Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are You Lost???

This is a very interesting question. Have you ever been lost? I would have to say yes in the general sense of the word. Here is my definition of being lost.

You are only "lost" when you start to panic. If you don't panic then you are only temporary misplaced.

One time my oldest daughter called and said she was lost. She was heading home from work and got turned around somehow. I asked her what road she was on and then asked where the sun was. She said it was behind her and then I told her to turn around so the sun would be in her face. Basically she was heading east when she should have been heading west. Once I told her this I hung up. She called mom and complained that I hung up on her. Mom asked what did I say to do and she said dad told me to turn around and she did. Mom stayed on the line with her until she started to recognize her surroundings. When she called I was right in the middle of teaching a class, get this, the class I was teaching was on GPS.

GPS (Global Positioning Sensor or System) is such a wonderful device. Turn it on and away you go. I use mine often on our travels. Depending on the model type you have I can find just about anything in the city we are in. Even Bri says, "Daddy you can find it just follow the arrows." Does the GPS takes the place of regular maps?

I guess that depends on who you talk to. I still have my Atlas in the truck and also a mapping program on the laptop which is what I use the most. I do believe that there are some people out there that don't know how to read a map but can work a program on the computer with no problems. Maybe having to fold the map might scare them.

I first map out our trip on the computer and then start to find street addresses to log into the GPS. Once I have that saved I am ready to go. I also log in the places that we like and save them for future reference. Some GPS have voice directions on them but I don't need some voice telling me that I made a wrong turn. I turned the voice off on my unit.

Today's technology has come a long way to make our lives easier. Centuries ago captain's of ships navigated by the stars and today we navigate by the GPS. Most cities you can't even see the stars. So next time someone asks have you ever been lost you might say now no just temporary misplaced.

Untl Next Time........................Be Safe.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"On The Road Again...."

I titled this post for obvious reasons. Sherry and I have decided to start traveling again. The baby is doing well with no recent incident and Bri has been just fine. We talked about getting on the road again because we have done about everything that we could here in Dickinson, TX and getting the "itch'n to hitch" feeling.

We both feel that wherever we go we should be within a one day travel in case something goes wrong with the baby and the kids need us. So we left Dickinson and headed for San Antonio for a while which is where we are now.

We got here last Monday and just in time before a major rain storm hit that night. We are staying at an RV park called Hidden Valley which is south of town off of I35. It is a nice place with gravel sites but have many residents here as well. That rain storm dropped 4 inches of rain here and flooded out the septic tank. To prevent water from backing up we disconnected the sewer hose. We went to the Alamo that day and by the time we got back that afternoon the water had receded and everything was fine.

The mosquitoes are terrible but tolerable. We had a little visitor a couple of days ago which was a giant stick bug.

As you can see this sucker was big so I just left him alone and let him do his thing. To find out later I figured what his thing was. Some how, don't know how either, he found his way into the trailer by the door. Sherry was standing by the door looking out when she looked up and saw the stick bug. She quickly moved away and got my attention so not to alarm Brianne. I did the "Man" thing and evicted the creature out the door. I don't care for them either.

We had the opportunity to go out to dinner with my niece last night. She is in the Air Force and is stationed here in San Antonio. We went to a steak house and had a wonderful time. She gave us her plans and invited us back next time we are in town.

We plan on leaving Monday and start to head north, not sure where but just north. So......

Until Next Time..................Be Safe.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tires, Its Got Tread

Do you remember the gas stations of the past? I do, DING, DING, the customer drives up and I would run out there to see what they wanted.

One time a customer wanted to fill up (gas prices were less than a dollar a gallon then) and wanted me to check their tires. So being the jokester that I am I leaned back and said to myself, "There's two there" walked around to the other side and saw the other two. I came back to the customer and said, "Yep you have all four tires still."

What do you know about your tires on your RV. Lets see they are big, round, decent tread and there's a big hole in the middle. What else do you need to know, right? Let me try to shead some light on that tread.

First let's take a look at what makes up a typical tire.

If you take a real good look at this diagram you can see that a tire is made up of a lot of different parts. Looking at this you can see the word "plies". If you count up the different plies including the steel belts this will make up how strong a typical tire is and determine the air pressure as well. This information can be found on the sidewall of the tire.

Now lets talk about tire sizes. Here is the tire size of my truck.

Let's dissect the size here. LT = Light Truck, some trailer tires may have a ST = Special Trailer; 265 = Sectional Width, how wide the tire is at its widest point, measured in millimeters. 75 = Aspect Ratio or Percentage, 75% of 265 = Tire Height. R = Radial ply design, most tires today are radial ply. 16 = Rim diameter. If you look closely at center right you can see and count that my tire has 7 plies including the sidewall. This dictates a load range "E" tire.

For this range my maxium tire pressure is 80 pounds cold, which is important since air pressure when hot will expand. Even though that all of this is important when choosing a tire there is one factor that needs to be said.

The tire date code. What this is the date when the tire was made. Knowing how to read this will help you determine how long that tire has been on the shelf. Look on the sidewall for 4 numbers in a row. Example: "4909". The first two digits represents the week of the year and the last two digits represents the year. So my trailer tires were made in the 49th week of 2009. They are Goodyear tires and made in America.

If you do some research you may find out that the bargain brand type tires are made overseas and don't hold up as well. Take your time when choosing your tires.

How much tread really doesn't mean that much anymore, well it does, but when I purchased my fiver the tires looked great as far as tread was concerned but the date code indicated the tires were made in 1997, way to old.

Make sure when you roll you roll on good tires.

Until Next Time.......................Be Safe.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Being Inventive and Frugal

When gate guarding you really don't have time to go and do shopping, run up to the little market or anything of the matter. Well you do get your groceries, maybe go to the bank and get the necessities. I haven't mentioned doing the laundry yet.

We like to keep our quarters that we save during the year. Sherry and I decided that we can do laundry ourselves. Stop and think about it, you may sweat and collect dust, what else? Now some of you that will be reading this may say that we are crazy and basically EEEEEEWWWWWW!

Here is our washing machine.

and the insides:

What Sherry does is fill the bucket with water and soap, then uses the plunger as the agitator. In case you are thinking what I think you are thinking, the plunger was bought new just for this purpose.

She then rinses the clothes and I hang them up outside. I may ring them out with a little help from my ladder. I loop a towel for example around the ladder and start to twist it to help get more of the water out. We hang them out to dry and there you have it. Now I will give you that their not as soft like in a dryer but it works for us.

It may not be a typical washing machine and dryer but think about when your grandmother or your mom doing laundry when you were a kid. Or how about back in the depression or earlier, how do you think they did laundry?

This helped us to save our quarters, fuel to the laundry mat and time. So

Until Next Time..................Be Safe.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scarey But All Right......Thank God

Yesterday was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, a few puffy clouds and the temps were in the upper 80's. What a great day to go fishing. Bri and I were up and I decided to take her fishing down to one of the area ponds.

Bri was doing great and was catching some small sun fish. She received a new fishing pole for Christmas and was doing great. It was a big person's type pole. She was doing so well that she even caught a turtle.

Mom came out to join us and cheer us on. I have yet to catch anything so far. Bri started to complain that she didn't feel good and that's when all hell broke loose.

I turned my back to bait my hook and Bri started to wobble and then went face first into the mud and water. Sherry picked her head up out of the water and I lifted her straight up and laid her down on her back. She was scared and crying. Sherry started to talk to her and calm her down. I noticed that her fishing reel was in pieces. She landed on the reel with her chest.

I went to the trailer to call 911 to get the paramedics out here. By the time the paramedics got there Bri was calmed down and she was talking normally to us. The paramedics asked if we wanted them to take her to the hospital and we said yes. This has never happened to her before so we were very concerned and worried.

Bri was born to us 3 months pre-mature. She only weighed one pound eight ounces at birth. She stayed in the NICU for 3 months and had heart surgery when she was 3 days old. This had to be done to staple a valve closed to allow more blood to go to her lungs and increase her pressure. This valve is normally closed when the baby goes through the birth canal. Bri was a c-section baby.

The hospital ran all the tests and a "ECG" on her heart. In short all the tests came back normal. The doctor said what happened to Bri was that she was dehydrated and had hypo-tension. They gave her a bag and an half of fluids via an IV and took her blood pressure many times before we left. We were at the hospital all afternoon and Bri was very hungry.

When we left the hospital I stopped and got everybody some food and went back to the trailer. With this now in our plans Sherry and I will talk about what we may do next. The baby, my son's daughter, seems to be responding to the current medication that she is on. She hasn't had to go to the hospital at all lately which is a good sign. Sherry and I haven't discussed when we might be leaving but since this episode with Bri our plans on leaving may be put on the back burner for a while.

Until next time.............Be Safe.