Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dummy Alert!

Oh boy, did we do a dumb thing the other day.  We have the trailer out of it's shed and next to the house because we are doing a little work on it - the new bathroom sink.  So we opened the awning to keep the morning sun off the side so it would be cooler.  So far so good but then comes the dumb moment:  we left the awning out and cam into the house.  You know what happens next:  the wind comes up and suddenly I hear this whacking sound.  The awning was doing it's best to try to rip itself to bits.  I ran out and grabbed it but it was too much for me.  Happily my wife heard it as well so she followed me out after a minute or two. 

We tried flipping the lever to roll it up but it was jammed and wouldn't roll up.  Finally I had the bright idea to release the awning legs from the side of the trailer and just let the awning hang down against the side of the trailer.  My wife couldn't get her end of the awning to release but I managed it and that released all the strain from the 'roll up' lever and we managed to get the awning rolled up.  Damn, that was a near thing!  We've been running around in trailers for almost 15 years that's too long to be making a rookie screwup.

We do have a new sink though.  It looks good and hopefully we'll get the plumbing done later this afternoon.  My wife is the family plumber; all I do is hand her the tools.  I won't be taking any photos of that! Here's a photo of the old sink propped up in the cutout for the new one. 

And here is the new sink happily installed.  What a difference!

My computer is officially screwed up.  My battery icon gives me a message that says "6% available (plugged in, not charging)".  It's almost exactly 5 years old and when I took the battery out, it's leaking.  It's just a bad deal.  I checked out batteries online and they are running about $30.  I checked out the ones at the local BatteriesPlus store in Las Vegas:  $100.  Hmmmm.  Guess I'll be buying online again.  On the other hand, there is a nice Toshiba Click 2 advertised for $530.  It's small but maybe I could get used to it.  We'll see what happens.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jeez, I'm getting worse!

Ok, I haven't updated the blog in over three weeks.  In my defense, it's been pretty dull around here!  This is our 'monsoon' season so we've had several storms blow through leaving their usual .002 inch of rain.  That ain't much even in millimeters.  The mountains between here and Vegas catch all the rain and they have had some flooding.  We got a little mud on the roadway but not a lot.  We did have one really cool storm in the night with a lot of lightning hitting the desert floor.  Pretty unusual and totally beyond my ability as a photographer but it was cool.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

These days excitement is defined by stuff like having a guy come and powerwash our tile.  Well, at least it is expensive if not exciting.  He suggested we should be sure the gap between the tile and the baseboard is sealed so I spent two wonderful days crawling around with the caulking gun and a tube of silicone.  Then there were the two days laying around groaning about the crawling around.  Gotta tell you 65+ year old guys who are overweight just really don't like crawling very much especially on a hard surface like tile.  I used a pad but couldn't stay on it the whole time and my knees knew.

My wife had a birthday recently and we celebrated by going into Las Vegas for Dim Sum.  We went to a place called Ping Pang Pong in the Gold Coast Casino.  It is pretty well rated and got a good mention in some national magazine (like Travel and Leisure but don't quote me on that).  Two of the other Dim Sum restaurants in Vegas have been closed by the health department within the last two months so we just kind of knocked them out of consideration without hesitation.  Anyway, I was pretty surprised because the place was really quite small.    I've never had Dim Sum before but thought the food was pretty good.  Carts are brought around with various little plates on them.  You get like three dumplings on a plate.  Plates are between $2.50 and $7 at this place and there are a few things that are more.  We got some bbq pork that was a quite large serving for $9.  There were a few things that I didn't like.  First it was so noisy that I couldn't hear the cart ladies nor could my wife so we ended up with a few things we wouldn't have ordered.  (There was way too much shrimp for someone like me with a shellfish allergy.)  Secondly, the cart ladies all circled around at once so we ended up getting lots of food on the table whereas had we gone a little slower it would have been a better experience and the food would have been warmer.  I suppose that is our fault though; they didn't twist our arms to take food!  Finally, and perhaps the largest complaint is that we were standing in line outside the place for a full 30 minutes.  We had read in reviews about the wait but we were hoping that mid-week at 1 p.m. it wouldn't be quite so bad.  It was.  I think next time I might try someplace less popular.

This morning I'm waiting for a guy from DIGIS, our internet provider.  They use some kind of radio signal to get to our house so we have an antenna, much like a DirectTV dish, for the internet.  They put a new one on a couple weeks ago so we have quite good service. (Ping is 61ms; download speed 10.94 mbps, upload is 1.98 mbps for those who know about such numbers.  They are claiming that when the installation is right and their tower gets upgraded next week we should see 15 mbps download.  We'll see.)  Unfortunately they used 4 lag screws to hold the dish on and two have already fallen out.  Not exactly a wonderful installation so they have to come back and fix it.  Not something that's worth taking photos of either! 

Our staghorn cactus is trying to have a flower.  It's not quite open yet but I need to get a photo when I can.  The flower doesn't stay around very long.
If it sticks around and I can get better photos I'll do so. 

Anyway, that's life in the slow lane.  We'll do something crazy soon, I promise.  Until then, thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 21, 2014

No I'm not dead....

We've been having more fun than you can imagine getting that oven installed.  We bought the oven from an Amazon affiliate; mostly because it was $800 less than at Home Depot or Sears.  However, there was a slight delivery problem.  It was a week late arriving here.  Grrr!  My wife was about ready to fly to New York and kill someone.  However, finally it showed up.  The guys unpacked it and we inspected it carefully.  Happily it was just fine.  The only problem is that the thing weighs something over 300 lb (135kg)! 

Now that we had the oven we felt comfortable getting in touch with the electrician.  They couldn't come immediately so it took a couple days and we had the new oven sitting in our nook.  Now we felt comfortable about taking the old one out but it was a little heavy for my wife to help me.  So we waited for the electrician.  He showed up and was great.  He helped me pull the old one out and unhooked it.  Then he wired up the new one and helped me put it in.  It fits like a glove!  Happy days.  Well, almost.

The instructions for the oven tell you to remove the oven doors prior to installation so we did that; then we couldn't get them back on!  Jeez, let me tell you, we tried!  We tried time and again but finally had to admit defeat.  I called our local appliance repair person and got on their schedule.  Finally, the day comes around and the guy shows up.  I've got to give him credit; he didn't even laugh!  It took him about half an hour but he did get the damn doors back on.  Finally we could trip the breaker and we have an oven again.  Jeez!

We've tried a couple things and so far it's working well.  It has all kinds of bells and whistles that will never be used.  For example, you can connect it to your wireless network so you can use a smartphone to fire up the oven before you get home.  Really?  Gradually we are getting the various settings modified to our liking.  There are a few things to get finished, like painting, but nothing too challenging.  And we get to eat in the meantime. 

We did take the old ovens and microwave to the recycling center.  It was 300 lbs of various metals and glass; we got $20 for it.  It's hardly worth doing but I like the idea that it will be something else someday rather than just taking up room in a landfill. 

There are a few other things going on but I can't talk about them right now.  Besides, I have some kitchen duties calling me.  Have a good one!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Oh gee, crappy blogging again!

Here's a headline that talked to me; except I'm not so stupid as to try to hide my knife.  When we were in China I forgot to pack my Swiss Army knife in my luggage one time.  When I admitted this to our guide, he recommeded leaving it behind.  He even called a friend to come 'find' it.  Well, it was a great way for the 'friend' to get  a nice pocket knife but I figure it would probably found it's way to a landfill otherwise so I guess I'm ok with the friend having it.  I've had two Swiss Amry knives:  one from when I was about 21 and visited Switzerland for the first time; the other from my mid 40t's after the first started being kind of sloppy.  Well, now I've got a third.  Same version but just tighter.  Too bad we can't get a new body like we get a new knife!  LOL!

Things have been rather quiet around the homestead these days.  We pulled out the over-the-stove microwave/vent hood and replaced it with a regular stove vent hood.  The old one didn't do a very good job of venting the stove AND somehow grease found it's way into the thing to drip into the microwave.   Weird but nasty.  So now we have a dedicated vent hood.  I'm really sorry to say it took us all day to change it out!  Guess that we made almost every error known to humans.  I even made a template which did help in positioning the screws but was a bit off.  Gee, wish the maker had thought to give us one.  $400 noisy POS! 

We are waiting, impatiently, for a new double oven to replace the one we currently have.  The new guy will have convection in both ovens and the self cleaning feature as well.  The current ones are just a pain in the a55.  We should get them next week and after the torture of installing them, I'll post a before and after photo. 

Gotta wander off now.   It's almost 22:00 and time for old guys to be in bed.  Take care!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What is he so interested in?

I saw the cat sitting by the back door, very intent on something.

Hmmm,, guess this would be it!
Don't know if it is the birds or the bunny but there has to be some breakfast out there somehow!

We haven't done much in the last couple of days; just working on the every longer 'honey-do' list.  I work out in the garage but by 09:00 it's way too warm to keep going.  Don't you just hate it when you sweat on something you just painted?

Thanks for stopping by.  Take care.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Just a photo...

I don't have much to say this morning but I wanted to share this photo.  We had a little bunny visiting this morning at the base of the bird feeder helping to clean up seed that has been spilled on the ground.  He was pretty cute and seemed to get along fine with the doves who are our more usual visitors.  Notice how everyone kind of blends in with the rocks.

We have a cloudy day today.  It's kind of nice for a change but it doesn't smell like rain so I'm thinking we won't get any.  As 'The Weather Channel" says "Dry conditions will continue."

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jeez, 10 days! Really?

Ok my mind has been on other things but now I've got to remember what I've been up to lately.  Not too much actually.  We are getting out by 06:00 so we can walk in the morning.  If I wake in the night I open the windows to let in a bit of fresh air.  It gets down to about 70F (21C) about 02:00 in the morning.  By 09:00 we have closed up the house because it will be 85F (29C) headed for 102F (39C) or so by late afternoon.  Next day we go through the whole thing again.

My wife has been complaining about the dinette seats in the RV; the foam is too soft and the cloth is wearing in places.  There is an upholstry shop in town so we took the seats over to the guy.  He is in his 70's and is letting his business kind of wind down but we were able to find some fabric that we liked so had him replace the foam and then cover them using the new fabric.  It took him a couple days but he did a really nice job and from just trying them out we think it's a great improvement.  We'll get to test them out later this summer when we go for a little trip.  I'd take a picture but they just look like they belong.

Last Thursday we drove over to Death Valley Natl. Park just for something different.  We didn't actually go to the valley though, we took a side road to a point called Dante's View.  You are on a cliff overlooking the park.  The cliff is at elevation 5,475 ft (1,668 m) and you are looking down into the valley which is, of course, below sea level at -280 (-85m) right below you.  It's really a pretty cool view.  Didn't bother to go down into the valley since it was already warm!

Then on Saturday my wife and I went into Las Vegas for some general shopping.  There are just plenty of things you can't get in our small town so if you want, for example, some nice cheese, you've got to travel.  Likewise if you want clothing that doesn't come from Walmart, you've got to travel.  We wanted both.

I also needed to find my way to Harbor Freight.  I did something fairly dumb a few days ago and decided I really need a little mobile tool cart.  What was the dumb thing I know you want to know....  I'm embarrassed but I was checking the fluid in the battery in the truck.  I used a screwdriver to pry the caps off - then left the screwdriver in the engine compartment!  Next day I took the truck into town for something or other and was fortunate that screwdriver didn't find it's way into the fan or even short out the battery and cause a fire.  Now I've got a cart that I can put stuff on rather than balance things on top of things in the engine compartment.  Well, I will have a cart when I get the thing put together. 

Sunday was a fairly do-nothing day.  When we went to China it was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  Sunday was the actual day.  So we talked, had a special meal and watched a couple of old movies.  Very quiet but after all, we'd gone to China to celebrate already! 

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one.