Saturday, June 16, 2018

Update - Health and Upgrades

Quite a bit has been happening around here the past few weeks...

Most of you know I was not feeling well and decided to head to the hospital and see if they could finally solve some issues and get me back to feeling well. A friend from here in the park drove me down to the valley and I went to Desert Regional Medical Center, the Cardiologist I have been seeing up here suggested this was the place for me to go...upon arrival my blood pressure was high - 220/165 - not the highest it has ever been, but it was certainly making me feel pretty bad...I spent the night in the ER/Intensive Care while hooked to an IV to get my blood pressure under control. I convinced the Dr. that the Cardiologist was NOT getting my blood pressure under control since January and my last trip to the ER. The Dr. agreed to admit me and work on a pill plan to get my blood pressure down to a manageable level. So for 4 days they closely monitored my BP and kept changing the meds to get it under control. I went in on Tuesday the 29th of May and came home on Saturday the 2nd of June, with 5 new prescriptions which seem to be working - BP is now about 140/80 daily. They ran all kinds of tests and found no serious issues with my heart or vascular system, which was a relief. MRI, Sonogram, EKG, Chest XRay and blood work every friggin 20 minutes it seemed. They poked and prodded every orifice!
While I was 4 days in the hospital I could not smoke, so decided that the hardest part was over and have not had a cigarette since Tuesday the 29th - as of today that now makes 18 days and I am pretty confident I am over almost all of the urges, although I know I could start right back up again in a heartbeat, so will keep fighting the urges.

Several other things have been happening around here - remember the jack knife sofa incident - well I ordered a new recliner and it is super and I love it...great for TV and comfortable enough to sleep in, folds nearly flat!


I also installed a window air conditioner in the Oasis so can spend some afternoons and evenings out there in comfort.


Today another set of shelves arrived, something to assemble tomorrow for the Oasis.


I have also been car shopping - had some interest in the pick-up from a mechanic, hopefully can get that sold and buy a small car....

Looked at an HHR and a Scion. (Like the white here in the Desert on the Scion)


The HHR is a dark color so not as impressed...but I fit in both without banging my head getting in.


The guy has a Jeep Liberty 4 wheel drive coming in that I want to look at in a week or so...

Stay Tuned - I am feeling better and staying busy!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Rant - Desert Dust and the Jacknife Sofa Incident

Been quite a while since I have posted on my blog, with the winter park guests almost all gone, time to get back to the Oasis and other projects that have been on hold...


All was going fairly well until yesterday!

One of my projects that has been delayed is getting the golf cart running again! Needs new batteries, at least one to start with since it shorted out and melted the post off. So had my budget for the month all set to get a new battery (2) out of 6 and buy 2 a month until all replaced. Also ordered new LED headlights and tail lights so I could drive at night. Yesterday the last of the lights and wiring parts arrived, so my plan was to get off work at 10:30 and head home, clean the trailer and then get the lights mounted and wiring ready for the new batteries.


DUST

The friggin wind has been howling for the past week or so and here in the desert it blows right through windows and screens and creates a layer of fine sand on everything - the floors, counter tops etc.

So I leave the office and decide maybe a short nap is in order before I vacuum and clean. I woke up very, very early and was half afraid to go back to sleep since I had to open the office early. So a nap was in order. First I had to load the crockpot with meatballs and sauce for my Swedish Meatballs for a group dinner in the Clubhouse, our next to last potluck before the last people head out.

Now the fun! And a laugh for all!

So Crockpot on and loaded - head in to the trailer and drop my fat ass down on the living room jacknife sofa and prepare to relax for an hour or so with a nap. Roll over towards the outside wall and all of a sudden the whole friggin thing collapses and the sofa folds up with me in it...as I slowly begin to realize what happened and quickly did a body analysis to see if I was damaged, I came to realize there was almost no way for me to easily extricate myself from this dilemma...my phone was just out of reach, as I thought I would call the office and have maintenance come lend a hand...as I reached up to pull myself up and over the cushion and frame, to get my phone, it slowly started to lay flat again, at least flatter so I was able to slowly crawl out of what was left of the sofa.

Now upon further examination of what had happened I realized that the wood frame that was stapled in to the side of the trailer wall had collapsed and the sofa which was bolted to the frame had broken the frame and split the wood...well it only took me about 15 minutes to determine that it was time for a change and it was not going to be rebuilt but rather a dumpster run was in order. Spent about an hour trying to get that heavy bastard unhooked from everything and wrestled into the middle of the room - no way I could lift it all and fold flat to get out the door. Called maintenance and requested a hand and the trash trailer and within a couple minutes it was out the door and on its way to the dumpster - Thanks Bob!


CLEAN!

So now the space is nearly empty other than some RV items stored under the sofa from the outside compartment that gave access to the underneath...fire up the vacuum and lo and behold it starts smoking and whining from the powerhead...so have to stop and take that apart and find 40 pounds of crap wrapped around the beater bar...by now the crockpot needs my attention and I pretty much said...screw it...time for a PBR!


Then it was time to head to the clubhouse for Potluck dinner and more beers.

Had to work again Sunday morning so after dinner - returned to the Oasis, made sure the vacuum was fixed and moved my zero gravity chair into the trailer and went to sleep....

Today, I am cleaning and have made plans for several alterations to the trailer, there goes the battery budget, so will have to wait until next month or if I win the lottery.

The bed in the bedroom is a queen and damn near impossible to get around and with the raised floor you cannot stand up beside the bed, major pain in the ass and the reason I have been pretty much sleeping in the living room on the sofa. My plan was (is) to remove the queen sized bed and put a nice twin bed in its place which will take up half the room and allow a "Hallway" along side the bed and with it being lower able to stand up. So that is all loaded in the Amazon shopping cart along with a nice recliner for the living room to sit in the slide-out where the jacknife sofa was. Will seal up the hatch that accessed the under sofa storage, no need for that anyway. That will be the next project - Oasis and Golf Cart back on hold.

Pictures tomorrow after cleaning up - the place is a disaster between the dust and debris from removing the sofa, I would be embarrassed to show....

I am off, Monday through Thursday this week so plenty of time for a major clean and dismantling of the queen bed in preparation for the new bed and frame. And the new recliner for the living room. Also going to get a bunch of crap around here for sale on the local Boo Koo site - selling my generator, sat dish, I have one of the Kegerators listed and the 5th wheel hitch for the trailer. Will try and get the wiring done for the lights on the golf cart and with luck sell enough to get a couple batteries for the Golf Cart.

Hope you all got a laugh at imagining my ass folded up in the sofa...funny now, but was a bit scary at first

Later


Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Saturday, February 10, 2018

2018 King of the Hammers Desert Race

Always a fun event for me to attend - it is held in Johnson Valley about 30 miles from the RV Park - they turn a large piece of BLM Land into a town of about 40 thousand people and then hold a week of various races from motocross motorcycles, side by sides and one day of open class with the final race being the Ultra 4 Racers which is the ultimate Desert Challenge.

The race combines high speed desert racing at speeds of over 120 MPH and three different canyon rock climbs, so the vehicles are custom built to tackle both environments...quite a feat.

So me and about 45 thousand other spectators spend the day in the sand and sun...I took a few pics!



Managed to catch the winner going by!


And second place as well!


The terrain for the rock crawling segment is a tad rugged!








Some close racing...


Sometimes ya land on your nose...




Huge crowd at the finish line and big screen!


Over a 100 vehicles entered the race and 29 finished - it is a tough grueling race of over 120 miles and several vehicles are still out on the course waiting to be retrieved...

Great time stay tuned for more adventures now that I am feeling great and back to normal!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Blog Update - Health and Hummers!

You always dread the truth and reality when it comes to your health or lack of it..had a little shortness of breath and swollen ankles and feet so time to get checked out!

I have enjoyed my life to the fullest and have never been terribly concerned about taking care of this old body - hard chargin, hard drinkin, hard workin and hard smokin..well it has caught up with me and time to be a little more focused on some lifestyle changes!

A visit to a cardiologist is in my near future - heart is strong, but on the verge of Congestive Heart Disease, so time for some new meds and time to get a little more exercise and work on quitting smoking.

Enough about that, it is what it is...this morning the electric was off and so had to make my coffee in my French Press with hot water from the propane stove - it was great and went outside and had a long visit from some hummers at the feeder, this little guy was very comfortable with my presence and allowed me to get a few great pics...

HUMMERS!



You Lookin at ME??





Also the new higher bar stools arrived the other day for the Oasis - Love them.


Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hummers and an Oasis Update

Things are moving forward on the Oasis - got the patio cleaned up and removed all the old unused lumber. New table came today for the bar stools that do NOT fit the bar...have two new ones due to arrive any day which should be the correct height, if not they will get modified...

Change of plans before paint and stain, call for a nice trellis over the patio with a sun-shield fabric and a ceiling fan for those wonderful spring and summer nights...

Step backwards on the golf cart will know more tomorrow - had a battery short out and need to replace, new batteries are going to have to fit in the budget for the next couple months...


Here is a 3 shot pano of the patio area..


The new table fits the chairs perfectly!


The top matches the chairs...


The Hot Dog cooker arrived ready for the Grand Opening - Chili Dogs with all the fixins..stay tuned!


Bar top got another coating of epoxy - 1 more to go!


Sat out on the patio and watched the hummers hit the feeder!



Took a few Hummer pics..




More to follow over the next few days - bar stools to put together and the change of plans for the trellis!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oasis Update - Bottlecap Bar!

A few weeks ago I saw a news article about a person who layered new pennies on kitchen countertops then coated with clear epoxy and I really liked the look and decided to try something similar at the Oasis.

So my good friends at Fans Sports Bar were good enough to save up two small plastic grocery bags of beer bottle caps. Yesterday I Gorilla Taped the edges to keep the epoxy from pouring off the sides and to hold the bottle caps and set out to layer the bar area with all variations of beer bottle caps.

Only one hick-up - I guess I failed in a major work math problem - should have measured the square inches of the bar and the height of a bottle cap and calculated the amount of epoxy resin needed to fully coat the bar with about 1/16" inch above the bottle caps - needless to say I ran out of epoxy before covering the entire bar...so four more quarts are on order! Once it is completely poured the bar top will be a smooth clear top looking through to all the various bottle caps!

Hatch is open!


Who can see the word??



Kegorator is on and working - beer distributor set to deliver a keg after Christmas and clean the lines and set up!


My outdoor kitchen continues to expand - got a nice toaster oven - for corn bread, muffins and cookies!


Found a switch on the side of my bar sign that sets the liquid in motion to fill the glass!


Once the bar top is complete - will be working on setting up the outside patio furniture and plan the grand opening in mid-late January!

Stay tuned still having fun in the desert!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest!