Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Musical cars.


Okay, so the van is full of stuff that has to go to the cabin for the fourth of July weekend. Unfortunately there is a leak in the fuel filler pipe/hose. I decided to fix it before I go to the cabin because I don’t like to drive around with gas dripping out of the back of the van.

On Saturday morning I crawled under the van and after considerable struggle I managed to remove the filler pipe and hose. The filler hose was pretty rotten and it split when I tried to remove it. So now I have to fix it.

You know, sometimes we out smart ourselves.

When I went to find a new piece of rubber hose to connect the filler pipe to the gas tank, I figured that I would save time and bypass the part stores like Auto Zone and O’ Riley's because I was looking for a
1-3/8” diameter fuel hose, something that is rare. I didn’t think those stores would have it but figured if anyone did it would be the Napa parts store; so to save running around I went directly to Napa.
No Luck. They had 1-1/2 and 1-1/4. They suggested that I try Power Engineering (A Hydraulic supply store). Unfortunately they were closed until Monday.
I went home to think about my options.
I looked online and found a place where I could order the hose but I decided to keep that as an option if I couldn’t get the hose locally.

We decided that in case we couldn’t get the hose in time for the weekend, we would move all the stuff from the van to Patti’s Trailblazer and take it up to the cabin Sunday.
That is what we did; Sunday morning we drove up to the cabin unloaded all the stuff, had lunch and came home.

Monday morning I went to Power Engineering to see if they had the right hose.
“Sorry we don’t have any 1-3/8 hose of any kind.”

Okay, I guess I will have to order the hose on line. I can get by without the van for the weekend so I decide to order the hose when we get back from the cabin.

A while later I was at home when the phone rang.
It was Patti.
Her car died in the middle of traffic. She had to be pushed into a gas station. She called AAA and was brought home in a tow truck.

Okay, so now; the Van is down, Patti’s car is down; the jeep is the only vehicle that we have running and we need to take a bunch of food and passenger to the cabin for the weekend.

“What the hell are we going to do?”
”Okay calm down.”

An answer to the Problem:

While I was researching the fuel hose I ran across a forum that was talking about the difficulty of finding the proper hose. One poster mentioned that he used a piece of radiator hose.
Long term I don’t think that is a good idea but as a temporary fix, it would get me through the weekend.

First: I looked in my stash of old radiator hoses but I didn’t find anything I could use.

Next: I drove to O’ Riley’s to see if I could get a piece of radiator hose (still not thinking that they would have the proper fuel hose.)

Fortunately when I talked to the guy at the counter I asked for a piece of 1-3/8 inch diameter fuel hose (not radiator hose).

The counter guy motioned that I follow him to the back where they had all their bulk hose. I was a bit surprised but after a moments hesitation I followed in his wake,

After a bit of searching we found a piece of 1-3/8’ fuel filler hose.
Now, this hose costs over $12.00 / foot and I only needed 6 inches. This piece of hose was two feet log and the guy said that he couldn’t cut it. So here I am having to pay over $24.00 for a 6” piece.
I’m stuck, I need the hose so I have to pay it.
So, now the counter guy says “how long do you think that hose is? Does that look like two feet to you?”

“Well, yea I guess”, I reply.

The guy looks askance at the hose. “Naw,” he mutters. “Only looks like a foot to me”.

“Thank you oh Prince of counter men.” I think to my self.

I also purchased a 12 inch piece of 1/2 inch fuel line for the vent.

The total came to around $16.00.

Patti got home shortly after I got back from the parts place.
It was around five o’clock so it was time to quit for the day.

This morning I installed the gas filler pipe back on the van and it all looks good.
Now, I am going to drive the van the the cabin tomorrow morning with most of the food for the weekend.
I have to get up there early so I can work on the refrigerator. The temperature up there is supposed to get to over 100° so I want to work on the frig when it is cooler.

Patti will come up in the jeep with Dina on Friday.

Okay, I think that’s enough for now. I’ll talk to you in about a week.

Have a great Birthday America!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Just checking in.


We haven’t been doing anything very exciting the last few days.
We are a little burnt out with packing boxes and putting stuff in the storage shed so we have slowed down on that operation.

We are going to go to the cabin for the fourth of July weekend and have invited a bunch of friends to come up and camp for the weekend.
Harvey and three of his buddies are coming up. I told him that they had to take care of themselves but that we would feed them. I’m not to sure that was a wise idea. These guys are all big and all but one is a former member of the varsity football team.
When Harvey was asked what they would need in the way of food his reply was “lots”.

Oh oh! We are in trouble now.

We worked out a menu that should work and have been making lists of what to pack and what to buy and what we have at home. I have been loading the van with all the stuff that I took out of it when we brought it down from the cabin to use as a moving van. Of  course there is a bunch more stuff that I have loaded to take up for the weekend .

I have to do some work on the frig at the cabin so I am going up on Wednesday.
I think the frig needs to have a good cleaning of the operating system. The freezer part works but the refrigerator part isn’t cooling properly. The refrigerator is from an RV and runs on propane. When this has happened in the past I have found a pile of rust sitting on top of the burner. I think it is time for a good cleaning.

A couple of days ago I put a screen door on the front of the house. It was a freebie so I couldn’t turn it down. I picked the hottest day of the week to install the door so I didn’t finish until after dinner when the weather cooled. The door is the type that is supposed to fit any opening. Well, it’s a little short for our door opening but it ‘s close enough. I’ll have to get some paint to finish the job but that can wait until after the weekend.

Yesterday we visited with good friends, Jerry and Lorraine.

Okay, Patti’s vacuuming the rug in  the living room where I am sitting so I think I will stop here for now.

Talk to you in a couple of days.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A visit with friends from Quartzsite


Yesterday morning we took a van load of stuff to the Salvation Army drop off.
It was good to get rid of all that stuff.

Around noon we met up with Cheryl and Dennis (white jeep) and their two grandchildren; Megan and Brandon. They were on their way to “Safari West” a local wild animal park.
They followed us to Larkfield where we stopped for a hamburger and sat around  visiting for an hour or more.


After leaving them to go to the game park, Patti and I drove up to the Windsor Walmart to get some meds.
From there, since we were already in Windsor we went to visit Joanne and Dave. We went out to dinner with them and after dinner we watched a movie, “2012”, a disaster flick.

Okay that was yesterday.   

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Still moving boxes and a crawdad trap.

It’s hard to believe we are still moving stuff out of the wreck room; this time we are attacking the closet.
Patti brought Dina home so she could go through some drawers and take some more of her stuff.

An experimental crawdad trap

In the afternoon I decided to try and build a trap for crawdads. I looked around in my junk to see what I could fine to use for the body of the trap and came up with a 2ft long piece of 8” PVC pipe.

This is what I ended up with.


I have been thinking about how to make a door for the trap and decided that the best way was to use loose fingers at the entrance so a large crawdad can enter but can not get back out. We will see if the theory pans out.

Here is what it looks like.


There are a few more things that I want to do to the trap but the parts I need are at the cabin so I’ll finish it there.
I’ll try it out over the 4th of July weekend.

Okay that’s it for today.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fixing the sink drain.


The sink in the bathroom has been draining slower and slower until I decided to try using a plunger on it. In doing so I managed make it stop draining altogether.

Today I removed the “P” trap and it looked clear.
The nut on the part of the drain that goes through the wall (a 1-1/2” nipple) was frozen so I had to split it with a chisel to get it off. In doing so I put a couple of good gouges in the threads of the nipple. Once I got the pipe out I could see into the system and could see a ninety degree turn going down. It was plugged with some kind of gunk. I took a screw driver and dug around in the pipe, then stuck the hose of my wet/dry shop-vac in the pipe and sucked all the gunk out of the turn. I don’t have a drain snake but I do have a fish tape (used for pulling wires through conduit) I managed to get the fish tape past the first turn but it stopped at the second I managed to twist the tape around in the pipe. After pulling out the tape I used the shop-vac again and sucked out some more stuff.
The final test was to put a garden hose in the pipe and turn the water on and see if it backs up. We did that and It didn’t back up so now we know that it will drain.

The hardest part was getting the new nut on the wall fitting. Since I messed up the threads it took quite a while to file off the notches and clean up the threads of rust but, eventually I was able to get everything back together, now the sink drains just fine.

Another good day.




Thursday, June 18, 2015

A class on knee joint replacement.


As you probably have read in earlier posts ; Patti is having a knee joint replaced in a few weeks.
One of the steps in the process is a class at the hospital on total joint replacement.
Patti and I went to the class yesterday evening. All the information was a bit overwhelming but fortunately there is a hand out that tells us what will happen and when will happen so I guess we can get Patti through this.
Before the class I was under the impression that they were going to cut the leg above and below the knee and replace the entire knee.
What they actually do is grind and shape the ends of each leg bone so that they can insert a shaped titanium piece on the end of the femur and a polyethylene plate on the tibia.
They don’t actually cut anything except their way in.

A visit with Bob.

I took a ride over to Bob’s this morning.
We wandered around his big yard eating plumbs for a while and sat in the shade B-S-ing for a while.
Bob is getting ready for a trip to northeastern Nevada.
Be sure to check out his blog to see how it goes.


Okay; that about does it.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I’m back!!!


Took some time away from the blog but now I’m back.

Assembling the Tuff Shed

When we got home from the memorial day weekend on Tuesday, the rock that I had delivered was gone. Jim had spread it on the spot to the right of the driveway and filled in the frame for the base of the “Tuff shed”.

We spent the rest of the week getting ready for the shed delivery.

Friday morning around the 7:45 the first guy showed up with the shed parts on a trailer.


By 8:00 the second guy showed up and they immediately began unloading the trailer and laying out the parts for the shed.


First they assembled the steel foundation.


Then the floor goes down.


Then they brought in and set up the walls.


Once the walls were up they put up the gable ends then the rafters went on.


Then the sub roof.


Then comes the tar paper and then the metal roof.


In about three and one-half hours they were done and gone.
I was very impressed by their efficiency. These two guys just went to work and with a very few words got the job done.

Getting ready for visitors.

We spent the next few days cleaning out the spare room. This room has always been used for storage. We always called it the “wreck room”. By Monday we had all the stuff out of the room and stored away in the shed. We put two cots in the bedroom and bought a blowup full bed mattress. We are now ready for Becky, Samantha and John to come for a visit. Becky and Samantha live in Oregon and John is visiting from Fairbanks, Alaska. They are coming to visit us and attend Harvey’s High School graduation.

After all was said and done only Samantha slept in the wreck room on the blow up mattress. Becky moved her cot into the dinette and John used the shed as his private apartment. 

Harvey’s Graduation.

We picked up Harvey and Dina at their place.
Of course we had to take lots of pictures.

Here is Harvey and his proud mom.


Here are the cousins. Our three grandkids. Samantha, Harvey and Johnathen.


We got to the school early but it was still crowded. We had to park in the enclosed parking garage. It took us about 45 minutes to get out of the garage when the event was over.


The Graduation was held on the Junior Collage football field.

Here is the entire class. I don’t know why they had the graduation set up so that the students had their backs to the audience. Someone wasn’t thinking.


Proud grandpa.


Harvey, his cousin Devante and their proud moms.


John and me at the cabin.

On Saturday 06-06 John and I went up to the cabin for a few days.

We got there around noon and got moved in.


After lunch we took a walk around the cabin loop trail.
We stopped at all the benches along the way.

The first bench.


The bypass bench.


The dirt bench.


We walked the whole loop and got back to the cabin in under an hour.

Firewood work.

Sunday morning we decided to work on moving the pile of firewood and stack it against the cabin.

John spilt the ones that needed splitting while I moved and stacked.


We worked on this a couple of hours and got about half the pile split and moved.

We took a break and then headed down to the shotgun range. When we got to the creek crossing we found a large tree limb had broken off and was blocking the road.


I pulled the tree limb out of the tree where it was hung up and cut it up for firewood. We stacked the wood along the road to be retrieved at a later date.


It was close to lunch time by then so we went back up to the cabin to await the arrival of the women.

Patti, Becki, Dina and Samantha came up for lunch. They stayed around until about 2:30 and then headed for home. 

By the time they left it was getting very hot so John and I decided to head for the creek.

John had a good time cooling off in the creek.


While John was fooling round in the creek he found the carcass of a Crayfish.


In the 24+ years that we have been coming to this swimming hole we have never seen a Crawdad. It is time to think about building traps.

While we were down there, we cut up the tree that I had pulled from the creek the last time we were here and stacked the wood.

It was beginning to cool off so around 5:00 we headed back up to the cabin.

splitting more wood old radio shows and cards.

After dinner John split and stacked more fire wood.

In the evening we listened to old time radio programs on the XM and played Rummy.
John won.

Weed Whacking and more playing in the creek.

In the morning we went back down to the shotgun range; we finished cleaning up the tree on the road and did some weed whacking where we shoot.


When that was done we went back to the cabin for a break. We were going to do some shooting but the weather got to hot so we decided to go to the creek instead.
We ate lunch and then drove down to the creek.
At the creek we removed more branches, etc. from the swimming hole.


Now it will be ready for 4th of July.


We stayed at the creek until the day began to cool, then headed back to the cabin for dinner.

After dinner, John split and stacked some more wood. By the time we left the next morning John had split and stacked almost all the rounds from the original pile.

This is all there is left to split.


The wood stacked against the cabin almost reaches the windows.


That is a good start on my fall wood supply.

The ladies go to the city.

While John and I were at the cabin; Patti and then girls went to San Francisco and Pier 39.
They drove to Larkspur and took the ferry across the bay to the city.

Here is Patti and Samantha on the boat.


It looks like a beautiful day in the city.


Patti here:

It was a gorgeous day in the city; no need for sweaters or jackets and was in the low 80’s!!!

Once in San Francisco, the four of us girls started walking towards Pier 39.  It’s well over a mile from the Ferry Building and it took us about 40 mins.  I think that I did pretty good considering I’m getting a knee replacement in 5 1/2 weeks.  Anyway we looked around and did a little shopping after lunch.  Lunch was at BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP CO.  Becki had a hamburger & fries; Dina had deep fried shrimp w/fries; Samantha had shrimp mac & cheese and I had a shrimp po-boy sandwich w/fries. I would go back again!  After checking out more shops, it was time to get back to the Ferry Building.  Lucky us, we got back to Larkspur in time for the 5 PM commute.  Much fun was had by all!!  I would have had more pictures but the battery died right after getting off the ferry. Bummer!!

Marty here: 

The Kids left for home on Thursday 06-11 around 5:00am.
Patti and I went up to the cabin to get the van.

Friday we moved all our stuff out of the rented storage locker we have been paying for for 20 years.
It took my van, Patti’s car and Dave’s pickup but we got everything moved in one trip. We stacked everything on the back patio.
For the last several days we have been going through boxes consolidating, and discarding stuff. Eventually we got everything stored and we still have a little room for more.

Okay that is all that I can remember of what took place over the last couple of weeks.

I’ll try and stay a little more current with the posts but If things are boring I may skip a day or two.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Memorial Day at the cabin and surprise guests.

There is a conflict between Google and Microsoft about protocols so, for a while I have not been able to post my blog. I thought They would get the problem solved quickly but so far they haven't.

Today I decided to use Blogger to publish this post. it is a lot slower but it gets the job done. 

Patti and I got to the cabin around noon on Friday.
We got moved in and just enjoyed the rest of the day in the quiet of the forest.

Saturday morning we were sitting around the cabin. Patti had just gotten dressed and I was on my second cup of cocoa when we herd a vehicle coming in.

It turned out to be Joanne and Dave.
When we talked to them during the week they said that they most likely would not come up to the cabin over the weekend, so we figured we would have a nice quiet weekend alone. 
Apparently Joann was able to juggle their schedule and they were able to come up. Joanne also invited her friends Darlene and Ronda; they arrived about two hours later.
We didn’t get a lot of work done with all the company but we did manage to get a little done. Patti and I moved a small pile of cut up firewood from up at the trailhead to the cabin.

The pile of wood fit nicely in the jeep.

Later on Joanne and I brought down another pile of wood.

The wood is the start of a stack that will grow alongside the cabin.

The rest of the day we just hung out in the shade visiting.

At five o-clock we had happy hour.

In the evening we played cards. (Ukrainian Rummy)

Sunday while I was moving some firewood I uncovered this Alligator lizard.

Dave, Joanne, Darlene and Ronda took a walk down to the barn.
Patti and I puttered around the camp and had lunch.

About the time the rest got back from their walk I was ready to head up to the trail where I wanted to fix a steep area near the gully crossing. I took the jeep up to the trail head; and carrying the chain saw in a back pack and a rake in one hand and Polauski in the other, I headed up the trail.
I worked about an hour on the trail and got the steepness taken care of. The Mosquitoes were so bad where I was working that I could not stop to take a break for more than a couple minutes so I had to just finish the project and get out of there.
Dave showed up just as I was loading the chain saw back into the backpack. We headed back to camp and spent the rest of the day just hanging out.

We had another happy hour and played cards again in the evening.

On Monday we went down to check out the creek. I had not been down there since we returned from Arizona. While we were at the creek we cleaned up some of the branches from the tree that fell into the swimming hole last fall. The tree was removed from the swimming hole by the winter flood but there are still some branches and part of the tree high on the beach. There was another small tree in the upper end of the hole.

I drove the jeep down to the water and had Joanne hook the winch cable to the big end of the tree.


Once the cable was connected I backed up the jeep and pulled the tree out of the water.

We will cut this up later. We headed back to the camp and hung out for a while.
 About 5:00 our guests headed for home. Patti and I had dinner and listened to old radio shows on the XM.
Tuesday morning we cleaned the cabin, loaded the jeep and were on our way home by 12:30.
When we got home I saw that Jim had moved all that rock from in front of the house to the frame in the back yard and filled the parking spot next to the drive way.

It was a fun weekend.