Saturday, July 31, 2010

Daughter's House

We left Osh Kosh yesterday morning reasonably early. We had to drive the Honda to the campground entry first and then exit with our papers so that we could get the proper refund. (No matter how long you intend to stay, they charge you the entire amount as if you are staying until the last day. Then when you leave early, they issue a refunds for the unused days. Plus since we were not allowed to park in the real campground, they are going to give us an additional refund eventually.) They issued the normal refund to our credit card and told us that they would mail the extra refund to us later.

Any way you want to cut it, I have to admit that they are trying to be very accommodating. Had we been in the regular campground, we would still be riding the buses, just not as far. But we were not signed up for the electric sites, so the heat might have convinced us to leave early. Our solar system worked wonderfully and we were never for want of lights or computer power.

We had a pleasant drive to Dodgeville, WI and daughter's location. We settled in and relaxed. Of course, we also enjoyed mail call since she gets several items addressed to us.

Beth arrived home after 5 PM and the conversation began non-stop. A friend of hers had called from out of town and suggested eating out. So we continued the conversation until dinner time. It is hard to imagine the number of things to be discussed when we haven't seen her for 8 weeks or so. (Of course, there is the email and almost always a Saturday 30 minute phone call.) So it isn't as if we hadn't talked with her.

I really didn't look forward to the eating out, as it was the friend, her husband, kids (ages 2 and 4) and other relatives. However, we lucked out and the other relatives took the kids and decided to continue to their home in Dubuque Iowa. So we had a table with 5 and conversation was very easy. Never the less, it had been some time since Beth and Jerilyn had been together, so the table was a buzz between those two. We enjoyed listening and having a few words with her husband.

The party broke up before dark and it was back to Beth's house. We read our email and then Beth said, "Dad, do you know what time it is?" It was well after 10 and I had already had some quality sleep time under my belt. I was kind of in a stupor, as I took my shower and headed for the sack. I was tired.

We've had breakfast this morning and Beth just gave us a demonstration with her new tent and sleeping bag. She is leaving shortly for a 2 week hiking trip in Colorado and is practicing to get into shape. She has a backpack loaded with 45 pounds of weights that she has been carrying on long local hikes to get into shape. Just lifting the pack was enough to tell me that we'll let it for another day. Oh, to be young again with unlimited ambition and energy!

While she is out, Sandy and I can catch up on surfing and other stuff.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mid EAA Show

Here we are, sweating because our generator can't run our air conditioner right now. I thought it was the generator, but after doing some checks this afternoon, it is a problem in the transfer switch. I found a loose wire/screw on the terminal block and tightened it up. I also gave the box the calibrated hammer blow, but it didn't fix it.

The EAA AirVenture has been interesting. It would be a little more enjoyable and comfortable if it were not so HOT. Tomorrow is to be better I think..

Since we're parked off site (on EAA parking) we enjoy a 3 mile bus ride to and fro. The drivers have one mode of driving; Pedal to the metal to go and pedal to the metal to stop. They take mostly back roads and they are the roughest paved roads we have seen. Since school buses don't have the best suspension and little padding on the seats, it is a test of one's backbone.

It took a day or two, but we're getting the hang of the place. Rule number 1: plan all of your activities in a given area. While they provide bus or tram service between areas, one ends up wasting so much time, it wipes out a session. Tomorrow our plan is to only attend sessions in the museum building and area. One advantage also is that it is air conditioned.

I was getting very frustrated yesterday with our Verizon air card. It refused to log in. We finally took the Honda for a drive and found a free wi-fi at Arby's. Sandy picked up her mail okay. I tried to see if Verizon would work any better and ended up locking out my wi-fi plus no Verizon link. Back at the motorhome, we finally tried to solve the problem by calling Verizon plus while on hold, I decided to "re-activate" the card. It then started working! Frustrating!!!!!

We are living via our boondocking way of life. Thanks to a good set of batteries and solar panels, we have plenty of power to run the computers and our LED lights even without the generator. Of course, it has been very sunny the last few days also. What we are missing is some air condition to make life just a bit more comfortable.

Enough for tonight.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

EAA, we're in Oshkosh

blog EAA arrival

Fantastic, we have arrived. A bummer, the grounds are too wet to be parked. So we're stuck in a gravel lot with a path on the side. We shall get our quotient of dust unless it rains some more.

We've attended a number of major rallies in our lifetime, but I have an idea that this one will take the cake. The good news is that it is not raining now, but looking at the fields as we came in gives an indication that they have had more then enough rain to last the entire week.

'One issue when we left the Walmart this morning was that we wanted to top off the propane tank. We had a quarter of a tank according to a very rough gauge, but since we're boondocking this week, we need propane to keep the refrigerator going. We stopped at 3 service stations and two communities, all with no luck. Finally, one station sent us to a nearby four-wheeler dealer (and campground owner). My immediate reaction was "here it comes". The office manager called the owner out of bed to come over and fill it. And when he presented me with the bill, I knew we'd been had. I've never paid $4.00 plus a gallon for LP, but we did this time. In the future, we shall have a reserve tank along, such that we can run a week when the main tank goes dry.. (That is one of the built in hazards with a motorhome and a built in tank.)

Otherwise, our drive this morning was very uneventful.

this afternoon, we went to the EAA grounds, and obtained our pre-paid pass etc. We know for certain that our legs are going to get a workout. We walked a bit of the grounds, and then road the (free) tram from end to end, just to give us a perspective of what was where. the place is loaded with people, tents, RVs and airplanes. Sandy spotted some sleeping bags just laying on the ground where an airplane had been parked. Yep, they still sleep under the wing here at the show!

Back at our motorhome, I consented to starting our generator and running our air conditioner. It does cool our coach and also deadens the noise of other generators.) In some minds, a generator is a generator, irrespective of its breed or purpose. Sadly, we're parked among 2 or 3 contractor type generators that some people have brought along. (they are very noisy!)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

GNR is Over

We're on our way to Oshkosh, WI for the EAA air show. For the past 10 days or so, we were in Forest City attending the Winnebago GNR (Grand National Rally) for Winnebago coach owners. We have had fun meeting so many old friends and we even learned a thing or two. Plus we had some repairs done on our coach. (These things are really a money sink.)

As so often said previously, we really don't have much of an excuse for not keeping the blog updated. I guess visiting with friends can be tiring. Plus there was the evening entertainment.

The good news for the weeks was that a "repair kit" that I ordered to fix our air conditioner compressor worked. I didn't think it did the job, but when we asked Winnebago customer service to check it out, they said it was okay. They did object to my 60 foot #10 cord that we use for as power cord. I guess it may be a bit light for two compressors. So we'll kill one compressor in the future when on 115 VAC, 30 Amp only.

Tonight here in the Walmart lot, I'm beginning to suffer the pains of "being cheap". It is hot with no air conditioning. I hope Oshkosh is a bit cooler, further north and next to a lake.

We'll keep this one short.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm late, slow and lazy

Without looking at the date of the last entry, I can tell you it has been a few days (or weeks). But life just moves on.

About a week or so ago, I visited our family doctor for my version of a short course physical. I had my list of issues that I needed addressed. Nothing really serious other than my prostate is growing, or the symptoms of BPH. Anyway, he gave me a couple of samples and said he'd write a prescription if that works. (It helped and I picked up the prescription today.) So today it is a red letter day in my book, I'm now a daily pill popper of a prescription medication.

Of course, we take a few other pills: one baby aspirin to keep the heart in good order; one lysine to control fever blisters if I get too excited; 2 condrotin/Glucosamina for helping the joints and vitamin B12. (Dr. said that the blood test suggested that I needed some B12.)

After the mini-physical, I felt pretty good. (Doesn't a good patient know his symptoms? I asked the questions and he provided the answers.) I have a lot of hip pain and he said that if I'm not popping any painkillers yet, there is no need to replace the present hips. He'll get serious when I'm popping painkillers and still having pain. The other big surprise was that the nurse insisted on doing a height check. Ouch, I'm two inches shorter then I used to be. I'm still over 6 feet, but not by much.

Our next big event was an RV rally last weekend. It went over well, other than a bit wet. Back here at the farm on Monday, it was time to get real serious with the wiring in our new Honda CRV. The tow plate had been installed by a mechanic in town and of course, I'll do my own electrical work. The job is easy to describe, mount the connector on the front and tie into the lights on the rear. Our challenge was getting the wires from the front to the rear. We asked Honda folks and they said they never do it. We asked an RV dealer and he was willing to answer, just bring the vehicle in and they'd do it. So we left.

We put the front end up on blocks (solid ones) and after poking and probing around for a half a day, we picked out a route that worked. With the wires strung, our next challenge was hooking them up. (The connector and wires were saved from the Saturn we traded in, so we knew the wires were good.) But when I attempted to hook it up, nothing seemed to work. Eventually, I realized that the wire colors and functions were not what I had assumed them to be. Once we resolved that issue, we finished the job in an hour.

So we are now ready to tow it. On our way back from CR today, Sandy read the towing instructions out of the Honda owners manual. The salesman had only read us half of the instructions. The final paragraph is that we have to pull a fuse if towing for some period of time. So we need to find the magic fuse. I'm assuming that with the fuse pulled, the door alarms don't sound, the interior lights are off and the miles do not add up as it follows us down the highway behind the motorhome.

When we traded the Saturn in, it was obvious that it had been towed, so to be honest when they asked about the miles, we told them it had 35,000 on the meter and another 40,000 being towed. They didn't want to talk about or hear of the non-logged miles. Okay!

Tonight's big accomplishment was to help Sandy replace the toner cartridge in our laser printer. Sandy was attempting to do it herself and finally I decided that she needed some help. I'll keep my thoughts to myself, but it didn't take long to finish the job. (Technical instructions have to be taken with a grain of salt to understand what the writer was intending to say.)

Friday night we help a high school friend celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Years ago, when relatives and friends celebrated their 50th anniversary, they were old. Humm, times must have changed as he just isn't that old. Sandy and I reach that milestone next year and we're certainly not that old!!! The real crunch is Saturday morning when we need to be on the road by 5 AM to reach Sandy's home town by 10 AM for their parade.

After the parade and visiting, it is on to Forest City Iowa for the Winnebago National Rally, then to Osh-Kosh Wisconsin for the experimental air show. before returning to the farm for a family reunion.