Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rebuilding the 5er's Shower...

So they can take it to Missouri for construction Housing...

It's been kind of a nightmare little job... one of those deals where every problem you come across and fix... you expose two more.

Nearing the finish line though.

And for cost, just a little more than the price of ONLY a factory shower pan.

That includes the reframing and decking to give the proper support for the shower pan that Jayco didnt...

Built a shower pan from sheet ABS and put 4" sides on it... the pic shows it lacking the front side... which was missing... 

The plastics guy couldn't count to five... so we had him bring his kid to work with him one day so I could get all my parts.

Putting the galvanized in was easy... right up until the last small piece... and discovered a 3/4 inch bulge in the lower half of the wall... in that back corner.

Took a few licks with an angle grinder and a few threats to convince it that it wanted to live there.

But it's almost done. Some trim, resetting the faucet and a little caulking and I'll call it finished.

I should have redone this shower a long time ago... for ME! 

It'll actually be bigger now then the one they've been using in their house for the last several years! ;)

It's what's called. RV Industrial Redneck style.

Just about as soon as I get this RV Redo done I've got to haul the rig to Missouri for them... then I don't know... if things aren't moving pretty quick on their house build... I'm likely to roll on back to Arizona and brave the summer to get a head start on my winter camp setup...

... or... maybe just go horse hunting! ;)

Too many chores and not enough brain pan for it all!


Friday, May 22, 2015

If You Want a More Detailed Introduction...

To my New Lakota Charger LQ that I finagled a deal on... just follow this link... and you can see all the pics of it...

The past year, and the past six months in particular made it possible. Living on beans and Ramen and not moving around near as much, to save diesel, let me work on the financials to allow me to tell a bank a good enough story to work the deal.

It's a bit of a departure for sure... Not exactly how  I wanted it to work out... but... I've got to live somewhere. The Jayco simply doesn't fit "Me" any more... and what I've got to pay every month for the Lakota... is pretty cheap rent in the whole scheme of things.

Bottom line... it's only money in the end so who the hell cares. Worst that can happen is I can turn up my toes and the bank eats it. ;)

Until then, I sleep in some pretty fine quarters... that allow me to regain a bit of who and what I used to be... and THAT does fit me.

Looks like about as soon as I get the bathroom rebuild done on the 5er I'll be hauling it to Missouri. They changed the schedule on me... again...

Got the parts picked up for the build it myself shower pan this afternoon. Looks like I'll get that total shower rebuild done... assuming the sky don't fall on me... for somewhere less than the cost of JUST a commercial shower pan.

Speaking of "The Sky is Falling"... have you heard the latest on the Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse?

Yep... Catastrophe...

The melting of the Antarctic ice... blamed on warmer ocean currents... this coming in the wake of the reports... from the SAME people... that the Oceans are COLDER than expected, showing NO warming... are contributing a HUGE amount to Sea Level Rise...

Yep... HUGE... the whole, big, flea drowning total of... wait for it... Yes .16 millimeters...

Yes, you read that right. POINT One Six millimeters. Oh.My.God. Get out the life boats. I wonder if these people ever read the things they write to have a chance of even noticing how ridiculous they sound.

Go get a ruler that is marked in millimeters... now... shave that down to 16 one hundreths of one of those millimeters... are you suitably frightened now by the FLOOD occuring?

I mean... have you seen the ocean? How in the hell do you even measure THAT... in a manner where .16 millimeters is even measurable?  What do you do? Holler real loud; "Hold still for just a second!" while you race out on the beach with a yard stick? Seriously!

And where do they measure it? High Tide in Juneau? Low tide at Normandy? The Atlantic? the Pacific?  when the moon is on THIS side of the earth or, the other?

It's freakin' ridiculous. Albert Einstein didn't have the intellect to comprehend what's going on... it's a double damned cinch Albert freakin' Gore Don't!!!

But by God! If you folks will just hand me 90 jillion dollars and most of the remains of your liberty! I'll Fix it! - That - is pretty much the distillation of what the current lying occupant of the white house is selling you...

The temp has risen 1.4 degrees in ONLY the last 400 years. The antarctic has caused a sea level rise of POINT one six millimeters... and we're supposed to lower ourselves into destitution because of... what?

...and all because... let's see... instead of 20 below zero the average temp is now... um... what 18.6 below zero?  and that sort of heat wave you know, is going to melt a lot of ice.

I'll tell you right now... so listen carefully... scientists are proven wrong every day. They reverse their positions DAILY in consequence of "New Data" and fresh understanding.

Is the climate changing? Definitely. Does ANYONE human have the capacity to understand the interrelated workings of the globes environmental systems? Definitely NOT.

That is the one thing you can take from all this... not a soul has any idea.

Take into account a simple FACT. The CO2 generated by the Human race is something less than 1% of the total generated by all the natural ecological systems... and they want us to believe that this .5 or .75% of the total is DRIVING world climate...

...and we endure colder springs and summers... Record Ice Growth at the north pole, reported by the Same people telling you the poles are melting... Polar bear population GROWTH when the "Scientists" predicted extermination. Oceans colder than they "Should" be, perplexing the "Scientists"... yet still melting ice which is expanding by their own reports, while denying that the VOLCANO under the Antarctic could have any effect on the ice, while ocean currents colder than they "Should" be Are melting the ice... ??????? 

Am I the only one who hears them talking in circles and changing their story EVERY time reality defies their story?

Here's the deal... if you hear someone telling you something that stirs your passion, your lusts... OR... someone telling you something that chills your blood... and in the very NEXT BREATH... they try to sell you their book... or talk you into surrendering some freedom... because of that Passion or Fear... THAT tells you they are scheming bastards running a Con on you.

Fear and Lust... those are the Two motivators used by salesmen and politicians to deceive you out of what THEY want, and what their Masters want.

Whack 'em with a shovel and get on about your life.

Ha ha ha... I'm going back to horse... because I'm weary of the stupidity of people who buy the STORIES of talking heads on television trying to sell them a "Mountain cabin in Kansas".

Climate change has not one thing to do with climate. It's total and complete goal is power, control and wealth. Cause enough fear and you can get unthinking people to sacrifice their very children on the altar of Political Obedience.

I'm going back to horse.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tearing Things Up While I Wait... So What Else is New?

Thought as soon as I got back to Colorado from my last run to Missouri and on to Alabama... I would be hauling the 5er to Missouri...

Yeah... You'd think I'd learn to not plan on the planning of others.

So... that date remains a moving target. It's shifting from late in June to the day after tomorrow and back again...

Welllll... I have gotten real poor at waiting on anything... and two pieces in the bath of the 5er just don't measure up, so I've kinda thrown stuff in everyone else's way while I got left waiting. ;)

Karma is fun ain't it?

#1 - the toilet seal is bad so it doesn't hold water very well in the bowl... which allows a sweet aroma to permeate the rig. :)
   - The plan there is to just find a cheap "takeout" that looks good from some other rig and replace the whole dang thing... so far... those running ads for their units don't see a need to reply to prospective buyers... grrrrrrrrrrr...

#2 - is the shower... it started cracking some years ago, which I've been chasing with epoxies of various sorts, silicone and various failed efforts.
    - The plan there is IN PROCESS... it's called; If thine shower offends thee... RIP THE SUCKER OUT!

... and that's just what I done!

The tub section cracked all around the drain... and defied any repair... so... Shred it!

And that, totally revealed the pathetic performance of RV Builders when they construct these rigs.

Now, Jayco has the "Rep" of being sort of... mid-grade in quality...

Um... NO... Their construction SUCKS.

Once that tub was out it revealed for sure and for certain what I pretty much already knew... and it was THE majority reason the thing cracked up in the first place.

They chose to cheap out and not put any sort of proper support under the tub... so it flexed every time you stepped in...

Flex PVC enough... and Yup! It Cracks!.

Hard to see by the pic, but that chipboard is sitting on 2x4 blocks. so the back, the front and both sides of the tub/shower floor were hanging in the air. How frigging Stupid is that???

They put one small chunk of waferboard on blocks in the center of the space. NO support anywhere around the outside of the tub... and it's all cut out around the drain too!

Right where it Needs to be solid... they just left it all hanging... not just poor work, it's plain stupid.

So... I'm framing in for some proper decking...

... and then a rock solid piece of 3/4 ply to deck for the new shower pan...

Got the holes chopped for the heater vent and the plumbing access... Getting the nice, tight hole located that will secure the drain is going to be a mite tricky... but it will happen and then there won't be any new breakage because the floor was flexing around a fixed pipe.

Still have to move the water lines they hung out in the way of everything. Which is also "funny"... since those lines not only supply the shower and vanity...

... they go on to the "low point" drains... and of course, there's a great big "belly" in both lines... which would drain really well, don't you think?

Now, what's going back in?

THAT is in process too. The "Factory"/Commercial parts are ridiculous. Well over $220 for just a plastic shower pan? Um... No.

I'm getting some "custom" ABS sheet cut to fit. I'll build my own damn shower pan and recover the walls for less than what they want for just the pan... maybe about half. Thinking some Redneck rustic to boot! ;)

And THIS one won't crack.

The engineers and "Pro" RV builders can't do it right, not because of cost, because they're too lazy and careless to.

So, a puss gut mountain cowboy with a bad attitude will show 'em up__One.More.Time. and correct their pathetic effort...

... on a side note... The construction of my New Lakota Charger LQ trailer is head and shoulders above what I've seen in most Standard RV's (If not higher)... and as far as "Rep" is concerned, Lakota is in that "Mid-Range" for quality, kinda just like Jayco... ha ha ha... only Lakota's "Mid" measures up with "Premier" in the "RV" world.

Better Axles, Better frame, better fit and finish of Cabinetry. Better materials from what I've seen so far, after living in it for two weeks or so... Better everything.

Point being, it can be done... if the builders wanted to.

Fixing What should have been done right in the first place

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I May... But I Haven't Yet...

I've thought long and hard about starting yet another website.

Buuuuut... since I've not been doing a stellar job of mucking out the stalls of the two I have, I haven't yet found that to be a good idea! :)

The new site would be, of course, wrapped around the building and working of my yet to be truly started winter camp.

I've been running so hard lately I forget where I'm at sometimes...

So... don't think I've revealed, though my confused brain pan can't be tee total sure, that I locked down a few weeks back, a five acre spot of Arizona dirt before I rolled north.

Down in Cochise county, on the afternoon of the day Arlo joined my camp, I signed the paper to work a cheap deal on five "dirt cheap" acres in Sulphur Springs valley in Arizona.

A few dollars down and a few more each month for but 15 months or so... and I've got the Cochise county location where I can be who the hell I am with a minimum amount of the kings minions pokin' and jabbin.

Cochise county is one of the three or four Arizona counties that are still a place where a bit of the original thoughts of the founding fathers still exists.

The spot I found sits right between the two mountain ranges where Geronimo and Cochise made fools of the U.S. Army for years. The Army never did truly defeat them... it just exhausted them

With that kind of spirit living in the soil of that land... it seemed a pretty good place for an anachronism like me. I would have liked more dirt than the five acres I've got... and to tell the truth, the five acres adjacent is for sale... and I WANT it!  I just can't swing it, considering the commitments I've made already in the past six weeks!

If I could get past the craziness I'm wading through and get my next book done, maybe I could generate the dinero to do that. I can only hope the fella selling it will not succeed until I can line up my ducks to scoop it up too! :)

Any way... back to the original thought of this rambling post... I started a new section in the Main goin' RV Boondocking site to write about the development of my Cowboy Winter Camp. The section is titled, curiously enough,  Cowboy Winter Camp on the nav bar... the button under that is labeled "Home Base".

***Edit*** Yeah... those section/button names changed as I did more work and the "idea" clarified a mite more in my head... "Goin' back to cowboy" is the section header... and there's three buttons under that... *** 

Until I find the ambition to do the huge amount of work to build another whole site, I'll put all the developments of my winter camp there. I think it likely you'll be able to go to links on that Home base page as well as I'll probably add some more links under that Cowboy Winter Camp section header... There'll be plenty to write about.

In any event, that's where the lion's share of my webwork will be invested for a lot of my coming future.

Considering that this "site" has grown to nearly 25,000 visitors a month now, it seems reasonable to find a way to build that new work into this location and not split it up with another new address...

Pretty good excuse for being lazy huh? :-P

annnnnnd... lazy as I am, and seeing that it's now 11:54 in the p.m. ... this old buster is going to bed!

Still Keepin' On
- Brian

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Just Keep on Keepin' On... Making Adjustments Along the Way.

The worst thing a buster can do__is sit. Stagnation is pure death to dreams and ambitions. The longer you stay static the deeper your feet sink into the dust and the more effort it takes to pull 'em out and get moving again.

It's better to keep moving and find out you made a choice a bit off target than to sit waiting for "things to get better" or for that perfect opportunity to fall on you. If something is moving, it's far easier to redirect it to a better trail once you see you're off course a bit... than it is to get a stuck in the mud, stagnant, frozen piece of Anything moving out of its STUCK position.

As always... I set out thinking I know where I'm going and when... only to find out the world has some of it's own modifications to throw into the mix.

Thought I was going to be coming to Denver to help get the kids house ready to go on the market at the best price. Welllll... it's hard to get a house "ready" when it sells "as is" before it ever even gets listed!

So that blew an un-occupied hole in my schedule of about a month. They'll be leaving the third week of June or so... which leaves me at a bit of loose ends till then.

The old jayco is going to them to use for housing while they build... Only they've not got a truck to drag it to the Ozarks__so that's my task... but not until June I guess... Though I'd thought it would be moving Now... they need to use it the last week or so here... so that waits as well...

... buuuuut... I'm unwilling to get "Stuck"...

Sooooo... I'm occupying my close up time rigging out this new Lakota. First task was/is outfitting it with fresh dishes and such. Putting up hooks for such as I need to hang, figuring out what goes where and how to divide up cabinets for the best use...

... then... there's power...

It's not yet been decided what is going to happen with the solar power system on the old Jayco... and honestly, I've not conjured a good location for a bigger battery bank and inverter location on this Lakota LQ... so in the short term I'm going with a Generator.

Now I could (if the budget allowed which it doesn't) just trot on down and pick up a new Honda or even pricier Onan/Kohler rig... that'd only be $3500 or so for the sort of powerhouse I want. Dollars I don't have...

Yeah... I've got what dollars I do have stretched so tight they is damn near transparent! ;) 

Buuuut... there are other real acceptable options.

In pursuit of those options I'm running to Sheridan down in the Denver area to look at a Motorhome takeout this morning. It's a 4K Onan "Emerald" and would be just about the perfect gen set for this rig.

Those Onans and Kohlers that are installed in Motorhomes and such are the 1800 rpm models that run a hell of a lot quieter than the 3600 rpm "lawn mower" noise boxes. Like the Champion bolted on the tail of the Jayco I've offended a few gentle souls with!

They're quieter__and__they're "American" (who knows where the castings are made) Cast Iron that lasts dang near forever if you give 'em some reasonable care.

One thing I'm going to do "different" than those that mount such an outfit in/on their LQ's is that I'm going to mount mine on the truck.

My thinking is; #1. wherever the LQ is, the truck will be close by. #2. The truck has open space on the bed while I want to conserve space in the LQ. #3. Having the gen set mounted on the truck would be even quieter in the rig. #4. In the building of my winter camp I'm going to have a need for power at the far reaches of my little patch of dirt... to run welder, tools et al... so having it mounted real mobile on the truck would be a great advantage

So... assuming this generator I'm looking at today checks out acceptable__the appearance I've seen in a photo is good and the price is attractive ;) __ the next task will be to buy/build a generator "Box" to house it on the bed along with locating a fuel tank to equip it with and then get it all put together and operational.

I've also got a HEAVY need to get back into the current writing project... Novel #6... so I'm planning... toward the middle of the week to hitch up and go hide in the mountains somewhere and write for a few weeks until my trailer hauling services are required to roll on another circle to Missouri.

There's something that needs doing every day... so I'm keeping the dust flying and tryin' as hard as I can to not make too many off target choices__but then__it's from those; "What the hell were you thinking?" choices that the best stories come! bwahahahahaha.

Duckn' an' Runnin'

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life is ALL About Circles... It's All Circles...

The American Indian talked about the circle of life. Even Christian theology, if you think about it is a circle = Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes...

Cowboys ride out each morning to make a circle on their gather...

You leave home to eventually circle back seeing it from a new perspective...

Back in 1967 or so I was a green kid cowboyin' in the Santa Rita's of Arizona.

I left Arizona three years later to do a hitch in the Army. Came home a screwed up kid with three stripes on his sleeve. Rodeoed and cowboyed and worked the mines. Rode my way through life.

Straddled the saddle of motorcycles, sold hardware, worked leather... you name it I probably did it for a while fumbling around trying to fit into where ever'body was tellin' me I had to fit. But that is the big mistake; Tryin' to please anybody buy yourself.

The more you drift off your true path... the more you'll be herded away from it.

What you give to others is what you feel in yourself. If You ain't right inside... you ain't passin' anything good on to anybody else.

There were a few "Right" places along the road... I just found ways I guess to tell myself; I was wrong, they were right and I had to do something else...

...and THAT... is Pure Wrong. The opinion of your choices that matters... is your own.

*Middle 90's on the ranch*

Looking out at the mountains and desert... wonderin' and ponderin' the complications of circles... a guy can come to see where it was that he always belonged... If he's honest with himself about it.

Then he can set about shaping the future to circle back to that proper place where he never should have left... I'm well along circling back along that goin' home trail...

*First sunset from Cochise Camp a few weeks back*

Down in Cochise County Arizona is a little five acre piece of dirt. $200 down and $200 a month and a guy's got a spot he can carve out a cowboy winter horse camp...

But to build that he's got to have quarters and a way to move horses in the 21st century (Where he's ALWAYS had difficulty fitting in... and the 20th too!)

So he lives on beans and ramen for a couple years shaping his outfit so he can fit in... The NEW outfit...

When all has been prepared as best he can, he takes a deep breath, and with wide eyes and a soaring vision he Cracks Out!

... he climbs in his old truck, hitches on to his son-in-laws race truck hauler to drag it to Missouri for him...

Doing that puts him half way to Newton, Alabama... In Newton... is where his own NEW rig awaits...

*Lakota Three horse LQ (living quarters)*
Hooya! Comin' full circle. Working my way back to who and what and where I was... And I like it.

Comin' back west from Alabama I hauled a horse to Albuquerque for a friend... So I had to find overnight stabling along the way...

Found a sweet place in Checotah, Oklahoma...

 Which proved to be a good stopping place for the night, since it...

... just happened to be just an hour and a half or so east of the Tornadoes as they Ravaged the area around Oklahoma City a few days ago.

Parked alongside the big arena with covered pens off the end for the horse I was hauling it was an excellent night...

Serenaded by frogs in the big puddles along the drive and the heilatious thunder storm that night... I even worked out a way to spotlight one of the singers with my maglight and capture his portrait...

From horses I began and to horses I return. A winter horse camp, at the least, in Arizona... a good dog... and of course, the horses of my own... I know where I belong.

I've stretched what I've got with strong hope, a bit of slick talking and the simple Let 'er Buck! cowboy mentality. I've taken the first steps without being able to see where the footing is to place my boot with the next step. That stops a lot of people... didn't used to stop me... but I got cautious... and for me, that's a sickly feeling.

You know what? That's who I've always been... Throw it all in the air and let things fall where they hit__ and I LIKE that guy. Not gonna hide him any more.

I believe that it'll compliment and nurture my writing... and feed much more. It works for me.

It's gonna be a hell of a ride.

Cowboyin' Up and Crackin' Out

Saturday, May 2, 2015

New Circles and HUGE Changes to This Old Cowboy's Trail...

You know... Life is all about Circles.

If you look at American Indian Theology, it's all the "Circle of Life". Even Christians are "Dust to Dust" Circles...

Cowboys, ride out each morning__Making a Circle on their gathers...This old buster is coming full circle.Goin' back to what and who and how and where he was. And he's enjoyin' the ride!

My daughter and her family are moving to the Ozarks__back where he grew up and where his family lives. They've got a small piece of ground there now, some 17 acres... and they'll be building a farm on it.

I leave from here in Denver in a few hours to haul a trailer with the first load of their goods to that land... That's the next piece of trail on my own circle that I started some weeks ago down in Arizona...

Arlo was actually the second or third step along that trail... a couple pieces fell into place before he showed up. The selling the bike was the first, well... after publishing my fifth novel...

...then Arlo... then, that very same day, a biggie... the mystery, if that's what it be called, will be revealed in just a few days... or so.

When I leave Missouri Sunday night__ I'm bound a ways southeast__ to tie onto the next BIG part of this Circle I'm on! :)

This Ol' Cowboy is goin' home! ha ha ha... Keep watchin'... it's 'bout to get interesting... at least it is for me!

Just crackin' out and lettin' 'er buck!