Back on the Road

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'll be back on the road in about 2 hours or so heading from NY to ME. There's a lot of great sights I put on my list to see while I'm in Maine - King's house is high on my list, the three story outhouse, the desert, and a bunch of other stuff - this should be a good leg of my journey.
READ MORE - Back on the Road

Interlake RV Park

This place is very pretty and clean. The cats are loving the fact that squirrels and chipmunks are running all over the place. The weather is beautiful since there's a breeze actually coming through the trees today. When I got here Monday it was humid, hot and dead calm. Not yesterday though. Yesterday brought thunder storms that included nickel sized hail. but at least it dropped the temperature by almost 20 degrees. It rained through most of the night. I'm up early today to get a head start on doing laundry. I tried to do it yesterday but there were some folks in there using most of the machines so this morning I'm going to go up as soon as they open the building in a half hour or so. I'll be leaving here around 6 tonight and making my way towards Dresden, ME. The next few days are set to be fairly cool with the next 10 days showing 60's & 70's - I can deal with that! Here's a few pics from the RV park. Click any picture to see the full sized version.


READ MORE - Interlake RV Park

Things That Make Me Laugh Hysterically

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This has GOT to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I don't do many animated movies and I likely won't see Madagascar 3 but this clip is HILARIOUS.
READ MORE - Things That Make Me Laugh Hysterically

Lost On The High Seas - Pictures

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Lost 5/25, a set on Flickr.

Lost on the High Seas Van in Greenwich, NY
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galaVANting

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yes, I meant to spell it that way. I'm currently sitting in a RV park in Rhinebeck, NY. The Interlake RV park is rated one of the too 100 parks in the nation by Good Sam and has a 9.5 out of 10 rating. I picked it because it has a lake, pool, internet, laundry showers and a ton of other amenities.

I paid $32.50 for the night (that's with a Good Sam discount) and while that would be a high price for every day, for one night - it works especially since I can do my laundry!

I'm waiting on a friend who's driving in from Yonkers to visit. I haven't seen him in nearly 5 years so it should make for an interesting visit.

But this isn't about now - this post is about getting Lost (on the high seas, no less)

Last Wednesday I arrived in Greenwich, NY for the Lost van in. Basically a van is a bunch of fun folks who own and adore vans getting together to show them off and party. It's a fabulous time. Lost was the second eVANt I attended and I had a blast at both.

(I even took pictures this time - we'll get to those later)

First, I have a list of folks I want to thank:
  •  Sandy from Bad Girls Club for talking to a total stranger and letting me speak to an available mechanic when I overheated 45 minutes from Lost. I owe ya a drink!
  • John - for lending me his 12' ladder and caulk gun.
  • Kurk and his wife for the cat food and kitty littler. (I do love me some practical gifts!) Also to Kurk for installing my new roof vent - I love it and the cats do too.
  • Rizz for the LED lights and putty as well as a new experience =D
  • Tequila for bringing me the companion to the Hunger Games books. I'm definitely going to go pick a copy of that up so I can read more than just chapter 2. For the laughter on Sunday night - I thought I was going to pee myself. Also for the spare key holder and cargo net (which the cats have indeed taken over as their bed)
Also to everyone else I met and chatted with. I learn something from everyone I talk to and the wealth of knowledge floating around at eVANts is amazing. Just wish there were some learning type seminars at these things. All of the offers of help or places to park. Beware, I'm going to take some of you up on a few of the offers I received.

Like I said, I did take some pictures. I'll upload them later tonight when my mind is whirling at 400 mph.

Now about my van. I overheated getting to the eVANt. *insert big frowny face here* Leaving Lost was no better - not only did I overheat within 20 minutes of driving but now my exhaust idiot light is on *insert even bigger frowny face here* and I have no idea what the hoot that means. I never noticed it on before but that's not to say it wasn't considering they put all the idiot lights at knee level on the left side. Looks like I may be taking a trip to a mechanic this week.

Thankfully this RV park gives you a solid 24 hours when you check in so I don't have to leave here until nearly 6 tomorrow night - YAY!
READ MORE - galaVANting

Leaving Gillett, PA

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This is going to be a short post as I'm trying to get packed up to get on the road. The weather is overcast which to me is a great day for driving.

Leaving here is bittersweet. I'll miss Murf but know I have a lot to do in the upcoming months.

To everyone I met here - all of Murf's neighbors, his daughter and his friends down at Denny's - thank you for being kind.
READ MORE - Leaving Gillett, PA

Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'd like to preface this entry by saying that I do not claim to know much about war, the actions of our government and the thoughts of our military as they carry out government orders. I do not claim to speak for anyone other than myself and this being my blog, these are my thoughts - popular or not. I write here for me - not you, the reader.

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The Skin I'm In

I realized today when I got out of the shower the toll living in a small space with 6 cats has taken on my once flawless skin. No, not because of allergies but because of claws and the I-don't-give-a-damn-where-I-jump attitude they have.

I'm bruised and abraded from being run over.

See Dandy up there in that pic? He looks quite satisfied with himself. This was shortly after he launched himself from the attic onto my stomach (which looks just as bad as my legs)

Ahh well, the price I pay to keep my fuzzy family with me is all worth it. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
READ MORE - The Skin I'm In

I Don't Want To Be A Mother

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a little late for mother's day but I'm only just now seeing this CNN article from Kat Kinsman. I'm reposting that article in its entirety because it sums up my feelings very well (and because CNN has a way of moving and poofing stories that are never found again)

I also knew as a child that I had no interest in becoming a parent. It's just not in me to want that. I admit to having had several opportunities to be a mother - there is an abortion is my past but there is also a miscarriage in my past. That miscarriage was as close as I ever was to feeling the desire to want to be someone's mother - it was for all the wrong reasons and looking back, though sad, I am glad that child didn't come to be. Both my life and its life would be very different right now and probably not in very good ways.

Would I have been a good mother - in some ways yes but there are other ways that motherhood and I would have clashed. I lack patience. Those newborn and infant years would have been hard and when I honestly look into myself I know they wouldn't have been good years.

Much like Kat Kinsman I have been grilled by questions from other women about my choices. I have been insulted, told I'm selfish, that something is wrong with me.

Isn't it more selfish to have a child knowing it's the wrong choice for you. Isn't this how children end up abused, abandoned, growing up feeling unloved, unwanted and with more questions than answers?

So here it is, after the jump, the full CNN story.
READ MORE - I Don't Want To Be A Mother

RIP Robin Gibb

Yet another loss for us this year. How sad.

READ MORE - RIP Robin Gibb

Triple Crown Winner Perhaps?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kentucky Derby & Preakness winner I'll Have Another

 Maybe the first since 1978 and only the 12th horse to ever do it?

Good luck to "I'll Have Another" in the Belmont race on June 9! Get 'er done!
READ MORE - Triple Crown Winner Perhaps?

Gillett, PA - Grass Cutting Capital of the USA

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I have never in my life seen people so fanatical about cutting their grass. They cut it even when it hasn't grown enough to be cut. Sometimes twice a day. Seriously.
READ MORE - Gillett, PA - Grass Cutting Capital of the USA

Battery Charging

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Murf gifted me with a fabulous little battery charger. It's a Schumacher Electric XC10 - have to say I love this thing.
There are few things in life that scare me and only one thing I am absolutely terrified of - electricity and being shocked. When I was a kid I was tossed 5 feet across a room by a VCR because I touched the play button while my knee was pressed against the TV screen. My mother was electrocuted twice during her work for Westinghouse/ Northrop Grumman so I have good reason to fear the current.

Twice now my starter battery has died (the second time was my fault because I didn't fully charge the battery the first time due to rain) Unfortunately it seems (as I said before) that all of my overhead switches run off the starter battery and the isolator isn't stopping that for some reason - I don't know since I don't fully understand this van's electrical system yet. In any case - back to the battery charger ... this thing is so neat. It's smart enough to not let you hook it up wrong and the manual says it will charge my deep cycle battery in as little as 6.5 hours. When the battery is charged the machine goes into maintain mode which means it will drop from a 10 amp charge to a 2 amp charge automatically.

Awesome sauce!
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Earth Harp

I have very few things on my "must see" list. Generally speaking when I travel it's by the seat of my pants. I really have no idea where I'm off to aside from some etched plans for festivals.

I just watched the season premier of America's Got Talent online. I love this show because it gives strange and unusual talent one might never know existed a stage. Not all of it is good but it's so worth watching for that one thing that moves you.

I found that tonight with William Close and his Earth Harp. Never have I seen music on such a scale as far as size and originality.


Here's some information about the Earth Harp from their website:

The Earth Harp is the longest stringed instrument in the world, with strings that extend up to 1,000 feet in length.

The Earth Harp uses architecture and landscape as part of the instrument. The architecture becomes the instrument.

The Earth Harp’s first installation featured the resonating chamber mounted on one side of a valley with the strings stretched out nearly 1,000 ft to the other side.

It turned the valley into a giant harp!

Amazing. The sound of it is both haunting and beautiful on par with a cello. I have now made it my goal to see one of these played before I die.

To check out what has me all excited see the following video:


You can see more Earth Harp videos by searching You Tube
READ MORE - Earth Harp

Dead Batteries, Grocery Shopping and Other Stuff

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So my starter battery is dead - again. This is the second time in two weeks although I admit after I charged it the last time I didn't take the van out and run it to charge the battery fully so it's my fault. what I didn't realize is that any of the lights controlled by my overhead switches apparently run off my starter battery. Well what the fuck is the point of having an isolator? Meh, I'll hook up the charger tomorrow.

Went to Wally World and did some pantry shopping. Plus I needed cat food and kitty litter. Spent $78 and picked up what have become my pantry staples. I love the fact that most food companies are making smaller, travel sized boxes of all the great stuff I love like Nutter Butter cookies and Wheat Thins.

I also reorganized my cabinets and threw away some stuff I haven't used in the near months I've been in the van. I imagine there will be many more months of purges like this. At three months I plan to do a clothing purge - anything I haven't worn or seen in three months will go unless it's season specific. I could probably fill a garbage bag right now of stuff that can go. Unfortunately, I own some really fun printed t-shirts so I'll probably look to re-home those rather than toss them of send them to Goodwill.

Made arrangements with Kurk from customvan.com to install a new roof vent at Lost for $150. It'll be nice to have that fan functional to help exhaust cat stink!
READ MORE - Dead Batteries, Grocery Shopping and Other Stuff

I want you to draw me like one of your French girls

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dandy makes himself at home no matter where home may be.
READ MORE - I want you to draw me like one of your French girls

Leak Free!

Yesterday I decided fuck it all - Murf and I threw a few tubes of silicone at the van. We lined all of the gutters and I did around the side window and the windshield. It doesn't look pretty but I think it's doing the job. I'm definitely glad I picked up clear silicone.

We took the tarp off the van at noon today (24 hours after the silicone was applied) and it's been raining steady for 8 hours now and no water in the van! Of course I could have sealed the whole van into a silicone bubble with the same effect. The job may not hold up long term but it's doing what I need it to for now and only cost me $12 and an hours worth of time.

Huzzah!

This means I can get the interior window trim back on tomorrow morning (when I can see what I'm doing) and probably get on the road either late tomorrow night or Wednesday afternoon. I'm trying to avoid any sort of traffic plus it's supposed to be crap weather for the next couple of days.

I looked up RV parks near Greenwich, NY (my next actual set destination) and also found two animal rescues who might need some volunteers - plus I'm also trying to find a hospital that might be willing to barter some of my work skills for Rabies and FVRCP vaccines for half the crew here.
READ MORE - Leak Free!

Fixing The Leak

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well I climbed up on a ladder and had a look over the window where the leak is. Have to say I'm a bit overwhelmed by what I'm seeing. Everything is in such bad shape I don't know where to begin.

 I already knew my fiberglass top is in pretty bad shape. I have no idea how to go about fixing that and for now it's not a concern - before I go to the desert it will be. Can I just throw a rubber coat over it, what prep do I need to take, do I have to re-coat it? Too many questions and it's ok for now. On the other hand it looks like I'm having a gutter issue even though I know all of the other seals are in bad shape. That beige wavy stripe is some sort of rubber lining to my gutters. It's peeled up and right over where the leak is occurring inside. What are the chances it will be this easy to fix? That's a rhetorical question because I already know the answer.

How the hell do I fix that? What is that stuff? It sure looks like something that was laid down in a strip and not originally a liquid or gel or silicone that was squirted in. IS there some special van gutter sealant?
READ MORE - Fixing The Leak

Creating My Jolly Roger

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

So I've decided to undertake creating a jolly roger for my rig. So far all I've decided on is that the background is going to be black, white and red tie dye.
READ MORE - Creating My Jolly Roger

Strange But True

I'm sitting here looking at the walls where I removed the window trim and realized that not only are the van walls thicker but much more insulated than the house I had.

READ MORE - Strange But True

RIP Maurice Sendak

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Thank you so much for a lifetime of stories.
READ MORE - RIP Maurice Sendak

Found The Leak

Well I found where the water is coming in now I just have to figure out where on the outside it's coming from.


I took the interior trim off the window since it was just a matter of removing 8 screws and found two good sized holes in the metal. You're looking at it upside down in that second pic.
READ MORE - Found The Leak

Taking On Water

 Just when I thought everything was going well - I found a leak. Well, I should say the leak found me.

Earlier this week my side window shade broke. I guess since everything has a reason, this would be the reason for that break.

I apparently had a good sized leak where one of the screws was. It's been raining for hours here in Gillett, PA and half my bed is now wet. I would just plug it up but I need to know where it's coming from on the outside before I plug up the leak inside. At least right now I know where it's draining to - if I plug it up now it will run to somewhere else.

READ MORE - Taking On Water

Travellers Point Travel Map

Monday, May 07, 2012

So I sat down and made a travel map for the sidebar of the blog. Every time I get to a new destination I will be updating the map. Travellers Point offers free travel maps and blogs but since I already have a blog I just wanted the map part. The interface is extremely user friendly so they get a big fat gold star from me.
READ MORE - Travellers Point Travel Map

RIP MCA

Friday, May 04, 2012

You will be missed brother!

READ MORE - RIP MCA

Murf's Vans

I started a new slideshow for vans seen on the road where these pictures can also be seen.

These are the vans owned by Murf. Terrific paint jobs on both though one van is in much better shape. Click the pics to see them full-size.


READ MORE - Murf's Vans

Well Hello, Heat

Thursday, May 03, 2012

It's a beautiful day here in Gillette, PA. The sun is shining, a small breeze is blowing and the inside of my van is 95 degrees! Holy hot, Batman! I've been out here replacing all of the screws for my cabinet doors and was sweating my ass off so I decided to give the rooftop A/C a go. I know it turns on but does the compressor kick on so it actually blows cold air . . .? Yeeessss! Hooray.

READ MORE - Well Hello, Heat

I'm Not Paranoid But ...

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Should I be concerned that I have hits to my website from the US Department of Defense Network in Bel Air, MD?
READ MORE - I'm Not Paranoid But ...

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