November 22nd, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Uncategorized

Apparently, the sealant over the crack in my shower floorpan came loose today. I happened to see it was wet from under the wall after I took a shower this morning and stepped out. I got some clear Flex Tape for a temp fix to work on tomorrow, but it looks like I’ll be taking the shower apart to fix it very soon. I don’t really want to put that stuff on there but I cannot have it leaking. At least it is clear, and maybe it will come off with a heat gun and some Goo Gone.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know. I shoulda done it this summer. I can’t really do it while I am staying in it so that is the issue. Now that I’ll be getting into a place I can focus on getting that done since it won’t interfere with daily life. I imagine the door has to come off the toilet and another one near the floor will as well. Pull out the toilet fixture, take the wall panels and fixtures off, pull the pan out and fix it with fiberglass, then add supports in the floor and re-assemble it. No, I have not been real excited about doing this (I think I summed up why) but it will definitely need to get done before I take it out on another trip. I just remembered I am going to have to buy a new cover for the trailer.

I went to Costco today and got my hearing aids. It’s so good to be able to hear better again. I am going to have to go back tomorrow for them to have a look at the fit of my hearing aids, though. One side doesn’t seem to be positioned correctly inside my ear and it is affecting everything in that ear quite a bit. It really doesn’t feel or sound right. This happened to me before so I am not surprised. These are a different brand so I have some things to get used to, but this is definitely not correct. I think it’s one of two things so I will find out hopefully tomorrow.

I had the dog with me but locked him up in his crate in the back seat while I was inside the store. I let him out of prison so we could leave and he hopped into the front and just went stark-raving mad. He was so excited it was like we had not seen each other in a year. He was jumping around, bouncing off the seats and me and trying to play. I looked over out the window beyond the dog and the woman in the car two spaces over was staring at us. Then when she saw the dog going nuts she started laughing while telling the guy in the car to look. She was cracking up, I was cracking up, and Rider was just having a big time for several minutes’-worth of laughs. It was very entertaining for everyone.

I just cannot get over this vision thing! This is so much better than what I was expecting. I still need to get readers to read up close, but I think it is a good tradeoff. No, it is actually AWESOME!!! I’ll see what they say Wednesday but I think the healing is going good and the weird things are getting better.

As soon as things calm down a bit more I will be contacting an upholstery shop I found to ask them about the supplies for me to re-do my cushions or maybe the shop re-doing them. They are really getting bad in a couple of spots – mashed down and staying that way. Not much cushion whatsoever so they need new foam rubber. There are a few RV shops around so they may also be able to give me ideas on what to use, what’s popular, what wears best, etc. I can get by for now (shower is the priority), but sometimes winter months are slow, and with the ‘rona going on they might be needing some business and cut some deals.

It’s getting close to time I need to be ordering coffee pods for the Nespresso. Now that I understand it better and know what I want (I really like all but one of the coffees they have that I have tasted) I’ll be better prepared with some knowledge on how much to get of what. I know they have several new ones out but many of those are seasonal things like peppermint or that pumpkin-spice garbage. Last time I got 120 pods, but it doesn’t store as easily as a canister of coffee that makes twice that much so that took up some room. Once I get settled into the studio, though, I won’t have to worry so much about room.

Other than checking on getting my hearing aids adjusted, no other plans until my cataract appointment then the holidays. I got the stuff for my feast today. I am not much for turkey, but I do like to have some turkey, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce (the jiggly one – not the chunky one) two or three times a year. I might go just absolutely berserk and have mashed potatoes too. Having a real kitchen again is one exciting thing about having a place to live. I’ll be able to really cook again. I have lots of new things I want to make but it takes room to spread out and cook, plus a regular fridge and freezer helps too. Unfortunately much of my kitchen stuff is all in Montana so I’ll be making-do with what I have in the trailer until I can get there. It’ll be fine.

That’s about it for this post. Until next time…

July 7th, 2020

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

I had a COVID-19 test today. I don’t think I need to state how much this pisses me off when I am the one taking precautions.

Out of an abundance of caution it was recommended to get one due to a potential third-level exposure that happened. They handed me a swab, I had to roll the window up, and shove it into my nose until it poked out the back of my skull. I then had to do the other side after I was done sneezing (hence the reason for rolling up the window I assume) and then do the other side before rolling down the window and putting it into the lab tube.

I think everything will be fine as the first-level exposed person tested negative (the initial contact person was a positive). As far as we know the second-level person is negative, too, so that makes us very optimistic along with a local nurse telling us there should be no problems.

In other better news, plans are still underway for a trip (dependent, of course, on my test results). It will have to be a shorter one than originally planned due to some changes in work schedules (not mine!ūüėĀ ) so I will have to babysit a little more. I am still going to get away soon (and as much as I can afterwards) and that’s what really matters. Unfortunately the test results can take up to a week so there is a potential of seven days of travel lost.

I had an interesting faux pas for dinner tonight. I made up one batch of stir-fry ramen with canned chicken for one of the kids, then went to make mine. I opened the can for mine and thought “this looks weird” when I dumped it into the wok. Sure enough, I accidentally grabbed and opened a can of pulled pork.

Now before you poo-poo this being in a can, let me remind you where that tuna sandwich came from that you had for lunch (after it left the ocean, of course). And the canned chicken as well. I heated up another can of it last week and slathered it with BBQ sauce on a bun and it was actually pretty good. No, it is NOT Rosedale’s (the best BBQ not only in KC but anywhere) but it will work in a pinch.

Anyhoo, I thought “Oh well, it’s in the wok and it’s almost done so let’s go for it”. Pulled Pork ramen stir-fry. It was good but much more filling than the chicken version. I would eat it again, just a smaller portion and maybe add a little sweet sauce of some sort to cut it a bit.

I got a couple of new updated locks for the side compartments and got those installed for a bit more security. I discovered that the seal on one of my shocks on the rear of the truck has gone bad so I ordered two new ones and will be installing them this Thursday or Friday dependent on when Amazon gets them here. My truck has about 195,000 miles on it and nothing has really ever had to be fixed on it. Shocks are a wear item so they do need replaced. It is a pretty easy repair – loosen two bolts and pop the new shock in, tighten, and repeat for the other side. I cannot really go anywhere until I get it fixed so the timing is good.

I have to admit it’s really nice to get this stuff done on the trailer but I am glad I am about done with the repairs and updates. The updates I don’t mind, but with the repairs being fairly constant it’s wearing thin. The last thing I can think of that’s left is the shower and I am really not ready to tackle that just yet – I want a break from this necessary stuff. Maybe next month I will look into getting it done but for now I am taking a break. I’ll just take a shower outside.

So the next few days will be waiting for the results and doing some vehicle maintenance. But there will be a trip soon afterwards!

April 7th, 2020

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

Hello!

All is good with me and the rest of my family and I hope that you and your family are also well and taking the necessary precautions and STAYING HOME.

We are really fortunate – we dodged one when we went to Europe in February. We got back just as it started to heat up. Wisely we took precautions to sanitize everything on most public transit when possible and didn’t touch door handles etc. None of the three of us have any illnesses (other than the seasonal tree pollen allergies giving me problems) after being back for six weeks so that’s quite a relief.

I have been home from MT about four weeks as of this post, and I have been out away from the house only 5-6 times getting groceries and prescriptions. I limit my exposure pretty seriously. I do not order takeout even though I would sure like to have some Thai or Vietnamese food while I support our local businesses – I’ll sure be back in line there when this goes away. I am staying home and away from everyone, and any shopping trip I take is get in/get out as fast as possible. I should be able to stay away from the store for two weeks after my last trip.

Cooking new things at home has been fun though. Since I am not eating out I figure if I want to eat something bad enough I will make it so that is what I have been doing. I want to try to make some Irish brown bread but a lot of the baking supplies are nowhere to be found – no flour on the shelves. Perhaps this will spark some huge change in people actually cooking at home again, which will be necessary since many restaurants may not recover from this to reopen.

We finally are enjoying a break in the weather in my area so the dog and I are getting outside quite a bit. We have been out in the sun playing fetch, ball, and Frisbee several times each day so that is a welcome change. We even get to just kick back on the patio and relax. He is enjoying getting out more and we have a lot of fun even though he’s a little bastard sometimes. Yesterday it was a very sunny and pleasant 58 degrees and calm and it is supposed to be even nicer the next two days. Pretty perfect weather.

My backyard is pretty well shaded and the grass is getting tall but it is too wet to mow everything at once so I hope to finish it up over the next few days as it dries out. I really hate mowing grass and have never understood the need for it other than keeping defensible space right next to the house and to keep rodents out. It pollutes, is noisy, and is completely unnecessary. I don’t care how it looks and I hope that we can get away from that thinking at some point.

I’ve been in a major Ireland state of mind lately; I’ve been really thinking about our adventure quite a bit. Yeah the rest of the trip was great, too, but Ireland really affected me very deeply. It is something I was really not prepared for; I had an idea that spending that much time in Ireland and seeing the family castle would “do something” to me but I didn’t know how or what or how much¬†it would be but I have to go back there before I go anywhere else. And I will.

Given the current state of affairs I don’t know how long it will be until it is safe to fly again (biologically, that is). I plan to go back over as soon as I can and the focus of the trip will be Ireland – other countries if time (and money!) permits and if, in fact, I feel like it. Also, given the current state of affairs, it is something positive that I can begin to think about and look forward to doing.

In the meantime, though, I can also think about road trips. Whenever it is good to do so I can try to get some of my U.S./Canada road trips in while I can, but only when I can. I had some fairly ambitious plans to do some road trips this year but sometimes things change so you have to be flexible and sometimes it means you’re staying at home like it or not. I am not making any trips other than necessary.

I am looking for a few other things to do with all of this downtime. I have been looking at new guitars online but I want to play one before I buy one. I am also looking at getting a Dremel tool. I need to install a water heater power switch in the trailer and a Dremel would be handy for doing that but i would like to do other stuff with it if I weren’t artistically deficient.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to post a quick update to let those who read the blog know that my family and I are staying well. I send good thoughts to everyone out there to stay well. Be sure to think about and support the healthcare pros on the front lines by staying safe and doing what you are supposed to do and not what you want to do. Listen to those who really know what they are talking about and ignore the fucking idiots who may think they do but don’t.

December 23rd, 2018

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

2018 State of the Union

For those of you who read my blog regularly you know it’s been another eventful year for me and my family. Quite a bit happened throughout the year.

The biggest (and by far the most devastating) news was, of course, losing my Dad to cancer. We all miss both him and my mom a lot. My sister seems to be doing okay currently but that still weighs heavy in the background. I am fairly certain that you know my thoughts on cancer by now…

I have been going through and organizing and putting my digital photos into albums and sharing them with family. I had to sort through over 8,000 photos in the computer and I have to scan probably hundreds more into it; at least we will all have them. It got to be pretty tough looking at some of the pictures of me with my parents, thinking back of what we were doing and where we were when we took certain pictures – Wyoming, Washington, Kansas, Colorado…many, many places. There will also be many more from their own adventures and trips in the scan pile.

Looking through all of these pictures definitely brought back many other memories, too. Pictures of my three daughters and five granddaughters certainly bring back lots of memories along with many of friends, other relatives, reunions and such. Sorting through my digital pictures and organizing into albums has been on my personal to-do list for a while and now it is done. I definitely will keep them organized into photo albums as I add new pictures.

Speaking of the trailer, it was a very big travel year for me. My life-changing European Tour in Jan/Feb, a trip or two to MT, a road trip to KS, several flights to KS to see my Dad and family, a day trip to Victoria, BC, a trip to CA in the Scotty and numerous nights spent in Seattle making the most out of any trip there to either fly out or to get personal things done.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was pretty lucky to be able to travel as much as I did, albeit some of it was certainly not for pleasure. I definitely had other plans for travel but those were plans were changed due to the cancer my Dad was diagnosed with. I was hoping to involve him in some of these travel plans but it was not able to happen since his health deteriorated so fast.

I got in extra work hours in the Winter/early Spring and that helped pad the savings a little bit. I moved to a new studio in a new area this year in order to take a new job with a new employer. There ended up being some more changes at work that turned out good for me. I even got in a little more work in the late Summer/early Fall. I also ended up  moving to the house next door. More room, no more storage unit or storage lot for the trailer.

The new house has a much bigger kitchen and I am taking full advantage of it. The Hello Fresh boxes are filled with tastiness but I’m going to have to scale back and do it intermittently – I can save a little money that way and I have other things I want to eat and like to cook other than what they offer (which is a decent selection). Getting six single meals out of three meals for two really is a lot of food and cuts back on my variety of choice with all of the leftovers.

I picked up a Cuisinart Toaster Oven/Air Fryer combo appliance to use up some of the newly-found kitchen space and I am very impressed. Usually combination items like that do everything half-assed, or maybe only one thing pretty good, but this one does it all and does it well. It keeps me from having to heat up the big oven (saving money and heat in the middle of summer), I can air-fry stuff so it is healthier, and it’s one appliance and not three (saved MORE money!). That was a really good purchase.

Around Black Friday I was lucky enough to get in on a Hulu subscription for 99 cents a month for a year. It really helps out with getting through the short daylight hours here in the PNW. ¬†I have been bingeing on TV shows – “Three Sheets”, “Scrubs”, “Seinfeld”, and a few British shows (the selection is slim). I find their movie selection a bit thin as well but I got to see some interesting documentaries so far. With a price like that I definitely couldn’t lose. Plus, I still have my Apple TV box with free Pluto TV, local news on my KIRO 7 app, and the PBS app.

I have some friends out of town and they asked me to check on their chickens for them – mainly it is to grab the eggs that are laid so they don’t lay on them to hatch. I went over there the first day and when I went to the gate it was just like going to Meghan’s house. They ran up to me and looked up at me like “So, where ya been? Got anything to eat?”. They were not skittish at all and would not leave me alone. I snagged the two eggs after cleaning out the water container and the feeder. Next day I took a few apples from my tree over to give them and they liked them. I got three eggs from the nest box and as I was leaving the pen a couple of the chicken-puppies had to see me to the gate. I reached down to grab one and it walked away but the other one stopped and stood up very straight…sure enough he was waiting for a back scratching. Cracked me up. So, I obliged and gave him a scratch and he just stood there taking it…just like we all do. One of them even stuck its butt in the air like a cat when I scratched back by it’s tail.

I am more than ready for this shitty year to get out of town and I sincerely hope the door hits it in the ass on its way out. I am looking forward to a better year in 2019. I am sure there will be more travel and adventures. I know that I am very fortunate that I get to live my life as I do: living in a great places, working with some fantastic people in a fun places doing a fun job, getting to have plenty of time off to do what I want, traveling as much as I have gotten to travel and seeing the places and doing the things I have gotten to see and do (and more to come!). I have worked very hard and made sacrifices the last six+ years to get to this point and I do not take any of it for granted.

Concerning this blog, yes I have slowed down on my posts a little but there has not been much new to write about. There are no plans to stop blogging and will continue to keep you posted. There are a few people who read and/or subscribe to it and I thank you for that. Hopefully you find it interesting and get something out of it on ocassion. I’ll continue to post my adventures or anything else that may (or may not) be of interest. Send comments if you like, and I will approve to post them (usually all of them) if I think it’s okay. Maybe you have a question…wanna know about something I post about? Perhaps a personal question? Feel free to contact me and ask. Personal questions will not be posted but I will respond to you.

I saw a woman at the Post Office a few days ago that had on bell-bottom jeans. I thought I was having a flashback. Many years have passed since I have seen a pair of those things, and many more have passed since I bought my last pair. WTF were we thinking?

Overall it was a good year, but one thing – the loss of a loved one – can really bring the whole year down – and that one thing was terrible. I do my best to keep my head up, though. Life carries on and we need to as well. Doesn’t make it any less painful; it’s just the way it is. It helps to have support from family and, given what we have gone through, my family has shown over the last two years we are incredibly strong.

Here’s to a better new year in 2019. Hopefully the world will be a better place. Sooner rather than later, preferably.

Peace to all.

 

 

 

December 8th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

It’s been a bit busy lately. A plane ride to Montana, wrapping up holiday shopping in Seattle, getting some things done around the house – filing away and getting rid of old papers, going through stuff to put away and getting rid of some things.

Lately I have gotten to try a few new places to eat. Before I went to MT I ate at a burger chain called The Habit. It is supposed to be an up-and-coming place but I was not overly impressed. The burger was decent but the fries were rather generic and boring. I felt that it, much like Five Guys, was way overpriced (but not AS overpriced as FG). Five Guys has some of the best fries I have ever eaten. and all of the toppings included for no extra charge…but too pricey. To me the best burgers for the money are usually the greasy ones¬†at the dives.

Thai Basil in Bozeman was pretty good (found out it is a chain, casual atmosphere), and The Local in Belgrade, MT had a delicious Wagyu burger at a reasonable price for the quality (but still a little higher price than average). They had an interesting cocktail called the Bridger Sunset. It was a cocktail with a giant ice ball in the middle that could only be melted by the superpowers of an additional shot of Grey Goose once the drink was gone (the “shot” being defined as a finger+ of Grey Goose in a highball glass). The drink alone was pretty damn strong but after the first drink it’s easy to like. Wouldn’t take many of those to call it a night.

I forgot what it was like to be in the snow and cold, and I got a bit of a reminder while in MT. I can honestly say that I still don’t like the snow even if I go to it and it doesn’t come to me. One morning it was 12 and I am not used to that nonsense anymore. But, as they say, “it is a dry cold”. I don’t care if it is dry or not…it was still too damn cold. Better than summer’s heat though. But I STILL want to see Alaska/Iceland/Scandinavia in the middle of winter.

While there Meghan gave me a discount code for Hello Fresh, which she had been singing the praises of. I signed up and got my first box of three meals yesterday. I chose pork carnitas, cauliflower bacon mac and cheese, and beef bulgogi that I made last night. Very impressive menu and quality of ingredients plus I don’t have to go shopping for dinner.

The bulgogi was absolutely delicious and easy to make. Each meal comes with a recipe card and you can keep those filed away in case you want to buy the ingredients and make it again. Ordering the meals for two, since I am single, gives me two meals of each of the three entrees and the portions are decent size. That is almost a week’s worth of dinner! If you are interested in joining click on the link and save $40!

Looks like I’ll be going back to work late January so I better get busy doing things I might want to do and going places I might want to go. Not really ready to go back to work yet but it’s gonna happen eventually for each of the next few years. I may have another road trip or two I can take the next few weeks but we’ll see what happens. I thought about going south into CA again and taking the trailer out, but I have it winterized and don’t want to undo that work.

Yesterday I went to a mall. I rarely do that but I needed to get a few things in the area and I found a great sale on my Levi’s 501s. I had not been to Skipper’s (a local seafood fast food joint) in probably five years so while in the area I got to enjoy some of their clam chowder and the Skipper’s Platter – fish, shrimp, clams, fries, slaw (no thanks – don’t like mayo slaw). The clam chowder there is not really creamy like New England clam chowders I have had. It is more like a thicker gravy full of delicious oceanic goodness. They even have various “All-You-Can-Eat” menu options for just a few dollars more. I have not eaten the chowder at Ivar’s so I cannot compare the two. It is on my list to try theirs though.

I had a Roomba I had purchased a few days back but it didn’t work out real well so I took it back yesterday to B3 – Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was a lower-level model – the 600 Series. It just ran around the house like it had ADHD. First the dining area for a lap, maybe two. Then it was off to do the same thing in the living room but repeat a few times. Same thing in the bedroom and kitchen and then take off and repeat areas. It was crazy how it would do little bits here and there instead of doing a whole room at once.

Today I went to a market and saw something that I had never seen before. In the produce section was something called “oca“. I thought “why not?” and bought some – about a handful – to try. I looked them up on the interwebs and found out they are quite nutritious. I ate them raw and found the texture like a cross between a potato and a radish. The taste is varied from little flavor to sweet to sour to potato-like. They appear to be quite high in carbs and energy.

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Oca

I found them to be tasty and an interesting thing to eat. I will probably get more but they are pretty spendy (but you have to try them!). They would be a very healthy snack. The info on the link above talks about them dried. That might be interesting to try out.

I stopped by the local bakery to get croissants to go with my fruit, prosciutto and gouda for a healthier/lighter breakfast the next few days. I don’t want to buy them too far out – I want them to be as fresh as they can be. Yeah, a bit more inconvenient but that’s okay for the quality.

While I was out and about I also got the recycling taken to the dumpsters. I found a bed frame at a thrift store so I can FINALLY get the bins out from underneath my boxspring. That was never intended to be permanent – just a temporary thing to get me by. I can get that sorted out tomorrow¬†and rearrange the bedroom. I’ll try to put away more stuff in bins and eventually sell them since I am in a bigger house now. I think I will move my ginormous upright toolbox to the utility room and just deal with moving it around to maneuver into the basement. I wouldn’t have to do it that often and I want the closet space for other stuff.

It is nice to be home and have some time to not only relax, but to also get some things done like arranging the bedroom and getting more organizing done. I have been enjoying too much of the relaxing and not doing enough of the organizing.

I ordered some new coats from Outdoor Research and they came yesterday. I have had one of their water-repellent rain shells for five years or so and it has been great. I got a new shell for rain, one of the same the next size bigger, and a down hoody for insulation to wear under the larger one. My experience with the 3-in-1 jackets is the shells are always too big on them.

It’s been a while since I posted so I guess I had a lot to say.