July 15th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I got my new iPad Pro Tuesday and it’s pretty awesome. I was getting pretty tired of doing everything on my phone so it’s nice to finally have a bigger screen to work on. I was never really happy with my MacBook Pro and this is definitely more portable than the MBP was. Yesterday my keyboard/case got here and it is every bit the great keyboard everyone online said that it was.

It’s looking like I got my passport renewed in the nick of time – well, for what it’s worth. Mine actually took about eight weeks from the time I sent it in and got it back, but now they are saying it will take several months to get them back. And it’s not like I will be going anywhere real soon, but you never know. I did get it much faster than I thought I would

However, it’s looking even less likely every day that I will be using it in the near future. It’s getting even riskier by the day it seems and now some of the places I want to go have begun shutting down again…and that is even if they were even open to travelers at all. It’s so frustrating since it is so damn easy to fix.

It has been very windy here so I am hoping tomorrow it will calm down. I need to finish the last few windows on the trailer and start on the other trim. I have a tentative trip coming up so I need to get this done in the next few days. With the dry warmer weather it makes it easy to be out doing this stuff. Also, with the weekend coming up it will be time to stay home and away from the tourists.

I fired up the fridge a few days ago to make sure the freezer is sealed and not frosting up inside; that means the door I fixed is sealed up good. I checked it yesterday and it was fine. I will be checking it tomorrow again and if it is okay I will be shutting it off. I should know after 3-4 days if it will frost up inside or not.

Last night I watched a movie called “Chef” with Jon Favreau and a few other familiar faces. Being as foodie I found it a very enjoyable and fun movie to watch. As a spin-off they did a real cooking show series derived from the movie. I have that in my watchlist.

Tonight I watched a movie called “Divine Access”. An odd, yet interesting (to me) movie that I don’t really know how to describe. Gary Cole, a ventriloquist Jesus doll, existentialism, and a lot of interesting perspectives. I can guarantee that this movie probably won’t be for everyone and some most definitely will be offended. I wasn’t though! Then again, not much does offend me.

That’s about all for this post. The weekend is near!

July 12th, 2021

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

Ouch!

Like most of you I get up in the morning (which is obvious if you’re reading this), take my meds, have breakfast and enjoy a cup of coffee while catching up on the latest stupidity in the world (in no particular order). I don’t watch the news but scan through headlines on the interwebs so I can filter out the stupidity and bullshit on my own terms.

Looking through the day’s news it seems there are always people who suck at grammar that are writing the stories…even on major websites. For example, an apostrophe in a word does not mean it is a plural – it usually means possession. I see these things like this all the time. Most of it is people who don’t know how to write.

Case in point. I saw a headline yesterday that said “What to Eat With Overactive Bladder”. I wondered aloud – is it some recipes for side dishes? Mac ‘n’ cheese? Tater Tots? Jellied cranberry sauce? Then I thought what would you drink with overactive bladder…a red wine? A nice dark beer? Maybe an overactive bladder would be filling enough on its own. I don’t know.

The sign above is another example. I took this several years ago in Colorado. There was road construction being done on a road named “BOWLES” but someone was a crappy speller and made an ass out of themselves (I had to…).

I saw an interesting story on NPR talking about the things that are getting people through the pandemic. The most captivating one to me, and they were all very good, was the guy in Brazil talking about drinking a coffee in the sun in a little part of his yard. Just a very few lines about the smallest, simplest thing that brings him some escape and you get it. You feel it. It’s amazing to me how saying so little can say so much. Another one that stuck out for obvious reasons was the imaginary travel journal the girl in New Zealand did. That was clever.

It made me think about the things that have gotten me through the rampant dumbassery going on around us. I really cannot say one thing I did was more important for my sanity than the others. Being retired I don’t have that going on so I had way too much time to think if I let myself do so. Not watching the news was a big thing. Dreaming of going back to Europe with all three of my girls, the few trips I took in my trailer, cooking amazing (to me!) meals, babysitting one of my granddaughters, walking my dog, and being in touch with a few friends and family all played a part. Plus posting on my blog. Wine and The Devil’s lettuce has certainly helped.

Speaking of travel, it’s looking as if Canada will still be closed at the border for a while yet. It could be a long while unfortunately. It’s understandable, though. I was hoping to get to explore and experience more of Canada since Europe is still not fully on my radar. It IS on my radar, of course.

With that said, though, I guess there have been some great flight deals but my notifications were turned off for my bargain flight website when the deals came out so I missed out. If I found a great deal that had no change fees I just might get a ticket for a ways in the future and figure it out later.

Until then it’s looking like the summer is gonna be a rough one concerning fires and is starting out with some fury. That may force me to cut back on my road travels for some time.

In the meantime I still need things to stay busy doing and accomplishing. Pretty much my biggest to-do is the things the trailer needs. Today I climbed up on the roof of the trailer to start caulking the seams. I used the clear caulking to seal the edge trim on the roof since it’s out of view. I did not realize how much needs redone until I took a few minutes and looked at the seams that needed resealed on the trailer as a whole. Yeah, there’s only five windows to seal but the trim and other seams on the sheet metal all needs resealing as well. It’s gonna take time.

The trim runs from the bottom of the front to the bottom of the back and it’s on both sides. Basically this trim covers the edges where the top sheet metal meets up with the sides. It screws down over the edge then a vinyl trim strip snaps in to cover the screws and keep the seam from leaking. Each side has two edges needing sealed; I also need to replace that vinyl trim strip on one side at some point as well. It’s going to be a big undertaking getting this all redone. I may not have enough white caulking to do all of it.

Another documentary I watched is called “The Last Blockbuster”. It is about, well, the last Blockbuster Video store in existence. Yes, there’s is still one store left. Those of us of a certain age remember going to the video store to rent videotapes, LaserDiscs, DVDs, etc. If you remember that, or want to see how it was in “ the olden days” of the 1990s then catch this movie. Blockbuster was ubiquitous for video rentals back in the day and they were everywhere. It was very interesting & well-done and it brought back a lot of memories and “oh yeah” moments.

I created my own pasta sauce and it turned out pretty tasty. It’s a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil, some diced up green olives, some red and green peppers, garlic, a couple of diced Campari tomatoes, sun-dried tomato pieces, pepper flakes, and pepperoncini. At the end I add a little sliver of Kerrygold butter to make it a little silky and a little splash of the pasta water to thicken it up a bit. Then I finish the whole-grain pasta in the pan with the sauce. Top with some grated cheeses and some fresh basil off my plant.

I got out for another hike yesterday and picked a few salmonberries along the way to snack on. I actually walked farther than the day before and stumbled across a few ripe thimbleberries. I found a few more next to my house so I ate them too.

That’s about all the odds and ends for tonight.

July 7th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

So glad the heat is gone. That was just incredible to see happening here in this area. It’s now much more tolerable – 60s & 70s – but the humidity has been around 90% a few mornings when I went out for a walk.

I took the freezer door off the fridge in the trailer on Thursday but could not fix the problem without new parts. One of the plastic hinge parts was broken and could not be fixed so I replaced both sides while it was apart and it should last for a while. Those were ordered the same day and got here today. After some trial and error I got them replaced this afternoon and the door works great.

I started working on the trailer windows but decided to not take the windows out. I am going to just dig out the old caulking and recaulk them. They don’t leak so I’d rather not take the chance of completely breaking the seal and then they start to leak.

I had to order new window sealant caulking and it will be here tomorrow. The stuff I have is clear so not only does it make it look unfinished, but worse yet you cannot see if the gap is sealed up or not! I should have the new white sealant here this week so I can seal the windows, door, and anything else. I can still use the tubes of clear that I have for stuff on the roof so it will not be wasted.

The back window is the biggest problem area for the windows. I had to slather it with silicone last year in a rainstorm to stop a leak. The moulding around the glass has shrunk and I don’t have the ability or knowledge to replace it myself. I’m afraid I’d break the glass so it’s going to have to go to the glass shop to be repaired.

Last week I sent my MacBook Pro in to trade in on a new iPad Pro to replace it. I got a really good trade in value on my computer. I will get much more use out of an iPad now than I did before. I can take it traveling much easier and it weighs less if I want to backpack travel.

I am getting a little stir crazy. I really need to find someplace to go. It’s a real pain in the ass having to work around yet another goddamn medical issue. I know this cardiac rehab is important but I need to get away really damn badly. Most areas are still very hot or on fire so I really can’t go very far. At this point getting away anywhere would help. Once I get the windows sealed on the trailer I will should be able to get away for almost a week and have enough time to get back for my appointment.

That’s about all for today’s update.

June 26th, 2021

Adventure

Words to live by

It’s pretty damn hot but I needed get out of the house for a bit today. Unfortunately we got a couple more days of even hotter weather. I hate this bullshit hot weather nonsense and it should not be this hot here. At least the truck has good air conditioning so I made good use of that whilst I was oot and aboot.

The afternoons seem to be the worst – it’s when the sun hits the west side of my place and really heats it up so I just cannot wait to see what the next few days bring. Oddly, late afternoons seem to be the worst time for the heat.

I thought I would try to go to Costco again while I was out since it was so busy the other day. I needed to get a few things so I got that taken care of. I have been eating lots of Deglet Noor dates as a part of my diet and they have big bags of them there; they are a healthy snack that are filling and really satisfies the sweet tooth. I got a few other things and went on to another store to find some fresh fruit before heading home.

My new passport came today so even though I have no firm plans to go anyplace right now it was really exciting to get that and I really look forward to using it. I got one with extra pages when I ordered this one – I plan on using the hell out of it so I figured the extra pages was a good idea. I am dreaming of going to Amsterdam and Ireland again as soon as I can, but with a stopover in Iceland so we’ll see what happens. It’s an easy trip to go alone if necessary. There are many places I want to visit in The Netherlands I have not seen so I can find places to go. But, checking Google Flights, it is pretty damn expensive to fly internationally at the moment. I’ll keep looking.

It’s too hot to work on the trailer refrigerator so I have to put that off for a few days. At least the fridge works – I just cannot freeze anything with the freezer door not working. I do have my cooler to fall back on as well, but I honestly do not freeze much. I don’t really use much ice in my water – I want to quench my thirst without a brain freeze. I am not really drinking vodka anymore these days either so no mixed drinks.

Speaking of booze, I bought some wine and it has been going down way too easily on these hot days. I got a box (!) of Franzia Chillable Red and it is refreshing on a hot day. The box says it is 34 glasses of wine but I think I got 13 so someone is not measuring correctly. What are they using…shot glasses? I know I am not!

I got out fairly early this morning to beat the heat and did a two-mile walk, then I walked another mile with a friend before it got too much later or hotter. I may go out for another walk around 9:00 PM when it cools off (or it may be a stumble…depends on how many glasses of wine I have!). I have been kind of slacking on my walking the last few days because it has been warm. I am still getting in over two miles a day since I have been busy with the trailer prep and running errands.

I have been trying to keep from heating the house up any more than necessary so if I want to cook anything I do it early and/or do it on the grill if possible. This afternoon was barely tolerable and tomorrow is supposed to be warmer so I may need to go visit people with some air conditioning. Not many people up here have it, but a few friends do and have invited me over to partake.

That is about all for tonight.

June 13th, 2021

Adventure

I had a cardiologist appointment last week and everything was pretty good. I will be continuing my blood thinners until early next year. That means no new tattoos until after I stop taking those. Bummer. But, if it helps my health that is a better option and it hopefully won’t be permanent. I guess the timing will work out fine for a return to Europe to get more ink over there. With full flights and the crazy arrogant assholes on those flights it is just as well to wait until the stupid calms down. At least in the meantime I can pack up and go someplace…it is even possible this week! I guess we will both be surprised.

Now that my urgent medical stuff is taken care of (he said, knocking on wood…) and I get my truck back tomorrow, I am now freed-up to get out on some local trips. I am getting the trailer closer to ready to go. I am re-mounting the spare tire on the trailer tomorrow; I took it off to save a little weight but the tire just takes up too much room inside my truck and it really limits what I can carry inside or in the truck bed. The dog’s crate is plastic and doesn’t fold down so it takes up most of the back seat; it won’t fit in the trailer door either, which is all well and good since the trailer is small. I am going to have think about getting a collapsible one for the road to save some room.

I know, buddy…I’ll be there to get you soon…

Once I get some trips out of my system and we get into drier weather I will take the shower apart after I work on sealing the windows. I have not forgotten…just too many things, like rain, a heart attack and heart surgery, that kept me from doing it yet this year when we had the nicer weather.

I still have not unboxed and put oil in my new generator for a test so that is on my agenda too. Right now I cannot lift it with my surgery restrictions but I think in another month I will be doing that. With the popularity of “camping” now I think campgrounds are gonna be jammed with people and I hope it won’t be difficult to find a spot in the forests to park for a few days. That is my preference but in this area even those spots are sometimes hard to find and I find that safety issues can be a real problem these days.

It’s been odd getting back into some normalcy. I can travel again, I have no appointments until next year, but since I believe in real science and facts I am still taking precautions from the ‘rona and will for a long time to come. It’s hard to change some of those habits, like not being able to do much, lifting restrictions, no dog, and no real travel. Between the pandemic and health issues I have been really locked down and now that I am able to go places and do things within reason I have had trouble thinking of destinations. Yeah I went to Montana in March but it was a fast trip. I was a little concerned with not just the weather but also I had just had a heart attack and was waiting for surgery. There are some vast areas of nothing along the route so that was in the back of my mind.

But now I see the future getting brighter and it’s really very uplifting and positive for me. Working on and in the trailer is getting me excited to go hit the road. Even though I will not get on a plane yet I have been bingeing quite a few international travel shows and that is getting me excited to go overseas (or even just up to Canada) again. I just know not to get my hopes up quite yet as things are changing constantly. I am starting to think about places I want to visit and will begin a list of where I want to go, knowing it may be a while yet. At least I would have that part done.

As I watch these travel and food shows I keep finding new things to add to my bucket list. Adding a few new entries to that list the other day I noticed I am really getting quite a collection of domestic things to see and do and places to eat. I will be figuring out how to make it to all these places too. I am still intent on getting the last three of the 50 states and most of the bucket list things I want to see and do are along the way. I should be freed up to be able to do that trip now. If Canada is not open yet when I get up there well it looks like I am staying “local”.

That’s all the dreaming for now…