Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bath Time

A nice sunny day. Good day for playing in the water. I washed the two cars and cleaned the inside as well. It's been a long time. Also cleaned the RV.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

RV Tire Replacement Time

Time to get the tires replaced on the RV. They're still round, but time has passed and even quite a bit of extra time. While they look good, 7.5 years for a tire is like 105 in human years. The south bay area isn't a great place to find good RV tire sources. Looks like Costco wins. I wish I knew more about tires.
Fortunately, they don't have to be replaced often enough to maintain adequate knowledge. Unfortunate for the same reason. I'm considering tire monitoring devices. I'd prefer SmartTire because they can provide temperature information as well as inflation pressure but they cost twice as much as the competitor Doran Pressure Pro. They also are more secure because the Pressure Pro is just a screw valve stem cap whereas the SmartTire is attached inside the tire on the rim. Costs? $1199+$400 installation vs $720 self install for 10 wheels. Decisions. Decisions.
Anybody with experience of the loss of the screw on Pressure Pro? Do you remove them when not on the road? Questions. Questions.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Home Again, Again

Always nice to be home.

DataStormers At The Escapade, Chico

Datastormers At Chico Escapade Datastormers At Chico Escapade
Datastormers At Chico Escapade Datastormers At Chico Escapade
Datastormers At Chico Escapade
There were a lot of DataStorm (or is that HughesNet) dishes at the Escapade in Chico so, of course, we had a get together. We met Thursday for lunch at IHOP. It was a nice meeting.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

First Escapade

Sunday: We joined Escapees RV Club in January at Quartzsite. This is our first event with the group. We'll be here at the fairgrounds in Chico, California with only a few thousand like minded folk.
Chico Escapade Waiting To Enter
I arrived a bit early but there were already about 20 RV's in line so I pulled in behind for the 50 minute wait for them to start parking the RV's Very smooth operation. Parked and registered in no time. Since I drove into the wee hours of the morning, I'll just take it easy this morning.
Lou arrive in time for the 2pm orientation meeting. We took a walk around the fair grounds and discovered a nice brewery we'll have to go by while we're here.
Monday: We attended some sessions on going to Alaska and other RV related topics. Alaska sounds like a nice place to visit. Next summer?
Chico Escapade
Lots of club chapter and vendor information booths.
Chico Escapade Show
There was some entertainment provided by a high school in Grass Valley that was extremely good.
Chico Escapade Mouseketeer
Sorry for the picture quality (dark room zoom shot) but it is such a good example of why you should look around where you are going to take a seat. The banner is a smily face but he looks like Mickey Mouse.
Monday: Attended seminars today.
Tuesday: We attended more seminars. Later, we had dinner at Sharon’s Cookhouse, 1228 Dayton Rd., at the corner of Pomona. They feature Southern-style food. The place was filled with other Escapees. We had dinner with a couple Lou had been speaking with about a new (old) Singer Featherweight sewing machine. They own one like Lou has been wanting. Lou found one at a local shop that specializes in this old sewing machine. The one Lou bought was manufactured in 1942. It's good as new.
Wednesday: Lunch at IHOP with some of the Datastorm User Group/ Escapee members. It is good to see fellow satellite users and to put faces to members familiar only by their forum postings.
Thursday: We both attended a presentation on RV'ing in Idaho. Later, Don attended a presentation on the Habitat For Humanity projects. Lou attended a presentation about maximizing storage in a small RV.
After the closing meeting at 3pm we left about 5pm. We had intended to stay out a few more days but decided to head home to take care of some business.
We stopped at the Colusa Casino long enough to loose a couple of dollars and then on to home arriving about 9:45 PM. Our good neighbors next door brought over some just baked brownies. Nice to be home.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Friday: We had a nice trip South. Stopped at Harris Ranch (I5 @ Hwy 198)for dinner. They have the best chicken fried steak (in my opinion) and the best liver and onions (per Lou and Dawn). After a short after dinner siesta, we hit the road toward Tulare. There was quite a bit of heavy rain through Lemoore and Hanford but then it was nice again. We stopped and looked around the Outlet Mall and then went over to Wal-Mart for the night.
Since this is a new departure from home it is defined as a new trip. The December trip was quite extensive and there were a lot of campsites on the trip maps. This will be a bit shorter trip here in Tulare, then Chico, then probably Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park near Orick, Ca. But, who knows?
Fingers crossed hoping for no rain tomorrow for the Antique Farm Equipment Show.
It's been a while since I added any pictures to the blog. Just not too much picture worthy around the house. Now, the antique tractors are another thing. Look out, here come the pictures, weather permitting.
Saturday: We headed over to the Ag Center early. It was only a few miles south of our night camp. We should have just continued on down last night. It costs $10 to park the RV weather for the day. You can arrive Thursday and stay through Sunday for the same $10. May next year we won't be rushed and can arrive early and depart late. Admission is $6 per person. The show is always worth it.
Tulare Antique Tractor Show Stylish Tractor Tulare Antique Tractor Show
At 9:30 there is a tractor parade followed by an older big truck parade. Lasts about 1 hour and 40 minutes. I love the sound of the hit or miss engines.
The weather, while overcast all day, was nice. No rain!
Lou and Dawn are on their way home and I'll be headed North to Chico. Lou will arrive there later tomorrow.
Tulare Antique Tractor Show Row Of Old Tractors
Rows and Rows of old tractors, engines and other old farm equipment.
Tulare Antique Tractor Show Row Of Old Trucks
There was a truck parade as well. A least three rows of big rigs like these.

Click on either of the two images above to see videos of the item in the image. These are very big files so be patient. (8M and 4.5M respectively)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Off We Go

I completed some more caulking. Only the right side roof line remains but it looks OK so should wait until another time soon.
Lou used the RV as a quit space to do the taxes last week. Funny how easily little messes add up. We finally completed cleanup and reorganization inside.
A couple of days ago the water tank was sanitized.
Tomorrow morning I'll dump the holding tanks and we're ready to hit the road toward Tulare. Off to the Farm Equipment Show if chances of rain are low enough. Then on to the Spring Escapade in Chico.
The long list of things to do here at home is no shorter. I did get the plants out of the green house so the yard looks a bit better. Hopefully we can attack the list on our return, whenever that is?
Procrastination is an art!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Enough Rain

With all this rain recently, a new leak developed on the left rear of the RV. It was eventually stopped, temporarily with a plastic sheet tied over the roof. Hard to go down the road like that, but it's not easy to repair when it's raining. Add to that that we've all been sick recently, especially the roof repair crew, me. And then there was the time doing the "stupid" taxes. Anyway, today we had enough of a no rain window to do the fix. The problem was one of four possible seals, most likely the seal between the side and end-cap. So out with old and in with the new. There also was the possibility that it was a recurrence of the leak in the same area from before. This was the seal between the rubber roof and the end-cap. There was a questionable spot there so it was sealed as well. And then, it could have also been coming in around the clearance light or the water filler door frame. So many possibilities!
I've been resealing things a piece at a time. I may have to speed up the process. The right side of the roof and the right rear vertical seal are now moved to the top of the list, when the rain stops.
We may finally hit the road again. We intend to go to Tulare for the Antique Farm Equipment Show again this year. We'll be there Friday night so we can get an early start at the show Saturday morning. We'll then head toward Chico for the Spring Escapade. We have to get the RV in between 8am and 1 pm Sunday. This is getting too complex!

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Camera

Nikon Coolpix S4
Dawn needed to borrow my Digital camera for her project for the history park so that was enough of an excuse for me to get a new camera. I really wanted a camera that could take good pictures, had a good zoom lens, could take macro pictures and could shoot video. There are not too many choices that can do all that. I had a final requirement. I didn't want a monster camera. It had to be small. It turns out there was really only one camera that met all these requirements, the Nikon Coolpix S4.
It's a 6 Megapixel camera with a 10x optical zoom lens. It's small, 4.4w 2.7h 1.4d inches It uses SD memory like my other camera. Uses AA batteries so batteries will never be a problem to find. It rides nicely in the belt holster. I got a 4Gig memory card for it. The batteries will be discharged long before the memory is full. It should take 2656 full resolution pictures. Of course, there is always an of course, it only counts up to 999 on the available image display so after 1657 pictures are taken there will only be 998 more. That's cutting it close! Actually, the memory is for video, 1.8 hours of it. So, a serious day of shooting can be done including pictures and video with only the worry of the occasional battery change, 6 or 7 sets of alkaline batteries, less often with good lithium batteries. The camera can be operated in simpleton mode, my favorite, or scene mode can be used to tailor it to the object of the photo. It can't be used fully manually, and that's a good thing for us simpletons.
And, one of my most important criteria was met as well. It didn't cost much either.

A Nice Day For A Walk

Bolado Park, Palo Alto Donkeys in Pen at Bolado Park, Palo Alto
Lou and I walked through Bolado Park to Gunn High School, where Lou used to work, and back home. Lou used to use this route to walk to work most of the time. It's about 2 miles there and the same back. It is a nice walk.
Donkey Inspiration For Shrek,Bolado Park, Palo Alto Donkey at Bolado Park, Palo Alto
We stopped by to visit the donkeys. I understand the small one was the inspiration for the donkey in the movie Shrek done by PDI when they were here in Palo Alto.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Movie Night

Stanford Theater
We went to the Stanford Theater in Downtown Palo Alto (221 University Ave) to see some old movies. The theater is a wonderfully restored 1920's era theater. The weekend shows are the best because during intermission between the double features, the theater organ is played by very talented organists. The show is done properly by talented projectionists. The contour curtain rises and then the Oleo curtain draws out as the show starts. Everything is done the way I used to do it when I was a projectionist 40 years ago. What fun!
Tonight’s features were "The Prisoner of Zenda" and "The Talk Of The Town". They are, of course, old black and white movies made way back when there were good scripts and good actors, unlike the "stuff" made today. This is a Ronald Coleman Film Festival.
The Prisoner of Zenda starred Ronald Coleman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Madeleine Carrol, David Niven, Raymond Massey, Mary Astor, C. Aubrey Smith, Byron Foulger and Montagu Love. A man, who looks identical to a soon to be crowned king, has to act as the king and save the country from the villainous royal brother.
The Talk Of The Town starred, of course, Ronald Coleman, Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Edgar Buchanan, Glenda Farrel, Charles Dingle, Emma Dunn, Rex Ingram, Leonid Kinskey, Tom Tyler, and Don Beddoe. A nice Romantic Comedy about a falsely accused murderer saved, eventually by a brilliant lawyer. Excellent movie but I found many parallels to recent politics including blind acceptance of what politicians say and mob response based on propaganda.
It is so nice that movie houses such as this still exist. They definitely should be supported.