Barth prep, and dog training

A couple of months ago I had an expensive $$$$ round of postponed maintenance performed on Barth. The largest expense was a new air dryer. May you never need that!

I am planning a March trip to Livingston TX to be a CARE volunteer for the month of March and to check out the CARE facilities and services for future reference. Therefore I have been working on a few convenience changes, screw and bolt tightenings, a major basement a/c repair (not yet tested) and a general cleaning and purification service and a complete maintenance. Replacement basement a/c’s are no longer made. The needed a/c control board is not a Colman, but I found a Coleman repair control board with the help of a RV store. I am installing it myself. May you never need that!

Today I decided that Barth need a loop of a few miles to lubricate everything so as to expose unknown problems. Also, it was the first RV ride of the young and stubborn Lady the Dog, aka LtD. Barth did great. LtD was a nervous wreck, so my trip to TX is going to be a training run, if I do not kill LtD before I get there. I wish AtD (Annie) had lived comfortably to age 29.

Oh, yeah. Due to age, not tread, I need a new round of tires for the trip, and to keep Barth useable for another 8 years. I have been procrastinating over that $3000+ unless I decide to try to stretch them another couple of years. I have had 2 blowouts and though the rear blowouts did not endanger my life, recovery from the desolate locations that road service was required is a big deal with a big rig.

Since blogging in the middle of the day is probably a procrastination, I need to punish my back on more Barth work. But first I need breakfast (it is 2PM!).

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Blog resurrection after two year hiatus

It was sometime after New Year 2011 that I pulled into Camp Ranch Road. Blogging ceased then. I did not know at the time that it would be an extended hiatus from travel. I did know that my back was very painful.

In many ways a lot has transpired since then. And in many ways very little. The back problems escalated to near incapacitation culmination in a sciatica nerve block injection that was very effective but did nothing for the low back situation. Physical Therapy was a life saver and got me back on my feet in a few months, though far from 100%. It has been a long haul. Pain that is physically unchallenged leads to other maladies. Unfortunately one of them is procrastination which I wrote about some time ago. A couple of amusing but painfully true videos in this blog entry.

And Barth lay dormant, unattended. Water lines froze. Other things aged. Engine maintenance was delayed since I was not traveling.

My loyal and beloved dog Annie finally reached the point that there was only one humane thing to do, have her put down. I probably delayed the inevitable months too long. But she would come to me, look into my eyes, and telepath to me “Not today, please.” Then one day she seemed to be saying “I cannot take this any more.” And she took her last car ride to doggy heaven, as she was surely a good dog. She was 19 years old.

After about a year I decided that it was time to get another dog. Enter Lady, a Aussie that I acquired from Craigslist at an approximate age of 9 months. She is very smart, (“How smart is she?”) so smart that she knows very well what she wants to learn and what is obviously non-rewarding for her. It is a battle of the wills, and so far she is willing me to loose most of the battles. But she is a good companion nonetheless.  She will get the first test of motorhome life shortly which will probably be a brand new war between us.

Enough blogging (journaling?) . That is often a major form of procrastination. And a challenge at my typing speed. More later.

I christen the blog as resurrected with this cuppa Great Value coffee!!

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Now, what were you saying?

Wisconsin was doing a good job of keeping the talking heads on TV and Radio news busy.

Then there was Egypt, and the news was all Egypt.

Then there was the earthquake.

But very very very soon the tsunami came. So much for the earthquake.

The tsunami gave way to the reactor meltdown.

Though the reactors are still ominously perking, the nuclear emergency was supplanted by the K/Q/G/adaffi affair.
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When i heard that at a meeting in Paris today, France was going to take the job of cover for a no-fly-zone, In keeping with France’s reputation, I fully expected France to immediately surrender to K/Q/G/adaffi in Paris.

And thank goodness for Hillary, as she clearly and plainly explained in a short speech, which Obama failed to do in his typical confusing Palin-esque nice sounding but empty speech. But Hillary, I think I would have not informed K/Q/G/adaffi that our troops would not participate in ground action.

The only absolute fact from all this is that there is irrefutable evidence that the news channel talking heads, aka. the media, cannot multitask.

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The Tucson Memorial

Well, the one thing I can say is that if you hear me say that Obama made a good speech, you can rest assured that you missed a good speech. I truly was trying to hate the speech.

  • The kickoff blessing by Native Americans, was bizarre.
  • The staffer that helped Gilffords until transported – attributed with saving her life – made a no-notes talk that was excellent – APPLAUSE
  • Gov. Brewer made opening comments – APPLAUSE
  • Holder (bleak!) read a bible scripture – APPLAUSE
  • Napolitano (bleak!) did the same – APPLAUSE
  • Obama and others chronicled the lives of the dead, the injured, a sad occasion – APPLAUSE
  • Obama’s speech seemed very long because it was frequently interrupted by RIOTOUS APPLAUSE. About the only thing he could have done, but did not, would have been to gently try to quieten them at the applause breaks with his hands. Perhaps he did not think of that, or perhaps his ego enjoyed the applause. Unfortunately, despite the solemn occasion, it felt like a political rally.


One of the few times that I think applause was justified was when Obama announced, with Gifford’s husband’s permission, that she had opened her left eye for the first time right before the memorial (her right eye is still bandaged for gunshot damage).

None of this was the fault of the speakers. It was obvious from the content that they arrived to conduct a solemn occasion. However, the Tucson Audience had other ideas and imposed them. Truly strange. Truly unfortunate – it still nags at me.

Tags: Commentary

A 30-day food bank

This is not a ‘How To…’ article. It is a ‘Where To…’ article, i.e. where to find good reasonable suggestions for assembling a food bank to sustain you in case of emergencies.

Whether you are concerned about survival in the wake of a weather catastrophe, power outage, food shortage, civil unrest or acts of terror, it is prudent preparation to consider is food storage. What if the predictions of some ‘crazies’ that a killer sun flare will erupt in 2011 actually happens? Or if civil or political unrest occurs in 2013, a prediction of other crazies. Or the Chinese decide to cash in the U.S. bonds that they hold all at once, crippling the U.S. government?

If you live alone as one then planning can be straightforward. But for families planning is even more important. Remember, one cannot save the world, and must exercise real constraints on the extent and extension of your food bank.

Thirty days? One year? How much of a pessimist are you? A thirty day food bank is obviously much easier to accumulate and monitor for replenishment to maintain adequate freshness.

And finally, pessimist or realist? Remember, in case of a major upheaval home pantries would sustain only for a day or two for most city folks, maybe an additional day or two for those that live in more remote locations. Grocery store shelves would be attacked and without routine daily truckloads to restock, shelves would soon be bare. What would you eat? What would you drink? Is the water supply safe to drink? Has your water supply been shut off?

A thirty day food supply bank is manageable. Thinking about a one year bank makes my head hurt, even though it is for one person. I recommend starting small, thirty days for each person. I also recommend families act as small independent units. Grandpa should not attempt to create a food bank for all his descendants. Family units should stand independently for reasons of simplicity as well as to avoid the necessity to travel as travel may be impossible or imprudent. Also remember that your food bank need not be assembled in one trip to the grocery. Build it over time methodically following a prepared list of all items that it will include.

Popular proponents of food banks, such as Glenn Beck, seem to rely on very expensive food items from companies specializing in such foods. At least he advertises them heavily. I guess these are ok if you have the resources of a Glenn Beck. He can afford a ten year bank for a hundred people and hire a full time “keeper” to monitor and replenish as necessary. You can not do so.

So, when am I getting to the ‘Where To…’? Here are the best practical links I have found (no advertising, no commercial ties, no bull).

Links on the above web site also provide interesting related reading on other topics.

Tags: Commentary