May 24th, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

The weekend from hell is upon us.

Going to be a busy few days coming up and I only have one day off this weekend. A little bit of time on my day off in the morning will be used for another badly-needed acupuncturist appointment. I could have worked but I need to get my neck and back issues back under control as they are starting to get a little more serious. It also would mean two weeks without a day off and I’m not really feeling that either.

The weather has been gorgeous with partial sun and perfect (for me) temperatures in the 60s. The rainfall has slacked off and there’s not much in the forecast. Not good news and hopefully not a sign of things to come this summer. We need to avoid fire as much as possible.

Trailer parts are rolling in so I will probably work on that this weekend and get it done and out of the way. It shouldn’t take too long to install the new taillights and the insect screens on the refrigerator vents.

I wish I had an alternative to spending $700 fixing the shower. I really do not want to do it myself but at that price there’s not much choice. I should have had the other guy that I had talked to before I moved fix it since he said it would be around $400. He died a few months ago so I don’t think that price will stand and it is too far to go back there anyhoo. I have got to get it fixed soon so I need to get started. I want to take a trip or two first though. I should be able to in a couple of weeks.

On the news tonight was a segment about a Seattle homeless encampment and the 103% rise in crime around it. The neighbors are all pissed off (and rightfully so) about their area subjected to such a drastic increase in theft, robbery and drug dealing. This guy was who they interviewed about the drug problem…

IMG_0942

This guy doesn’t like the drug crimes rate rising in his neighborhood.

What can you really so to this picture? I laughed my ass off when he came on TV.

That’s about all for now.

May 19th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I took this short video in my backyard today.

I hung these flags up over my Japanese maple a few days ago. I picked these up in Kansas City, MO on one of the many trips I made when my mom was sick. I got them at a store called Temple Slug a few blocks from the hospital. I remember hearing their ads on the radio in the 70s. They were one of the first stores selling waterbeds in the Kansas City area and they still do.

I had never been in there before that day but always wanted to go there. I had always thought it was waterbeds and what they used to call “head shops” back in the day – a place to buy bongs and other “smoking accessories”. I think they might have even sold concert tickets back then. Perhaps it was, but now they are selling decorative imported things for the home along with beds and futons.

I would like to get another set for the trailer. I actually bought these to put in the trailer and while cleaning and organizing I saw them and thought I would put them up in a special place. Japanese maples usually turn red and that was my mom’s favorite color.

Speaking of red, last night I cracked open a bottle of 19 Crimes shiraz from 2017. I had not had that one yet and wanted to try it. Unfortunately I discovered before it was too late that the bottle had a bottom and it is now all gone. It was pretty good but I liked the last bottle better. With the bottle ending up being empty I guess it was more than okay! I picked up another Dark Red one today.

I am enjoying one last long weekend before the change in my days off. It has been a busy two days and I did get quite a lot done so tomorrow is a down day.

I decided to not take the trailer out this weekend for a couple of reasons. It has been quite busy (meaning traffic and being crowded) with the nicer weather but the main reason is my broken license plate bracket. I ordered the parts but they did not get here in time. I could probably put it in the back window to get by but I don’t want to get hassled by the law either. I also needed to get a few personal things taken care of.

I got some things done yesterday; post office stop to mail some things, a storage unit run, a badly needed acupuncturist appointment. I also stopped by the RV repair place and they said it was going to be about $700 to fix the cracked shower pan in the trailer. Yikes AND damn!! Looks like I am going to have to attempt to try and fix it myself with that cost. I then got the futon out of the cabin and put it under the carport. It was just too big for the space so I removed it and got my recliner out of storage. That freed up a ton of real estate inside my cabin.

Today I went to eat at my other neighbors’ restaurant. Delicious homemade biscuits and gravy with home fries. They are the neighbors that gave me the cinnamon roll. They had maple bacon pastries, gluten-free and vegan items. A pretty good place to eat and I’ll be going back to eat at their place as well as my other neighbor’s restaurant.

After breakfast I flushed the water system in the trailer and I forgot just how long that takes. Flushing the water system is easy but time-consuming. Flush out the water line anti-freeze until the faucets run clear, fill the tank back up and sanitize by adding bleach and running the faucets until they smell like chlorine, then rinse until no smell and drain. The draining is the time-suck. It’s all done now. I started the process and while that was going I ran the old-time reel mower around the estate to cut the grass. There’s five minutes of the day shot.

Other time was taken up by oiling my new hiking boots for work so I can start the fun of breaking them in. Another coat tomorrow and then I am putting them on. They are the ones I tried on in Bozeman last trip there and I really liked them. Quite spendy but they ought to last for a long time. I have never broken in boots like this and I have heard about the blisters and such. I think I just might want to avoid that.

I replaced the stove bolts on the rear tube bumper with carriage bolts so the sewer hoses can actually fit in the bumper like it was designed. The heads of the original bolts stuck up inside the tube and were blocking the hoses from fitting inside. Maybe the sewer hoses that I bought are bigger than the ones that came with it and have a tougher time fitting. They are in there now!

I am kicked back in the recliner, typing this and watching “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – a classic – for the umpteenth time. I think tomorrow I will get some supplies and cook up at least one dish. I’ll have to check my freezer space first. I’ve got a bag of salmon burgers at Costco a few weeks ago and have been grilling them but my freezer is not that big and they take up some space. I started to put recipes in my shopping list so I have some ideas always with me in my iPhone.

Well, Ferris is now asleep and I am going to put this thing away and relax. Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

May 13th, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Another busy day getting things taken care of.

Even warmer than yesterday and not a single cloud. Warmer yet tomorrow so it needs to cool off in my book.

The closer I look at the trailer I found some other little things needing to be taken care of (but it all should be okay now) ASAP. Today it was mainly adding sealant to the base of most of the lights. The putty-like sealant put in at the factory heats up in the sun and runs. Problem is runs away from where it should be and it leaves gaps where rain gets in. This was the issue I had last year when I had that horrible leak coming down onto the table from the overhead light. I have seen evidence of a few other minor leaks but I sealed those up already.

I was going to take the rear clearance lights off and completely reseal them today but there were a few problems; first was it was getting pretty warm out, making the putty difficult to remove since it was so soft. Second, I need a taller ladder. Third, was it was blindingly bright looking at the white part of the trailer in the sun. I could not see with all the glare. I got them sealed up temporarily until I can get a taller ladder and can take them off and fix them correctly. No further water will get in at least; the lights are over an area that looks to have had a leak.

I am half-tempted to try to fix the trailer shower myself but I don’t exactly know what I am getting into pulling the toilet to get the shower floorpan out. It looks fairly simple but it will be upwards of $400-500 to fix the crack if they take it all apart. If I got it apart myself it would save some real money. Hopefully there is no water damage under the shower. I guess if I took it apart and there was damage to the floor I could just have that fixed and put it all back together myself. It may be worth a try to do as much as I can.

I have not been doing a lot of extra driving lately, in part to save money by not buying the expensive gas we have here in Washington. I’m watching my money closer and would much rather be using it for going on more adventures. Staying home I have also gotten those much needed maintenance items taken care of with the trailer with the weather being so nice. And if I don’t fix these things it will be much bigger problems later on. Luckily I have not had to spend too much lately – it’s been more of my time and labor fixing stuff.

Well, off to bed.

May 12th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

A beautiful day it was today! I took total advantage of it and was outside working on the trailer most of the day. I got a lot of things taken care of –  I installed a new LED porch light (definitely MUCH brighter and also saves battery). I took out the vent fans and cleaned them up and tightened up some loose hardware that was causing issues (I may have to replace one of them). I also got a new range hood vent installed on the outside and tomorrow I’ll try to reach in and seal it up a bit with some metal tape.

The plastic license plate holder on the taillight broke off last Fall and I had forgotten about it since it has been under a cover until today. I suddenly remembered, though, when I found the license plate under some stuff on the table. I got replacements for both sides ordered as well as some wasp screens for the fridge vents. When I took the cover off the trailer and went to seal up the vents there were hornet and wasp nests both in there. Luckily they were old ones. I ordered a small sliding spacesaver spice rack as well.

It is still hard to get used to owning the trailer but I am getting more used to it the more I am doing things to it and upgrading things. Being a long-time tent camper makes it a bit of a conundrum, but with my back and neck issues I cannot sleep on the ground any longer. It is pretty nice to be warm and dry. That for sure doesn’t suck.

It is supposed to be even nicer the next two days so I am taking advantage of taking care of this stuff while it is nice out. The sealant is some expensive special stuff that is much different than any other sealants I have used before and I want it to dry so it is at least not tacky. I am still thinking of going someplace but if it is nice out its gonna be packed everywhere. I do have a backup adventure possible though.

The following weekend I start working on the weekends so I’ll be off during the week. That makes it a little better when I want to go someplace and do things. Yeah it will be filled with tourists but no weekend warriors will be in the mix either.

But hey…people getting out into nature is good. I am sitting out in my back yard, typing away and watching the birds feed and listening to them chatter. It’s a pleasant evening with all the trappings of a small and older neighborhood – the sounds of kids playing, the smell of freshly-mown grass. Oh, yeah…and lest I forget the ever-annoying ever-barking dog.

I mowed my grass a little while ago after the sun wasn’t as intense. I am really trying to avoid as much direct sunlight as I can avoid and reducing my risk. With the family history the last few years I am staying up on health stuff. I don’t have a scale but I know I have dropped some pounds and I am feeling like it. My daily activity levels are definitely high and I am drinking more water again.

I made myself a Philly sandwich a few days ago and today was the leftovers for lunch. I bought a Boboli two-pack pizza crust at the store and was going to make a Philly pizza out of my leftovers but that ended up being lunch. I made a Canadian bacon one instead and it turned out just fine. I have more steak meat and I bought a two-pack of gluten-free crusts to try. Need to get back on the salads for a few days though and I am still eating some produce.

I have had more neck issues return and it has not been pleasant. Headaches are coming back and I had one all day today. My neck has been hurting incredibly bad and I cannot sleep again. I think I finally found an acupuncturist so I will be calling them up Monday to get an appointment made. If I don’t do something soon I am afraid the migraines will return. That will also determine if I go on an adventure in the trailer this weekend.

I created a map on Google Maps to drive US 2 coast-to-coast just to see what it said about how long it would take. It ended up being 58 hours. That’s about six days – a long-ass drive. And that is not including stops to sightsee. With that it could easily go to ten days one way and if I do the Atlantic Provinces it could hit 4-6 weeks total I bet. That’s quite ambitious adventuring indeed.

There would be a lot to see though! The people I know that have been there said it is really beautiful and they loved it. Shows and pictures I have seen make me want to visit there. Plus, I’ve never been there.

That’s it for now.

 

May 4th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

Today’s adventure is to Victoria, BC on the MV Coho out of Port Angeles, WA.

I am excited to finally go over and check out Victoria. I have been through there on my short motorcycle trip but have not visited it properly.

Going to Canada is international travel, but doesn’t really seem like it since there’s no 12 hour flight. Once you get there, though, it’s quickly apparent it is. A passport check and the signs in French really are big clues.

I have an enhanced driver’s license but am bringing my passport because I want to try and get a Canada stamp in it to go along with the Europe stamps from our trip.

A few years ago I rode my motorcycle over on what ended up being a misadventure with the mechanical issues it was having and got to Port Alberni and had to turn around for home. I rode through Victoria on that trip but didn’t play tourist in the city since I was trying to get to the other side of Vancouver Island.

Today I plan on getting some miles (or would that be kilometers?) under my belt seeing the what the city has to show (and feed!) me. I hear the Royal BC Museum is a great place to visit for a few hours so I may do that. I’m really not much for shopping – I’d rather see and do things and have experiences. I will probably go in some shops that are interesting. My neighbors were here last week and she said there was a clothing store selling hemp clothing. I definitely want to check that out if I can find it.

The weather seems to be clearing off nicely as I sit here on the ship waiting to sail. It was cloudy when I got here and the weather forecast is calling for mostly cloudy and a 40% chance of a shower over there.

The trip over was strange in that the seas seemed calm but the boat was still rocking a bit. I’ve been on the water many times before and have never experienced that. Very strange.

We got into the harbor and for some reason customs was really grilling me. I had a backpack with a raincoat and water bottle and he kept on me about getting searched. I have nothing to hide and I hate getting hassled – if you want to look through it then just do it and stop effing with me. I didn’t have this much trouble going into European countries.

I walked down to Chinatown and looked around. I went into a few shops and looked around at the Chinese herbs and groceries that were available. I wanted to pick up some herbal patches for my neck but didn’t know if I could take them back to the US so I didn’t get any.

It was 11 o’clock in the morning so what better time for a delicious pint of Guinness. I ended up at a pub called Irish Times to not only quench my thirst but to also get a big plate of poutine. All of the servers wear kilts and the atmosphere was classic pub and well done. I like the comfy atmosphere much better than most bars I have been to in the States.

I opted for the Irish poutine – it looked pretty traditional but with a twist. It had Dubliner cheddar cheese from Ireland and bacon. It was fantastic and very filling. I could see a big giant bowl or two of that after a long night of partying.

They had a pretty good menu full of many varieties of deliciousness. I saw them bringing out a Scotch egg to somebody. I’m not big on eggs other than scrambled but that might be interesting to try.

I mainly just walked around looking at things afterwards. I went into the British Columbia Parliament building and did a self-guided tour. I got to see the room where the Parliament decisions are made for the province.

I went to a grocery store and picked up a couple of snacks. It was about a mile from the parliament building each way. I headed back towards the parliament building since it is fairly close to the ferry terminal. Next to the parliament building is a little park with the water fountain and a wall of water behind the British Colombia seal and also the seals of all of the other provinces as well as the Canadian seal.

There was a really nice public space in the front with beautiful flowers and a nicely manicured lawn. Seems like a good place for a snack and doing some people watching.

It ended up being a beautiful day. Hopefully I won’t have to put up with any more customs BS going back over. I guess I’ll find out in a bit.