Saturday, October 24, 2009

All right Tom. I know you have been waiting.

Today I winterized Anna. Yes, this is a form of admitting the camping season is over. I wish it were not true, but it is.

I didn't want to just blow it out with air like I did last year. I had one fitting freeze and break last year and did not want a repeat. I want the lines to be anti freeze filled so no more problems. My big problem is I do not want the anti freeze in my tank. I needed a way to keep it out of the tank and it was so simple I laugh. I just took out that valve at the tank and put in a three way.

A soft rubber hose installed on the leg of the three way valve and the pump does all the work. I think peace of mind is worth the few dollars three gallons of anti freeze cost.

My friend Tom has been waiting patiently. I am lying he has been bugging me to see how the deck came out. I do not want to disappoint Tom, so here you go...
I am not all done with the landscaping around it but the deck itself is complete. In the Spring I will stain it.

We enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof. This roof has created an entire new room we did not have before.

A brother needs your help

Down in deep, dark, Devon, England(Okay, it is probably not dark, just damp and dreary due the fact that it is Fall and Fall is always damp and dreary in the UK) lives a man named Chris Vile. Chris has an excellent blog called Fiftythree Flying Cloud. For a matter of fact, it is one of my favorite blogs to read. You can read it by following THIS link. Chris is having trouble with his blog looking as if it is updated. If you have a list that automatically updates like I do on the left, it does not come to the top as it should. Please go to his blog and read it. Please leave him comments so he knows folks are seeing it. I promise it is a good read and you will truly enjoy his photography. I suspect Chris has some kind of formal training with a camera, for he pulls it off way too well.
Even Halle thinks it is brilliant.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Sorry about not posting. The swine flu or the common seasonal flu has been the only thing happening around here lately.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Final Rally of the year Part 3 (final post)

The campground was nice enough to have some kids activities. They were shutting down shortly after our weekend there, so it was Halloween a little early around the campground. I wish we had looked at the calender so we could have brought the girls costumes. Ava and Donal got very serious about their pumpkins.

The scrapping of guts seemed to be a very popular part of the carving.

Even Don got into the act. Nice shirt Don, where did you get that?

Halle didn't want to carve a yucky pumpkin. She was too busy working on her thumb. She takes her thumb sucking very seriously.

Donal just might have to go professional. He had a great time carving his pumpkin.

But the thing that I was most serious about was relaxing around the camp site. Talking with Ace and sipping a cold one was the perfect fit for me.

A little later in the day we went out to lunch at Haag's Hotel.
This place is a serious institution in Shartlesville. They serve Pennsylvania Dutch meals family style.

So what is a Pennsylvania Dutch meal? It is eaten family style. They serve you fried chicken, ham, sausage, potatoes, gravy, green beans, dried corn, carrots, pot pie, tapioca pudding, cottage cheese, apple butter, and bread. I know I forgot something, but you get the jest. We ate till we were too full and then we had a choice of shoo fly, apple, or cherry pie. Then there was also vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, or cookies and cream ice cream on the side or separate.
There was an Installation Rally going on. I thought it was special that recognition was given to some of the founding fathers of the club. I apologize but right after this my camera battery went dead and I did not get any photos of the new officers taking their positions. All of our officers are women now. That is what the pink bags are all about behind Tom and Don. They call it "the reign of pink. " Good luck with that campaign.

You cannot have a WDCU event without a potluck. Campbell are you eating you dinner? Saving room for that giant WDCU Tenth Anniversary Cake?

All good rallies come to an end and Sunday after I cooked breakfast we headed for home. Everyone seemed to depart at the same time. I had to go to the dump station and empty my tanks. My site was on a good sized hill and my trailer being vintage and the hook up on the site being the wrong side for me, caused the inlet to be higher than my outlet. I just used the tank all weekend. Going to the dump station had me near the end of the pack leaving. It was cool seeing the Airstreams going down the highway as far as I could see.
They dotted the highway as far as I could see heading West on I 78.

Hey, who is that? It's Ace....

It was Ace that is. Sorry brother, Anna is much faster on the road than that 1966 you tow. In all truth, Ace caught up to me and we traded a few photo opportunities back and forth as we caravanned together on I78 w then I81 s. That photo was taken as we parted ways at the turn off to the Pennsylvania Turnpike he had to take home. Ace, thanks for a great time. You are indeed a fun guy to hang out with.


folks, I need to apologize to all of you for my serious misinformation. I used the word awning to describe the 10 x 15 EazyUp I purchased a Cabela's.It has been pointed out to me that it is a canopy not an awning. Even the use of EazyUp is incorrect. The item is actually an InstantUp. An awning is connected to the trailer and a canopy is free standing. I am very willing to admit when I am wrong. And WIKI says what?

A canopy is an overhead roof or structure that is able to provide shade or shelter. A canopy can also be a tent, generally without a floor.

A canopy (building) is an architectural projection that provides weather protection, identity or decoration, and is supported by the building to which it is attached and a ground mounting, by not less than two stanchions (upright support posts). A canopy comprises a structure over which a fabric or metal covering is attached. Canopies can also stand alone, such as a fabric covered gazebo or cabana.

An awning or overhang is a secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of a building. It is typically composed of canvas woven of acrylic, cotton or polyester yarn, or vinyl laminated to polyester fabric that is stretched tightly over a light structure of aluminum, iron or steel, possibly wood or transparent material (used to cover solar thermal panels in the summer, but that must allow as much light as possible in the winter). The configuration of this structure is something of a truss, space frame or planar frame. Awnings are also often constructed of aluminum understucture with aluminum sheeting. These aluminum awnings are often used when a fabric awning is not a practical application where snow load as well as wind loads may be a factor.

The location of an awning on a building may be above a window, a door, or above the area along a sidewalk. With the addition of columns an awning becomes a canopy, which is able to extend further from a building, as in the case of an entrance to a hotel. Restaurants often use awnings broad enough to cover substantial outdoor area for outdoor dining, parties, or reception. In commercial buildings, an awning is often painted with information as to the name, business, and address, thus acting as a sign or billboard as well as providing shade, breaking steep winds, and protecting from rain or snow. In areas with wintry weather, most awnings do not have to be taken down at the end of the summer - they can remain retracted against the building all winter long, or be designed and built for those conditions.

And of course I should have read the description at the store before posting to my blog:

Cabela's® Commercial-Grade Instant-Up Canopy and Accessories
With a commercial-grade, heavy-duty top, extra-strong frame and instant-up assembly, our Commercial Grade Canopy is the most-durable and easy-to-set-up shelter we offer, and is the best value in a shelter on the market. Great for backyard entertaining, receptions, family and work gatherings, camping and other outside activities, its straight-leg design has a larger coverage area than traditional angle-leg shelters. Our new line of accessories paves the way for unmatched versatility.

Please forgive me, I am just a simple man.

Final Rally of the year Part 2

Sometimes it is odd what you find along the road. I found this river boat along the highway very far from a river. It looks like at some point there was a moat around it. This old girl has seen much better days.

The bar next door looked as run down as the boat did.

I don't think that stern wheel will ever see water again. Seems a great shame to see this old girl rusting along the highway.

What was not a shame was the excellent happy hours we had during the rally. Dick sure was enjoying himself. He always seems to be having a good time though. We had planned to get Stuart drunk and shave his mustache into a Hitler mustache, but he can drink an elephant under the table.

Tom was able to chat with Barry. Barry is the IBT 2nd VP. Someday soon he will be our clubs president. I am sure a few folks bent his ear about the current direction of the club. I know when I did he was very receptive to what I was saying. Hopefully, as I suggested, he forgoes one of his formal events so that money can be used to fund something for the kids to do at a future International. Barry was a real nice guy and I was glad he came to our event. Not sure he was successful in getting anyone to go to International, but it was nice having him there.

The food was great and everyone was having a good time munching and talking.

Don was there to officiate the Installation. Hey remember those Carhartt work clothing I was talking about in my last post? Kim wears Carhartt too. That lady has good taste in clothing. I did not realize it, but a major disaster was occurring at the very same time.

We had a woman locked in a trailer and she could not get out. Larry came up to Ace and I and asked if we knew anything about locks. We both thought this was a casual conversation until he said "my wife is not too mechanically inclined and cannot get to the lever" It was like a light bulb went on, his wife was trapped and we needed to do something now.

We got Jenny to open the back window and pull out the retainer from the window screen so Ace and I could climb inside. Jenny was very panicked thinking she was trapped. Ace and I took turns talking her down and proceeded to take the lock apart.

The difficult part was that the bolt had broken off and was jammed into the socket in the door jam. Using two screw drivers and some needle nose pliers we were able to pull it out. I have heard of this happening before to others. If you have a 1991 Excella you might want to have a spare door lock on hand when you go out. Thank God Jenny was inside so we could get in the back easily.

After helping a lady in distress there was nothing to do except return to the party.

Garnett, why are you not allowing the kids to have some of that cider? Why is it bubbly? Why is everyone that is drinking it talking loud and smiling?

And why is Deborah not smiling when I take her picture? Some women just don't like their picture taken. Deborah, don't you know how much I like you? I was totally lost Sunday not having you help me with breakfast. Hope that puts a smile on your face.

Now Halle, loves to have her picture taken. She loved pretending this water spigot was a horse. It is photos like this that make this Airstream thing so worth the effort.

Final Rally of the year Part 1

Not to use this blog as a personal message board, but Tom, the deck photos are coming. I just want to get the extra materials out of the yard and things kind of looking good for the photo and there has not been any time to make that happen. As they say in Jamaica; "Soon come"

I hitched Anna up this past Thursday and headed to the WDCU Installation Rally. Beth and the girls would drive up Friday after work and join me. The day was beautiful, but all the radio stations were saying it was going to rain all weekend long. Even the Jesus stations were forecasting rain. Good thing I had picked up some jig saw puzzles and the bar was fully stocked, for it did not sound to be promising for a rally.

By the time I reached the campground in Shartlesville Pa. it was overcast and totally clouded over. Rain looked eminent. I found my spot and set up planning on making the best of it. Now as a few of you know, I cook breakfast for everyone that wants to come. There were 33 trailer registered and I was trying to figure out how that many people were going to squeeze under my awning along with my griddle. Thankfully the next morning the rain held off until after breakfast was served. I needed to make sure people could get out of the rain the next two mornings. Cabela's was six miles up the highway and they sold easy up awnings. So off to Cabela's I went.

For the past twenty or more years Cabela's has been the only place I buy my my Carhartt work clothing. I have been a very loyal customer over all those years and truly enjoyed looking at the Master Catalog that comes every year. However, to see all that stuff in the catalog is nothing compared to seeing it in the flesh all under one roof. You name it, they have it. A truly unbelievable experience it is walking around the store. I was there to buy an awning and I stuck to my mission. I found a nice 10 x 15 Easy Up and made the purchase. However as I walked through the store I saw countless photo opportunities and decided to come back in after I visited the loading dock for my pickup.

Cabela's must have a full time staff that does the taxidermy for their stores. Everywhere you look there are mounts of every animal that walks, crawls, or swims the earth. They even have a museum of deer racks. You name it, it is stuffed and mounted on the wall here. Some mounts are set in these natural settings. The trout in the pond were alive though. They were bigger than anything I have ever caught in my life.

I asked a store manager if it was okay for me to take photos. He said it was no problem and that I was welcome to photograph anything I wished to. I had a field day taking photos in the store. The only place I found any resistance was in the gun section. The gun shop manager thought I was some kind of anti gun type due to my long hair and due to the fact that I was not taking "regular pictures like normal people do" I assured him I was just taking abstract photos and if there was anything he objected to on my blog that I would change it. So Rodger, do you see anything wrong with my photos or description of your department?

Cabela's has the biggest selection of everything. The shear number of fishing rods alone is hard to come to grips with. I was fascinated of how they crossed over the tops of the displays and were an endless sea of lines. I know I see things a little different, but next time you go to a place like this stand on you tippy toes and look across the room through all the fishing rods. It really is an unusual perspective to see the space.

The colors and repetition of shape and size was all a feast for my artsy eyes. Andy Warhol could have come up with a great painting of bobbers. Who needs soup cans.

Warhol didn't need Marilynn Monroe if he had had Cabela's jig heads to paint.

My Cabela's visit was a great time for me. I got a new awning and had a lot of fun taking pictures. The funny thing though was that it did not rain the rest of the day and the next morning it was absolutely gorgeous out. The awning was totally not needed. I bet if I had not spent the money on the awning it would have poured the entire weekend. Good thing the Jesus Radio had not predicted forty days of rain, I just might have bought a boat while I was at Cabela's;

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Now she ain't so vintage no more

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I love the gas only RM50 Dometic refrigerator that Anna came with. It has worked fairly well over the years even with it's quirks . Once I light it and set the temperature it has always cooled well right to that temperature then shuts off. On my last trip it failed to ever light again. I spent many hours trying to find someone to work on it with out any success. After calling the sixth antique refrigerator repairman I decided to heed his words..." there is no way, no how to fix it. No parts, no where. Go shop for a new one."

I felt really bad having to let the old Dometic go. It actually took a few days of subtle morning to come to grips with such traumatic news. But life goes on and I like my food to stay cold.

This is the scoop that channel the combustion gasses up the vent in the wall. When I removed it, I was surprised to find this...

This is the exit hole into the skin and judging by the carbon deposits on the wall it was not getting much of it out. I am not sure why they did not make the hole larger. It could be three times larger.

The fridge is out and thankfully there is no rot under it. I often read that under the fridge is a rot prone spot, but I got real lucky this time. It is a good thing the project did not expand, because I have a rally this weekend.

I needed to make a surround for the new fridge. I made everything the same as original except I used fiddle back maple and ambrosia maple. That is a copy of the magazine rack for the side.

The counter top did get re used. Laminates of the 1960's were much thicker than they are today. I like the earth color of it and chose to re use. The counter top is in such good shape because back in Jan 3 1962 Roy Moore took great pride in fabricating it. Thanks Roy.

I did need to make a few changes. I made a frame for the side to keep everything rigid. I made this out of super light weight Sitka spruce. This is what early planes were built from. The other change was to fabricate a chimney to connect the combustion gasses to the wall vent. As I said earlier, the hole was made larger and now more gasses should get out.

So there she sits. A brand new Dometic RM 2551. Not as nice to look at as the old one, but the wood makes up for it. I thought changing out the fridge would be a quick easy task. Instead it took a lot of creativity and three times as many hours as I thought it would. All together I spent 17 hours of labor from start to finish. All in all I am very happy with the results. So today when I load the fridge everything will be nice and cold. I can also throw gallon jugs in there. Shame I don't have a gallon of moonshine to test that aspect out.

See you all up the road. Next post:WDCU Installation Rally.