Thursday, January 28, 2021

Back home again

 I've been AWOL for a bit but this time I've got a really good excuse.  My wife has an aunt who is ill with dementia and we wanted to visit her before it was too late.  The only thing is that the aunt lives in Florida; so we headed off to Florida.  We wanted to take the trailer for a trip so, of course, here are a few thousand more tow miles.  It was a very weird trip.  

Let's start with the first night when we hooked up the water and the toilet started leaking.  Hmmm.  Maybe we should have taken it as a hint and changed the trip to a plane trip!  The second day we didn't really have a problem except that the left front stabilizer didn't work quite right.  I lubed it but it is still only working with lots of effort.  Our daughter moved to a suburb of Austin, TX a few months ago.  Since we were making the trip on I-10, it was pretty much a no-brainer that we would stop and see her on both sides of the trip.  In Texas we were seeing dead deer on the side of the road at least 3 or 4 times a day.  Sometimes there would be two together.  We got off I-10 at Junction, TX so we could check out some of the famous Texas Hill Country.  Unfortunately, it was about that time that we got an error message on the dash:  Engine output reduced.  We were running in the hills and going uphill we were lucky to be doing 45 mph.  There didn't seem to be anything wrong; the engine temp was just fine; the transmission temp was fine; we just didn't know what was going on.  I was thinking that there must be a computer chip in the system that had died.  However, we made it to our daughter's.  We had a couple days with her and the truck ran just perfectly!  So we headed on East.  That didn't work long!  A 100 miles or so away and the problem started all over again.  We got the same Engine output reduced message and we also got one that said there was a problem with the trailer lights.  Grrr!  This time we stopped in East Houston, it was Sunday so I knew I'd be headed for the Ford dealer the next morning.  

I got to the Ford dealer by 07:15.  I went in to talk to a service advisor.  The guy came out and plugged his code reader in:  in a couple minutes he said "You need antifreeze".  Huh?  So I went over to the parts counter and bought 2 gallons of Ford's wonderful antifreeze.  (I say wonderful because it was $20 a gallon.)  I went out to the truck and the service advisor had already opened the cap where you add fluid to the cooling system.  I poured a gallon of antifreeze in and he said it should be mixed with distilled water!  So he went and got a gallon of Ford distilled water!  (For free!)  And he gave it to me to pour in with the antifreeze!  OMG, the cooling system was 2 gallons low?  How the devil does that happen and the truck doesn't overheat or anything?  However, that was the problem because it's been fine ever since!  

So we wandered off the next morning.  We got the trailer light message again but since we do a light check when we hook up the trailer we knew it was in error.  (That night I sprayed the trailer light plug with silicone spray.)  But the big news was that the truck ran like a top all day - no Engine output problem.  So we finally made it to Florida.  

We pulled up and my wife's uncle was standing there in the driveway waiting for us!  He has room on his property to park the rv so we stayed with him.  He is a great host and we had a great time visiting with him.  We visited my wife's aunt at the nursing home; he is going over there every other day but cannot visit her because of covid-19 so he goes to the window of her room and talks on the phone with her.  Unfortunately, her phone went missing so all we could do was wave and yell 'Hello'.  As it turns out, our visit was too late.  She showed no response at all to any of us.  It has to be just killing him to see the woman he loves turn into a non-person.  

However, we had visited her so now it was time to head back home.  This time I noticed that in Alabama and Mississippi there were parts of cars on the side of the road.  One time I saw the front bumper of a car with the license plate still attached on the side of the road.  We drove rather steadily and got back to the Austin area without really any trouble.  Again we had a good visit and headed out west.  We were nearing Deming, NM when the wind started hitting us hard.  It turns out there was a storm earlier today that was still with us with gusts up to 50 mph!  Let's just say we were really happy to make it to our rv park!

Our next night was to be in Phoenix.  As we got to Phoenix the rain started and, of course, the traffic became awful.  The rain was nasty and the fact that 4 cars were involved in a fender-bender made traffic just creep along.  We finally got past all that and were almost up to speed when something else happened.  I didn't see it along the side of the road but it must have been there because we had another long slowdown.  Finally we found our rv park about an hour later than we'd been expecting.  It is a huge park with mostly park model homes but they had 15 or 20 spaces for travelers.  It was ok but had no internet connection at all.  Well, we won't be stopping there again!  However the weather forecasts were scary.  They were talking about snow and a lot of it where we were headed.

In the morning the news was full of I-40 accidents and views of other roads that were simply covered with snow.  I started talking about going on I-10 to California then working our way north to Nevada.  In the end, that's pretty much what we did.  It wasn't the route I'd have chosen but it worked out just fine.  We got home Tuesday afternoon having not seen a single snow flake.  There was snow on the ground and it made the mountains even more beautiful than usual but no flying snow flakes.  Now that was just luck but I'll take it.  Now we have to adjust to living in a house again.  It's amazing but in less than a month I've forgotten where to find things.  I actually have to think about where the cutting board lives or where the coffee grinder stays.  Oh well, if that's the worse thing in my life it's ok.

Happily we have a new President who seems to be reversing many of the orders that Mr. Trump had made over the last four years.  I'm unsure about the legality of all these Presidential Orders but since they have been allowed to function as laws I guess it is just my ignorance.  I would just as soon that there was no more impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump but that is just part of my desire for him to disappear from the headlines.  Let him just be the lying golfer that he's always been and not the headline grabbing right wing idiot that we've had for the last four years.  

Well, that's the story of the last month in my life.  I hope everyone had a great January.  We'll be working on February soon enough.  Take care & keep washing those hands.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

I guess I'm in shock

 Actually, aren't we all in shock about the attack on our Congress?  I mean, really, I've always considered them o be a bunch of self-serving idiots but that doesn't really make a physical attack acceptable!  Term limits would be great!  An IQ test might even be a good idea (though there are plenty of smart ass**les around).  Anyway, I'm certainly glad that some of those rioters are being identified and arrested.  And cheers to the companies who are firing employees that took part in that travesty.

I haven't really heard from friends/relatives who support the outgoing President (boy, doesn't that sound great!) but thinking that invading the halls of Congress is a good idea is just way too far on the other side of reality. The people who are pointing out that law enforcement responded rather differently to this than they did to Black Lives Matter protests are absolutely right. The DC mayor had called out the National Guard but where were they? Were they all clustered around the White House to protect the President from his own supporters? I doubt if anything much will come of the different response but it is definitely there.

The part of this whole thing that is the most fun is that the Pres is actually in trouble because he basically incited a riot. LOL Actually, I don't think he should be called to account for that; I"m sure he's done much worse things that he could be prosecuted for doing. Charging him for this is simply something that his supporters could call politically motivated. Why let them continue to support him when he could easily be jailed for income tax evasion or some other non-political crime? Heck, how about cheating at golf? That would work for me.

I did read that the Secret Service was around in Scotland near a golf course owned by Mr. T and that there was some thought that he might be there on Inauguration Day. He has said that he won't attend the ceremony. First Pres to do that since 1869 or something like that. It just shows his concern for the office and the country. Ass**le!

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I hope to be back talking about nothing much before long.  I hope you have a good day and a great 2021! Keep washing those hands and wearing those masks.

Friday, January 01, 2021


 First time in a very long time!

Happy New Year world!