Tuesday, December 29, 2009

CIRCUITBOARD

As some may recall, our Norcold refrigerator started sending us warning signals back in July of this year while we were camped without electricity for over 110 days at Trujillo meadows USFS Rio Grande National Forest Coplorado.
We were worried at that time about being up in the clouds with powerful lightning storms that rolled through. Worried enough, that we drove a eight foot long ground rod all of the way into the ground and grounded the Ollie's generator and the aluminum frame to that ground with automotive jumper cables.
As it turns out that may have been a very good thing to do for an extended stay in those conditions. But the EMP, that's electro magnetic pulse, may have already caused damage to our printed circuit board in the refrigerator. Many on here know that the powerful EMP of a nucelar detonation will destroy electronics for hunderds of square miles and in a similar manner the EMP of a nearby lightning strike will destroy them in a much smaller area.
We devised a grounding system to shunt the EMP spikes harmlessly to ground at Trujillo meadows, but just like closing the barn door after the mule is gone, we may have been a little too late.
A RV place at our county seat has tested our refrigerator and decided that it is most likely that the circuit board is out on it. We left our Ollie with them at the RV place after recieving their assurance that it would be kept inside their building if kept overnight, as we have been staying in it and plan to leave out as soon as is possible, it hasn't been Winterized. Hey, we are going to Florida , for goodnes sake !
They have another Norcold refrigerator in their shop that they think the circuit board will work from it if needed.
Fingers crossed.
More to follow as it unfolds.. .. .. ..
UPDATE------UPDATE-----UPDATE
WELL, AS WE ALL KNOW, WHEN THINGS START GOING BAD, THEY SEEM TO MULTIPLY ! The Rv place slid the fridge out into the Ollie's floor to work on it and the board is bad. Then they discovered that the board isn't interchangeable with the fridge's board that they have in their shop. They have called our Good Sam club's extended service plan and are proceeding with getting one ordered in here by the most expedicious route.
Oh, geeze, now we are emptied out ( our clothes & stuff ), the fridge is in the middle of the floor, at the dealership, and the clock is counting down to the wedding on the beach ! It's gona' be a close one !

Saturday, December 26, 2009

STATION


The visitors Information Center in Baxter Springs Kansas is located in an old, and beautifully restored, Phillips 66 Service station. It had many route 66 souvineer items in it, but it was closed for the Hollidays when we were there.

Great architecture and wonderful brick work adorn many of the main street businesses.


Friday, December 25, 2009

POSTSCRIPT

About the dessert in the photo above, I am getting some PM's asking about it. It is a BEAUNILLA CHEESECAKE. The cafe on the route offers it in Chocolate and in Strawberry. Guy Fieri of Diners, Driveinns & Dives describes it as "kind of a Mexican cannoli". I would describe it as absolutely devine ! It is made with a crispy deep fried tortilla on the outside ! And I mean, it's to die for ! They are a large dessert and Betty and I shared one. After a meal that's so good that you readily clean your plate, remember, just like Mama told you, you may have trouble holding a whole one by yourself . But if you start on one by your self, it's likely that you won't be able to stop as long as there is even a single scrap left !
Post Script, re: The weather in Coffeyville Kansas where we had been working at Amazon.com. The direct TV reciever is still set to recieve the local channels up there, and if I heard it right, the temperature is one degree and there is eight inches of snow on the ground !
Woo Hoo ! We bugged out just in time ! Merry CHRISTmas everybody !

Thursday, December 24, 2009

LUNCH

Lunch on the run ! As we fled Coffeyville Kansas where we had worked for Amazon.com for several weeks, after leaving the Sugar Beet Harvest up on the Canadian border country, we gained a bit of a lead on the storm that would soon have states Governors declaring a state of emergency. We had hastily rounded up our stuff where we were camped at Elk City Lake State park located just 5 miles North West of Independence Kansas, and were out running the fast approaching storm. We had worked at loading our stuff well past lunch time and were famished ! Since we are fans of the Food Network's Diners, Drive inns and Dives, we had seen a show featuring a restaurant that was on our route to the East, located on Old Historic Route 66, in Baxter Springs Kansas. One last quick check of the live radar told us that if we didn't tarry long, we could stay ahead of the storm that was coming up behind us. We couldn't resist, we just had to stop in for lunch. As it turns out, we havn't been the only ones to stop in while on the run ! Jessie James had robbed the place back when the building housed a bank ! Lunch was great ! We ordered the open faced roast Beef sandwiches and the plate was heaped with hearty, but fine tasting fare ! Served on antique heavy dinnerware. There were no quick and "flashy" fast food type food stuffs on our plates, but for example the mashed potatoes, both scoops of them on each plate, were not instant or dehydrated, but actualy freshly prepared potatoes. Flavor and boquet of each item on our plates was of similar quality, and most excelent. Even though Betty is absolutely worn out from our stint at Amazon, you can see the look of enjoyment on her face as we lunch. Folks, let me tell you, THIS PLACE HAS A MASTER CHEFF !! That means that un expected things can happen, like this exquisite desert, the likes of which I hadn't consumed since being in Torremelenos Spain in the early sixties ! Note that before I could snap a quick photo, Betty had already sunk her fork into this chocolate delight ! Now here is the thing that I enjoyed as well as the fine food, the atmosphere made this blue collar working couple, I was wearing my bib overhauls, feel at home while consuming master cheff prepared foods that were worthy of the finest dining places on the European Continent. Here is a look at the interior so that you might also get a feel for this fine old establishment located on Historic old route 66 in Baxter springs Kansas. Here is a quick video look at the entry way to the Cafe on the Route:
video

BAILOUT

UPDATE ! UPDATE !
It was beginning to be a struggle for us. Fatigue from long hours at Amazon, the refrigerator went out and our days and nights were totally switched out. We had moved the refrigerator stuff into an ice chest and continued to work at Amazon. But Mother Nature was fixin' to over power us.
By now most of us are aware of the blizzard that is sweeping down across the prarie, down deep to Texas.
To make a long story short, we bailed out. The quality of life was diminishing rapidly as our resources dwindled. We turned in our ID cards, ect. and hastily loaded our plunder, then split out, just ahead of the fast approaching storm.
Since we can follow the storm's position on live radar, via the internet, using our 3G device while rolling down the highway, we were able to modify our exit route a little to put more distance between us and the storm. Instead of traveling straight South, the straightest route to Arkansas, we went to the East about a hundred miles, then turned South. The reasoning behind this was that the most direct route would put us traveling continually in the leading edge of the fast moving storm. The margin for error in that plan was too slim and we were needing to pause for an hour or so to catch a meal, ect..
We are now at the house in Arkansas and the storm is coming in right behind us. Betty is at the store picking up a few supplies so we can weather out the storm in better shape. I will leave to top off fuel in our vehicles and get extra generator gas when I finish this posting.
Refrigerator situation is still not good. We may be able to get someone to look at it right after CHRISTmas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ROADS

It seems logical that since we have a Jeep as our daily driver, that some of our favorite roads aren't part of our Nations Interstate highway system. The interstate highway system serves the pourpouse wonderfully, if all your focus is on getting from point A to point B. But let's face it, they are just plain old boreing and lacking in character ! They contribute to drivers getting into a travel zone I call the doldrums, after a sailing vessel's becalmed situation. It's a situation where the driver becomes jaded to the high speeds, the inability to enjoy the scenery or to focus on any fleeting thing for more than a few brief seconds. Yep, interstate driver, your'e trapped in the doldrums !
Fedral standards give a substantial measure of safety to the motorist, simply because the drivers have a prety good idea of just what's coming up next. The interstates are pretty much the same nationwide.
However federal standards creeping into the state's highway programs are wiping away the character and flavor of even lesser highways at the state level.
Recently we found an old stretch of Kansas highway that had became grown up, somehow falling through the cracks of federal standards and hadn't been torn up as the new state highway that was built to federal standards replaced it. There is quite a difference between this and what we now a' days accept as normal. It recalls the days when a open ditch or construction zone would be marked only with a round coal oil filled open flame flare pot.

The wide smooth highway seen in the background, that replaced the old one that we are parked on, has a posted speed of 65 MPH.
On this overcast drizzly day of the photo, we were sightseeing along the wonderful old highway that somehow still remained, and saw many hawks perched at strategic locations, silently hunting for dinner along the old road. A major cold front was approaching and the birds of prey were foraging ahead of the coming Winter storm.
Hey, it's just good for your soul to take the road lesser traveled, from time to time.
He, he, you might find that you develop a habit of it and like most things where you have to give of yourself, the rewards will out weigh the small personal in convenience.
As this old highway entered Independence Kansas, we were able to see where the old route through the town had ran. Naturally, we followed it to sample the flavor of this historic old town. The new route was more expedient, alright, but, you didn't get a look at cool little things like this one of a kind hand built little fully operational truck. As you look at the photo, remember that Betty is five foot tall. Compare to the Jeep's size.


Betty is working in the "picking" department at Amazon, for the CHRISTmas rush season, and is walking up to fifteen miles a day. My sweetie is melting away right before my eyes ! Just look at how her clothes hang loosely on her ! A couple of more weeks and we will up anchor and head South to the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

HOURS

The long hours that we are working at Amazon have been a physical challenge for Betty and I, but we are about half way through the season. It is also hard for our dogs Poco and Dillon.
Today is a day off for us and we have slept in, catching up on the news and weather, ate out and walked the dogs. During the walk around the Prarie Meadows Camp sites loop we saw that one of our neighbors is also a Geocacher and that their Volkswagon is a travel bug, much like our Oliver travel trailer is. Had the camera with me so I took these pix:
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Look at Poco, who has slipped into my warm spot, pillow and all, when I got up.
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Here is a look at the neighbors VW and fifth wheel toy hauler RV. I wonder if the VW is hauled inside ?
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A look at the travel bug lugo in the bug's rear window. Note the license plate on this cool VW with nerf bar bumpers.