Saturday, June 30, 2012

Busy, Busy

It's been a busy few days. Helped a couple good buddies down at the welding shop for a few days building a very large cnc router table.  I always enjoy an oppurtunity to weld, I find it relaxing.  The "funny" thing about the table is that we ended up turning it into a trailer so that it could be transported home.  It turned out awesome.  It's a wonderful feeling being part of something that someone else is going to use and enjoy.

I finally found a generator, it's an Onan out of another rv. I'm going to trade an old sand rail and bug for it.  I really can't wait to get my hands on it. I will do my best to keep you updated on my progress. Any advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated. I really want to have it ready before we leave for Texas.

Gen Set

Router Table
The weather here in Southeast Iowa has been pretty brutal these last few days. With temps in the 90's and the humidity way up it's been difficult for Toie to go outside at all. The thunderstorms we had last night were pretty spirited at times and they woke me up a few times. I love the way rain sounds on the roof.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's a funny thing, it sometimes is really difficult to come up with subject matter that a reader may find interesting.  Over the last few days I have re-coated the roof, our grandson visited for a few days and gone kayaking. 

The re-coat of the roof went pretty smoothly for the most part.  I used a product called Henry's Roof Coatings #287 and so far I am pleased with the results.  I saved a little so that I can do a little spot repair after we take the kayaks off the roof.  Not that I've put them up there yet, I'm waiting until we are ready to move the RV to put them up there.  Application is pretty easy, you can just roll it on and it's white so it reflects quite a bit of solar energy.  Which is much better than the black roofing tar that had been used previously to repair problems areas in the past.  While I was applying the coating I decided to remove the old non functioning TV antenna that no longer could be cranked up and down or rotated properly. The cradle it sat in will be used to hold the mast of our cell booster while the RV is under way.  I don't want to make our height requirements much higher than they already are. 

Our grandson's visit went well. Luckily its easy to entertain an almost 3 year old child and he has a real sweet disposition for his grandma.  The dog really enjoys these visits as well because he scores quite a bit of goodies.  We can always tell when he is sneaking stuff to the dog because he giggles when Moe takes it.

Kayaking today was absolutely wonderful. I haven't been able to do it since my hernia surgery and it felt great.  My left elbow started getting pretty sore after a bit, I think I may be developing a little arthritis there.  We paddled between 6 and 7 miles round trip on a place called Burris Ditch on Lake Odessa.  Its really shallow in that area right now so we didn't have to worry about the power boaters. At times we were in no more than 6 - 7 inches of water.  At one point I was screwing around paddling backwards and flipped my kayak.  As soon as I overbalanced I knew it and said to myself "well that was dumb". Luckily the water was only about 3 feet deep and I got it righted before I lost anything out of it. After bailing for awhile we moved myself and the kayak closer to shore so we could empty it of water and hand off some of the cargo I was carrying for our picnic lunch.  I can tell you that a half filled kayak is no fun to maneuver.   After a nice lunch we paddled back to the vehicles. If you have never tried it I highly recommend it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Its a funny thing, I have an idea in my head I want to write about, I grab the tablet to start writing then WHOOSH! its outta my head faster than water down a drain.

Gate Guarding

I notice that in the Gate Guard community many people that maintain a blog at some point write about the requirements of the job. What it basically boils down to is being prepared. 

1. At some point there will be some kind of hiccup/failure with either the company equipment or your own that will need some sort of immediate attention. 

2. Ask questions. Make sure that you know what the company man wants.

3. Own the gate your on.  

While the examples I gave above don't cover some of the nuances, the point is still the same. Be Prepared


I'm not talking about the kind that we wish others would go out and play in, I mean the kind that webmasters get all a flutter about. I have learned that writing a blog, while being an outlet for my thoughts and topics I want to discuss, that it boils down to web traffic.  Trying to generate capture this elusive, mysterious thing can present something of a challenge.  

Quality Content is a huge player in this game.  Reading other blogs helps and some of the writers do indeed make it look very easy to do, however I have learned that is not always the case.  I'm starting to write in a word processor and then pasting that content here.  One of the advantages for me is the word count in the word processing program, I'm shooting for at least 500 words a post.    

Advertising is another big player, if no one knows about your blog, how can they read it.  I have taken to posting a link on Facebook when I make a new post.  I figure that a daily link to the blog isn't any worse than some of the other "stuff" that gets posted there.


In a society that has become so used to instant gratification, patience isn't always in good supply. Occupying one's time productively is challenging and requires a bit of self-discipline, of which I am not always as successful as I would like.  One of my problems being, especially since starting this blog, is I'm unsure about the how interesting our antics while waiting here in Iowa are.  Writing about how our friends septic is having trouble probably wouldn't appeal to a wide audience.

Until later,

Have a GREAT day. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Clair Eugene "Ted" Irwin - Sept. 9, 1923 to June 10, 2012

My Grandfather passed this morning. This obituary was written by my father and is very fitting.

It is with saddened hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Clair Eugene “Ted” Irwin. He was born in Kane, PA on September 9, 1923, the son of the late Jacob Hill and Elsie May Davis Irwin. He was a veteran of World War II, having served with the United States Navy aboard the destroyer USS Crane in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. After being discharged, he returned home and was married in December of 1946 to the late Mary Olivia Riggs. He is survived by sons Denny Irwin of Mesa, AZ, Rod Irwin of Pittsburgh, PA, Gerry and Matt Irwin both of Erie, PA and Kim Irwin of Elizabeth, CO. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren, a brother, Max Irwin of Washington, a sister, Joyce Means of Greenwood, PA and Dorothy Fox of Vowinckel, PA. One son, Teddy Shawn Irwin, 3 brothers and 3 sisters predeceased him. Ted moved to Wesleyville, PA in the late 1940’s where he worked at General Electric and then at Kaiser Aluminum from where he retired in the mid 1980’s. In 1957 he had a home built in Millcreek Township, PA which included Ted’s Barber Shop which he operated part time in the evenings and Saturdays for the next 28 years. While living in Millcreek, he was a member of the Lake Shore Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. In the late 1980’s, after the passing of his wife, he returned to Forest County, PA and reconnected with Dorothy Fox, a childhood sweetheart, with whom he happily spent the remainder of his days. In July of last year the family came together for a reunion at Cook Forest State Park where five generations were represented with Ted at the head of the family. Ted will be interred in the Greenwood Cemetery following a private ceremony as per his wishes. He shall surely be missed by family and those who knew and loved him.

Goodbye Ted and sail on sailor.

Gate guarding and the waiting game

I have been reading and contributing to the MyOldRV Forums for awhile now and there is a little trouble in the gate guarding community.

Mark and Missy Bass are very liked members of this community and have run into a bit of trouble.  The 5.9 Cummins diesel engine in their coach has given up the ghost. Mark has been very prudent with his money and had a savings but an engine replacement is very expensive. Mark has temporarily put a donate button on his blog to help cover costs where his savings has come up short.

Toie and I will soon be members of this community and in the spirit of such we have decided to give a little ourselves.  It only takes a moment and a few dollars will go a long way to help Mark & Missy out.

On a different note.  Everything is almost wrapped up here in Iowa hopefully it won't be long before we can get a move on.

Have a GREAT Day!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What not and other things.

One of the challenges about an older motor home is that, well, everything is older. Sometime during the night we lost 12volt.  Luckily there are only a few things that run off the 12 volt system, mostly lights.  I'm thinking that the converter blew a fuse and its not recharging the battery when on shore power. The fun part about this is when Nu Wa built this, they buried the converter with no easy way to get to it.  In the mean time I have attached a battery charger and I'm charging the coach battery that way.

In the course of writing this post I may have figured out the problem.  Some time ago we had a circuit breaker that went bad. While trouble shooting that problem I unplugged everything in the coach, it looks that I also managed to unplug the converter and never plugged it back in.  Which now has me thinking.  I think I would rather have a "computer" controlled battery charger re-charge the battery than have the converter possibly overcharge and cook the battery. After talking it over with Toie I think I will finish slow charging the battery and then remove it from the circuit and see if the converter will provide 12 volts without the battery in place. 

On a completely different note,  Our nephew has decided to bless us with two small pet turtles. From what I'm told they are painted turtles and they are so small.  I guess a quick run into the pet shop for turtle supplies and dog food is now on the agenda. We can really say we are moving like a herd of turtles now.

The Wilson Cell Booster and Cradle Point Router have been working out wonderfully.  I highly recommend them for anyone that lives the "lifestyle".

I am also in the progress (and progress is slow) of collecting owl calls so that I can put them into my fox-pro electronic game caller.  I have heard of people doing this about sundown and getting the owls to come in and even answer back!  I'll let you know what kind of luck I have soon.

Have A Great Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting the hang of things

Its a beautiful day here in southeast Iowa. I got the chance to caulk a few windows, mount the spare again and put out the awning.  I also got the ads from Amazon working so if your wanting to do a little shopping, click on the link. Toie is sitting outside underneath the awning enjoying the day.  I just hope she doesn't get wet, it rained a few days ago and well.. you know.

We are parked at a friends place right now and while its great to be able to hear the crickets and frogs at night, the night sky is what really gets me.

We were invited to go down to Missouri with our friends on their annual kayaking trip in about a week. They have offered to let us borrow their little 13 ft Scamp if we don't want to move the motorhome, Toie and I are still talking about it.  We may go if the timing works out but I think  if we go, we will take the motorhome so that we can continue south afterwards.

On that note, we are still waiting on a few things to fall into place so that we can leave for Texas and do the Gate Guard thing.  Our company of choice is going to be GGS because Patty has been wonderful and patient while we get everything set.

Becoming full-timers has been quite a liberating experience. I'm still amazed at the amount of stuff that we are leaving behind. It's amazing what you can live without.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Testing. 1. 2. 3. Testing

It has been a busy couple days.  I got the antenna mast and mount mocked up for the Wilson Cell Booster.  I've got the antenna at about 20ft and have to say that it is an amazing system.  It's funny that I only have 2 bars away from the camper but I have 5 bars inside. If you ever plan on doing any kind of "remote" camping, this should be on the short list.

I've been using my Acer Iconia A200 tablet to write the blog and for internet usage in general and for the most part it has been acceptable. The portability and long battery life are a huge bonus, however, the android operating system seems to have a few issues when it comes to trying to upload pictures for the blog.  I found an app and I'm going to try that with this post. I'm going to have to get the laptop up and running soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Late night musings

Today started as a decent day. It was sunny, I was getting a few things done and then it happened. Toie hit her head and ended up with a nasty gash on her forehead. After applying a little first aid she seemed okay considering she rang her bell pretty good.

I got the spare tire mount slash cell booster antenna base done today. The mast is going to be a slight challenge due to that I want to make it telescopic. I found some 1 1/4 inch conduit that should work quite nicely.

Andy over at My Old RV posted my story about the rear bumper on the camper tonight. Click  here to see it.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this, although I think it wil be easier to do on the laptop instead of the tablet.
Have a Great Day everyone.

Ramblings of a middle-aged mind

I have to admit to being a novice at this blogging thing. I know it is unrealistic to expect to be "a pro" the moment that you try a new thing. I am however hoping that somewhere out in the ether of the interwebs, someone will find this interesting to read.

I have been thinking awhile about starting a blog for a few reasons. First, it makes a nice dialog of what is going on and it is almost therapeutic to put thoughts to paper, so to speak (type). Secondly, it creates a record that our grandchildren can look back on when they get older. As of this writing they are almost 3 and just born.

Toie and I travel with our 9 yr old springer spaniel named Moe. We got him from the Apache Junction Animal Shelter when he was 7 months old and he has been more than just a companion.

I am presently wrestling with the idea of putting ads on the blog, while I would like to keep it as ad free as possible I need to be more proactive about our income sources than I was when we were doing to "normal" 9-5. I will keep things as minimal as possible so that you the reader don't lose the content because of the ads.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Let me introduce ourselves.  We are Bryan and Toie, a couple of recent empty-nesters that are looking for more to life than the 9-5 grind just to scrimp and save.

We decided not long ago to quit the sticks and bricks and go looking for a bit of adventure. Some friends of ours had an old rv they wanted to sell so we jumped on it.

After doing quite a bit of research over the winter months, an almost fatal illness and an unexpected injury, it is getting to be time to go.  As of this moment we are parked at a friends house, actually in their front yard.  We have been here for a little longer than a month and we a expecting to move along to Texas here shortly.

I am hoping to entertain and maybe even educate my readers with what I post here.  I am also hoping to learn a few things along the way.