Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It was a very good week!


The week started on Sunday, Fathers’ Day. We were invited to Sara Anne’s Dad’s house for a cookout. The invitation was for Helen and me, but Helen had a bad hair episode on Saturday and wouldn’t come outside. Thus I attended stag.

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Here are the four Tempestas. The two with hair are grandsons Kyle, in red, and Keaton, in blue. I’m the bald one behind Kyle and my son PT (Paul, Jr.) is the one on the right going bald.

The cookout was a grand success and I got to meet a lot of Sara Anne’s family. They turned out to be a very friendly group and really made me fit right in. I look forward to seeing them again at the wedding.


On the home front, Helen was visited by Scott and his family and I returned home around three PM.

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My son Scott is on the far left, then there are grandchildren Kourtnie, Kolbie, and Brandon.

A little later on we were joined by PT, Sara Anne, Keaton and Kyle, so it was indeed very nice to have the whole clan together for the day. Between cookout #1 and cookout #2, I think I gained 10 pounds.


Tuesday I indulged in one of the activities on my bucket list. I have always wanted to get into Radio Controlled air planes. Years ago I built two from kits, but as a dad with a family, I just couldn’t afford the radio and electronics which was VERY expensive then. Last year I saw an ad for a plane complete with radio controls for about $129.00, and bought it impulsively. My efforts to control it were futile and I finally went to a R/C club for instruction.

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This is the plane. It’s not dinged or damaged yet.

At the field, my instructor took the plane off and he really had his hands full trying to control the red menace as it was totally out of trim. So, he was trying to keep the plane in the air and adjust the trim at the same time. I was very impressed as I am certain that I would have crashed. In short order, he had the plane flying well and gave me the controls. In just a short time the battery was running low and the instructor took control and brought it safely to earth. For some reason, the battery would not recharge, so that was it for the day.

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Another toy is my R/C micro-mini helicopter. This is to fly in the house. For  a while, it was a case of take off, crash, and repair. Take off, crash, order parts, and repair. Now that I have a lot of spare parts, I don’t crash anymore. When I first got it, Coco had to investigate, getting her nose too close to the rotors. She now avoids the contraption.


Years ago, like half my lifetime, I used to shoot skeet at the Plymouth Rod and Gun Club back in Massachusetts. Another item on the bucket list was to shoot skeet one more time. I checked a few times over the years, but couldn’t find anyplace close. A few weeks ago when Sam Weibel was down, he mentioned shooting and I found there was no place in Citrus County. The I heard of the Hernando Sportsman’s Club. Friday I went to Homosassa to help a friend and the club was just a few miles away. I drove down to check it out.

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This is a skeet range, but not the one I attended. There is this house on the left that throws out a clay disk which shatters when hit. On the right side of the range is the second house which throws out the discs at a much lower angle.

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Of course I didn’t have a gun, but several members offered me theirs. Some were very expensive guns and I was tempted, but I used to have a Remington 1100 of my own and decided to stay with a known friend. Besides, the 1100 is an auto loading shotgun that doesn’t kick like some others. I only shot 25 rounds, but could feel the effect later on my shoulder. It was fun, but that page of the bucket list has been closed.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Another successful mission for LRROF


Helen and I were called upon to help transport two yellow Lab pups from someplace north of Valdosta, Georgia to a spot east of Brooksville. Our normal mode of transportation is the Jeep with a crate in the back. I’ve been having a problem with a small leak in the radiator, but figured that I could make the run by leaving the radiator cap loose and carrying five gallons of water. I was sorely mistaken. I only got three miles into my trip when the car overheated. Apparently the radiator problem is a byproduct of a stuck thermostat. I tried to call home, but of course there was no signal. I also could not call ahead to let others know I’d be late. I used the water to cool the engine and went back home where we put some stuff in the Lincoln and headed to Gainesville.

Another LRROF (Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida) volunteer, Cindy, brought the two pups from the place in Georgia to Gainesville. We have made this run before on several occasions. In short order we got to within about 7 miles of the meeting place, then hit a massive traffic jam. The last 7 miles took over an hour. A torrential downpour hours before had caused several accidents. There was a tractor-trailer jack knifed on the side of Route 75 and a little further along there was a car with the whole rear seriously bashed in. When we drove by, there was nothing to really gawk at, but it still slowed traffic to a crawl. On the way back we found that the backup had increased to about 10 miles.

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Here are the two pups, a male on the right and a female on the left. Cindy told us that when she pulled them from their crate, it was the first time that they were out of it. They have had no shots, but appear to be in good shape.

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There is no such animal as a Lab that doesn’t like attention, and this guy is Mr. Personality.

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Around March 17th you might see people wearing pins saying “Kiss me, I’m Irish”. There should be one for Labs saying “Scratch my belly, I’m a Labrador Retriever”.

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WOW!!!! First time out of the cage and what do we have here? Nice, soft green stuff. My life is getting better by the minute.

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This is the male and he seemed enthralled by the sights outside the car window. He and his sister were both very well behaved and quiet. The required no special care and it was a very easy transport.

We met June, another LRROF volunteer at the McDonalds in Hernando County and she was going to take them to her house. It is my understanding that she will adopt the male and foster the female until adopted. They are both real cuties and I doubt that she will be fostering the female for very long.

At a time where charities in Florida are under increasing scrutiny due to the huge amounts of money taken in and the very small percent actually spent on the charity, it’s nice to work with LRROF. Our time and gas money goes to rescue dogs. Money donated to LRROF goes to spaying, neutering, heartworm treatment and more.

Again, it is a privilege to help these pups in need.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

One step forward and two steps back


Since our return from Mexico, that’s about what it feels like I’m doing. It’s almost mid June, and I have done nothing to the motorhome since the early repairs in March. I have also been working on Helen’s Lincoln and my Jeep.

Helen’s Lincoln required new ball joints for the front suspension and it was much more difficult than I thought. I also wanted to repair two electric windows but had to let that go until after our guests left.

My primary job on  the Jeep was to reconstruct the tow plate connection to the Jeep frame. It was not really difficult, but it was time consuming. Impact wrenches and power tools made it easier. One thing led to another and I had to replace a front seal while I was living under the Jeep. The rest would also wait until after our guests left.

It’s too bad that Donna and Sam, Sue and Brian, or Ann and Gerry couldn’t stay longer as that was a very nice respite in from my  long list of projects. Some evenings I got to play with my indoor RC helicopter, but it is a situation where I charge the battery and fly the toy until I hit something, then I replace broken parts and try again in a few days.

I got back in the groove with the Jeep and Lincoln. A quick change of transmission fluid and filter did not go as easy as planned. I thought it did, but when I backed out of the garage there was a large puddle of new fluid under the car. Silicon gasket material solved that problem.

On to the Lincoln windows. A video on You Tube shows how easy it is to replace the power mechanism on the Lincoln. The video even tells what size socket to use and how everything comes apart. It was only a ten minute video, how hard could it be? How about three days? And that’s with getting my arms scratched reaching inside the door panel. OK, the rear, left window was working, but was it working correctly? I operated the right rear window, which has ALWAYS worked, and this time it ground to a halt and had to be manually assisted up. So now I have a total of THREE window mechanisms that had to be fixed.

It was about this time that Helen called me to look at the ceiling in one bedroom. She had discovered water marks from a leak in the roof. We had the roof repaired first thing when we returned in March, but the leak was coming from someplace that hadn’t been touched. I called the people who did the roof and they had a man down in half an hour. With him on the roof and me in the attic, he soon found a loose nail and promptly fixed it. Total charge was ZERO! I gave the guy some money to buy a six pack on the way home.

Next on my agenda was to flush the Jeep cooling system and put in new anti freeze. I put a flush chemical in the system and ran it for about 200 miles. I went to Wal-Mart this morning and was going to drain the system when I got home. Walking from the store to my car I noticed a major leak dripping from the radiator. So, now I have a new radiator and hoses in the garage and yet another project for tomorrow. I keep telling myself that it’s cheaper than a car payment, but now I’m beginning to wonder. Trouble is…..it has been the perfect car to tow behind the motorhome and I’m not ready to let it go.



Saturday, June 8, 2013

PAUL, The reluctant and lazy blogger


Yes, it is all too true., I am reluctant and lazy when it comes to blogging. This is particularly true when I am very busy doing a dozen other things that crop up. Last night it was a problem with the central air conditioning and I’m working on that while I’m blogging. Did I mention that I am also a GREAT procrastinator? I was going to put that first, but thought I’d wait awhile.

OK, so whet have we really been up to in recent weeks? Nothing!

No, that’s not true, we have been very busy. On May 23, Sam and Donna arrived from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri in their 5th wheel with their wonder dog, Riggs, the perfect specimen of the black Labrador retriever. Sam had everything hooked up in short order and we had an interesting time with them.

Riggs is, above all, a water dog and he was anxious to get in the pool with our three, Jodie, Coco, and Sandy. They were all together last year, so it was just some pooch friend catching up on old times.

You can catch up on all the old news by checking out Sam’s Daily Blog at http://samdonna-5thwheelvagabonds.blogspot.com/ He does a much better job than I do and you will get a lot more information.

Later in the week, We were joined by Sue and Brian, who befriended us in 2012 in Mexico. They arrived in their motorhome with THEIR wonder dog, Tilly. The stayed a couple of nights while Brian and I worked on one small modification to his rig. He also showed me his installation of LED lights throughout his camper. Foolishly, I ordered the same for me and now I have yet ANOTHER project on the list.

Next on the agenda were Ann and Gerry Wright and THEIR wonder dog Bear. He is mis-named as he is really Teddy Bear. Ann and Gerry we met at Xpu-Ha campground and you might find a little more about them if you check my blogs from December 2012 to February 2013.

One of my favorite blog tactics in Xpu-Ha was to refer my readers to Brenda and Gerry’s blog. Since we were doing the same things, diving, eating, etc, I would just refer my readers to Brenda’s blog. Again, Brenda is much sharper than I am and does a wonderful blog. Go back to the winter months and you will see. http://turtleondowntheroad.blogspot.ca/

You can also check out Gerry’s new blog http://gerryscamino.blogspot.ca/ as he treks the 500 miles or so across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

OK, back to the air conditioning, then the Jeep, then the drivers window motor on the Lincoln, then the rear passenger window on the Lincoln, then AT LEAST START on multiple projects on the Motorhome. All the while calculating area and preparing to retile our kitchen/family room and computer/dog dormitory.

I’ll try to get some pictures up soon, but check out Sam’s blog in the meantime.

Time for my nap.