Sunday, May 28, 2023

Water, Water Everywhere!

About a week ago I ran the generator in the motorhome and realized the water system was still winterized. I do not use antifreeze but instead I drain the water tank, the hot water heater and all the pipes. It is easy to do, is cheaper than using antifreeze and it very seldom drops below freezing here anyway. Just in case I have an electric heater inside the rig that turns on at 40 F. I've never had a problem.

I filled the water tank after closing all the various shutoff valves, went inside, opened all the taps and turned on the water pump. It went on and started pressurizing the system. But it didn't stop after I turned off all the taps. Then I heard water running! I opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink and water was coming out of the underside of the taps! I turned off the pump and cleaned up the mess which was not all that bad. I cannot get into that cramped space and even if I could, I cannot see well enough that close to my face. I suspect it is the taps that failed. The fixture was leaking a little before and I had to make sure the hot-cold lever was perfectly centered or it would drip and leak from behind onto the counter, it needed replacement anyway so I went down to Home Hardware and bought a suitable Moen replacement for $110. I bought a household model, not one for RV's. The RV ones (in my experience) are not as well made and cost more. Next I called my local plumber, a smaller guy who installed the last one and got a promise he would call first and be here sometime this coming week. Hopefully a leaky tap is the only problem which was probably caused by not being used for a long time.

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Great El Paso Steakhouse

 Memories from The Road.

There are many steakhouses in Texas but this one is special for one good reason. The Cattleman's Steakhouse is located a few miles outside of El Paso, TX on the grounds of an old ranch that was once used as a movie shooting location. The food is great and the servings Texas sized! It is not cheap but more on that below.

If you show up in your RV you are welcome to boondock in their parking lot for the night for free! So if you want a bottle of wine with your meal, no problem, they have you covered! When we were there there was even an electrical outlet right beside us which security gave us permission to use. Only 15 amp so forget about air conditioning but enough to run a fan or to make a pot of coffee which is what we did. So what you save on an RV park for the night will pay for one of your meals, a win - win situation with fine dining at half price.

When we first started stopping at The Cattleman's they served a delicious shark steak which I ordered every time we were there. Norma always had the rib eye steak and always took 2/3 of it back to the rig for her next two days meals. The last time we were there I was shocked to see they had taken the shark steak off the menu! I asked why and they said they simply did not sell enough of it to make it worthwhile to keep a stock. Too bad! I would have ordered more if I had known. It was addictive but luckily there were more selections for me the non meat eater.

Sunset at Indian Cliffs Ranch

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to everyone! I hope everyone will be with friends and/or family and is safe and warm as weather-wise is is not a very welcoming time out there. My plans were to drive down to my son's in Shawnigan Lake for Christmas. From there the three of us were going to drive down to Victoria on Boxing Day to join my granddaughter Sierrah and Luke for a nice dinner out at a Harbour Side pub but road conditions may prevent that. So, it all all depends on the weather. It is scheduled to snow between here and Shawnigan all day today and tomorrow with temperature rising and heavy rain starting early Saturday morning (the 24th). Rain and ice don't mix well on the roads so like I say, I will wait and see. I really want to see everyone but I don't want to risk my life over it, we can delay our get together, it's not like we have little kids around the tree.

If I end up being stuck at home I will plug in the lights around the fireplace, light a fire and bake a small stuffed Sockeye Salmon for myself! Either way, it will be a nice Christmas!

My Love and Best Wishes to everyone and be careful out there!


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Battery Maintenance, Etc

 It has been a long time since I checked the water levels in my four six volt golf cart batteries that power the systems in the motorhome. The water levels should be checked at least every six months and to understate the matter, they had not. Luckily the water was not low enough to expose the plates but was almost there. They took almost half a gallon of distilled water between the four of them so that's how low they were. I topped them off and started the generator to exercise it and started my timer for an hour and a half. I got away with it this time.

In other news, there really isn't any. I am doing fine and staying healthy except for a brief cold that resulted in the worst sore throat I can ever remember having. It was over in only a couple of days and I covid tested before, during and after and all tests were negative so that's what it was, a cold.

I got an invitation to come in for my fifth covid vaccine but had read somewhere that we have to wait before getting a vaccine if we have had covid which I have had. Exactly how long this period should be wildly varies depending on which "expert" you talk to. I have been told everything from five days to six months and no two authorities seem to agree. I will probably wait three months so from my last day of covid, that makes it December 24 which realistically makes it early January.

I am watching as my RVing friends start their trips south and somehow feel left out. One part of me wants to resume the adventure while the other part of me says I don't want to do it by myself and that part seems to be speaking the loudest right now. I may think differently by next year. Time will tell...

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Done with Covid!

 After eleven days I finally got a negative test result. I followed up the next day with another test and another negative so I am done! I feel pretty good with no lingering effects except exhaustion! It took more out of me than I expected and turns simple jobs like taking the garbage down to the highway into a major project. But I will survive and I will keep checking every couple of days to make sure it stays away.

 May be an image of text that says 'COVID-19 Antigen Test'

I discovered ordering groceries online and will keep doing it on a semi regular basis, it is sure easier than pushing a cart up and down isles buying more than I need. My local grocery store has waived the fee for a personal shopper, probably because of covid. All I do is pick a time, pull into one of the designated parking spots, call the store, open the trunk and my groceries are loaded for me. Easy peasy!

I have found a local handyman to help with some of the heavier projects around here, I hired him to clean my gutters and he did an excellent job in less than two hours! You can't beat that. He is a healthy 60 year old working two part time jobs and is happy to get the extra work.

The evenings and nights are starting to turn cold so I have decided to delay getting the motorhome on the road until spring, I just don't feel like dealing with it right now,

Saturday, September 17, 2022

It Finally Got Me!

 On Monday I started feeling poorly. Headache, bad cough, sore throat and generally hurting all over. I suspected Covid but put that thought aside. Tuesday I spent in denial but stayed away from people and Wednesday morning I tested myself. POSITIVE. Crap! I called the government hotline to turm myself in and after I answered a few questions he told me that I must isolate for five days and if I felt "better" on the sixth day, I could go back to my regular activities. However I will be even more cautious and will stay in isolation until I test negative. I tested positive again yesterday and will test again tomorrow.

It has not been a huge problem, I feel fine, it is affecting me no worse than a mild/medium cold. I ordered groceries online and did a contact free curbside pickup yesterday. Tylenol keeps the headache at bay and other than that, I am fine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Daren the Mobile Mechanic


I had the local mobile mechanic come over to check on the motorhome's steering column interlock. The last time I started it and exercised the transmission I could not turn the engine off! I tried everything and finally called BCAA. After a couple of hours he arrived and turned the engine off by slamming the shifter into park. I have been afraid to try it since. Daren explained how it worked and sprayed it with lube. It worked for him but was sticky. Taking it all apart would be very time consuming so he just said to exercise it often and call him if the problem came back but he thought it was just some corrosion from being unused for so long. One more step to getting it back on the road. Putting plates and insurance on it is next.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

What Have I Been Up To?

 Wow! I am not keeping up here. 

Last week I drove down to Victoria to visit an old high school friend and helped her fix up the patio on her new apartment. It turned out really nice and we went out for an all you can eat sushi feast. It was nice having someone to talk to for a couple of days.

Other than that I have been sticking around home. I haven't even been down to visit my son in about a year! I have to get off my butt! My youngest granddaughter, Sierrah and her partner, Luke were up for a visit a month or so ago. Luke is a refrigeration tech and replaced the thermostat in the motorhome. It had been acting up for a long time so he replaced it with a regular household digital model. Thanks Luke!

I found a guy willing to do odd jobs around the house and I had him clean all the gutters on the house. He charges $25 per hour, works his butt off and did the gutters in under two hours. A real deal.

I had him back today to wash the motorhome. It has been parked under a tree and beside a large hedge and the roof and one side were just covered with moss and mold. It was not easy to do but he started on the roof and worked his way down and in four and a half hours it is looking pretty much as good as new. $125 well spent in my opinion. One day he will come back and wax it with his buffer. He is a hard worker and a bit of a perfectionist.

One of my son's customers was telling Brooks that he was having company and had no room for them in his house and was thinking about renting an RV to park in his yard for a week for them to sleep in. Brooks mentioned that his dad had a motorhome and wanted to bring it down to his place to have some mechanical work done on it. Well, the bottom line is, he is going to pay me a bunch of money to drive it down to his place in Mill Bay and park it there for a week. The money he is paying me will pay my gas and probably most of the cost of the repairs (engine, transmission and generator service). It will just be parked there, he will not be driving it anywhere so no risk for me. It should work out well.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Common Sense GPS Use

 GPS's are a wonderful tool! They can guide you through city traffic and from one location to another with ease. But remember, GPS units lack one important thing - common sense!

I just watched another horror story on YouTube about an elderly couple in a brand new motorhome driving from Indianapolis, Indiana to Tucson, Arizona. They faithfully followed their GPS instructions and ended their trip on a four wheel drive only path through the desert near Tenopah, Nevada. By the time they realized there was something wrong it was too late. He tried to turn around, dropped the RV off a rock and broke a wheel.

The story should have ended there with them waiting in air conditioned comfort to be rescued but sadly, it didn't. The RV had enough food and water for them to survive on emergency rations for at least a month. But this couple, probably in a panic, made a completely irrational, fateful decision. They headed off in their tow car (a Kia) which itself got hopelessly stuck a few miles away. Now they were in dire straits with no food, no water and none of their medications. The husband died after a few days and the wife, who needed a walker, survived for nine days on dew she collected in the early mornings until she was found. She was unable to move his body and had to share the car with it for several days.

Another couple a few years ago, traveling in a car from Kelowna, BC to Las Vegas, NV followed their GPS instructions onto a snow covered mountaintop logging road in Washington State where they became hopelessly stuck. The husband tried to walk out for help and died from exposure on the way while his wife stayed in the car surviving on melted snow, toothpaste and a few candies until a snowmobiler found her after a couple of weeks. 

We have all had our unfortunate experiences with GPS instructions. One time Norma and I were trying to find an RV park in Louisiana and were sent up a paved road that soon turned to gravel. This wasn't making sense so we stopped beside a farm were we could turn around and stopped the next vehicle who told us we were on the road to the county dump. That is how easy it can happen but we must learn to count on our instincts before it turns into a disaster. Common sense tells us that the road from Indianapolis to Tuscon does not include a four wheel drive only trail through the Nevada desert and the route from Kelowna, BC to Las Vegas does not include a logging road over a mountain in Washington State. We have to do at least that much research before heading out. And above all, we must use common sense!

Garmin Drive 52 M GPS Car Navigator, with 5-in Display, Simple On-Screen  Menus and Easy-to-See Maps | Canadian Tire

Thursday, May 19, 2022

I Have A Story

I have a story...
About 25 years ago I had a job. Yes, really. I wasn't always a carefree Mexico traveler / apprentice chef. I was once a Radio / Microwave / Fibre Optics Repairman / Installer / Tire Changer for the telephone company.
One day I found myself at a US billionaire's fishing lodge on an island off Campbell River installing a fancy radio system that gave him regular dial service where none is normally available, I was installing the base in the utility room off the kitchen where my helicopter pilot was being entertained with coffee and cake by the chef. 
The owner's wife came into the kitchen to inform the chef that they would like fresh lobster for dinner that night. The chef told her there was no problem but it couldn't be tonight as he had no lobster on hand and it would take him two or three days to have some delivered. Well. that wouldn't do, she wanted it tonight and wasn't there "ANY way" he could get some. The chef looked at my pilot and said, "How much fuel do you have on board? Enough to fly to Vancouver and back?" The pilot said he had enough to get started and could stop for more on the way so the chef said he would call the Lobster place in Vancouver and have him get a box ready for pickup at the airport, which he did and off the pilot went in his $1000 per hour (plus fuel) AStar helicopter for a two hour round trip grocery run and the lady got her lobster dinner. 
I guess the moral of the story is, if you are a billionaire and you want lobster for dinner, you can have it.