unleaded was the best we have paid in a few years! In all we covered close to 430 miles (we could have been within 30 miles of Lake Tahoe after that many miles), and were quite tired from our 12 hour adventure.

The forecast rain began just as we arrived home, and continued on and off all night into the early morning hours.....a nice way to end a long day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hot!

Tuesday started off unusually warm, and I decided it was time to re-level the coach as I was never really happy with the job I did when we returned from our 5 weeks in the desert.  Instead of starting up the Newell to let it 'air up' I decided to use my pancake compressor to accomplish that end.  The compressed air quick connect for my system is in the passenger side engine bay, and I usually just plug the compressor into the outlet to which the block heater is plugged.  When I unplugged the block heater I noticed the outlet had some discoloration on one of the legs, and that it was also cracked.  As this outlet is a normal 15 amp duplex plug available in any hardware store, I plugged the compressor into the top outlet and ran the compressor for about 5 minutes.  Once the coach was re-leveled, I went to work removing the bad outlet (after turning the power off.....of course).....  


.....in the picture above you can see the crack and discoloration that concerned me.....it's obvious the outlet is going bad.  I did check the male end of the block heater pug to be sure it was not the culprit, and it was not, however, it was close to being damaged by the arching outlet.  Since we were going to drive up to Rancho Cucamonga to see our new grandson, Brayden James, I decided to stop off at the Lowe's near my daughter's apartment to pick up a new outlet to install later in the day.



Brayden James at 2 weeks 

We spent about an hour visiting with Sharon and Brayden before beginning our drive back home a little after 1400 hours.....of course being after 1400 the afternoon rush hour traffic had begun......ugggh!

Okay, we finally caved in.....we turned on the A/C!  Tuesday is/was, allegedly, the last day of the current heatwave, and the temperatures soared into the mid 90's by mid afternoon.....by the time we arrived home it was even too hot to sit outside, so we immediately turned on the rear A/C to cool the coach down.

About 1600 I went out to install the new 20 amp outlet I purchased at Lowe's......why 20 amp?  Just figured it would be better to over engineer it and install a heavier duty outlet for only a couple bucks more.  I had also  decided to wire brush the metal outlet cover and spray it with 'Plasti Dip' to dress it up a little.....while we were gone I left it drying in the sun.  I think it turned out pretty good.....

The new outlet installed with painted cover plate---I keep tape over the unused outlet to keep dust out of it.

.....and that was our Tuesday.......Wednesday morning (in just a few minutes) we are off for Los Algodones and our next dental appointments.....it will be a long day of driving!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weathering the weather......

The weather continues to be quite warm here in SoCal, and the wind continues to blow, but a change is coming if we are to take the weather forecast seriously......



......and OH do I want to take it seriously!  Once again we managed to avoid turning on the A/C, but it was close!  Since we are 'plugged in' turning on the A/C is not an issue in that regard......we just don't like living in air conditioning.

TLE spent more time working on repairing our quilt, and I spent time recovering from the 'allergy' attack I had Monday during my 28 mile ride.....I felt kind of punk all day long, and the warm temps didn't do anything to contribute to my outlook.  This heatwave just goes to show you that in spite of the best laid plans, you cannot account for unexpected weather extremes.....look at what is happening on the east coast right now where they are bracing for another 'arctic blast'.....of the two extremes I'll take 90 degrees in mid February any time.  

We try to position ourselves geographically where we will be able to enjoy the weather we prefer......70's during the day, and 50's at night, but sometimes the weather does not cooperate.  Now, if it were to get much hotter we might have to consider using our wheels to move us to a more preferable weather pattern.

I spent most of the day with my eyes closed.....not necessarily asleep.....as my head felt like it was twice its normal size, and my eyes just didn't want to focus, but I am happy to report I am feeling much more myself as I write this morning.

So, there you have it......not much to report from Monday except the weather.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The weekend....

Yesterday's blog entry was a tribute to my relationship with TLE so I did not report on anything to do with Saturday, so I am playing catch up today.  Saturday was pretty laid back, and is quite easily summed up......it was hot, and by the time I got around to thinking about riding my bike it was too hot, so I just took it easy all day reading a good book (Comstock Lode by Louis L'Amour).  TLE spent the day relaxing too....in fact we spent most of the day outside in our anti gravity loungers......and that was our Saturday.

I was determined to take a long ride Sunday.....so far this time around I have done a couple of rides over 20 miles (22 and 25), and Sunday seemed like a good day to just get on the bike and make it up as I went, and maybe break 30 miles.  I haven't been to the top of Mt. Rubidoux  in about a week, so I headed there first......


.....after the obligatory 'selfie' I coasted over the crest and began the plunge down to the SART* to see if I could ride south......the southbound section of the SART* at Mt. Rubidoux has been closed for a couple of weeks due to some sewer reconstruction, but I discovered that it was now open again so headed southwest with my goal being the southern terminus of this section of the SART*.

Believe it, nor not, but there is actually water flowing in the Santa Ana River most of the year....

 The Santa Ana River just south of Van Buren

 Mt. Rubidoux in the foreground

....I made it to the southern terminus about 1130.....my tripometer showed just under 14 miles traveled......I also noticed that there was a stiff breeze coming from the north....the direction I must ride on my return.....nothing more discouraging than a headwind when you are riding a bicycle!  When I began my ride there was no wind at all, and when I first arrived at the summit on Mt. Rubidoux there was barely enough breeze to stretch the 'Stars and Stripes' out in the 'selfie' above.

On my way southwest I had averaged just under 14 mph, but on my way back I had difficulty breaking 10 mph, and was down to 7, or 8 mph often due to the headwind.  By the time I made it around Lake Evans in Fairmont Park, and down Market to the Starbucks I was 'gassed'.  I was just under 27 miles ridden at this point with about 1 mile to go, but I needed some refreshment, so I ordered a mocha frappuccino and sat outside in the shade for about 30 minutes drawing that magic elixir up through a straw into my mouth, and feeling its delicious  coldness slide down my throat.  I could feel my energy returning, and I would need every ounce of energy I could summon to finish the last 1 mile plus home....by this time it was over 90 degrees, and the wind was blowing in the high teens.

I made it home just about 1400, put my bike away, and jumped into the shower.....in all I covered 28 miles, burned 1800 calories, and averaged just over 12 mph for the entire ride.  I arrived home with a runny nose, and sneezing.  I don't normally suffer from any allergies, but apparently there was something in the air Sunday that affected me, and I spent the rest of the day sneezing, and blowing my nose.  So, what do you do when you don't feel good?  I spent the rest of the afternoon watching the NFL channel which was showing, in abbreviated format, some of the best NFL games from the 2015 season.

While I was gone TLE spent time working on repairing the quilt that serves as the 'spread' for our bed......it is about 17 years old, and is beginning to get a little threadbare here and there, so she is repairing some of the panels.

We were treated to a nice sunset, and Sunday (Valentine's Day) was in the books......this was the kind of sunset you wish you could view in the desert with no man made obstructions obscuring the view.


Thanks for stopping by!

*SART = Santa Ana River Trail

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Valentine

I'm not a big Valentine's Day kind of guy......it all seems contrived, and artificial to me.  Does that mean I am not romantic?  I don't think TLE thinks so......I make a point to be spontaneously romantic all year round.  The very nickname I have for her, The Lovely Elaine, which I use every day in this blog, is a good example of my my adoration for my lover, my best friend.  I guess, for me, Valentine's Day is a day for me to take stock of my life with Elaine, and to tell the world how much she means to me.

We met for the first time in January of 1968 my freshman year in college, and went on our first date later that summer.....we were just 18 years old......


Summer of 1967 - our first date

.....we became friends first.....we spent a lot of time at the beach each summer when I would come home from college......

Manhattan Beach

....eventually by my senior year the friendship had become romantic.....we were engaged in March of 1971, and were married by August of 1971.....just a couple of months after I graduated from college....... 


.....all these years later (44+) I still cannot believe she chose me.  After many years spent raising 5 children we are now able to spend virtually every hour of every day together, enjoying each other while we live our nomadic dream.....


......I cannot imagine my life without this amazing woman, and I guess that is the essence of love.....I love you every day of the year my lovely Elaine!

I love you this much!

Thanks for stopping by!