3-30-14 Sunday (3 Weekends)

Weekend 14th – 16th.

It was another weekend in Augusta.  I pulled an extra bath mat out from under the RV bathroom sink and it was wet.  Ut oh.  The connection from the faucet to the cold water was bad.  It was dripping down into an abyss which might be where that water is coming from that was leaking under the RV.  It was a good time to replace the faucets.  Both the kitchen and the bathroom faucets were plastic and had dual knobs instead of a single faucet.  The RV dealer has been receptive to our emails and mentioned something about sending someone to make repairs.

Jim worked on leveling the RV again.  He’s anal about that.  We replaced the bedspread with our old reversible comforter. 

2014-03-30 064Above: We still need some more storage bins for the shelf above the bed.

beforeAbove: Before

2014-03-30 063Above: Look!  A finished area!

Weekend 21st – 23rd.

This was a much different weekend than usual.  We drove to Augusta as typical on Friday night BUT then Saturday morning we left and went on to Atlanta for an extended weekend.  We took off Monday, spending the long weekend at Jim’s brother and sister-in-law’s house.  Jim’s dad and his wife were visiting from Florida.  Our nephew, Colton, is adorable and well behaved.  I spent a long time playing cars and trains with him.  He’s 2.  I’m not sure if 2 is still stated in months for that age.  I’m 525 months old.  Anyway, we had a great visit.  It’s always so relaxing.

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Dasher enjoyed himself too:

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On the way back home we stopped at The Varsity.  It’s a famous burgers and hotdogs place.  Jim and I weren’t all that impressed but I found out afterwards, we should have had the hotdogs which is what makes the place so popular.  Oh well.

Weekend 28th – 30th.

Once again we’re in Augusta.  We spent a lot of Saturday cleaning out the last of our belongings from the motorhome.  It was mostly left over stuff that I put off finding a home for on the inside.  On the outside, Jim emptied the basement and organized all of that stuff.  We have plenty of room in the new RV though.  We even have some empty spaces.  Jim has hired someone to make some repairs on the motorhome.

So how’s the RV going?  I love it.  The space here is awesome and I love it’s modern style. 

When we come to Augusta, we pack up in storage totes for all of the clothes and other crap we bring.  I’d like to find a place for these totes while we’re here so the living room looks nice.  For the past few trips here, this is what it’s been looking like:

2014-03-30 062Above: The left side is where the bins have been getting stacked.  The right chair is stacked with new bins we bought this weekend to organize the cabinets above the chairs.

It’s a work in progress.  We did manage to squeeze in some socializing in the evenings.  On our next trip to Augusta, I hope to have the interior complete.

Next week, I’ll be in Florida for a long weekend!

3-9-14 Sunday (Wet Pilots)

After work on Thursday, 3-6-14 (I’m very behind), I headed to Augusta.  Jim had to work until 8:30 on both Thursday and Friday night.  I took Friday as a PTO day to get the inside of the new RV/camper/trailer/fifth wheel (I may refer to it as any of these), cleaned and organized.

Thursday night’s drive was miserable.  It was raining, cold and I-77 was moving at 5mph in some parts (due to an accident).  It took me a really long time to make it through.  Eventually, I made it to Augusta.  I unpacked the car in the cold rain and traipsed mud and everything else through the motorhome.  I had to dewinterize the moho.  First I closed all the house faucets.  We leave those on so that if water freezes, it has somewhere to expand without busting a pipe.  Next I went outside, lifted the hatch door to the connection and had to hold it up using my shoulder (the strut is weak), hold a flashlight and turn knobs to close the low point drains.  Next I closed the water heater drain then reconnected the water hose (with lots of difficulty).  I was getting angrier and stressed by the moment.  Damn you inanimate objects!  I turned the water on and it gushed out of the water heater’s pressure relief valve.  Damn, forgot that one.  I went back inside, switched on the water heater and the pilot light would not stay on.  Everything had gotten too wet.  I used a heat gun to try and dry it out.  I was somewhat successful.  The moho’s water heater would only fire for about 5 minutes and then switch off.  I stayed up a little longer and then headed for bed. 

On Friday I spent the day cleaning the new RV and moving things from the moho to it.  My neighbor and friend Wesley helped me get a water supply to the new RV and hopefully some hot water so I can eventually shower.  Late that night, Jim arrived.  My first decorative touch, a 5th wheel frame.


I try to be organized and when I can’t be, it bothers me.

2014-03-08 001Above: Unavoidable motorhome clutter.

Saturday was spent re-leveling the RV.  Jim, me and some friends worked at lifting/jacking the RV up and getting concrete blocks under 6 areas for support and stability.  Grueling.  Next, he went on to hard plumbing the sewer line while I went inside to continue transferring our stuff from the moho to the RV.  We attended a birthday party and then went back to work.  We were able to spend the night in the new RV!  Yay!

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Jim discovered water leaking under the RV.  He crawled under and had to cut out some of the underlining to access the underbelly.  Pooled water dripped out.  He found the support brackets that hold the fresh water were broken at the welds and maybe the tank is leaking.  He used a jack and some blocks to brace the tank for now.  We ran out of time so it will have to wait until next weekend.

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As is my typical writing style, here’s some unrelated stuff:

You may remember my constant battle with Monro.  Or you might remember and not really care is more like it.  I just got a response from them via the Better Business Bureau file I created 8/2012.

Monro response

My response:

Our response

Naturally the cheapness in Jim compels him to save the certificate.  He figured we could get an oil change or something out of them.  I said no way.  The certificate will be passed on to a coworker who likes them or torn up and mailed to Monro. 

Some photos floating around in my phone:

Below: A photo of Dasher in the back seat during a trip back to Charlotte.20140302_145248

2014-02-25Above: At Walmart.

2014-02-07 002 - CopyAbove: At a restaurant.  They chose for me so I guess I don’t have to.

2014-02-08 003Above: I can’t believe this exists.

2014-03-02 010Above: I get so much material from Walmart.  Is it clearance or Clarence? Perhaps a blend.  “NOW;”.

3-2-14 Sunday (Someone Done Got A New Trailer)

After Jim got home from work Friday, we ate dinner and then hit the road for Augusta.  We didn’t get there until 10:30.  We unpacked the car, walked the door and then had a couple of drinks at the bar.  With Jim’s new job’s schedule, unfortunately we can’t hit the road as early as we used to.

Saturday, nothing real exciting.  I had a couple of Bloody Mary’s with our friend Wesley.  Yum.  Afterwards he and Jim went to get some concrete paver thingies that we’ll use next weekend to level the new RV.  While they were gone, I packed a couple of totes but got “Bloody Mary Head” and had to lay down for a few! 

For lunch, Jim and I went out to eat at Long Horn.  We had burgers which we used to like there.  We asked for them medium and they were well done.  It wasn’t really the doneness that was the issue but just the whole flavor in general.   I didn’t finish all of mine.  It just wasn’t that good.  No, I didn’t send it back.  Either their burgers aren’t as good as they used to be or my tastes have changed or perhaps with Red Robin and Five Guys, we’ve reached perfection and anything other than those places are subpar? 

Work for me has been very busy.  I haven’t run out of work in about a month.  Now it’s new underwrites, appraisal reviews, title reviews, etc.  I still love it.  Best.job.ever.  A few weeks ago I had that unhappy at work feeling for a week or two as I adjusted to our new work queue.  Unfortunately, there’s several more steps in my job now that I didn’t have to do previously. I’ve also learned new things and have been upgraded to working all loan types without restrictions.  My mind has been overloaded. 

The next Friday night, 3-28-14, we arrived in Augusta late, unpacked and pretty much went to bed.  Tomorrow is going to be a big day…

Oh look, it’s “tomorrow”… Saturday.  We drove to Tucker, GA (East of Atlanta) to buy our new-used RV.  As you may know, we currently have a 1997 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36S which is a Type A Motor Home as shown below.

RV types

We bought a Gulf Stream Mako 33FSBI Fifth Wheel (style shown above).

We bought it from Peco Campers.  This was such a fantastic experience.  It’s not a very large operation and certainly low tech.  They only have a couple of salespeople; Nick was ours and he was fantastic.  When we arrived, we were introduced to Travis who provided a full “delivery” of the RV to us.  He went over all of the systems, switches, do-dads and all that.  We found a few issues, pointing them out and they were resolved quickly to our satisfaction.  The entire process took about 2 hours.  They gave us an awesome little startup package too.  A full propane tank, sewer hose, water hose, electrical adapter, toilet paper, etc.  Some of it we didn’t need.

Mako exterior

After the demo, we signed paperwork with the owner and then turned the RV over to a delivery driver to haul it from Tucker to Augusta (approximately 2.5 hours) to our campsite. 


The driver dropped off the unit and then Jim and I worked at setting blocks for support and extending the slideouts.  This unit is not going to be moved around.

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On Sunday I managed to clean a good portion of the main living area.  I’ll need to finish some more next weekend and then we’ll transfer our stuff from the motor home to the fifth wheel.  We need to finish hooking up water and sewer as well.  All in all I think it will take another 2-3 weekends. 

Kitchen-dining-living 1

Once the motorhome is emptied then we’ll need to clean it and make some repairs.  We want to have the shower/tub replaced (see Caulkenstein posts), the fender replaced, and we need a generator starter or something like that.  After repairs, we’ll consign it.  We’ll pop a for sale sign on it in the RV park in the meantime.

2014-03-02 011Above: Both RV’s on the site = crowded and trashy.

Photos of the new RV can be seen here.  You don’t need a Facebook account to see the photos.  Please let me know if you have any issues seeing them. 

The wooded view:2014-03-02 014

2-20-14 Thursday (We Have 4-Wheel Drive, You Don’t, Na Na Na Na)

Work was closed for both Jim and I on Thursday.  It got pretty bad out there as evident from the news coverage.  We watched a neighbor trying to leave their home only make it 1 block.  They got stuck and had to drive back home in reverse.  We watched more people attempt to leave the neighborhood unsuccessfully.  Jim decided to venture out.  I stayed home.  I think he just wanted all the neighbors to see him leave and return in our 4 wheel drive vehicles. 

Our power flickered at one point but managed to stay on.  So many people lost power.  I don’t know what we would have done without computers and TV!  We spent the day lounging around, surfing the internet, watching TV, and even a nap.

Here’s our snow.

I didn’t take many photos but here’s my best one.


My wonderful HTC Thunderbolt phone became very slow several months ago.  I uninstalled apps, ran utilities and eventually found out that a lot of people were having this issue after an operating system update.  Some say it was corrected after resetting the phone back to factory specs, others said it didn’t help.  I never tried the reset.  The phone has other issues such as a muffled earpiece and mic.  I have insurance on it and it would be replaced for $100 if I “lost it”.  We went into Verizon with hopes of renewing our contract so that we could get 2 new $90,000 phones for just a $100 or so.  So after picking out new phones we found out that our grandfathered unlimited data plan would not carry over.  We need that plan.  We tether our phone to our laptops for internet in Augusta on weekends.  The connection is so awesome that we can effortlessly stream youtube or Pandora without an issue.  So we bailed on a new contract.

A few months later, my phone continues to annoy me so I check for a new one.  VERY pricey.  I check eBay and found a seller with a phenomenal feedback score selling refurbished Samsung Galaxy 3 phones for $230.

bid allies

I purchased.  I received.  Due to weather issues, the 2 days shipping (I didn’t pay for shipping) took 4 days.  The new phone takes a SIM card that is much smaller than my old Thunderbolt.  I went to Verizon to get the SIM card replaced.  They were very helpful but the sales guy discovered the phone was on the lost/stolen list and they wouldn’t turn it on.  I contacted the seller who said that I should call Verizon advanced tech support.  I did so; they said they couldn’t turn it on.  The seller sent me another phone.  I’m a little annoyed… OK a lot.  It’s been a week to get this resolved and as of Friday (USPS.com shows it’s in NJ) I still don’t have the phone.  They were receptive but wouldn’t send me a new phone until they receive the old one OR I can authorize another phone and then get them to refund it when they receive the “stolen/lost” one.  I went ahead and did that.  The delayed time was due to messages back and forth to get the situation resolved. 

This past weekend, Jim took Monday off for a 3 day weekend and went to Atlanta to visit family. I had to work Saturday.  While in Atlanta, Jim went to look at a 5th wheel RV that I found online.  I love it.  It’s more money than the trailer we looked at in Hickory, NC - BUT it’s also 2 years newer and has more of what we wanted and doesn’t need any work.  The dealership is very busy so they schedule their paperwork signing/deliveries.  The next available is Saturday 3/1.  We’ll drive to Augusta the night before as typical for our usual weekend getaways but we’ll get up early and head to Atlanta to make the purchase. 

2009 Gulf Stream Mako 33 FSBI

It’s got a huge kitchen (for an RV).  Here’s a photo from the dealer’s website.

Kitchen-dining-living 2

I’ll show ya more in another post.  I’m excited.  We’re got a dealer recommended transport guy scheduled to take it to Augusta for us.

That’s it for this post.  I leave you with this snapshot of a car in front of me the other day.

Tag expire

and no, it’s not a leap year.

2-12-14 Wednesday (Trailer Upgrades)

Dear Diary,

Today I saw quarterback Frank, he’s sooooo dreamy.

health insuranceOoops, wrong blog.  On Wednesday (that was the 5th in case you need to check the calendar), I went to the dentist for a cleaning.  The receptionist tells me that my insurance had expired (it was Jim’s) when they called Monday to verify coverage.  I told them I had Cobra, but she needed to know a number, another number and a phone number.  Panicked, I called Jim.  He didn’t know the plan # and all that so I had to reschedule the appointment.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had to deal with Cobra and therefore don’t really know what I’m doing. I suspect the dentist office may know a lot more about Cobra than I do and might just be familiar with how it works, what I need to do, etc.   So why not call me when you make the shocking discovery that my insurance has ended and you might need new info?  Why not guide me a little and perhaps I could have gotten it rectified prior to my appointment and maybe not waste your time slot now.  Now I have to reschedule for weeks out once again.  (Sorry for the rant, Dr. Dave).

no-readingLater in the day, Jim calls whoever he needs to and they tell him we have to pay for it and get reimbursed by X (Jim’s former employer).  This was part of his severance package, why is it so complicated?  After the call he read (who reads?  Smile) that it’s very complicated and is some sort of strange reimbursement deal but only up to a certain amount when the moon is full on Tuesday’s on the fifth cycle of Juhykl, a holy day for gerbils of the stars.  He was told Cobra is paid so he never questioned how and we just went on with life.  Now we find it in some cryptic text better left in the ruins of an ancient civilization.  Luckily he’s working, I’m working, so we can get insurance coverage instantly due to a “life event”.

7313115-birthday-gifts-and-decoration-ready-for-birthday-partyThis weekend (on Saturday) we went to Hickory, NC to look at a new(er) trailer.  A 2007.  I’ll provide photos, schematics, life histories, blood samples and DNA results if we go through with the purchase.  We looked at some brand new trailers that we absolutely love but are twice the price.  My birthday is coming up, well in 4 months, that gives you plenty of time.  Any takers?

We plan to consign the motorhome.  We really can’t be bothered with the whole negotiating and showing it.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  We may do a few updates to it prior to it’s sale.  Stayed tuned.

So in my quest to ditch cable TV, I have made it easy to plug Jim’s laptop into the TV.  I have an extra power cable, and an HDMI cable on hand.  I purchased a cheap ($8) remote control on Amazon.  It works OK.  Jim said maybe a wireless mouse would work better.  I might just try that.  The reason I’m telling you all of this is to show you the packaging.  It’s hilarious and in Engrish.  It’s reminiscent of the “protable” scale directions I purchased.  The instructions are hilarious but you knew that already since I mentioned it a sentence or 2 ago.

remote packagingAbove: Clicking on the photo above will slaughter baby unicorns open a new window (not like in your house or something) and embiggen it so you can read it.  Go ahead, give it a click.  You know you want to.

Wednesday was a half day for Jim and I.  The snow was falling fast and heavy.  I got out at 11:30 and he was off at about 12:30ish.  For entertainment, surfing the internet and watching season 1 of American Horror Story.