Showing posts from March, 2012

Mar 30 - In Hot Water Now

As I sit here this morning, punching keys, Dar is officially unemployed again. She worked yesterday and when there was no phone call summoning her to work today, her status is now "free to explore again". Yes, she may be unemployed, but it's by her choice... so she's not included in any government stats on unemployment and doesn't collect any unemployment compensation either. The other day I completed a water heater gas valve replacement project. For whatever reason, the valve, that has been working flawlessly for 5 years, just quit a few weeks ago. This unit heats water with either gas or 120v electricity, so we still had hot water as long as we're plugged in. But before we got going on Spring12, and the boondocking opportunities increase, we wanted the gas-side working again. I could buy the valve locally for $120, but found it online for $75 plus another $10 for shipping. Once it showed up it only took another hour or two to get it installed and functio

Mar 26 - Savoring a Texas Blizzard

Yesterday, Sunday, we sucked in the slides, pulled the jacks, fired up the Cummins, and rolled out of Rockport/Fulton on a generally northeast heading. If you're prone to anthropomorphizing about these things, you could feel the raw glee emanating from the bus-house as it stretched it's atrophied muscles, flexed it's stiff joints, and swallowed the fresh diesel fuel elixir. For almost three solid months the rig has been sitting without being run, exercised... the longest period of non-use in five years. It felt good for all of us to be back on the road again. For 25 miles we rolled through the flat coastal plain of alternating wetlands and cotton fields until we reached the town of Tivoli. And there it was... looming ahead... our objective. A Dairy Queen store with a big gravel truck and RV parking lot right next door. In our experience, almost every town in Texas has a Dairy Queen, and little Tivoli (with perhaps a couple hundred residents) is no exception. "Two

Mar 18 - Two New Gizmos

 Before I get to the topic referred to in the title of this post, I have to share this. My little sister Jan found the following police report recently in our hometown (Beaver Dam, WI.) newspaper. I've reported on these police news items before... to lighten things up a bit and for the benefit of all you folks out there confined to the ant hill metro-plexes and megalopolises of this hurting country of ours. So many people just don't understand the nature of life in small towns. They're generally surprised, not by the incidents themselves, but that said incidents are news... and actually make it into print in the local newspaper. So, here goes... Investigation: Police responded to the 200 block of West Street on Monday at 4:50pm for the report of a snowman that appeared to be making an obscene gesture.  The snowman had been made with a middle finger pointed upwards. No action was taken after police arrived and observed the snowman was melting. I'm sure Andy and Bar

Mar 12 - Down In The Valley

With a bad case of "camper fever" caused by sitting in one place for two months, we needed to get away... to get in the car and drive, just drive... somewhere, anywhere. And that's exactly what we decided to do. During the past few weeks we've been keeping an eye on Dar's work schedule for a window of opportunity, a few days "off" in a row, a get-away moment during the long Texas Winter.  And after she finished her shift on Wednesday night we had four glorious days to run away, to escape, to explore someplace we've not been before. Yahoo! So where do we go? East isn't possible without a boat. North, hmmm, north... we've explored up that way before... San Antonio, Austin, the Hill Country... and who'd want to go anywhere near Houston? So North is out too. How about West? Hmmm... thousands, no, maybe hundreds of thousands of square miles of ranches, grazing land, wind and dust, and a few new oil fields. Doesn't trip my trigger...

Mar 5 - OysterFest

Spring is arriving along the Coastal Bend of Texas. Warm and humid southern breezes are starting to dominate the cooler and dryer "Northers" that blow through here during Winter. The sun is higher in the sky... and increasingly intense. The Winter of '11-'12 is about over. This past week we bid adieu to more Winter Texans as they're anxious to return home. It seems we humans are often living our lives looking into the future... the excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead, the undiscovered, the unknown, the change of scenery, the adventure... instead of slowing down a little to enjoy the present. I'm no different, what with my urge to get moving and exploring again. Maybe I'll take some time this week to consciously slow down and enjoy the "now". Smell the flowers, Grasshopper. Saturday Dar and I hoofed about a mile down the beach road to the big annual Oysterfest festival in downtown Fulton. An amazingly large and well attend