Friday, May 27, 2011


It’s Thursday and I am up at the cabin. Patti didn’t want to come up this time.

A friend of mine (Doug) called me last week and said that he wanted to have a group of guys up at IC to do an all weekend drum. It has been a long time since I have been to a drum and thought it was a great idea so being retired and free and always looking for an excuse to come up here I drove up today. The others will arrive tomorrow evening.

I am still having problems getting the right shocks for the van. It looks like I will have to do some modifications to the latest ones. It shouldn’t be to hard , the bushings and spacer have to be trimmed down.

The generator is still out of action. I haven’t gone looking for the parts yet. I did find the entire fuel cock on line so if worse comes to worse it can be ordered.

I didn’t bring many tools with me this time as I came up in the jeep and didn’t have much room. I even forgot to bring a tape measure which is one of the most important tools. Oh well, I can always use a string or a measure board if I decide to build something.  Not much work will get done this weekend anyway so it doesn’t matter.

About 3 years ago, Peter had brought a “Paloma” tank-less water heater up for the shower. I was always too busy with the cabin to do anything about installing it so took it home last week and tried to get it to work, without success. The pilot light would not even light. On further investigation I found that there was no gas getting to the pilot. After several hours of trying this and that and after breaking the spark lead, I gave up.

Fortunately, Dave and another friend Kris both have camping, propane fired, “on-demand”, water heaters. It is complete with a shower wand and is small enough that we can hang it on the wall in the shower. The water inlet accepts a garden hose and I had already plumbed a hose bib in the shower room. The gas inlet is a long rubber hose with a regulator on one end so all we need to do is hook it to a propane bottle. We tested the system last fall and with a few modifications it should work perfect and will save me some work. Now all I have to do for the shower is build the enclosure.

The drummers showed up around 5:30 Friday evening. There where only four of them Doug, Ken, Terry and Mark. The first thing they unloaded were he drums. and the beer.

Terry and Ken took up residence in the Dining hall.


Doug and Mark set up on Dave’s deck.




Terry and Doug


Terry and Mark


Terry and Mark are very entertaining, they were always playing off of each other doing improvisational comic skits.

We drummed until the wee hours of the morning. I went to bed at midnight but the boys kept going.

I had to get up around 7:00 am Saturday to go to the privy. As I walked by the dining hall, I saw Terry laying on the ground fully dressed and sound asleep, near where they had parked the vehicles. I guess he couldn’t find his way to his sleeping bag. He and Mark had stayed up until dawn and consumed copious amounts of alcohol.

Later on in the day the guys took a hike to the slag heap and brought back some fire wood. Off and on during the day someone would start a rhythm on a drum then someone else would fill in the gaps on a drum or other percussion instrument. This went on through out the day and into the night. I finally had to go to bed around 2:00 am but like the energizer bunny they just kept drumming. Ah, youth!! Well, they are a little younger than I.


It was a very enjoyable weekend.

Around 9:30 Monday morning we got into Patti’s Trailblazer and headed for Glendale, Oregon; we arrived at Kathi and Bob’s at 5:30. Kathi and Bob’s youngest daughter Anna-lee and her baby (A cute little guy named Lucas)


are staying with them for a while. We will be here until Thursday. Patti and Kathi are going to go to Seven Feather’s Casino today and the rest of us will meet them at the Mexican restaurant in Canyonville for supper.

Patti came out ahead at Seven Feathers.

The weather has been kind of crappy with rain off and on the whole time we have been here.

Wednesday we just hung out at K & B’s all day and went to supper at the Village Inn in Glendale.

I’m Cool.


Patti came ahead there also.

We left Kathi and Bob’s around 8:30 am and headed for home. We stopped for a short visit with Becky and Dennis at their vineyard.


It was really great to visit with them. They have been working very hard to get the place in shape.

We finally got home around 7:30 pm. an 11 hour trip, about 8:00 hours of driving.

We are going to Indian Creek for the Memorial Day weekend with Joanne and Dave.

More later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Patti and I went up to IC on Friday. The weather started out clear and warm.

We got to the cabin around 2:45.


The first job I had to do, after unloading the van, was to hook up the stove. This time I had all the parts for the job. I had to drill a hole in the back wall for the gas line so I grabbed the cordless drill, installed a 7/8 spade bit in the drill and started drilling the hole. The bit made it about half way through the 1” board when the battery died. “No problem, “ I thought, “I have an extra battery”. I went to the van, got the spare battery, plugged it into the drill and tried again. The spare battery was also dead.


“No problem, I have a generator and an AC drill motor. I’ll just get the generator out of the van and use it to run the drill and charge the batteries”.

I unloaded the generator and started filling it with fuel. As I was pouring the gas into the tank I noticed a stream of fuel running from the “Fuel Cock” onto the ground. I leaned the Generator against some wood so that the fuel cock was up and took the fuel cock apart to see if there was anything I could do to fix it.

Inside, there’s a gasket with four holes in it that align with four ports


and an O-ring that is supposed to seal the cock.


I tried turning the four hole-er over and putting some oil on the O-ring but when I put it all back together the fuel still ran out.

“Okay” I thought. “I have a 1,000 watt inverter in the van, I’ll just start up the van and use that to power the drill'”. I knew that the battery that is connected to the inverter is old and week therefore I started up the van so that the battery could get some help from the alternator. I turned on the inverter with nothing plugged into it and instantly it went to the “Fault” position. The red light came on and the warning buzzer shrieked. I turned the inverter and the engine off, then I hooked up a fresh battery to the inverter with the same result.

Ok, so now I have a hole drilled halfway through the wall, none of my power systems are working, I want to get the stove working, now what do I do.

Ahah!! The cabin isn’t called the Tool Shed for nothing. Some of the decorations are old hand tools and it just happens that there is an old “Brace” hanging from a beam above the wood stove.

I retrieved the Brace and inserted the bit into the collet. Fortunately the bit that I was using had a hexagonal shaft so there was enough grip to hold the bit in place and turn it.

I got the hole drilled and the stove hooked up. It works just great.


All the jobs that I had planned to do this weekend require electrical power, it was obvious that I wasn’t meant to do any work on this trip. “Bummer”

Patti and I spent the weekend just enjoyed the cabin and the nice weather. We sat in the sun, talked, played cards and I did some R & D on some of the projects that are coming up.

The fire wood stack was getting low so we cut up a few down Tan Oaks. I need to get serious about cutting firewood for the Fall/winter season.

We took a walk up the road and saw a couple of Alligator Lizards.



one appeared to have an injured left arm. You can see in this video that it is acting strange.

Between the left shoulder and the neck you can see a large semi healed gash.


We also found a “Red Sided Guarder Snake”


and a “Millipede”


Unfortunately. the snake was dead. I think we must have driven over it on the way into the cabin.

The woods here are very dense but occasionally you get a nice view.


The wild Iris’ are blooming


in some spots they line the road .



We picked some Iris’ and Patti made a nice bouquet. When we got back to the “tool shed” she put the flowers in an old water pitcher and set it on top of the stove.



Patti got the chance to get some macro shots of these tiny flowers.




It started raining Saturday night and rained hard all night. It rained all day Sunday and at one point it dropped a bunch of pee sized hail.



We left for home around 2:00.

I talked to Felice last evening and she said that she will not have to undergo the Chemo treatments since there aren’t any drugs that would be effective in her case and the ones that they do have that might do something would likely do more harm than good. Instead they are taking the wait and watch approach. She is clear of cancer at this point and she will be tested every few months so that if the disease returns they will catch it early. That is as good as we can get for now so we will have to just keep our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Well there isn’t much going on around here lately.

I am still working on the van. The steering is all adjusted and I built an extension for the oil filler. Now, I am waiting for the new shocks to be delivered. This will be the third try on the shocks.

Patti has been planting flowers in the front of the house. She planted Dahlia's and Icelandic Poppies.


They look pretty nice eh!

Yesterday we took Felice to SF for a follow up with the surgeon. The news was good. They got all the cancer and found nothing in the lymph nodes. Now she will have to undergo some chemo for a month or so. 

Tomorrow, Patti and I are going up to Indian creek for a few days.

Maybe next week I will have more pictures and something of interest to share.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The shock absorbers that I ordered for the van came in and when I tried to install them, they wouldn’t fit so I returned them yesterday and ordered new ones.

When I got back to the house Patti mentioned that I hadn’t done any Kayaking since we got home. So since I couldn’t do the job that I planned for today, I called my friend Bob to see if he was into yaking. Of course I should have known that Bob is always ready to kayak.

I got to Bob’s around 12:30 and we were on the river by 1:30. it was a very pleasant day


with a slight breeze and temperatures in the high 70’s. We launched at Monte Rio and went down stream a few of miles. The river was kind of quiet with very little wildlife. We did see a couple of Blue Herons,



We stopped for lunch on a small beach, then headed back up stream.


We noticed a large Osprey nest in a dead snag.


And at one of the big holes we saw a lot of fish jumping. In a short time we discovered what was causing them to try and get out of the water. A pair of hunting seals was cruising the depths.



We passed a house with a new solar array. I don’t know how they are going to do any maintenance on the panels as they are stuck right together. How are they going to clean them?


As we paddled back up stream we saw a couple of turtles but they slid into the water just as I took the shot. 


It was a good day on the river. I am glad that I finally took the time to go for a paddle.