This blog is posted when we travel overseas taking a break from our Fulltime RV Life.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Blue Max

Our first morning in a town with a pet store since Red Rob met his untimely end, and that is where we were headed, to get Red Rob's replacement. I have never figured out what the difference is between a Petsmart and a Petco because they look pretty much the same. I do have to say that in general the fish in Petsmart always appear to be healthier and the live plants are in better condition. Based on that, I guess we are lucky that the pet store in Bullhead City is a Petsmart. Whatever it was, you can see Linda was impatiently waiting for me take the photo so we could go inside and buy a Betta.

Look at all those Bettas. If you're looking for the very best one, look no further than Bob's hand. There you will see the yet to be named Blue Max. As for the origin of Blue Max, Max comes from the name of our son's cat who is a real live wire. The blue is more obvious, as it reflects our state of mind after the loss of Red Rob.

Not the best photo of our new boy, as he will need a few days to acclimate and have his colors brighten up. For now, he's mostly blue on top, with red and blue below. He still has a whitish cast to him which is due to the stress he is going through. The great thing is that he has been very active in the aquarium, exploring all the corners readily taking the large Betta Bits that Red would never eat. He is also leaving the shrimp alone, meaning he just may not have an aggressive nature. As Linda said, "We never realized how much we missed Red."

While the aquarium was being explored by its new inhabitants, Linda was busy making the coach more inhabitable for we humans. Besides the sweeping she also managed to do four loads of laundry, three of which I didn't realize she had done, meaning I didn't help her fold the clothes. Bad Bob. On the other hand, the coach is as clean as it has been in weeks, our clothes are clean and fresh smelling, and I later fixed her a strawberry margarita. The latter more than making up for my laundry miscues. Then at the five o'clock hour we sat outside with George and Kelli until sun settled below the horizon and the day drew to a close. It turned out to be a very good day indeed, and what more could we ask for.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heading north

Time to say goodbye to Quartzsite for a while, and when we return in late April it is likely to be just a shell of what it is now. And now sure isn't what it was just a couple of weeks ago, either. Before leaving town we fueled with diesel at the Arco at the east end of Main Street, and one thing that always amazes me is how the price of fuel varies. Leaving town we saw it was a few cents cheaper at the Chevron and a whole lot more expensive at the Shell. Fortunately, or unfortunately our route didn't take us past the zoo that is the Love's and Pilot stations on the west end on town, and soon we were heading north on 95 towards Bullhead City where we will be staying for the next couple of days.

Looking at this photo I realized that some of the more perceptive readers of these daily musings might see something in that photo that isn't there. Yes, that is a can of Febreze Linda is holding in her hand. And yes, she is spraying the air with it. And I'll concede that yours truly is partially hidden behind the can of air freshener. But I am most certainly NOT the reason the air is being freshened even though that appears to be the case. It seems that boondocking for long periods of time caused the water in at least one the waste drain traps to evaporate, the result being a not so subtle reminder of how things were in the days of chamber pots. I told her to pour water in the traps, she grabbed the air freshener, which just goes to prove how smart I was in marrying her. Good Bob.

Certain portions of the drive were more interesting than other. Actually I should probably just say that the sights, sounds and smells of the drive varied from place to place, which would encompass everything. Linda named these portions of the drive, The Dragon's Back, and I really had to agree with her. For not driving any great distance I couldn't believe how tired I was when we arrived in Bullhead City. I'll just blame it on the heavy traffic, the narrow roads and the incessant whoosh of air freshener. Or is it possible it could have been brain fade due to air freshener overload?

Now we know how the other half lives. Our first time in 30 years going through a California Ag Inspection Station with out of state plates on an RV. Linda had to laugh when the inspector didn't recognize the giant jumbo Kiwi fruit we had bought in Quartzsite, but which had been grown in California. Thinking back we should have said, "Why that's what a Kiwi Fruit grown it Texas looks like, they're not at all like the puny little California, want to be kiwi's they sell in the stores around here.

For the past several years the end of the water hose has been a pain, not only figuratively, but also literally. That ended tonight when I took off the old oversized hose clamp and replaced it with the small one I had bought in Quartzsite. It was as if everything that could go wrong, did, but with the help of two different types of pliers, a screwdriver, a file and the socket set, the job was done at last. I will not go into how the screwdriver slot in the new clamp was only partially cut out, or how a burr on the clamp prevented the right socket from being used. I can say that by the time I was done, the clamp was looking like it should have if it had been made right in the first place. I even managed to pull the PVC protector over the clamp so it is even better than new. Good Bob.

We also got a kick out of surprising George and Kelli who we have met several times in our travels over the past few months. We read in their blog that they were staying at a park in Bullhead City, and that was why we picked the same park to stay at. We ended up parked right next to them, and to say they were surprised to see us pull in is a definite understatement. It's the great thing about this Life. If you want, you can go miles out of your way surprise someone, and get as much or more enjoyment out of it than they do. We know fulltimers who have their reservations made months and even years in advance. That works for them. Sara N. Dippity and spontaneity work for us. The key is not in how one does it, it's the fact they're doing it and loving it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's just air

The first project of the day was to replace the quick connects and install the new air hose. There is a reason why we were doing this here at Quartzsite, namely because it's not very far into town to buy the things we didn't buy that we now needed to buy to make what we originally bought work. For example, the quick connect that came off the compressor had male pipe threads. The replacement I bought had female threads. The solution was a trip to Herb's Hardware for a brass nipple, and soon things were definitely looking up.

The moment of truth. Well, not really, but Linda sure did have a big smile on her face when this test showed that there were no leaks and the quick connects did exactly that. It wasn't anything major in the way of fixing something, but the satisfaction of a job well done is not always in the size of the project, sometimes it is in the knowing that you did a good job.

The reason for all the Mr. Fixit activity, airing up the tires on the coach. I wanted to increase the air pressure in the tires by five to seven pounds over what they have been inflated to, plus the tire monitor was saying that the tire I had messed up during the process of installing the tire monitor on it, was, shall we say, a little lower than it should be. In the end the front tires were at 110 psi and the rears at 108 psi, which we will monitor for a while, with the thought of increasing the rear tires by four or five pounds. One of these days we are going to have to get it weighed again so we will know for sure what the tire pressures should be, but until then our tire pressures will be under Linda's watchful eye as we travel down the highways of Life.

Just to show that not everything turned out as it should today. Dinner was one of our favorites, butternut squash soup, and it was absolutely delicious. However my technique with the vegetable peeler was a little wild according to she who has to mop the floor. And I had thought I was doing good, leaving no bits of peel on the squash. To hear Linda you would think I had left no floor tile uncovered with squash peelings. Just kidding, just kidding.

Actually she was laughing at my efforts at squash peeling as she picked up the pieces, which is what Life is all about. Glass half full, glass half empty. A mess on the floor, something to angrily clean up or something to laugh about. The choice is ours.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to Q

Linda got all excited about the birds gathered around the feeder this morning, especially when she sighted what looked like a redwing blackbird. At least it meant she was feeling much better after her encounter with that late unpleasantness of the past several days. Unfortunately she is still suffering from her knack of taking out of focus bird photos. Something tells me she will gladly put up with the latter if the former continues down the path to a full recovery.

Up to now the hummers at the feeder have been Anna's, but this morning a new kid showed up, fighting off the Anna's who normally are at the feeder. Looking at our bird book, it looks like it was a Costa, and it's pretty much the story of our stay here at Imperial Dam. Our last morning and two new birds show up. Maybe next time they won't wait so long to make an appearance.

Hard to believe it was only a week ago that we entered this intersection from a different direction to the sound of Linda providing her own unique brand of commentary in regards to my not acquiescing to her idea of the proper approach speed for the coach. Today she was positively beaming as I approached it, making the comment, "I see you learned your lesson about how fast to go." As for me, I just wondered what the conversation was like in the two vehicles that were following us at our snails pace. Perhaps it was something like, "There must be an old woman navigating that RV, since they don't know which way to go." Or maybe it was, "Wonder if the old woman in that RV has the map upside down." We will never know, but I can dream.

Today as we drove up to the Border Patrol check point on US-95 we were waved through with the comment, "Have a good day." The drive itself isn't long or hard, but one thing was very noticeable, there were almost more RV's heading towards us as there were cars and trucks. Linda looked at the bright side of it, meaning she thought that Quartzsite was really beginning to clear out, but for some reason she wasn't buying my comments about Quartzsite being so packed there was room for any more RV's. It's what I get for marrying such a smart girl who uses logic and thinks I usually don't know what I'm talking about. Wonder when she found me out?

We parked at the Scadden Wash 14 day free area, right up by the entrance, since we were only going to be here for two nights, then it was off to do some buying. One item was a rubber air hose to replace the coiled plastic one we had that had broken in two when I tried to use it yesterday. I'd bought that plastic one at WalMart several years ago, along with some quick connects which have pretty much stopped working. All junk from China of course. Today, the new rubber hose was made in the USA by Goodyear, and the replacement quick connects which were solid brass, were made in Taiwan. When will I learn that Made in China means You are Buying a Piece of Junk. Or maybe even more important, when will the world learn that lesson.

We thought about having a fire tonight as there was a fire ring near the coach. Okay, that's why we parked where we did, but neither of us were feeling 100 percent as of yet, so it was another early to bed night. It may not have been one of our better days, but it sure was better than those work days in our our former life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some days are like that

When asked what we did today, I could only answer truthfully, "I suffered mightily from the ebb and flow of the grizzly's growls." At least whatever it is that has laid Linda low has not interfered with her ability to cut loose with the occasional megadecible grizzly growl that would not only wake the dead, but that would also wake Linda herself. I almost wore myself out, what with the number of times I rose from my perch in front of the computer to walk over and check on her, which usually coincided with her saying, "That was pretty loud, wasn't it."

I would usually only smile, when in reality, loud didn't begin to describe the blast from her that had the windows vibrating and plaster falling from the ceiling. Okay, so the there is no plaster in the ceiling of the coach, it if there was, it would all be on the floor by now, such was the concussions that resonated through our abode during the day. It's no wonder it is taking her so long to recover, if I had to worry about shattering the windows of the coach if I fell asleep, it would set back my recovery also.

There really were twenty or more birds on the ground around the feeder just before I took this photo. Really, really there were. Some people are wildlife photographers, then there are people like me who are great at taking photos of the landscape where the wildlife just was. What can I say, calling our website by the name: "Just was a Bird Here RVer's" just wouldn't be the same. What can I say. Some people can take photographs, some people can write, and some people can just make a fool of themselves. Linda can tell you into which category I fall.

Some people complain that life does not treat them fair, which is their choice and they are happy with it. We think Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early. Some people never realize that if the winds are blowing against them, they might try turning the boat around. For us, today was a great day even though Linda missed most of it, and no, we never had the TV on to watch the Super Bowl commercials. But honestly, is our Life any less for having missed it?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Green around the gills

I can't say I never get sick, but I do have pretty much what is known as a cast iron stomach since it was sometime in the late 1970's the last time I was praying to the porcelain god. Linda on the other hand has what is known as a sensitive nature, one that is apparent at both ends of the, um, shall we say spectrum. Sometimes there are things that go splash in the night, and at other times there are things that go boom in the night, which come from various sources that I prefer not to know about when it is happening.

Due to the sensitive nature of the material to be presented, or as Linda has threatened, not to be presented, in today's post, lets just say that we didn't do anything today as Linda recovered from a bout of intestinal distress. If I do say so, I make for a very a very good nurse, though my comment about taking care of her now so she could take care of me in another 25 or so years went over like a lead balloon. And here I thought buying a large supply of adult sized baby wipes for when that day comes that she needs to care for me was a good idea. I tell you, it is simply impossible to understand women.

Look at it this way, at least you readers weren't subject to any bird pictures today. Smile, Life's to short to do anything else.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Not purr-fect

Confession time. Linda is not perfect. I know I make her out to be as close to the second coming as exists on earth, but that's only because she is. However, close is not perfection, it is only purr-fection, as in how close the sonorous snoring of a hibernating grizzly sounds like a sleeping kitten. I know that no one would believe it unless I had documentation, so here it is, straight from her camera. She's as blind as a bat without her glasses, so I guess I could claim she took this photo without them, but alas, such was not the case. I guess no one is perfect, but darn it, now she's got me wondering if maybe it really does stink when she goes to the bathroom. Puzzled Bob.

A site you would never see in Quartzsite, yet one that is quite common at Imperial Dam. Quartzsite has dry washes, Imperial Dam has serious arroyos. Quartzsite has thousands of RV's, Imperial Dam has hundreds. Quartzsite has no water, Imperial Dam has a pretty blue lake. Quartzsite has us for a few weeks at Big Tent RV Show time. Imperial Dam has our hearts.

We haven't done it yet, but it is most definitely in our future, it being a lake shore site at Imperial Dam. We could have it right now, at this very moment. There is space available, just drive down and park, but not this year. Just think if did it, what would we have to look forward to in the coming years? As Linda is so fond of saying, no matter where we are at the first of the year, the pull of Quartzsite and Imperial dam are almost impossible to resist. To all of those who say they're happy where they are shoveling snow or mowing the grass, I say great, it makes it less crowded for the rest of us who want to venture out and experience Life and not just exist.

It is simply amazing what you can see as you walk around Imperial Dam. I couldn't believe it when I got the chance to take a candid photo of what looks like a former super model lounging in a chair sunning herself. Wonder who's married to her? Gosh, some guy's have all the luck. Hehe, Lucky Bob.

So just what does Linda do when she not showing off her best assets? Well she might be plying me with adult beverages to get me to do what she wants. Or maybe she is just letting her hair down a bit and having fun. Though it could also be she just loves having a fire and celebrating Life. As for for me, I don't care what it is, I'm just glad that out of the billions of men on the planet she picked me. Lucky Bob. Great life. After all, trophy wives are a dime a dozen, but trophy husbands and few and far between.

Linda, it was a joke. Really, honest, it was a joke. Oh well, Life was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In the 75 percent

The heck with all that one percent garbage, Linda and I are proud that we sit solidly with the 75 percent. As you can see, though you'll have to take my word for for it, there is very solid proof to back up my part of that claim. I took a similar photo of Linda, but unfortunately it has been banned from these pages by her due to the fact I took it with her camera, which has a wide angle lens. I know that some people may think this evidence doesn't pass the smell test, but I'm sure Linda can testify that it certainly did. And you were beginning to think all I ever posted were bird pictures. Shame on you.

Poor Linda, she has this thing about not liking to drink water that has a taste or has so many minerals that it oozes rather than flows. That meant a trip down to the Christian Center was in order. I guess you could say that on Sunday they save souls and the rest of the week they save your taste buds. At the standard going rate of 25 cents a gallon, it was a real deal as we only had to drive a few miles to get there, plus they have a post office where you can mail letters and buy stamps. Sort of a two for one deal. By the way, it takes years of practice to be able to hit the hole one handed and without looking like I am demonstrating here. Devilish Bob.

From the Christian Center we headed on down to Imperial Date Gardens. Alongside the road to the date place there was field after field of leafy vegetables being grown and harvested. We saw head lettuce, cilantro and parsley, all of which Linda took a blurry photo of as I sped along. Finally I said, "Do you want me to pull over so you can get a good picture?" to which she gave a very loud, "Yes."

Shortly there afterward I spotted this field with its beautiful dark green color, and said, "How about here?"
"Sure" was her reply. After she had taken her pictures and thanked me for stopping, I asked her what it was that she had taken a picture of because I sure didn't know. "I don't have a clue" was her answer. And dear reader, we shall leave it there. Smart Bob

As you can see, people come from all over the world to visit Imperial Gate Gardens. I think I overheard these Canadian's asking if they had blind dates, double dates or even the new one minute dates, but I could have been wrong. Actually we always buy at least one thing when we stop, and that is the date shake. It may be the economy, or just my perception, but I would swear my date shake had a lot less dates in it than in the past. Still it was more than worth the trip, as was the other date products we ended up purchasing. When the date trees are right beside the place you buy them, how can you go wrong. Delusional Bob.

I hate to admit it, but I totally blew it. Linda must have taken a couple of hundred photos of the cactus out in front of the building, and I was so busy sucking on my date shake I never took a photo of her taking a cactus photo. Well maybe it wasn't quite a hundred photos, but it sure seemed like it. I must be getting old and enfeebled missing out like that. It pains me to see Paul of R Sanity RV Adventures post a photo of Marti taking a cactus photo and me miss out on taking one of Linda. As Linda's really neat, but "much older" sister Katherine says, Getting older is pigeon poop.

Knowing Linda as well as I do, she would probably never forgive me if I didn't post at least one photo of her beloved hummers at the feeder, so Linda, this one is for you. Life isn't always about problems and worries. Some days we need to just put all those small things aside and concentrate on the joys of Life. Such has been today's Daily Journal. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early. Plus there is nothing wrong with continuing to laugh long after you are retired. Wonderful Linda, Lucky Bob Fantastic Life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fixing things

What can I say, watching the birds is one of the major activities we are engaging in, and that is just the way we want it. The temperatures are much warmer here than they were at Quartzsite, especially the night time lows, and it also seems to warm up much faster during the day. Morning also means breakfast time at the finch feeder, and while we have yet to see every feeding station occupied at the same time, there are still squabbles over who is going to eat where. I know this Life isn't for everyone, but compared to shoveling snow or driving on icy roads, Linda would chose this Life any day.

Poor Linda has had to temporarily suspend feeding the hummers from the big feeder. The wind was been blowing so hard during the day, with gusts in the 35 mph range, that the swinging of the feeder was causing the sugar solution to spill out the feeding holes. Fear not that those hummers should go hungry as she makes sure the feeder attached to the coach mirror is well filled. Plus, she likes it better that way as it is easier for her to see.

Another bay latch problem, but not the same bay and not the same problem. This time it was a case of putting the key in the lock and the actual lock mechanism coming out when we tried to remove the key. There was a press fit retaining washer that had come loose, which was easily reinstalled, then just to make sure it didn't happen again in few days, I swapped out the entire lock with one from an electrical compartment that we hardly ever access. If it happens again I will cut a groove in the stud that the washer fits over with my dremel tool and put a snap ring on it. That should hold it for life.

It was one of those days when nothing is easy, and here's Linda getting into Mrs. Fixit mode. The worst decision we have made in the computer area was when we bought that worthless Kodak printer and it's easy to see why Kodak had to declare bankruptcy They have had idiots running that company, idiots who will walk away with millions while the stockholders and lower employees get the royal shaft. There is no law against stupidity, but for corporations (they're people, so says the Supreme Court) and corporate officers, there is simply no downside no matter how stupid they are. And now back to our regularly scheduled Daily Journal. Please don't read anything into the fact I used a photo of Linda when writing about stupidity and idiots, as any similarity between them was completely unintentional. Good Bob for putting in that disclaimer.

Our view out the front. Life is Good, even with locks that don't and printers that won't.