Friday, April 14, 2017

Blog Update - Sunsets and Repairs

Well the RV Park is pretty empty now of my Snowbird Friends - most have left for home or various adventures traveling in their RV's.

There are still a few of us here and continue to have fun and visit, time for me to get the new RV ready to travel.

Every afternoon - I get a couple PBR's and relax outside and watch the nightly's pull in - we have quite a few travel throughs this time of year and of course Spring Breakers since the National Park Campgrounds are full, we get the overflow. So in that respect the park is staying fairly busy.

I watch for the Sunsets!

One problem I had to fix before traveling was the onboard water pump - this trailer has been hooked to the city water here in the park for nearly 10 years so not sure why the pump failed, but it did and also the onboard tank needed sanitizing before I travel. So it was replace the pump day a few days ago.

Old pump removed!

New pump installed and hooked up!

Water running out of the onboard tank with the new pump!

May have put too much bleach in the tank - running pump to empty and flush - little suds from the bleach!

I have now refilled and emptied the tank several times and the bleach foam and taste is nearly gone...couple more times should do it!

Wanted to mount the TV in the bedroom so decided the easiest was was on the fold down shelf!

My final date for departure is not set - still snowing up Montana way and cold, so will more than likely hang out here into May.

I have to get two new tires for the trailer before leaving so that is my next project!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Barberton - A Rant - What the hell happened??

I have been pondering this update for a long time, since I spent last summer around my old home town, needless to say I was disappointed. Oh not in my many, many friends who went out of their way to see me and allow me to share some time with was sad to see the terrible shape of such a wonderful town, a town that made me!

Maybe it was the point in time but it was a much simpler life in the 50's and 60's and Barberton was the picture perfect place to grow up...low crime, everyone knew everyone, plenty of jobs. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League, High School Football games every Friday Night. You could leave your house early in the morning on your bike and as long as you returned by dinner time all was well. Wonder how many miles I put on my bike?

Yesterday evening, I read in the hometown paper about another drug overdose! Call it my trigger warning for finally finishing this rant. Summit County has had over 2000 drug overdoses in the past 12 months...many of those in Barberton and the immediate surrounding areas. I have been thinking about this and reluctant to write it, since I know it will piss a bunch of people off, but I can no longer be silent! As I worked this winter to help the BHS Class of 1968 raise funds to purchase a park bench for Lake Anna, my thoughts were maybe we should be buying Narcan!


Well, we happened...we wanted things to be better for our kids, Spock made us stop spanking, the EPA enacted serious environmental restrictions, the Unions demanded higher wages, NAFTA sent jobs South of the border, OSHA passed restrictive laws to protect us and manufacturing left!

1976 PPG Closed the mines, so many restrictions on Nuclear and Fossil Power Generation that B&W all but shut down, which in turn closed many, many machine shops. The Rubber Industry in Akron and Barberton moved their operations off shore or out of town due to high wages and Union Contracts. There was no longer a need for Vocational Education in our School system so the focus was on sending EVERYONE to college, which does not work, some people are just meant for manufacturing we have a generation of Millenials who were never spanked or taught respect and lack the work ethic that made the "Baby Boomer" generation so successful. Now they have no jobs to go to except service jobs like Subway, McDonalds and Lawn Service jobs, their frustration has lead to finding a happier place with Opiates and Fentanyl!


All of us old Hippies wanted a Happy Place with fewer rules and restrictions and instead we allowed the Government to become a much larger part of our society and create rules to protect us from ourselves and the end result has created a Government that is out of control and certainly now ineffective.

Has some of it been good, sure it has the Cuyahoga River has not caught on fire since 1969 and we have reduced pollution levels by over 60%, OSHA has made what few manufacturing plants safer with less industrial accidents but higher workplace violence? WTF?

The most recent election was a sign of the frustration a large portion of our society feels. The damn Democrats AND Damn Republicans refuse to work together and only continue to line their pockets with our money. We the people are trying to take our government back and get it under control. In order for things to change we all need to demand that our legislators both Democrats and Republicans work together to make things better. Together they can fix healthcare, end the super restrictive EPA (without sacrificing the environment), create a workable immigration policy and reduce the budget to a manageable amount. We have the technology or ability to create the technology to solve all our energy problems, reduce waste in government spending and put America back as the leading manufacturing country in the world, close our borders to illegal drugs and put our kids back to work with meaningful jobs which will in turn eliminate the drug problem in this country. We also need to enact TERM LIMITS!

WE PUT A FRIGGIN MAN ON THE MOON - We can do anything we want, just need to get that attitude back!

The drug problems and decay in my little town are a problem that can be resolved, but it will take all of our involvement to get some manufacturing jobs back in the area! Jobs create money and opportunity and happiness which will overcome the drugs.

I am glad I grew up in Barberton, and it will always be home! We weren't rich financially, but we had all we needed and were afforded the opportunity to have fun, ride our bikes, fish in Portage Lakes, go to TAC, Friday Night Football Games, Tonyo's Pizza, The Varsity Drive Inn, eat Barberton Chicken and most importantly make lifelong friends.

My Dad was a wise man, worked at B&W for 42 years and when I graduated he said, "Son, if you don't do anything in life, get the hell out of Barberton Ohio, because it is a dying town", and that was in 1968! I left and have never looked back, made mistakes, had a great life and now have a pot to piss in and in a happy place.

Now I will post a couple pretty pictures because that is what I do now!

Barberton - Part of America, lest we forget!

Stay tuned for my next rant or update, depending on my mood. Have another month here in the desert before heading North to Montana with a little luck!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blog Update - The Desert In Bloom

I have been coming to Joshua Tree now for four years and have been anticipating a desert bloom...well with the drought here in California that has not happened...well it has this year. We have had a cold winter with a bunch of rain and the flowers that lay dormant for years and years are now up and blooming...can't wait for the next few weeks!

I have been remiss in posting on my blog and going out and taking pictures for me - have spent most of the winter doing stuff for the park, which is fun...but now as the park winds down and I am here pretty much alone, I will be in the National Park covering the bloom!

This is the "greenest" I have seen the park!

More pics from today!

The yucca and Joshua Trees are a day or so away from popping!

The hillsides are about to come alive with color!

The cactus are just starting to bloom!

Of course there are always the wonderful sunsets in the park - I love this shot!

End of the month so I dug in the freezer and discovered some boneless chicken thighs and dug out the fry daddy!

They were GREAT!

Stay tuned I promise to get in the National Park more often and take my camera!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Good Bye Old Friend

Yesterday was time to say goodbye to my old trailer - SOLD! It was somewhat emotional for sure almost 5 years to the day from when I picked it up in Tacoma, Washington it has been my home.

Estimated 35,000 miles of Adventure and fun, 28 States including Alaska and 3 Canadian Provinces, 20 National Parks and numerous campgrounds and RV Parks...

Some Memories!

On my way to Alaska!

Snowed in TOK Alaska!

My Travel Map for the past 5 years!

A few stickers from places I visited!

A very nice young couple from Mexico bought the trailer and will be living in it on a lot they bought to build their home on near Salton City overlooking the Salton Sea.

Where I left my friend!

Now to say hello to the future, my new home!

Stay tuned as I look forward to many more adventures!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Blog Update - Christmas 2016 and a recipe

I have been keeping pretty busy getting things settled in the new RV - love it so far and only found a couple things that need repair. I have to order a few things to get several things fixed - parts are on the way.

The filter holder on the ceiling A/C is broken - new part ordered.
The smoke detector is broken - will get one at Wal-mart!
One door latch is broken - will get at Home Depot.
Yesterday I discovered the sink was leaking into the silverware drawer - tightened up the drain and all is well, had to wash all the silverware and let the drawer dry out, but all fixed!

Christmas Eve I decided a big dinner was in order so stuffed some peppers and foiled up an onion with butter and seasoning and seasoned a nice big steak - fired the Camp Chef up just as it started to rain (UGH), thankfully it only sprinkled for a little while.

Nice Steak!

Stuffed Jalapeno's

Ready to eat!

Had a wonderful dinner...everyone keeps asking for my recipe for my famous Dressing.

Here is goes...
I buy one bag or box each of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing and Herb Stuffing - two boxes total
Two tubes of Bob Evans Ground Sausage
Sliced mushrooms - usually one package
Three or four celery stalks - chopped
Two onions chopped
1 full stick of real butter
I full container of chicken broth - I use the lo salt version!

I saute the sausage and onions, mushrooms and celery in a large skillet with the stick of butter!

After the above is cooked to completion - I scrub the sink real good, put in the stopper and dump in the two packages of dressing cubes. Then I dump in the contents of the skillet and mix with a large wooden spoon. I add the chicken broth until it is a nice moist consistency.

Scoop it all out of the sink and put in a large casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 1.5 hours or so, you can also heat on high in your crock pot for an hour then on low for about 3 hours. Load the casserole or crock pot loosely do not pack down. If making in the crock pot you can use less liquid or remove the lid for the last hour or so.

Needless to say it comes out great and always gets rave reviews...

Stay tuned for more fun in the New Year!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Home - Slowly but Surely getting settled

I am slowly getting things put away and settled in my new home. Still plenty to do, but I keep moving forward and very happy with my new home.

Got most of the couch cleared off and still a few things to find a place for. I will have to spend the rest of the winter getting some storage totes and small containers to separate things and make things more ready to travel. Looks like a few trips to Dollar Store and Wal-Mart for some storage ideas.

I actually have several "Walls" to hang some pictures. Had one from Wendy Johnson that I have been carrying around for the past 5 years or so and one of my Dad.

Pictures hung - still a few more to go today!

One more laundry basket full to stow today then the couch will be clear!

An Alaska Memory - Coffee maker and Boodles comfortable on the back counter!

My indoor/outdoor Thermometer hung with care - note recorded low 32 degrees!

Nice having a real furnace and thermostat!

Interesting story - yesterday I pulled up the settee cushions in the Old RV and removed a few things stored there, I had two plastic totes with dividers which held nuts, bolts screws and some other hardware which I had been dragging around for the past 7 years or so. The bathroom door in the new trailer had a bent striker plate and would not latch all the time...lo and behold - there were three new ones in the storage that got repaired yesterday.

Still enjoying the wonderful Desert Sunsets!

Stay Tuned still lots of winter fun in the desert!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Great Long time Friends and a new Housewarming!

Talk about perfect timing - Marcia Gaynor Diefendorff and Hubby Keith and Sherry Hathaway Lewis and Hubby Jim came to visit me at the RV Park in Twentynine Palms.

I spent most of Saturday and Sunday transferring all my stuff from the old RV to the new one...with the plan to change the flat tire on the new one on Monday morning before everyone arrived. As it worked out, had the spare off the back of the trailer and after searching for a bottle jack and a lug wrench to fit, I got the new trailer jacked up enough to remove the flat and just as I dug out my socket set and started removing the lug nuts - Marcia and Keith pulled in across the way...Keith and Marcia jumped right in and Keith helped me finish changing the tire, then we moved the new RV to the road, unhitched, hitched up to the old RV and moved it to where the new one had been, then hitched back up to the new one and moved it to my permanent site #150. Got it leveled and in the correct position and unhitched...

Then I had to go up and sort the mail (My job daily)...while doing that Sherry and Jim arrived a checked into their cottage...much conversation while I moved a few things around and made a couple small repairs. Then we headed off to the local watering hole for some burgers and beers...old memories discussed at length...a few classmates probably had burning ears...great fun.

Then back to the cottage for some cake and ice cream which Marcia and Keith were kind enough to bring for a housewarming gift...Sherry and Jim also brought a nice gift some cold PBR Tall boys!

Tuesday morning back up and a nice long breakfast out before everyone headed on their way, sadly short visits, but I sure appreciated the old friends visiting.

The Cake!

Sherry even brought a Barberton Herald...

Sherry's Jim was kind enough to take a pic of the group hug!

Some pics of the move from the past several days!

New fridge will be perfect!

Old shower - Now where do a I put all this crap?

I haven't even touched the two totes on the back of the old Trailer!

The back tire was the flat one!

New trailer has some bigger compartments so will need some storage totes to keep things from moving around - looks like some extended trips to Dollar store and Walley World over the rest of the winter to get everything in its place.

Thanks Marcia, Keith and Sherry and Jim for making the effort to stop by - sure was appreciated and fun!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!