11-30-08 Sunday (Dizziness)

Missoula is a nice town. It's big, yet small, if that makes any sense. It has all the major shopping chains we'd like, yet there's rural areas of farms and neighborhoods. Our first stop was to Caras Park in downtown Missoula. It featured a hand-made carousel which was created by volunteers. Next door to it was a playground.

Pictured below: The reader board about the project.


Pictured below: The carousel, housed indoors during cold weather, features overhead doors all around to open during warm weather.


Well, of course we rode it too!


Pictured below: Jim


Pictured below: Garret



Pictured below: The playground.


It's incredible that a city could come together for such a cool project. I didn't know anything about how this worked but Jim got the brass ring and then dropped it. Here's more information on this strange custom: A brass ring is a small grabbable ring that a dispenser presents to a carousel rider during the course of a ride. Usually there are a large number of iron rings and one brass one, or just a few. It takes some dexterity to grab a ring from the dispenser as the carousel rotates. The iron rings can be tossed at a target as an amusement. Typically, getting the brass ring gets the rider some sort of prize when presented to the operator. The prize often is a free repeat ride. The phrase to grab the brass ring is derived from this device.

After getting dizzy, we drove around the downtown area. I spotted a humorous sign. I assume it's a misspelling. "Pasties" ? Pastries maybe?


Maybe during lunch, Lisa dances around with her pasties on?

That's all we did today. We did a lot of driving around. Going back to the campground, we turned off the "use highway" setting so we could drive close off the interstate for more rural sighseeing.

11-29-08 Saturday (Gettin' Teste)

Finally, an early start this morning. We left the RV park at about 10am. I know that's not early for some of you, but we were up at 7am, had breakfast, packed up and showered. It was a long drive, but we made it before dark which is always a plus. Aside from WiFi, this park has cable. WiFi is fairly common these days, but cable is usually not offered or when it is, it's extra per day. We hardly watch TV, but it would be nice to fill up our Tivo with some shows we can watch when we want to. We've never hooked the coach up to cable and I've discovered we need a gender changer attachment. We'll get that tonight at Wal-Mart.

We're back from Wal-Mart.  Speaking of, LeBron commented on yesterday's entry regarding his disgust with Wal-Mart. I agree with him, and we hate the place. Some day, when we don't need to count pennies again, we'll be able to go to a real store. We hate Wal-Mart bakery, deli, and meat department. Most of the time, meat is creepy looking there. Baked goods are terrible, and I don't think the deli has Boar's Head, a favorite of mine.

By the way, we're in Missoula, Montana. On the drive to the store, we noticed casinos are bountiful here. It reminds me of Vegas, especially when even the gas stations had them on site.

Outside of Missoula, we spotted a billboard ad promoting the annual Testicle Festival. We missed it!  Yes, it was in August, and I did a little research on it.

Rock Creek Lodge just outside of Clinton, Montana throws the world’s largest testicle festival every fall attracting more than 15,000 fans annually to its five day event. Tossing around its motto, “I had a ball at the Testicle Festival,” the festival feeds over 2 ½ tons of bull balls to its many hungry revelers. Not only can you get a taste of these yummy delicious deep-fried bull’s testicles, but while you’re there, you’ll no doubt want to participate in the bull-chip throwing contest, the wet t-shirt or hairy chest competitions, and bull-shit bingo.

It's been rainy here, so most all of my pictures look like crap. Here's one of Jag and another of an pretty view from the road.


I just made myself some hot chocolate. Months ago Costco had Swiss Miss packets on clearance for $4 for a case of it. We brought it with us.... obviously. Most of the time we forget it's there. Yummy. Time to sip some hot cocoa!

11-28-08 Friday (Possibilities)

This is the second time in my life that I can remember being off for Black Friday. The first time was several years back, and while I had intentions to go out for the doorbusters, I never made it. This time, we won't make the doorbuster stuff either. We bought a newspaper yesterday; Jim flipped through the ads and even separated them into two piles. Trash vs. Possibilities. I simply hate that these sales are right after Thanksgiving. It saddens me that so many people couldn't enjoy their holiday because they had to be at work by 5am or something stupid. Being in the RV, we don't have room for much more nor do we really need any of it. Most of the things in the sale ads of interest to us are pull-overs and slippers. It makes me happy, even relieved that this year won't be the stressful gift buying, decorating, and entertaining stresses we've grown accustomed too. Without all of that, it's truly a vacation.

We leave Idaho tomorrow, so we have one important thing we need to buy - an Idaho ornament. Luck will be better if we go to the mall for it. I'd love to find some sort of engraved potato ornament. That would be perfect. It's humorous to travel state to state, look at ornaments and discover they're sometimes exactly the same (aside from the state name) and made in China. I hate that. At times, we're lucky enough to find locally made stuff.

Ut oh, Jim must mean some serious business. It's only 9am and he's already gone into the shower. I'll tell you, that's a rarity for either one of us. Typically, we sit around for a few hours. It's as if we're resting from sleeping or something. Jim loves to shop. He loves to buy new clothes, shoes and belts. I usually wander off somewhere. I like to get in and get out. Shopping hurts my feet and back. If we shop for too long I have to find a place to sit, usually with the 80 year olds on oxygen.

Despite the news about the Wal-Mart employee being trampled to death this morning, we found the stores at about 10am unusually quiet. (A fellow Blogger's opinion sums it up well, click here.) Our first stop was Wal-Mart - surprise! There were shoppers around the door buster displays, rummaging through clothing sizes, but yet cashiers were waiting at the registers with no one in line. Maybe we missed the largest crowds or perhaps the consumer spending isn't there? Doorbuster merchandise, including flat screen TV's were everywhere. Did Wal-Mart have more stock this year, or did consumers buy less? I was shocked to see so much left. K-Mart was fairly busy, and even appeared more so than Wal-Mart. Sure, Wallyworld is bigger, but K-Mart had lines of 5 people at each register. We also stopped at a Big Lots and a Shopko. Between all the stores we stopped at, we bought several hoodies, and some sweaters. Good prices.

After big retail store shopping, we went to the mall. We never found an ornament, but Jim did get new boots. Our last stop was the Historic Downtown area, and several stores later, still no ornament. Walgreens had keychains which I can make into an ornament but I'd rather not. Most of the time, a keychain made into an ornament looks... well, like a keychain made into an ornament.

We went to Wal-Mart again. We got a keychain that looks like a potato. It's the best we can do. I bought a couple of postcards as well. That was it. Then on to Lowes and Home Depot to return some stuff. Jim bought a new toilet sprayer since our was leaking. For those of you not familiar with RV toilets, most of them come with a kitchen type sprayer on the side of the toilet. It's mostly made to help clean the toilet and for skid marks. I know, you could have lived a long time without knowing that information.

Here's a fountain statue at a roundabout near Wal-Mart. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far.... I mean a long time ago, Idaho Falls was called Eagle Rock. I believe this statue is a tribute to that but I'm not sure. Either way it is beautiful.











OK, this was just to morbid to have on display in front of all the festive decor at Wal-Mart.



We're going to attempt to hit the road early tomorrow. It's planned to awake at 7am... See ya!

11-27-08 Thursday (Duck, Duck, Goose)


Happy Thanksgiving! Of course being unemployed, today wasn't much different than others. I started the day off by making 25 pancakes. We ate some and the others I froze or refrigerated for some quick breakfast options. We did this to the background sounds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was never much into the parade as it seems more commercials than entertainment. As I was cranking the antenna up, the handle broke in my hand. Sigh.

On a side note, thanks to Mike for identifying the small animal that we didn't get to run over the other day. It's called an Ermine, and is from the weasel family. It's cute, reminds me of the ferret I once had. The Ermine's fur changes colors based on the season. Here's more information if you so desire. Click here. I couldn't believe Mike would know such a thing. As I acted interested in his intelligence, I asked him how he knew. As he explained in depth, I focused on world peace or was it pecan pie, anyways, I don't know what he said.


Isn't it adorable?



After Jim and I finished the Thanksgiving Day family phone calls, we grabbed some bread and went to the Greenbelt which is a pretty park featuring a 20 foot waterfall on Snake River. Oh, the bread, right, well that was to feed the ducks and geese. Earlier in the week we had driven passed the park and witnessed a man and little girl sitting on a park bench, feeding ducks and geese. They were completely surrounded by the birds, it was picture worthy. We had planned to have the same experience for today. After we ran out of bread, Jim went back to the Cherokee to get a 1 pound bag of pretzels we had left behind from a prior roadtrip. It was a lot of fun.





As we waited for our turkey breast to cook, Jim filled the fresh water reserve. There's now something wrong with the level sensor so it kept reading at 3/4. Jim thought it odd to take so long and checked on it. Water was pouring out from the basement where the tank is located. It didn't get into any other compartment but did manage to get into the closet in the bedroom. Because the closet has a deep extra storage well, it didn't get to anything other than some ornaments. Ornaments? Yes, for several years, Jim and I have collected ornaments of states we've been to and then display them on a special tree for Christmas. It makes it more special to look at them for a few weeks out of a year than seeing crap all over the house, all year long.



On the brighter side, dinner came out great. We had turkey breast, biscuits, gravy, green beans, cranberry (the jellied kind!), sausage stuffing with cheese. It was all yummy.





We went to Wal-Mart. Yes, on Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm ashamed. We needed a spatula. OK, we could have waited a little longer for it. But Jim broke the spatula last night. Do you know what it's like to make pancakes with a plastic Publix pie server that kept melting? I bet you don't, so why don't you go back to your big assortment of spatulas and let me have my Wal-Mart time?

Well, you've pissed me off enough with your judging stares, so I'm gonna have some pecan pie.

11-26-08 Wednesday (Easy Bake)

The oven part arrived at 2pm and the RV place has installed it. Yay!


Nothing exciting has happened today..... sometimes that's a good thing. We did get over to Wal-Mart again for some stuff. We also made it over to a Smith's grocery store for a pecan pie for tomorrow's desert. There's not much in the backed goods department that I want from Wal-Mart.


Our itinerary has been updated. Next week we will be going to Missoula, MT instead of Butte, MT. Thanks to Nancy for the suggestion. AND no Nancy, we're not going to visit your dad..... unless you pay us.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Video/Slideshow

OK, I've joined One True Media to make my slideshows. I can send them to Tivo accounts, emails, and YouTube amongst others formats. I redid yesterdays slideshow using True Media, so I hope it will play better. Feedback will be appreciated!

I've included two different ways to view it. Which one is best? YouTube or OneTrueMedia?









11-25-08 Tuesday (Toothless Heads)

Jim called 2 places this morning looking for the oven part we need. So far, no hits. If we confirm the part is correct, we can get it overnighted for tomorrow from an Internet based store. Since the mobile RV guy came within the first 45 minutes of our call, hopefully we'd have the same luck for tomorrow once the part arrives. So many variables. I wonder if turkey hotdogs would be tasty?

Confirmation of the part has been achieved. Confirmation of it being in stock on a website vendor is also complete. Jim has placed the order for the part. $85.00 for the part + $35.00 to overnight. Still cheaper than a new oven.

We just came home from a trip to Grand Teton National Forest.... in Wyoming. Yes, we came to Idaho to go to Wyoming. It was a great roadtrip though. We were gone for about 7 hours today. We loved the scenic roads! We couldn't go deep inside Grand Teton because the roads were closed for the season. Jackson, Wyoming was a tourist trap town, but still looked fun to shop around in. We didn't shop, it was too cold for that and we don't need anymore junk. We did eat at a great restaurant. I'm not sure how the locals pronounce it. It was called "Taco Bell". After lunch, we drove to Moran, WY. We were about 10 miles away from Yellowstone's South Entrance.

While these 2 pictures are included in the slide show, they came out so beautifully, I had to feature them. They look great in the slideshow when I zoom on them.





I've been getting too fancy with my video slideshow creations. The files they are creating are enormous. I have to convert them to a small size and lower resolution which defeats the purpose of seeing nice photos. Even after conversion, they're large enough to lag behind on your Internet connection. I'll have to go back to regular ole slideshows or just posting them individually. Opinions please! Any problems with the video below?


video

11-24-08 Monday (Curse of the Mummy)

Earlier this week, I had decided it was time to post the story of how this RV adventure came to be. I finished it this morning. For those of you who want to know the story, click here.


The RV service guys came this morning. Our oven needs a part which is no longer made anymore. They suggest buying a new one. I priced it out to be $600 with install. Once we have the part number, we'll search the Internet for it; I'm sure someone has it. Our extended service contract has a $500 deductible so we'd like to be able to just replace the part. We'll see.


We stopped at a plumbing supply store for the shower faucet rebuild kit we need. After Jim installs it, we'll see if that takes care of the nasty drip, otherwise its back to replacing all the guts.


We managed to salvage the day by going to "The Museum of Idaho". Here we viewed "World of the Pharaohs", presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Here's my review: It was $6.00 per adult, so what could I expect? I would have preferred the type of tour that used headphones to walk you through the exhibits. This tour was read, read, read. 2 museum employees were holding a conversation about food and were heard louder than I would have liked. I almost asked them to find a lounge, but refrained. A few times children ran through. Why were children at a museum featuring Egyptian artifacts, I'll never know. A few spelling errors here and there on some display boards but all in all the exhibits were nicely presented by dynasties. The museum also offered other permanent exhibits such as: "Hot Type, Hard Times, 1900-1910" featuring printing press history. "Race for Atomic Power" about EBR1 (mentioned in yesterday's entry) and nuclear power and its history. I didn't take any pictures because 1- I forgot my camera, which is rare 2- No cameras were permitted. Click here to see some photos from the museum's website. The exhibits look the same but I don't think the museum itself is.


The faucet project didn't work out. It still leaks. Luckily, the parts were under $5. I'm not sure what our next route will be. Perhaps the $45.00 part?

We're still on the hunt for the oven part. We got the part number from the repair guy but corporate Magic Chef says the number doesn't work. Jim printed the picture of what we found online so we can confirm with the RV place. If it's sold in an assembly, we found plenty of them online for $95.00.

If we don't get the oven fixed soon, we'll need to eat out on Thanksgiving. Worse things could happen, I know, but I was kinda looking forward to the little turkey breast. We've heard numerous ads for a Thanksgiving buffet at a local hotel. Turkey, ham, prime rib, etc. Sounds good, I just wonder if an all-you-can-eat buffet for Thanksgiving would be for us? If it's too cheap then I'll know they're serving crap quality. Another tell tale sign is if the turkey looks like round slices. Round slices are OK for lunch meat but nothing more. Well, we might have to make a reservation somewhere for our backup plan. We bought a pork tenderloin for one of this weeks meals. Looks like that will have to go into the freezer as well.

11-23-08 Sunday (Nuclear Peanut Butter)

32 degrees this morning, not a great start. Jim had put away the hose last night to avoid freezing. I'm not sure if I'm getting a cold but I can't stop sniffling and blowing my nose. We've been in colder weather (Grand Canyon) so I'm not sure what my malfunction is.


 
I hate winter clothing. I hate washing it, I hate wearing it. Hats and hoods stick to my stubble head like Velcro. Great for keeping it in place but a bitch to get it sitting correctly from the get go. Today, I've decided to wear long johns. With underwear (are you supposed to wear regular underwear with long underwear?), long johns, jeans, socks, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, hat, hiking boots, and a coat, I feel like a Sumo Wrestler. It's so unnatural, so annoying to move around. I'm not even going to wear gloves unless it's much colder. Anymore clothing on and I'd know what it feels like to be The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. Not a pretty sight. I don't look forward to using the bathroom. Have you seen the size of our bathroom? It's the size of a linen closet. I can somewhat appreciate what a woman must go through with dresses and pantyhose.

The crock pot is set up for a chicken dish Jim threw together. Sometimes I'm a little leery of the crap he'll blend together. During the first week we met, he invited me over for dinner. He served meatloaf made with ground turkey. After a few bites, I said, "I'm sorry, I just can't eat this." I really wanted to be polite and eat it, but I couldn't. "What a bad impression" ran through my mind. I figured it might be a worse thing for me to have gagged and thrown up. Picking the lesser of two evils, I confessed. Now, after 9 years, we still laugh about it. Honestly, he does make some tasty creations.

OK, now for some action. We set out for our Craters of the Moon adventure. This area was created by volcanoes beginning 15,000 years ago and as recent as 2,000 years ago. That's what the brochure says. If you want more history about it, click here, OR buy a book OR go back to school.

 
On our drive we passed through INL (Idaho National Laboratory). I say "through" because it's on 890 square miles and it includes some of the road! They specialize in nuclear energy, weapons, armor, and peanut butter. OK, maybe not peanut butter. It all sounds like a dangerous place.

We drove through Butte, Idaho with a population of 76. Their cemetery seemed home to more people than that. Maybe INL had something to do with that? A conspiracy, I'm sure.

While in Craters of the Moon, we saw an animal scurry across the road. It looked like a chipmonk or squirrel but was pure white with just a black tipped tail. We pulled over so I could find it and snap a picture but alas, it was gone. I suggested to Jim (driving) that the next time we see one, try to run it over so I could get a better look at it. He just looked at me like I was a freak or something. So odd.

We stopped off at a picnic area to eat our brown-bagged lunch. Well, it was in a blue cooler actually. I'll never do that again. It was so damn cold, I never ate so fast.

Next up were various caves. We didn't know about them in advance and only one cave is accessible without a flashlight, Indian Tunnel. It was a lot of walking up rocks. It wasn't rock climbing persay, since we didn't need our hands. It was more like stepping from rock to rock. It wasn't difficult nor easy. All in all, I'm glad we did it.

video


On the way back we stopped at the world's first nuclear power plant. The world's first peacetime use of nuclear power occurred when the US Government switched on Experimental Breeder Reactor #1 (EBR1) near Arco, Idaho on December 20, 1951. The town of Arco first got its electricity from the reactor on July 17. 1955. It was only temporary, but the way was paved for commercial use of nuclear power later in the decade. The Arco reactor suffered a partial meltdown -- another World's First, in 1955. It was closed for the season.

Remember the crockpot chicken dish Jim prepared this morning? Well, when we got home, the crockpot was cool and had been switched off. We think he set it to cook for 3 hours only on the program mode. Apparently, this here crockpot is mighty too fancy for him, I reckon. So out to the trash can the undercooked meal went. We went to Olive Garden with one of our gift cards. Thanks to Ann and Morgan for a wonderful meal.

Last night I bought 2 different handles which were too small. We haven't found 4" handles anywhere so I think as usual, the RV manufacturer had to go and use something nonstandard. I'm also going to have a hard time covering that area where the original handle sat. The varnish or whatever you call it is gone. I think we'll have to stay with spray paint. I just hate the style of the handle too. It's not modern enough.





Winter clothing update: I got static shocked 6 times today! Argh!

11-22-08 Saturday Part 2

I thought I was finished blogging for the evening. As we went to make dinner, of course, we have oven problems now. We lit the pilot, set the temperature, and put in some cheese sticks. They never baked. We checked what we could. The pilot lights but that's it. The burners work fine. Skillet meals coming soon? It must have been my Cookie Catastrophe. Just when I was so thrilled about having an oven, it bails out on us. Why, oh why? I think it's a sign we should eat out all the time? I grilled burgers the other night and the grill wouldn't turn off. I had to disconnect the propane canister. Another sign? Truly. Jim will call a mobile repair guy tomorrow.

After dinner, we went to Home Depot looking for faucet replacement parts. No luck. Next we tried Lowes. No luck. We went to Wal-Mart to pick up some supplies. Wal-Mart was full of some ugly people. "UIF" Jim said many a time. Ugly Inbred F***er. I know, it was rude, we should have waited until we got in the parking lot, right?

I may have mentioned a theory about pinatas to friends in person. Tonight, while in Wal-Mart, I accidentally stumbled into the pinata section. I think these things are SO wrong. What message does it send to your kids? "Hey, beat the snot outta Dora and you'll be rewarded with candy." Carry that into the real world = "Hey, beat that old lady and get her purse."

An item purchased tonight at Wal-Mart was a drill. As we depart, the exit door alarm sounds. We handed the door guy the receipt, he looked at it. He never checked the cart or Jim's jacket laying in the cart seat area either. Instead, he walks over to a podium and writes a bunch of information into a log book. Now, I could have learned sign language faster than he was able to write. He was a UIF.

It's a Saturday night and we ate pasta, then went shopping at hardware stores and then a Wal-Mart. Sad. Part of me doesn't care what day of the week it is. There's no scheduled waking up or such so who cares about the day, right?

OK, I think I'll close off Saturday Part 2, and surf the net for a while. There's only so much I can type and only so much you'll read.

11-22-08 Saturday (Baked Potatoes)

Yesterday, I said the trip was 5 hours. Jim was thinking Boise when he told me that. Idaho Falls is 3 1/2 plus this, that and the other.

I owe it to Jim to post my Cookie Catastrophe in response to his Muffin Massacre. Before I go on, I must tell you that I bought butter the other day. I think the package said it was "quarters". At the time of purchase, I thought how cute they were. Yeah, I said cute. Not being a baker, as apparent by my boxed cookie mix usage, I didn't realize that the small "looking" stick of this butter is shorter but wider than the normal sticks. The directions called for a stick of butter, so I put in, what I thought was 2 halves. The end result is shown below. Jim says they taste OK, I think not. After eating a few, I felt my arteries harden. My throat feels like I licked a jar of vaseline. They'll be no hairball hurling for me for the next 6 months.




We've arrived at "Snake River RV Park" in Idaho Falls. It's cold here which usually results in a somewhat empty park. For some reason, they seem to put everyone together instead of spreading out. It's kinda annoying! The patio side of the RV has a fair amount of space but the connection side is close. Our slide and the neighbor's slide create a mere 5 foot space. Crazy.




The best part about arriving here is the leaving Utah. Not that we don't like it but we had enough.






Some photos from the drive here:

Jag is antagonizing Clea.


This billboard was too fun to resist. Is this brought to us by the Hashbrown Farmers of America? I know Idaho is famous for potatoes and I guess they thought to be creative. I actually went to the website. They have recipes and such, for potatoes, of course. I guess their advertising worked on me.


YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM IDAHO WHEN...

- The wind is faster than your truck.
- Every other vehicle is a 4x4.
- When the sun goes down you start looking for your coat.
- In March, your vehicle is 43% mud.
- You leave your keys in the car and the next morning it's still there.
- You installed your new computer using a Leatherman tool.
- You hear the words "stream" or "brook" pronounced "crick."
- The elevation exceeds the population.
- You've broken down on the highway and somebody stops to help you.
- You can see the stars at night.
- People drive 200 miles to shop in a real mall.
- Your great grandmother is older than the courthouse.
- You got a set of snow tires for Valentines Day.
- The bumper jack in your pickup will lift a house.
- Your back yard smells like sagebrush or various animals.
- A girls' basketball game fills the gym.
- You slept through the night unawakened by a siren.
- A rodeo is more popular than a rock concert.
- You can fish, golf, and go skiing all in the same day if you try hard enough.
- Yellow light means "follow the car in front of you no matter what."
- Democrats are like salmon, they are on the endangered species list.
- You wave to someone on the freeway because you recognize the truck.
- You talk about a combine and people don't wonder what you are putting together.
- In the spring, every tenth car you pass is a tractor.
- When the car in front of you is weaving you suspect a farmer instead of a drunk.
- Maps and gloves are kept in your vehicle's "jocky box."
- You can choose plastic bags or paper sacks for your groceries.
- You have to wait for a flock of sheep to pass you on the road.
- You know why people pay money to watch "pig wrestling.


According to that list, it's a good thing we're not from Idaho

11-21-08 Friday (The Bottom of my Shoe)

Our itinerary has been updated. If you are playing "Where's Waldo", please click on the Calendar/Itinerary link on the left sidebar. Once again, we'll be braving freezing temperatures. This should be interesting. Why not go where it's warm? We want to finish the Northwestern states so that we can go through California, and hang out in the Southwest for the bulk of the cold months. Sometime in March, we'll make our way to Florida, visit family and friends and then climb the East coast toward Niagara Falls (if we have money). Here's a map for you geographically impaired people. (I have to look at it all the time. I take after my mother.)


I now remember why I don't like this RV park. It's not just the reserving a tent site instead of an RV site error, it's about the poop. The first time we stayed here, Jim stepped in shit twice and me once. As I walk Dasher, there are piles everywhere. Sure, there's signs about picking up after your dog and there's even a giant litter box area for dogs. It just doesn't help. This morning as I walked the dog on our campsite, there sits a fresh looking pile. While it's not within our sitting area, it is on the path to our Cherokee which is parked behind the RV.



Dasher hides in embarrassment for his fellow canines.


If you hadn't already noticed, I tend to type the blog in throughout the day. Many times, the blog is typed in real time as things have happened. I do that because:

1- I can. (Temporary retirement perk),

2- I have a terrible memory, and will forget,

3- sometimes the entries are so long, it would take me forever to type it all at once.



I have a designated memo pad in the Cherokee I use to jot down thoughts for the blog. As Jim and I are on a day trip and we think of something "blogable", I'll say, "Oooo, I gotta write that down". Yeah, I say it just like that. Sometimes the "Oooo" is 3 o's longer, it just depends on my mood. I like to mix it up from time to time. I'm so wild (see).

We had some shopping to do for our projects. While out and about we saw Linen 'N Things (LNT) at 25-50% off for their "Going out of Business Sale". I hate to think we'll be stuck with Bed, Bath and Beyond. LNT was our favorite. Being in the RV, there's not much we'd need to buy anyway. I did need to use the restroom while there and spotted an outlet next to the urinal. As I peed, I pondered life, well, OK, there wasn't enough time for that, so I pondered why an outlet is next to the urinal. Can I shave and pee at the same time? Perhaps blowing drying my hair as I urinate? Oh, and yes, I took a picture of the urinal!




After some shopping we came home to Jim's crockpot chili, which I love. It's the perfect weather for it, being 34 degrees right now. Jim's not into spicy so I add hot sauce to mine. Oh and cheese too. Yummy.
Speaking of cheese, for those that don't know me, I have a food motto. Everything tastes better with cheese or chocolate. Some things like pretzels can take either. What does this have to do with RVing? Nothing, but you're my captive audience, prisoners of sorts. -evil laugh- Besides, if you won't listen to me rant about nothing, who will?
Most of the offbeat stuff I come up while I'm around Jim, gets me a "Where do you come up with this stuff?" reply.
Tomorrow is a long driving day. It's a 5 hour drive which add doggy pee-pee breaks plus cigarette breaks plus a lunch stop plus any uphill 20mph driving will extend that to about 8 hours.
We're looking forward to seeing how the RV performs since Bountiful RV replaced the fuel filter. They say it has more power and Jim noticed it. Maybe that will be enough to go faster than a marathon runner.
One of the items for Bountiful to fix was the shower drip. They made adjustments to the faucet ($57.00) and said it was fixed. It still drips. Jim is going to replace the guts himself and Bountiful has agreed to reimburse for the parts which will probably be at about $45.00.
Another thing that Bountiful did was allow us to supply our own parts. The rebuild kit for the jacks and then getting a brand new jack off the Internet for much less than they could get it for. In the automotive business, we'd never allow that. Number 1, that's why we were there and number 2, it can open a can of worms. Years ago, as Mitsubishi service manager, unknowingly one of my employees allowed a customer to supply their own junkyard transmission. The transmission didn't fix the problem (misdiagnosis) and the customer couldn't return it (final sale). The customer went above my head and spoke with the Director of Parts & Service (Jim Weems). Myself and the service advisor got our asses chewed. I'll never forget the analogy Jim Weems gave: "What do you think would happen if you walked into Longhorn steak house with your own steak, and ask them to cook it up for you?" So REALLY long story short, I was thankful and surprised Bountiful let us do that.
I bring up Bountiful a lot with mixed opinions. What can I say... I'm an emotional, indecisive roller coaster.
This entry has proven to be long enough. AND please, by all means, rate the entries after you read them. I hope the blog hasn't become boring or too long. Feel free to privately comment on my writing skills or lack off.

11-20-08 Thursday (Getting a Handle on it)

Some of you have mentioned the Wal-Mart bingo card I posted the other day was too hard to read. I redid the whole thing from scratch, so you can take a look at that post again and you'll see it's much clearer. Click Here.

Today was project day. We'd like to update the interior of the coach with silver. There's 22 gold handles just in the living area. I thought I'd try Rub 'N Buff on one handle and see how it stands up to day to day usage. I'll let you know. New handles can be real expensive. We saw some in Ikea a few weeks ago and while the price was right, the size wasn't. Anyone have any suggestions for an alternative to Rub 'N Buff that can take the wear and tear? Maybe some of you craft store workers know of something?


I gave Dasher a bath, did some laundry and some others small projects I won't bore you with. Jim went for a haircut and to pickup some project supplies for other upcoming things. Our slide out room has been sliding out an inch during travel so we've been using tether straps made for this to prevent any disasters. We should have had Bountiful RV look at it but we forgot it on our list. One of the things Jim bought today was a humongous wrench to adjust the slide mechanisms with. It didn't go very well. He adjusted, readjusted, and readjusted again. He finally got it back to about the way it was. We've called a mobile RV repair guy to see if he can do it. Hopefully, he can do it tomorrow because on Saturday, we're on our way to Idaho Falls.


No, that's not really the wrench he bought.

OK, I did some Internet research on panting door handles. Several sites and forums suggested Rust-Oleum:







Brilliant metal finish
Indoor/Outdoor durability
Weather-resistant metallic finish contains metallic flakes
Durable metallic flakes won’t tarnish or rub off even on the most heavily handled objects
Perfect for autos, bikes, fixtures, door hardware and more


I'm going to let the Rub 'N Buff dry overnight but I think it's going to come off on our hands since it's a wax base. After 4 hours it still rubs off a little.

I still can't wait to get to a new state. I'm tired of not having fun photos of odd crap to post. Today, in this RV park, I saw 2 people driving handicap mobility scooters side-by-side. It would have made a good picture but the caption would have ended up being something insensitive. I guess it's just as well I didn't have the camera handy. People who personally know me, will tell you that I'm all for making fun of everything. Several years back, friends Laurie and Pearl were talking about Halloween costumes. They wanted to go as dead celebrities. No, not just the celebrity, but also the way they died (if possible). I won't tell you what Jim and I dressed as or what the girls were going to do. Use your imagination. Think tragic celebrity deaths. Sick, I know.

It never fails. During last night's Wal-Mart trip we couldn't find a few items AND we forgot a few things. This shopping trip, we chose Harmons. This grocery store was amazing. It had a cheese counter, a Chinese buffet, salad bar, olive bar, prepared foods bar, huge deli, coffee shop, and all of the other typical grocery store departments. The store was huge and actually pretty. Anyway, after that we went to Wal-Mart where I struck out on all my project materials. They didn't have the spray paint color I wanted (Matte Nickel Metallic).

11-19-08 Wednesday (Licensed to Breed)

What a night! At some point, the rooms to either side of us became occupied with adults and tiny, annoying, little ones. Between screaming and doors slamming, I was sure I was in a slum. Aside from having difficulty falling asleep, I awoke at 7:45am before the 8am wake up call. I was not amused as I heard the little ones slamming doors and running past the window. The parents were useless in curtailing (a muzzle and rope would have made me happy) their beasts. Some day, people will need to get a license to have children. Marriage license, fishing license, hunting license... why not?

As all personal belongings have been removed, Dasher looks nervously on, hoping to be included.



We made it to Mountain Shadows RV park. The balance of the nights here are 3. As much as I was ready to depart Salt Lake City, it worked out well to stay another 3 days. It gave me some time to do some cleaning, and reorganizing. It does feel great to be back in the RV though. The new foam in the dinette cushions seem to agree with our asses.

It's going to be wonderful to have an oven once again. I'm tired of those skillet meal things. Tonight, working with what's on hand, we're having some sort of boxed oven bake meal. It still sounds better than skillet stuff.

I think we're going to skip St. George. The state park we wanted to stay in closes its gates 10pm to 6am. At that point, we're either prisoners or locked out. A tentative route has been planned and will probably be tweaked along the way.






Here's the before and after repair photos:








Above: The repair is shiny, the old is faded. The colors look pretty close though. The color of the pinstripe is a little different, again, faded versus new.







Above: You can barely notice the slice in the rubber coated roof (circled in red). The first repair looked like frosting. This time they put a foot long patch that looks like overkill to me. (circled in blue)






Above: The new awning O' awesomeness.





















Above: The tub drain repair. Ick.

I must admit, Bountiful did save us hundreds of dollars. The freezer door hinge has been broken and duck taped since Florida. The hinge wasn't sold seperately; a new freezer door purchase would have been necessary. They were able to make a replacement hinge with epoxy.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Grocery Store got over $100 of our money this evening. We had planned our menu and bought what we needed. While I'm making dinner, Jim is busy changing the itinerary again so the map pictured above will probably be obsolete. I think we're going to Idaho Falls and will stay there until after Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, we picked up our little turkey breast and the appropriate fixin's.

Almost time for dinner.....................