Friday, January 27, 2012

The trip home..........

Here are some random pics of the trip home to Illinois.....arrived this past Tuesday morning. Trailer is setting at some friends property not far from Mill Creek Lake, have a full hook up....all is well! Not bad weather here for end of January, no snow yet, not real cold in daytime. These pics are mostly Arizona and New Mexico along I-40...

It was a good trip overall, truck performed good other than gas mileage---averaged 11mpg....gas averaged $3.29 with a low of $2.99 in Oklahoma City! Total was right at $600. in gas....

Actually only have just over 10 weeks till have to be in Wisconsin to begin 2012 Workamping job.....looking at work opportunities over in Indianapolis that is expected to run 60 days or so, which will be nice to kill the waiting time!!

Hope all my good readers are well and staying warm wherever you may be!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The joys of solar!!

I just love my solar power system!! My panels are bolted to the roof of my trailer, but have tilting capability which you need in the winter to get the full effect of the low hanging sun---point the panels south, and you're set to harness the power! I don't use a lot of power in my trailer at night, but I do charge my cell and my laptop and my razor.....I plug in a nice little 60 watt table lamp to read by at times.....

Yesterday, I met this girl who is tent camping on BLM land, and she told me she had no room for bulky panels...bulky batteries...bulky inverter...yet last night she had her tent lit up like daylight!! How is that possible? She told me she had no battery powered battery powered LED fixtures...and definitely no big and bulky solar power system!! Yet she had lots of light!! Candles?? No...light was to bright!! So, what was putting out all that light?????

It was 4 of these!!

How clever!! She had 4 of these guys, each placed into an empty 1 liter plastic bottle with sand in it for weight stability, and they were giving her all the light she needed!! In the morning, she puts them back outside her tent to recharge in the sun.

Pretty smart kid!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The King of Mobile Codgers!!

Yesterday afternoon, while setting at Pilot, a guy walks up to me and asks "are you BlackSheep?" to which I replied yes.....the man is known to me as "Squire" and is one of my good readers that posts now and then. Squire and I had a nice chat, and he told me that Randy the King of Mobile Codgers was in town and had recently set up camp at BLM land north of town with W.I.N. group!! This excited me greatly, because Randy is the guy that I modelled my trailer design after! I have followed Randys blog for some time now, and was hoping to meet the man while I was out west this year.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my pal Randy...

Randy is a true character! In my day, my generation would have referred to Randy as "one COOL dude!" If you go to his blog, and read it, you'll discover that Randy will approach anybody, ask probing questions, get the story, add his own insights, and post it all to his blog for the world to see! Thats one of the things I like about the man, and have put it into practice myself.....everybody has a story that they want to tell! If you can just get them to open up and share it with you!

I found Randy after looking for nearly an hour this morning, he was out walking with his friend Sally (a real LOOKER!) and he graciously gave me some of his time, for which I was grateful. Thank You Randy, and safe travels to you and your group!

Now if I can just hang out here in Quartzsite long enough to get Glenn from out here, then the winter stay will have been worth it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The mountains are burning!!

Check this pic out!!

This was the scene to the east this morning.....looks like the mountains are on fire!! Actually, just another gorgeous sunrise over Quartzsite!! Beautiful isn't it??

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Decisions decisions decisions.........

My life is just filled with indecision right now.....what to do...where to go...stay here in Arizona in the sunshine.......or go back to Illinois to the snow and the cold?? Almost a no brainer there huh?? Problem is, as is so often the case it seems, is MONEY!! Ah yes, the root of all evil!! I like the old saying---money won't buy happiness, but it will buy a lot of things happy people have! Right now, money would buy me TIME!!!

I have 2 possible Workamping jobs here in the west for 2012...neither of which will start BEFORE 4/15...the choice one is at the north rim of the Grand Canyon, just up the road from where I am now!! Oh, how I would love to go there and work this coming season.........the app process is complete, and they are checking references, I know this because one of them told me that they had been called, but they have not called me and made an offer....the waiting game ya know?? WHEN do they call and get firm committments from workampers?? Surely not in April?? It would seem logical that they would get committments ASAP, so they have staff in place!! Should I call THEM?? Inquire as to WHEN they make that decision?

What if I stay here waiting for the call, and the call doesn't come!! Then, I have likely spent my remaining cash, and then have no money to get back to Illinois and up to Wisconsin for another workamping job that IS firm!!

I would truly hate myself if I stayed here, and the call never came, and literally be stuck out here with no cash!!! THAT would NOT be good!! Hence, the title of the post---Decisions!! Perhaps it should be INDECISION??

All thoughts/opinions are welcome......what would YOU do?? Bear in mind this was not necessarily poor planning on my part. In my original budget, I had more than enough to make it thru winter, and well into May....but an unforeseen mechanical issue with the tow vehicle in Albuquerque cost me over $1100!! At a spending budget of $10 a day, that would have stretched me out till mid May!!! Which WAS the original plan!!
Now though, I'm right at $1000. C.O.H......its 92 days to mid April...its 1800 miles to Illinois, and my trusty Ford will drink right at 180 gallons of gas to get there at an average high of $3.75 ea. = $675. in gas.....thats 67 days budget staying here!! Which leaves right at $325. which is another 32 days here.....which translates out to late April.......starting to see my dilemma????

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The joys of DISH-TV...NOT!!

As I had posted here earlier, last week I moved to the LTVA outside Q-zite, intending to stay thru mid solar and wind power setup was producing plenty of power, so I decided to get DISH-TV to send me a tech to install a ground dish and get it set up, so I could at least watch a little case you don't know, a ground dish sets on a heavy iron frame that just sets on the ground, secured in place by concrete blocks.

So, last Saturday I called and set an appointment for Monday afternoon...the tech met me at Pilot and followed me to the LTVA.....UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, BUT KNOWN BY THE TECH, the BLM requires ALL outside private vendors to have a permit to enter BLM lands to do ANY type work----NO EXCEPTIONS!! The tech had no permit, and was turned away at the gate, by a BLM Ranger who just happened to be there at that time....

The tech told me he KNEW about the permit, but wanted to "chance" it.....he left after telling me he was sorry, but not before he hurled a few choice expletives at the ranger standing outside!! I wish he had not done that!! This is the same ranger who red tagged me and made me leave Hi he REALLY likes me now!!

So, after waiting all week for DISH to get back to me, I finally called them Friday afternoon...don't know if any of my good readers has ever dealt with DISH TV, but they are not exactly customer service oriented. After explaining my plight to a girl named "Robin" who spoke English so poorly that I only understood about a third of what she said, the gist of what she told me was that I was not going to be able to get service in my present location. OK, well then when can I expect to see the $105. fee credited back to my bank account I asked??? Oh, I'm sorry sir, that fee will be credited to your account for future billing"......

When I proceeded to tell "Robin" that I also wanted to cancel my account so there would be no future billings,since I can't get service at my present location and as a result she could process the refund of the $105. for the service which was NOT performed, she proceeded to tell me my account could not be cancelled, we have your VISA info and your authorization for automatic payment every month, and to refund the $105. would indicate that DISH had made a mistake, (get ready, here comes the best part) and WE DON'T MAKE MISTAKES!! There will be no refund, your account can not be cancelled, and automatic debits to your bank account will continue every month, and quite honestly sir there is NOTHING you can do about it. Thank you for calling DISH TV, have a wonderful day. And she hung up!

Oh really??? Nothing I can do??? You know who I called next don't you?? Yup, Bank of America!!!Since DISH TV is the only automatic monthly debit from my account, it was super easy to CANCEL it!! The debit is made on the same date every month, and the bank was happy to CANCEL it, starting this month! And, since I paid that $105. fee on my Visa thru B of A, and the service was NOT performed, that money was immediately CREDITED back to my account! And since I have been with B of A for 37 years, they assured me this would be the end of the problem with DISH TV.....oh "Robin", print this off and feed it to your camel you arrogant P.O.S!!

Nothing I can do huh?? Anybody need a DISH TV receiver??

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh no!!! A TROLL!!!

Yes boys and girls, a TROLL is loose in Q-zite! This particular TROLL is attempting to post to my blog, and call me a liar, and its feeble efforts to belittle and intimidate me are, shall we say, humorous at best!!

But fear not good readers, the TROLL PATROL is on the job, and has successfully shot down this poor excuse for a human being! How was this accomplished you ask? Quite simple really, since I admit I am a simple kind of guy...we treat TROLLS the same way we treat spiders---we just squish them underfoot! We just DELETE their lame attempts to post, throwing their written gibberish off into cyber space where trash belongs.

I direct your attention to the post entitled "Sights in Quartzsite" written last month. In that post I had been told I could send a fax from the Readers Oasis bookstore. The TROLL indicates that in my posting I actually stated I did send a fax.....thats typical TROLL ignorance, as I re-read the post word for word, and I can only assume that we have an illiterate TROLL who is unable to read the English language, because nowhere in that post did I say I was able to successfully send the fax!!

Perhaps the rock dust this TROLL is breathing is affecting its ability to read...or perhaps this TROLL is breathing some other type of dust?? I find it amusing that I have spoken to at least 10 people this week who are in town celebrating our nomadic lifestyle who also know this TROLL and they all agree that this waste of space is nothing more than a moocher, who thinks they are better than everyone else, who looks down their nose at anyone who smokes or God forbid has a dog.....

But, this TROLL will never be successful at posting to my blog their lies and made up nonsense! Not this month, next year, or next decade! The TROLL PATROL is out there, watching and waiting.....the DELETE key has been dusted off, ready to do its thing!

Bring it on TROLL, you amuse me!! Gather up your other TROLL friends, waste your time making up your lies and innuendo, and post computer just DELETES them all......

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back to the snow and ice??? Maybe so....

Well, unfortunately, looks like my vacation in the sun and warmth of the Arizona desert may be coming to a close!! sniff have enough reserve in the bank to get home, and enough c.o.h. to last a couple weeks here, but time to face reality!

Got stuff on ebay, but it may not stuff for sale at a local consignment shop, but hey, it may not sell either!! And while I can easily get by on less than $10 bucks a day, can't run the risk of getting stuck out here with no cash!! The workamping gigs MAY come thru for out here, but...they may not too!!

Better to take the guaranteed route and go back to a definite place to park with full hook-up, stay there till April then go to the workamping gig thats already lined up in Wisconsin!! Very unlikely I'll starve in my hometown!! Especially with my parents right there!! Maybe I can get gas money blowing snow off sidewalks/driveways!! I have an electric snowthrower in my truck!!

Departure date uncertain, but looming not to far down the road!! One thing about it, I've seen Quartzsite, so if I never make it back---oh well.....already popping anti-anxiety pills this evening just THINKING about going home.....stay tuned good readers!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free labor?? Me thinks not!!

As I posted here last week, I managed to get a job here in Q-zite, which I was at the time happy about, because I knew it was answered prayer, and was a blessing to start the new year! I'm not going to reveal here where the job was, but can tell you that the owner expected me to work up to 2 weeks FREE, until he and his managers decided I "got" it.....huuuh???? If lets say they decided I didn't "get" it after 2 weeks, they could just let me go!! NO PAY!! Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat????????????????????????????????????????? I countered with you'll pay me for EVERY hour I work or I won't bother coming in.....owners response?? "Fine, don't!! We are a "right to work" state, and if we decide not to pay for training, thats our right."

Sorry guys, I'm just not going to do that. I have money in the bank, can sell more stuff on ebay, and can go eat free at a local church. Might even just volunteer my time with them!! My campsite is paid thru 4/15, so I have a campsite and a place to hang out at. I'm just not going to work for free, PERIOD! What do you guys think? Am I foolish for taking a stand with this? Let me hear from you either way please.......but stop and think whether or not YOU would do it, in my situation.....I have virtually 0 debt/truck paid for/trailer paid for/no one else dependent upon me.....answer only to myself and my God.....

Yesterday, my pal Don from "A View from the Road" rolled back into Q-zite and we hung out a few hours yesterday and today before he and Tigger (dog/travel mate) rolled back out headed for Phoenix....and ultimately travels to you my friend, I'm sure our paths will cross again.......

The weather continues to be fantastic here, high 70s today, brilliant blue skies and gorgeous sunsets!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Turbine noise......YIKES!!

Looks like I need to do some work on the turbine mast mounts!! I was snoozing away last night and about 1:30am woke up to the sounds of what I thought was somebody rocking on the trailer tongue?? Got up and dressed, stepped outside in the light of the gorgeous full moon, and no one out there....hmmmm...went back in and fired up the heater for a bit then heard it again...go back out and the winds were really blowing!! The wind turbine was really moving!!

Here is the mast mounting plate onto the trailer tongue...

I think I need to put some type of dampener UNDER the mounting plate, as the noise and the vibration was intense as the winds got stronger and the turbine turned faster and faster!! Perhaps some sort of brace bolted to the trailer near the roofline and extending to the mast pole itself is in order as well, cushioned at both ends to eat up the vibration and dissipate it.

Outside the trailer, I didn't hear a thing, just the blades cutting thru the wind. Inside the trailer, a whole different matter!! The vibrations coming down the mast was intense!!

Going to have to do some research into cushioning options..

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Any video editors out there??

This afternoon, I got my wind turbine re-wired, all hooked up, and put the baby in the air 15' and the sucker took off like crazy!! Grabbed my new Kodak Z990 which has video capability and shot 17 sec of it downloaded to my laptop and tried to share it, but my program says my max is 25MB....the video was 42MB.....

My Dell has VideoPad editing software, but holy crap Batman, that stuff is way to complicated for this kid!! Guess I just need to shoot SHORTER videos???

So......if 8.5 seconds of video = 21MB, then maybe I should just aim for 9 seconds?? Guess I could try it and see?? Experimenting with different lengths of video will probably tell me when I reach 25MB.....any video editing experts reading this??

Got the 17 sec. vid uploaded to under my "Gatorep" ID...only took 30 minutes??

Job offers!!

The last 3 days seems to have produced a whirlwind of job offers for a solo workamper, thanks in large part to my posting an updated resume on opportunities total, including one just this morning!!

1. An RV park in Arizona...28 hours a week for my FHU site, NO PAY..No thanks!

2. A tour company in Alaska...24 hours a week for my FHU site, NO PAY...but will cough up $1000. for travel money out at end of season...NO THANKS.

3. Boat launch host with FHU site and $9.00 an hour/40 hours week, in the Sierras in northern California....hmmmmmm.......maybe!!

4. Yellowstone Association, bookstore, retail sales...FHU site and $8.50 hour for 32-40 hours week plus commission, in Yellowstone Park.....hmmmm...maybe....can just imagine 1000 people a day all asking the same question---WHERES THE BATHROOM?? Maybe NOT!!

5. Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim!! 40 hours a week @$9.50 an hour, end of season BONUS just for staying thru season, FHU site with sat. TV and WI-FI, FREE laundry, HIGHLY DISCOUNTED MEALS in the Employee Dining Room,gas reimbursement on arrival (SWEET!!!!!), opportunity to transfer to another of the company properties in the winter....oh YEAH!!! Hell, I would pay THEM for that opportunity!!! This is the FIRST choice!! The Grand Canyon??? Hell yes!! Season is May thru October...


Well, took the plunge and moved out to the LaPosa LTVA yesterday, and since I am staying till mid April went ahead and paid the $180 fee. That translates out to roughly $1.80 a day for the right to park on any BLM land in the area....thats cheap camping really!! I can stay where I am, or if the urge hits, hook up and go to Hi Jolly or Plomosa and stay a week, and hook up again and move to Yuma BLM land for a weekend, then move back to Q-zite! Got the official stickers on trailer and truck, so the rangers just smile and wave and keep rolling right on by.....the less interaction with those guys, the better!!

The LTVA here in Q-zite is like 14000 ACRES!! They have water/sewer dump/vault toilets/trash dumpsters...but no electric...but my solar/wind setup is working GREAT!! The inverter is showing 14.8 by 1pm everyday!!

And here is the solar power setup that the BLM has at the offices of the LTVA where I am parked...this is sweet!! Auto trackers to follow the sun across the sky!!

And yesterday, I met this really sweet older couple from Alberta, Canada at the McDs lot travelling in this super cute little Toyota Class C...

These folks are in their late 70s, and come down every year to winter here....then in late March they head back to Canada. They were just the sweetest people!! They are set up now at the LTVA where I am...

Couple weeks back, I ruffled some feathers of a couple loons with a post about arrogance and the homeless here that you see hanging out everywhere always asking for spare change. They went into attack mode on my blog, and I blocked them, just to piss them off!! Why?? Because I can...its my blog, if they didn't like what I posted---hey, don't read it!!

BUT i INADVERTENTLY BLOCKED EVERYONE!! Sorry friends, that has now been fixed, comment all you want now!! If the loons return in their feeble attempts at intimidation and belittling, I will just delete them...WHY?? BECAUSE I CAN!! ITS MY BLOG!! I guarantee ya, these yo-yos would not give these homeless a 2nd look, yet they criticize my comments! Here are 2 fine examples of the homeless bums I see on a regular basis...

This was yesterday, they were setting here outside Pilot, asking every person they saw for "spare change", I conducted a little experiment...I went to McDs and bought 2 double cheeseburgers/2 fries/2 apple pies/2 medium cokes.....walked over and tried to hand it to this poor homeless bum, and guess what??? HE DID NOT WANT THE FOOD!!!!!! THEY WANT CASH!!!!! They flat out refused the food!! They only want CASH!! Most likely to buy more meth, heres hoping the loons read this, and post their snide comments, just so I can have the very distinct pleasure of DELETING their posts!! WHY?? Because, I CAN!! And if they don't like it, they can all kiss my white ass. Stick that in your arrogant pipes and smoke it.

On a friendlier note, hope all my good readers have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Red Tagged!!!

Ho hum.....another day!! Been lazy last few days and just haven't bothered some of you know, with the new years arrival, on the 1st in fact, I got a job!!! Ya, a full time, 5 days a week REAL job!! Which means I'll be able to stay here in the warmth and not have to go back to the snow and the ice and the below freezing temps in Illinois!!Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

But as luck would have it, I got RED TAGGED by the BLM rangers this morning!! Have to move, in fact already have as I'm typing this from the Pilot lot....they red tagged 13 rigs in the Hi Jolly area, and 30 more in the Plomosa Road area!! Guess they DO monitor the areas after all to make sure you are moving 25 miles every 14 days....oh well, fun while it lasted...

So, I'm going to hang here at Pilot tonight and then move to the L.T.V.A. on Friday, and just pay to stay until April....why bother hooking up every 2 weeks and move again!! That sucks!!

Not much else going on...beautiful weather here.....77 today!! Hope everyone is well and those of you up north--stay warm!!