Panzee Speaks, kinda …

Just when everyone thought things were going along just fine, Jerrie woke up.

Three days had passed and he had no memory of what had transpired so I’ve decided to help explain. He doesn’t know I’m doing this. If he did he’d have a conniption fit because he doesn’t like anyone using his precious electronical equipment. He puts passwords on everything thinking we, who spend hours and hours all alone in the house, with nothing else to do, can’t possibly figure that kind of stuff. C’mon! What are we going to do when we’re locked up in the house with nothing else to do? Sleep? Pee on the rugs? Chew on furniture? Sure, we’ve done all of that, but after a while it’s just no turn any more so we started fiddling with his computers and we discovered a whole new world.

So what’s been happening with Jerrie and Diane? We have absolutely no idea beyond what we witnessed. As the spokesanimal for the group, I’ll do my best to get things accurate and in chronological order.

There were some familiar people at the house on Friday evening that would account for the flurry of activity on Thursday. That’s when Jerrie went out to his car, the old Subaru, and extracted his fancy cutoff saw from the back-end of it.  It was kind of freaky and reminded me of the time I watched one of my friends have puppies, only puppies don’t have sharp edges and pointy things. He pulled that thing into the garage, and I went and hid when he plugged it in. It doesn’t scare me … I want that understood up front. I just don’t like loud noises. Honest. Thankfully, he closed the door into the house so I didn’t have to listen to the incessant whine of the saw motor. I know that’s what it is because he’s used that thing before, and it drives me nuts.

Before he fired that thing, up, he left the house fora period of time around noonish. I later learned that he went to some storage facility to help liberate a truck load of newspapers which he, and his friends, delivered to the Lions Club newspaper collection container which is located at the St, Helens High School. I know, that’s a lot of detail coming from a dog that has a limited understanding of the language spoken by most of the people with which I’m familiar. A lot of what I figure out is strictly conjecture because lots of the speech I hear is a little like white noise so I think what I really do is read minds. Really! I do.

Shortly after he returned home, disturbing me from a perfectly wonderful nap, the master of the house arrived and made him eat lunch. I’ve almost given up on begging for food any more because he rarely gives me anything … little teeny bits of things I can barely taste they are so small. What a waste of time.

Anyway, they ate, something, didn’t give me any, then he went to the garage and ignited the noisy saw. He quit about 4 pm or so and they left to go watch Lydia play soccer. I’ve tried to tell them that I think it would be really fun to go watch Lydia play a soccer game, but the words just won’t come to me, and they can’t read minds like I do. I stayed home and took a nice long nap.

It appeared that what he was doing was take small pieces of wood that he called baseboards, cut them, then try to put them back together so they looked like they belonged where he put them along the floor. He didn’t nail any of them down so I suspect he’s not done fiddling with them. After doing a little investigative investigation, listening to him talk with his female associate, I learned that they were expecting company at some point on Friday. That turned out to be true, incidentally, but that’s coming up in a minute.

I slept the rest of the day so don’t know what happened the rest of the day until I was allowed to exit the house into the back yard and search for a new spot to relieve myself. It’s kind of humiliating, you know, o have to crap and pee in public. But, one can get used to pretty much anything. Especially if you’re a dog. Like me. After doing my ‘thing’, I comeback in the house, trying to avoid the annoying little black dog who spins in circles like a little maniac in anticipation of the bed time treats we always get. I just sit calmly on the floor, waiting to perform my stupid dog tricks for a little pittance of a treat. But, he seems to enjoy it, so I humor him.

On Friday, they both left the house, a couple of times. The first time they came back the master was a little sad, so he told her he just wasn’t going to spend $100 on a couple of used, stained chairs. He then told her that if she wanted chairs, get new ones. It was really funny because she grabbed her purse and keys and almost ran to the car telling him to hurry up. Apparently they went to Richardson’s, right here in town, who sells furniture made in Indiana (so I’m told), and bought two new chairs to fill the void created when the perfectly good couch they had was carted away, along with the dining room table, a couple of weeks ago. I know is was Richardson’s because later that day they delivered the chairs and I heard one of the delivery guys say that name. When they got here, I barked, like I’m supposed to, then I licked their hands because they seemed to be pretty nice.

The chairs look OK, if you like chairs. The master really likes them, a lot, and said the red color actually does look OK with the carpet in the living room. I won’t be sitting in them so I really didn’t care. I took a nap.

About 3 pm, as close as I can tell, two folks I’ve met before showed up at the door. I looked out the Man Room window and saw that they arrived in a funny looking van that they use to travel all over the United States. The master, and he, were very happy to see them. I believe they were Jerry and Nelda Somethingorother. I’m not big on last names. Sorry.

All of them either sat around the table while the master worked in the kitchen, making something for the pot luck that was happened later that afternoon. It’s my understanding that the pot luck was attended by members of a Classic Winnebago Club that included Les, Sophie, Cliff, Susie, Terry, Carolann, Jim, and Kim. I heard someone say they were all staying at the Elks Club off 6th Street, just a hop and a skip away. With Jerry and Nelda, master, and him, there were 12 people. I don’t know what happened because I was forced to go down to the creepy basement with the annoying little black dog. They think I’m OK with that, but I’m not. I spent the entire time crouched on the top step, just the other side of the door, listening to all the fun they were having. The food smelled really, really good. I didn’t even have water, and my food bowl was just about 5 tantalizing feet from where I was crouched.

Finally everyone left and I was released and allowed to go out front to tell everyone ‘bye’. Then we all went to bed.

Saturday morning I woke him up at 0700, I think, because I was hankering for a touch of canned food which I get as soon as I come back in the house from my morning trip to the yard. Then I took a nap. I barely got to sleep before I heard Jerry and Nelda again. Interesting. I guess they slept in the driveway, which I thought was a little odd until I learned that they actually slept in their van, in the driveway. Big difference.

They sat around drinking coffee, talking, laughing, like I wasn’t even there. Nothing fell on the floor right away, but I feigned interest for longer than necessary before going in to the Man Room to take a nap. Sleeping wasn’t in the cards for me, however, because of all the racket they all made. Then, wouldn’t you know it, all the people from the night before showed up again. All the food had been removed from the refrigerators and reheated as necessary, in anticipation of their arrival, but no one told me. Then I was sent to the basement again. It’s getting to be quite a routine, me going to the basement. The cat, however, gets to go outside and run all over the neighborhood, without supervision! Is that fair?! I think not!

There were gaps in activity the remainder of the day. J&N left, then the master and he left, and they didn’t come back for hours. Really! Hours! Thankfully, they left the patio door open so we could go out and bark at something once in a while, but that’s a long time to be left alone. When they returned they told us all about the fun they had down town on the St. Helens Haunted Tour. Sounded fun. They even went out for dinner after that, extending the night even more than necessary. Then they went to the Elk’s Club to sit and visit in Les and Sophie’s new 1989 Winnebago Superchief. Apparently it’s quite a rig. Really big and nice, we were told. Plenty of room for a dog, or two.

When they got home they went to bed after allowing me into the yard one last time.

Today had a normal beginning, then something changed because only the master left. Since it’s Sunday, I suspected they would both leave for church, but that didn’t happen. She left early and took Jennifer, one of my favorite people, shopping for her birthday. I guess Grandma Jean, another one of my favorite people, went too. That left him home alone with pretty strict instructions to leave the power tools alone. So, he went outside, grabbed a ladder, and used it all the way around the house to reach areas that needs to have paint scraped. I was proud of him because he didn’t go on the roof, and he didn’t get the tall ladder to reach the really high spots. He knows I can dial 911, and bark, but doing that just doesn’t interest me much. I could have gone outside with him, if I wanted to, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed in the house and took a nap.

In the afternoon, about 1:30, he left to go pick up another couple of my favorite people, Cedric and Jeran, and took them to the movie down town. I smelled popcorn on him when he got home. I love popcorn. Cedric was with him. Not long after they got home, the master arrived. Jennifer showed up a couple of hours later to get Cedric. Lydia, another one of my favorite people, was with Jennifer. She scratched my ear. I love that. Then they left and I took a nap.

Now it’s time for bed and I need to go outside and prepare myself for the series of tricks I make him do before he gives me my treat.

Dr. Grimm, Mowing, Gas Lines, Golf, Painting, Cats, etc …

I want to thank all three of you who check in every day and see if I’m still ticking. I appreciate it. Knowing you do gives me an incentive to honor your quest for useless information. The last few days have been difficult which is why I haven’t been around much.

It started with the tooth Dr. Grimm ripped out of my head. At the time, it didn’t hurt at all. It didn’t even hurt bad the next day, but as the week progressed it hurt more and more until I was on the verge of a migraine all the time. Not quite there, mind you, but close, and I knew it was coming from the area of the tooth I gave up for adoption.

Actually, I didn’t do that. The tooth is laying calmly on my computer desk inside a sandwich bag. One of these days I’ll hide it under my pillow and see if there really is a tooth fairy. That would be a dumb thing to do, however, because I’d only get a quarter, or maybe a $1 and, with its gold crown, that thing cost me about $900. Maybe I’ll put it up for sale on eBay so some person, who has a tooth fetish, can get me my money back.

Anyway, the pain was getting worse each day and finally Diane’d had enough and forced me to call Dr. Grimm so he could check it out. Being a good husband, I did as she ‘suggested’, and got an appointment for the same day. That was yesterday. We had a nice visit during which he told me the extraction site looked excellent, and everything was healing nicely. As for the pain, he suggested face and neck massage to relax the muscles in my jaw, which he could see were clenching and unclenching, something I wasn’t aware of. And, he gave me a script for cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer. Since I had a vague memory of taking this before, for back spasms, I thought, “Why not?”

I related all of this to Diane upon my return and she asked if I had the prescription. I didn’t. It was folded neatly inside my iPad, which I take everywhere with me, except golfing. I don’t take it golfing. Perhaps I should. It might like it.

So, she sent me back to town to do four things …

  1. Drop my script at Rite Aid
  2. Go to Safeway and get bananas
  3. Go to Taco Bell and get us lunch
  4. Go back to Rite Aid and pick up my drugs
  5. Go home

OK – that’s five things. I added #5 because I think it should be included on all lists for trips as an indication that one is actually allowed to do that. Go home, that is. Sometimes people are allowed to do that and it would be nice to know. It’s not a given, you know.

When I got home, Diane immediately made me eat something so I could take one, which I did. I waited for a few minutes for something to happen, but it didn’t, so I got some wrenches, went outside, and climbed under the ’79 Winnebago to see if I could determine if the fuel tank switch functioned. Now you’re shaking your heads, I know, wondering what I was thinking, and how could Diane allow me to do that while under the influence. Well, after I took the pill, she left, so I mowed the yard. All of it.

OK – now I’m getting confused. I know I did both of those things yesterday, but don’t recall the sequence. Now I think I mowed first, THEN worked under the Winnebago. No, it was the Winnebago, first, then the lawn. That’s because she returned from a trip to ‘someplace’ while I was working under the RV, and asked me how it was going. I was almost finished putting the fuel line all back together, knowing the fuel transfer switch was working properly, and that gas was coming down the line from the aux tank. I know the latter because I blew into the line and gas came spurting back at me, soaking my jeans. But the electric fuel pump still wouldn’t pump the gas, so I’ve got to figure something else out. I figure the electric pump is better at pushing gas than pulling it when it isn’t primed.

After that, I started mowing the yard, at Diane’s request, then she left to take her Mom, Jean, to the store. When she returned the lawn was done and I watched her make an attempt to back the Buick into the garage so it would be easier to empty the goods …

No … I think the store trip was today. Yesterday, after the pill took effect, I just kinda layed around doing nothing, and the pain subsided a great deal. Then I went to bed.

Yes, the store was today. I think. No, I golfed this morning. Had to’ve been yesterday. Diane will clear this up, I’m sure. We also applied another coat of paint to our hall, and the cats started migrating back to their proper place in the display cabinet.

There was a report on the evening news about two fans who wrote a letter to the editor of a (the?) San Francisco newspaper complaining about the noise level at the Seahawks home game against the 49ers, and various ways NFL management could deal with excessive noise. There’s speculation that the letter may have been submitted as satire, giving the 49ers (Jean’s favorite team, by the way – not Diane’s Mom, Jean, but the other one) another reason for losing the game 29-3.

I figure it was a good way to get people’s minds off all the flooding, misery, killings, and wrecks going on in other parts of the country.

Since it was San Francisco, it also made me think of Kathie’s impending trip to that fine city to search for a new elbow. We hope she finds a good one.

l took another pill about 1/2 hour ago and itsssß staringot make me wooosie. Did you knøw thæt if ÿøü hołd dowń a lėttęr on your keeybord you get some îńtëréštïñg čhøīçêś fõr åłtérñātę łëttèrś?????????????

Viagra, Painting The Hall, and The Winnebago

Now, don’t go getting all alarmed with the title. It’s that I just saw a Viagra commercial that suggested I check with my doctor to ensure it’s in good enough shape for sex.  I’ve seen it before, numerous times, but I’ve never given it much thought. The most recent commercial, however, caught my attention so I decided to find out and I called my doctor’s office at the VA. I have an appointment for November 18th. I’ll let you know what I find out if I don’t forget about the appointment. I may just opt for cialis because that one apparently gives one a reason to spend 4 hours in separate bath tubs on the beach. I don’t get it, but it looks like something we might enjoy.

This morning Diane and I painted the hall that leads to the east wing of the house. I call it the east wing because it’s on the east side of the house. It’s where the bedrooms are. We don’t really have an east wing. But, it sounds cool.

The hallway color is called basket weave, or something like that. It looks yellow to me. A nice yellow, but it doesn’t remind me of a basket. Baskets are almost always some shade of brown. At least that’s the way they look to me.

The weather has definitely changed. It’s raining more than not, and it’s cloudy, keeping the sun from peeking out. Being native Oregonians, neither Diane nor I really give a rip if it rains. It always smells so good when it does. Cleans the air. It should rain more in Los Angeles, like it does in Oregon. That’s just an opinion, of course.

During one of the lulls in the rain I asked Diane what she wanted me to do. She mentioned that someone should probably check to see if the motor home will ever run again, an interesting way of telling me I should just gather up some tools and go lay in the wet rocks to see if there’s any possibility I can figure out what’s wrong with it.

So, that’s what I did, as a good husband should.

The rocks under the RV were dry, and they are the small round kind that don’t leave marks when you lay on them like gravel does. I crawled under there and immediately found the fuel transfer switch which is really a tiny little thing. I thought it would be bigger. My only objective, for this visit, was to switch the fuel lines to see if the pump would pull from the back tank. Sadly, when I made the switch, the line to the back appeared to be dry, but the one that ran dry actually dripped a little gas on me. Still, I switched them.

Then I climbed into the pilot’s seat, turned the ignition on, and listened to the electric fuel pump get busy. I was hoping for it to change pitch when the fuel reached it. It finally did, but I wasn’t sure if it changed because of impending fuel flow, or because the battery was almost dead. I already knew the batteries didn’t have enough kick to crank the engine, so it could very well have been the latter.

Instead of expending any more energy on it, I ran my extension cord from the garage to the RV and connected one of the batteries to my really old battery charger. That thing has been beat up, dropped, and used so many times, I’m amazed that it works. It still delivers a charge, though, so I keep it.

After getting it connected, and ensuring the charger was doing it’s job, I grabbed hold of the battery tray and slid it back into it’s storage spot in the RV. The only complication with that was when I got it all the way in, two of my favorite left hand fingers were fatally trapped in a space where fingers aren’t supposed to be. As I usually do with injuries of this nature, I held the injured member flat to my chest and covered it with the other hand, making the short sucking “SSSS” sound, over and over, to detract from the inexplicably horrendous pain. What makes pain like that even worse is knowing that it’s not going to stop any time soon, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

When I entered the house, sucking rapidly through clenched teeth, Diane leaped out of her computer chair to assist me, trying to get me to tell her what was the matter. Right then, I knew why I loved her so much. She cared. When she discovered there was no blood dripping any place, she lost interest. Then she laughed, which was actually a decent detraction from the immense pain I was currently enduring. While waiting for the pain to subside she suggested a variety of possibilities for making the pain go away quicker, none of which worked, and we discussed which lawyer I should visit so we could get started on the divorce . As usual, she was OK with any lawyer I chose.

I’ve been threatening to divorce her for years, but she just laughs and says, “Go ahead. Make my day.” I’d never do that, of course, because I feel a deep responsibility to, and for her. Besides HGTV, I’m the only source of entertainment she has.  What would she do if we got divorced? It would be a terrible thing for both of us. Me, especially, because Diane still does all my laundry. I’d just be lost, and would have to revert to wearing my underwear for four days, instead of only two.

The pain in my two fingers is manageable so I think I’m going to stop and take a nap while I can.

Naps, DSL, Lunch, Oil Change, and Church Council

It was an early morning for Jerrie today. The dogs got him up at 0500 demanding food. Had he gone to bed at a reasonable hour last night, that probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but he didn’t, so it was. In response, after feeding the dogs, he slept in his recliner till 0930. That’s a little longer than usual, but still within acceptable standards for someone who no longer works for a living.

Shortly after getting up he had to turn his attention to Roberta’s computer. She called last night seeking assistance because she hasn’t had an internet connection since last Saturday. Part of the problem is that she has a DSL line which, in Jerrie’s opinion, isn’t an acceptable way to connect to the internet. Since Roberta just lives a short distance away, he had time to fill his coffee cup, the really big one with Starbucks written on the side of it, and get semi-blamed for drinking all the coffee. In his defense, it was technically only one cup of coffee and we all know that coffee is not doled out using recipe type measurements for a cup. Using their cups would, in fact, totally screw up pretty much any recipe.

He did the typical resets required to get a DSL modem back in action, but the little DSL light always turned red, not green. So, he called Centurylink and pretended to be Richard, Roberta’s husband, while Roberta sat next to him to make sure he didn’t say anything he wasn’t supposed to. The young man on the technical end listened to the problem, then got his trouble-shooting book and had Jerrie step through all the steps he’d already taken, then deemed that it was time for a technician to visit in order to resurrect the DSL. The phone on the account, incidentally, was working just fine. The help desk person was required to ensure Jerrie understood that the service call was only for outside service, not inside. If he had authorized inside service, and no problem was found, Roberta would be billed $85. Jerrie thinks it’s a scare tactic, and he didn’t think the problem was inside the house anyway. Every time it rains hard here, many people using Centurylink have a problem within a few days. Odd, but true. It was the same way when Jerrie had Centurylink then moved to Comcast even after being told by the CL help person that DSL speeds up to 40 mbs, and fibre optic connections were available near him. After looking further, it was revealed that they had apparently skipped the street he lives on so he was stuck with only 7 mps. It was actually only 5, but it was beyond the point of needing to argue about 2 mps at that point.

A Centurylink tech was scheduled to visit Roberta’s house sometime between 1-6 today. Jerrie finished up at 1044, just one minute before he was supposed to pick up Diane’s Mom, Jean, and take her to the St. Helens Senior Center for lunch. Diane was working there today with other Bethany Lutheran Ladies to serve the meal. She does this once a month and Jerrie always helps her when she asks. He normally scrapes food from the used plates, a task he’s been trained to do since 1968. Today the SHSC had ham slices with scalloped potatoes and green beans. Before the meal, he and Jean were served lime jello into which was mixed cottage cheese. It’s my understanding that neither Jerrie nor Jean were particularly convinced this was a good thing to do. It looked kinda nice, they said, but the combination of textures on the palate were just … wrong.

Jerrie and Jean stayed until Diane and the other ‘girls’, Barb, Jean, and Mary had eaten, and they had a nice visit. Then he took Jean home. The other Jean, one of the Bethany girls, presented Jerrie with a large squash that she had removed from the display of the food distribution area. She must have known that he wasn’t a squash fan so told him he could use it as a club for something. It was hard, and would have probably worked well for that purpose. He said, “you just shouldn’t have to eat something that has innards in any way similar to pumpkins.” He’s right on that count. Before leaving he put the squash back into the display, but appreciated Jean’s gesture.

After dropping Jean, Diane’s Mom, at home, he went back to Emmert Motors and made an appointment to get the oil changed in Diane’s Buick. Turns out they had a 1500 spot available, so he had them pencil him in. By the time he got back home he only had 1.5 hours remaining until the oil change so he got Diane’s permission to skip the outside heat and stay inside until he had to leave. She granted the request so he didn’t have to deliver the Buick in sweaty and greasy clothing.

He delivered the Buick about 10 minutes early, then took a seat in the waiting room and read his e-book. After about 45 minutes he got up to stretch his legs then had a talk with Jeff C., the dealership manager. They had a 2014 loaded Impala out front and Jeff gave Jerrie the key so he could go check it out. It was reported that the Impala is quite nice, and appears to get pretty good gas mileage (21-28), but it was black with black interior. Very classy, he said, but the preferred choice would have been the Buick Lacrosse on the display floor. It’s White Diamond with the champagne leather interior, Diane’s favorite combination. She once had a 1992 Cadillac Seville STS with those colors which set the standards for her choice of colors. Jerrie admits, that was a nice one.

Jerrie’s tooth hole still hurts a bit, and the taste of blood makes him kind of nauseous so he doesn’t think he would be a very good vampire. Probably just as well because with his teeth getting worse, like they are, it won’t be long before biting anyone on the neck will produce any results. Actually, he said doing that hasn’t produced any results for him, ever.

Upon returning from the oil change, and $41 lighter, he returned the Buick to its reserved spot in the family garage. His car, and truck, are relegated to the great outdoors because neither of them are shiny like the Buick. That, and Diane doesn’t like having to go outside in the rain to enter her vehicle which is totally understandable. He was then provided a delicious supper of one Hebrew National hotdog, a small bowl of pork and beans, and a glass of milk. Dessert was a Dream Cicle, one of those orange sherbert and vanilla things on a stick. He really likes those. It felt really good where his tooth used to be.

He was allowed to watch a bit of news before he had to leave to conduct the Church Council meeting, at the church. He does this every month because he’s the council president. Hard to believe, I know, but he is. So, he makes the agenda and conducts the meetings. The council consists of Pam, Barb, Mary, Stephen, Ron, Shannon, Jerrie and Pastor Rory. They actually get business done and have fun during the process.

Here’s what the cat was going when he left the house …


Yes … sleeping on the Buick.

The meeting ended shortly after 2000 and he returned home, in the dark, to almost end his day. Right now he’s looking over my shoulder, ensuring I get all the details correct.

He wishes you all well and reports that he may be back tomorrow. We’ll see about that because he’s got to work under the ’79 Winnebago tomorrow and it’s supposed to be 95 degrees out there.

Me? I’m staying inside.

RV Repaired, Heading Home, RV Broke

Hi there. I honestly figured I would be doing this much earlier in the evening because we left Fort Stevens about 5:30 PM. I spent more of the afternoon than planned fixing the fuel issue with the RV, and everything was going along just great. Up and down the hills we went, willy nilly, not a care in the world. Then, on Highway 30, mile post 75, the main fuel tank ran out. You may remember this one as the tank that I thought was pretty much drained by the leaky fuel pump. I was curious to see how far we could get before it ran dry. Farther than I thought.

When the engine started chugging, I switched tanks, like I normally do, and after a couple of coughs, we picked up right where we left off … for about 50-60 feet, then the chugging began in earnest. We headed up a hill on the new tank and I could tell the engine was starved for fuel by the way it was running. Down hill was great, but putting a load on the engine, as in going up a hill, was torture and I had to use the flashers. Diane said it was probably good that it quit because I was driving way too fast. According to my speedometer I got over 55 mph once. According to hers, I was going 60-70 most of the time. I honestly didn’t think it would go that fast.

Anyway, the engine quit around mile post 78 on a downhill run so I let it coast for a while because there was only a tiny little bike lane alongside the road. Then mile post 79 popped up and there, at the bottom of the hill, was a small place to park, big enough for the RV and the car.

I did some testing, with Diane’s help, and came to the conclusion that the tank switch failed and the default is for the main tank. I know the reserve tank is full because I filled it on Thursday and didn’t use it. Perhaps I should have.

So, there we were, stuck along Highway 30. Traffic was whizzing by at a frightening pace and it started getting dark. I called AAA about 7:30 and they sent a tow truck, from Bob’s Towing, which was supposed to arrive before 8:46 PM. That’s true, because they sent a text to Diane’s phone to share that information. We sat in the RV and watched our daylight disappear, yearning for Bob to show up early. Every time a vehicle passed us the RV rocked like crazy. Single vehicles were rare. They normally whizzed by in packs of 6 or more. They came from both directions at the same time, arriving next to the RV at the same time with such stunning consistency, that I figured it was all planned. Like someone had set up flagmen behind and ahead of us, and they coordinated their release of stopped vehicles so they would arrive from both directions right where we were parked. That isn’t true, of course, but it was a real oddity.

Bob finally showed up, drove passed us to turn around, the came around us with all kinds of lights flashing. He stopped, dropped his little forked thing and backed it into the RVs front tires. Diane was inside at the time so she got shoved around a little, but didn’t fall down. Neither of us expected that kind of jostling. Bob didn’t warn us.

When the bar was against the tires, he unfolded a part that snugged up against the back part of the tire, then picked the front end up like it didn’t weigh hardly anything at all. He strapped the front wheels down, then slid under the back of the rig and removed the drive shaft so he wouldn’t destroy the transmission. I appreciated that since I wasn’t looking for any more ‘things’ to fix.

He put a nifty little LED device on the back bumper of the RV that had a wireless connection to his brake lights and turn signals. I thought that was awesome. A wireless set of tow lights.

Then he took off. Diane was driving and the plan, between Bob and me, was for us to follow him until we got to Columbia City, then pass him and lead him to our house. Simple. The only problem is that Bob drives about 80 mph and Diane wasn’t comfortable going that fast in the little Subaru. Neither was I. Bob got about a mile ahead of us then slowed down a bit so we could catch him. It was a harrowing experience for Diane, but we made it home safely.

I pushed the pick up out of the way a little so Bob could back the RV in behind it and get it back on the ground. I told him he was a hard man to catch. He smiled, and said, “Ya know, that thing looks big, bulky, and heavy, but it tows real nice so I was just having a little fun with it.”

Now, the upside to all of this is that we made it home quickly, and we didn’t use any gas in the reserve tank of the RV. So, I figure our gas mileage went from 5 mpg to 10, just like that. It kinda made up for gas we lost on the trip over. Funny how things work out.

Now it’s almost 11:30 pm and we’re both a little slammy-eyed so better quit. We’re glad to be safely home, as are the dogs, and the cat we left behind.

And, gee, I got a new project to work on.



Bad Batteries, Highway 30,Westward Ho, and Trouble

As you all know, we were going to the beach yesterday to spend a few days at Fort Stevens State Park. Diane loaded pretty much everything we own into the old ’79 Winnebago, except for the cat. Then I strapped myself into the pilot’s seat, turned the key, and … nothing happened. Well, I turned the key, and shorted the two ignition wires together, and nothing happened. That’s how I normally start it because the button fell off so I put it in the old truck. Remember? Now it’s just two blue wires hanging out there, and it works just great.

The “nothing” turned out to be two dead batteries. It didn’t take long to determine the cause, either, because the headlight switch was suspiciously in the ‘On’ position where I left it the day before when I parked it after we went to get all that gas the day before. So, the lights were on all night. At least part of the night.

Diane was all settled into our chase car (we still don’t have a two bar) and she was kinda bummed when I exited the rig and gave her the bad news. Then I got the jumper cables and we tried to kick start it. It gave a few pitiful spins, but nothing like it needed to fire and I was having memories of the old truck from a few days ago, but different.

The next step was to just remove the batteries and install the ones from the old D22 which are actually fairly new. They start the D22 with hardly any effort. So, install them I did. It took me a while to get all the wires on the correct terminals because they’re all the same color (black) so there was a brief moment in time where the first battery was wired backwards causing a satisfying spark, letting me know it was full of juice, and not happy.

Finally it was done and I reassumed my proper position in the pilot’s chair and turned the key. Tentatively, I reached for the blue wires, hoping this was the solution. The wires touched, there was a brief spark, and the engine came immediately to life. It roared with satisfaction. We were all happy campers, almost. We still had to navigate the 60 or so miles on Highway 30 to Warrenton where Fort Stevens lives.

The trip, itself, was uneventful, and only about 2 hours long. It would have been less time but, like normal, there is construction on Highway 30 that require the use of people with stop signs to randomly change traffic patterns from two lanes to 1 for designated stretches.

But, we made it just fine, got checked in, and drove right to our reserved spot, N-25, that has a southern view. I made the necessary adjustments of the steering wheel to line the rig up to back into he spot. When I started backing up I noticed a fairly large puddle of what looked suspisciously like gasoline on the pavement. Committed, however, I had to continued backing until I had the rig right where Diane wanted it, al the while glancing back to the trail I was leaving.

Once parked, I snuck up on one of the puddles and confirmed my gasoline guess, then looked under the engine to see if it was still leaking. It wasn’t so my initial suspicion was the fuel delivery system. It was a deja vu moment from the D22 when I had to replace the mechanical fuel pump. In order to find out if my theory was correct, I instructed Diane on how to start the engine with the two blue wires while I draped my body over the right front wire so I could watch the fuel pump.

She touched the wires and my theory became fact right away as gas came spurting through the breather hole above the pump diaphragm, the part that isn’t supposed to have gas in it. Then my concern shifted back up Highway 30 as I wondered how far we had been driving while pumping gas out onto the highway, and how was the engine even running when the pump was broken? It was a literal whirlwind of doom between my ears for a moment, thinking that it may have cost us $100 to drive 60 miles. Worst case is that we got about 1/2 mile to the gallon on this trip, and we still have to get home. The good news is that the solution is fairly simple, and I have tools. What I don’t have are work clothes into which I could climb that would allow me to do my job without ruining my good khaki shorts. I would do it nude, but Diane won’t let me. Besides, I think the park rangers would object. It’s probably illegal, too. So, I need old clothes.

I suspect the fuel pump failed after we entered the park, because it wasn’t until then that the gas fumes began to fill the cockpit. It was not a good thing. Diane found it hard to breath while inside so we fired up the fans and blew out the bad stuff while sitting calmly in our round chairs under the awning. The weather was pleasant the entire time we were sitting there, then it started getting dark so we decided to brave the interior.

The air was better, but still not clear of the fumes. I briefly considered lighting a match, to see if it would just “Poof” them away, but thought better of it, and let the fans continue to do their thing. Soon it was tolerable and we felt it would be OK too cook something, just not with an open flame.

The decision for dinner was hamburger patties and left over Mexican rice. The patties were cooked on an electric griddle that has a panini mode so it can cook both sides at the same time, and the rice was reheated in the microwave. Milk, too much bread, cherry pie, and cookies rounded off the meal in a festive manner. It was all good.

I forgot to mention that when we came inside, the sky started sparking and booming as the predicted thunderstorms came ashore. It was an exciting time, and lasted for a while. Like all during dinner. It also rained, something we just love when snuggly inside our traveling abode. There’s something peaceful about sitting there, listening to the rain splatter on the roof.

After dinner, before bed, we tok the dogs out for a walk. The trip took us all the way around the “O” loop. We met lots of nice folks along the way, the dogs both evacuated their bowels, and bladders, and we all had some exercise.

Then we read for a while and went to bed. It was time.

As we lay in our twin beds under the fan, we detected it emitting a noticeable squeaking noise. Knowing there are no mice in the rig, it had to be the fan. Thankfully, I discovered that by covering my right ear, the one on which I normally lay, the squeak quit. Apparently the squeak frequency is exactly the same one that my left ear can’t hear. How fortunate for me. I suggested to Diane that she cover her right ear and see if it worked for her, but she refused letting me know she thought it was a supremely dumb idea.

Now it’s morning and time to get moving toward the direction of a solution for the gushing gas. It’s good this happened because I was seriously afraid that I would have to spend all day relaxing and reading. Now I have direction.

I’ll tell you how it goes.

The ’79 Winnebago Brave, Mowing, and Gas

Last night Diane pointed out to me that we haven’t really done much all summer long and, specifically, we haven’t gone anywhere with the RV. All of that is totally untrue. I’m sure we’ve gone places and done things during the summer but I just can’t remember what they were right now. I do, however, vividly recall driving the Winnebago to our church, Bethany Lutheran, for the parking lot sale a few weeks ago. I’m sure I did that because I have pictures.

OK – I looked, and I don’t have pictures of the RV, but I have pictures of Ron sitting in a chair outside the RV. Still, it’s not proof, I guess, so I might have to concede that it didn’t really happen. But, I’m sure it did.

Back to last night – our Winnebago friends, who also have old Winnebagos, went to Lincoln City over last weekend. They stayed at the Elks Club where parking an RV is pretty inexpensive. Most Elks Clubs provide that service which is nice. Kinda makes me want to be an Elk again. We were going to go, too, but I still had work to do on The Bathroom and wasn’t comfortable being gone from it for so long a period. So, we stayed home. Now it’s time to get contradictory and report that we are now going to Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton tomorrow, returning Sunday. In our defense, it’s much closer to us than Lincoln City, and it doesn’t involve driving long distance on a holiday weekend. But, still, we should have gone to Lincoln City, too.

In preparation for the trip I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could get the rig started. I worked and worked at it for a long time, until the batteries were almost dead, then I gave up for a little while and connected the battery charger to one of the batteries. Then I went to the local Chevron station for a can of gas, thinking the tank might be dry, and to ACE for a can of starting fluid to give the engine a little more incentive to be nice.

Before climbing into the driver’s seat, I removed the engine cover so I could squirt the starting fluid into the carburetor and give the engine a crank right away. As I suspected it would, the engine snorted it’s acceptance of the highly flammable mist from the can, but didn’t keep running right away. It took a few more squirts to get enough gas from the tank to the carburetor, but once done it ran well. And I let it run for a long time. 

While it was filling the garage, which is directly in line with the right exhaust pipe, with fumes, I disconnected the battery charger, the DirecTV antenna, and the 115V AC power cord so I wouldn’t be dragging anything behind us when we were finally ready to take it for a spin to get gas and run some errands. 

Then it appeared we weren’t going to leave right away, so I turned it off with confidence it would start right up when Diane was ready to go.

But it didn’t. I cranked, and cranked, it until it was obvious it wasn’t going to start without another sniff of the starting fluid. So, with Diane in the passenger seat, I risked serious injury by removing the engine cover so I could do the deed, and also allowed all the wonderful fumes, that should remain in the engine compartment, into the cab. All those fumes went directly to Diane and hovered over her while I got the engine fired up and running. Then I just slide the cover into place, kinda, and away we went with fumes surrounding us and hot air blowing on our little feet. I should have locked it down, I know, but we were going to the gas station and I wanted to have easy access in case it wouldn’t start right away so we wouldn’t be overly embarrassed. To me, none of that mattered, because I really don’t mind the odors emitted by a running engine. It’s kinda nice.

On the way to the gas station we stopped at our church, mentioned above, so Diane could drop off the aprons she had washed, and so we could spruce the joint up a bit because we are the assigned cleaners this month. Diane signed us up so we have to do it. As soon as we got within eye-shot of the church it was evident that the lawn needed a severe mowing. Since Floyd resigned as our arborist, and lawn maintenance person extraordinaire, such tasks are now available for anyone who wants to volunteer their time, like Floyd has for the past 28 years or so. Maybe it’s not 28 years, but he’s been doing it for a really long time. Now someone else needs to pick up the reigns and get it done. Since I was there, my conscience dictated my path to the mower barn, a little room at the end of the church car port, and I got to work. It’s a fairly new Craftsman, and works just great. I think it took me only a couple of hours to get it all mown, and the mower washed. I had to wash it because that’s what Floyd did before putting it away. There’s no way I was going to ride it hard and put it away dirty. No sir! Not me. So, I washed it, top to bottom and it looked good as new when I put it away. Now my conscience is telling me that I should probably do that with my mower at home. I treat it terrible and I’m surprised it still runs, but it does. It’s been very faithful to me. So, before using it next time, I will wash it and change the oil. Then I will wash it when I’m done. I don’t have a mower shed to store it in, however, because I haven’t built it yet. One of these days … until them, I park it under a holly tree where it’s protected pretty good from the rain. When it rains.

After leaving the church we headed for Scappoose to see how much gas we could pour into the rig. I truly don’t have any idea how many gallons the two tanks hold, but it’s a lot. We went to the Fred Meyer gas station, across the street from Fultanos and Les Schwab, and used Diane’s Fred Meyer card to drain their pumps. Luckily, Diane shops at Freddie’s fairly often which provides some relief at the pump when a lot of shopping has been done. She recently took all of our related school children there to buy school clothes which resulted in 45 cents off a gallon. They have a 35 gallon limit on that, however. Fortunately, the front tank didn’t take 35 gallons, so we just moved the rig up a little (it started right up!) so we could finish the 35 gallons in the rear tank. When it stopped, we ran the card again so we could fill that tank, and wound up getting 15 cents off whatever they could pump into that tank. It’s a smaller one, so I was sure it wouldn’t take 35 gallons. It didn’t. Total cost was just shy of $150 for the two tanks. I suspect that will get us to Fort Stevens just fine. Perhaps it will even get us home, too. We’ll see.

Now it’s almost 9 pm, I’m hungry, and need to stop and get a snack.

Jedi James, Tile, and a D22

Jedi James is a tiny little kitten that now lives with Daniel, Jennifer, Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran down on Matzen Street. He’s either six or seven weeks old and full of energy, like a little kid. He probably weighs less than a can of soda and he’s just fun to watch. I still don’t get the name, so call him JJ because it’s one less syllable.

Here he is investigating the 4″ tiles I layed out so I wouldn’t screw it up when I put them on the wall.


Yes, I did some work on The Bathroom. The tiling is now about 2/3’s complete. It was a hot, sweaty day. For all my hard work, Diane bought me tacos and a burrito for lunch from Taco Bell.

Now the bad news – even Diane doesn’t know about this so I’m cherishing my remaining few moments of a relatively pain-free day. That may change once I publish this. But, ya know? I’ve gotta own up to my defaults. Most of them, anyway. This one just created more work for me, but it’s upsetting.

As you may have surmised, from previous posts, we have two Winnegabos. Both are old. We use the ’79 brave and have the ’73 Indian D22 on a restoration path that just got more complicated this afternoon. Here’s what happened.

In an effort to clean up our parking lot, across the street from the house, where all the blackberries live, I decided to move the ’73 and park it next to the ’79, which is in the driveway. It effectively blocks all access to the side of the garage Diane doesn’t use so it’s OK that that side is full of ‘stuff’. I’ve been wondering for a while, now, if the D22 would fit between the trees and the ’79. The trees are a barrier between us and our neighbors.

So, feeling frisky, I moved the Subaru, which is normally parked in that spot, and fired up the D22. The brakes worked pretty good when I started maneuvering into position, but faded more quickly than I had anticipated. I also misjudged how long 22′ really is.

Now, I know you’re thinking that I ran smack into the ’79, with its newly connected DirecTV DVR, but that isn’t the case at all. Instead, I backed into the corner of the garage. Damage to the house is minimal, regrettable, and easily repairable. The D22? It now has a ladder to the roof that is caved in, and there is a new tear in the aluminum rear that looks distinctly like the end of the gutter on that edge of the roof. It’s really nice. I may highlite it with some festive paint.

Since it’s been raining off and on for the past three days, I got the big tarp out and covered it up so it wouldn’t leak. Diane will think I covered it up to hide the damage, which may be partially true, but I don’t think she even realizes I moved it from across the street. She hasn’t said a word about it, which I find unusual. It’s like I do things, and no one notices. Except when I do things like back into the house.

On the positive side of this – yes, there is a positive side – the damage caused to the D22 is forcing me to address the already water damaged roof at the rear of the rig. I’ve just been putting it off, doing other things. Now, I’ll have to do it.

Fortunately, I know a guy … he lives in Keizer and he once replace the entire roof of his old Winnebago. So, there is a precedent and I know the expert. That’s handy. The way it is right now, all I’ll have to do is remove about 1700 screws and peal the metal from the back toward the front and see what kind of project I’m looking at. The roof seems pretty solid on the inside, but spongy on the outside in that area, so It’s going to be interesting.

Now I’m going to quit and go to bed before Diane reads this. She’s watching ‘Dancing With The Stars’, so, hopefully I’ll be asleep before she gets there and maybe she won’t remember all of this in the morning.

I’ll let you know.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a picture of my mishap and share it.

The $66 Bowel Movement


OK, here’s the story. Probably not a popular topic, but it’s about constipation. It’s not about normal constipation, either. It’s about a constipated dog. A little dog who, on his last visit to the vet weighed in at 6 lbs. Ozzie weighed over 7 lbs when we got there. He had quit eating, and wouldn’t leave his kennel, so he had to go to the dog doctor.

After a nice long talk with Dr. Brooks, we all agreed that Ozzie, our victim, probably needed an enema because there was no evidence that he’d had any activity of that nature in the past four days, or so. Since there was no way in hell I was giving him one, we took him to her. When he’s testy, like today, he bites.

Upon hearing the latter, the good Dr. backed up a little and said, “but he so cute and looks so friendly.”

“It’s a trick,” I said, reaching down to touch his side and said, “he gets a little testy when you touch him here.”

As if to prove the point, Oz reached around with his lightning fast teeth and chomped a hole in my right hand pointing finger. It bled considerably so the dog Dr. got me cleaning solution with which I scoured my finger, and an assistant got me a band-aid to staunch the flow of blood. It’s been six hours and it still hurts. Why do dog bites hurt for so long? Especially little dog bites?

After proving his point, I showed the Dr. how Oz could be picked up without injury to either him or her, and she carried him away to the back room where all the fun stuff happens. She returned in about five minutes to report all was good. Putting a muzzle on him was the only motivation he needed to evaluate his bowels. How nice. No enema. He was right there when we were talking about it so it’s obvious he heard everything. I would have covered his ears, but he doesn’t like it and shows me his teeth when I do that. Dr. Brooks added that by him doing that, he saved us a few bucks.

I’m sure Oz was more than humiliated by having a BM while being watched by a group of attractive women. It doesn’t get much worse than that, unless you have a severe case of epididymitis and your female doctor calls in another female doc to have a look. What fun.

So, it cost $66 for Oz’s office visit, a distemper shot update, and a dose of worm meds, and it was worth every penny, even if it had only been for the BM.

We should have weighed him before exiting the office because I’m sure he pooped a pound, at least.

Before and after all this I worked on the ’73 Blue Bago. You may recall that when I left it, the mechanical fuel pump was giving me fits because I couldn’t get the bolts in. This morning, it dropped right into place, and the bolts went in simple as can be. It was wonderful. I actually got that done before taking Oz to the doc, and getting bit. It worked perfectly. The engine ran and everything.

After returning with Oz, who promptly ran to his kennel, I put his morning bowl of pouch food near the opening and he gobbled it right up. I suspect that after not eating much for a few days, he was a bit hungry. It was good to see him eat something besides me.

Then I returned my attention to the ’73 BB. The final quest for success involved connecting both fuel tanks to the switch to ensure the engine ran off both tanks. It seems to work just fine, but I honestly don’t know if the switch works. I does, indeed, make a satisfying clicky kind of noise, when I move the switch, but I do not know if it’s actually switching tanks. Both fuel gauges read empty, but I know I poured a few gallons into one of them. It will become evident one of these days when we take it for a ride and run out of gas somewhere on Highway 30.

After playing with gas, I turned my attention to the water pump that failed. On Sunday, after church, I glued it all back together with super-duper silicone sealant. After drying for well over 24 hours I installed it and cranked it up.

It still leaks.

I ordered a new one on eBay and it should be here by the end of the week. Until the new pump arrives, it will remain waterless.

Now I’m tired.

401k’s, My Water Pump, and God

I’ve delayed adding this entry because the number, 401, invokes some really sad memories of my previous employment. You see, the power company I worked for was purchased by ENRON and convinced a large number of employees that their stock was impervious to decline. Indeed, it rose rapidly, and stayed high for a long time. Being one of the gullible group, I cast my fortunes with them right up until they made it impossible to withdraw before the stock dropped to $0. Nice. So, my 401k disappeared, after 15 years of participation, in the virtual blink of an eye.

There’s my sad story for today.

Now on to fun stuff …

I worked on the RV today because last night I discovered the water pump leaked. It leaked a lot. This morning I removed it and ripped it apart to see what makes it tick. It was evident someone before me had a problem with it because, in addition to screws, it was held together with silicon gasket material. It was this that became compromised allowing water to squirt all over under the sink. Sadly, I won’t be able to replace parts in it because they don’t make this kind any more. I’ll have to buy a new one. I may let it dry out and see about making it water tight, once again, but don’t have any high hopes of that happening. It would be far easier to just replace it but, then, it’s been a while since I’ve had my fingers stuck together with silicone sealant. Might be kinda nice, for a change.

There’s good news – the ’79 RV still runs, and the transmission works! I know because I drove it to Warren and parked it at the church as agreed. It drives just great even though it hasn’t been driven for about a year. I start it once in a while, just for fun, so I know the engine is good. Might be a good idea to change the oil, though. You think?

Now it’s time to lounge for the evening. I have nothing significant to say except I’ve been working on my version of religious history. I think I’m on chapter seven. I’m doing it with the firm belief that God has a sense of humor. He must because I have not been hit by lightning, yet. There is, however, always tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be labeled a blasphemer, at the minimum, and that’s OK because I know it’s not true.

I’m just having fun at God’s expense. Since he knows me so well, I don’t think he minds.