July 24th, 2021

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

Haven’t seen this livery in a long time!

As I begin this post I’m in a shuttle bus on my way to the airport. It’s quiet, partly because it is 6:30 in the morning. It’s also quiet because they showed up maskless and I had one on when they arrived and I was asked if I prefer everyone mask up. I said “Well yeah because of what’s going on with the surge. Mandates are coming again Monday anyway.”. I’ll just leave it at that.

I am headed the airport to fly to Missouri to help Meghan out while she goes out to work on a forest fire. Certainly not excited about flying right now. I am really not looking forward to the weather either. I’m also not looking forward to going to a ‘rona hotspot but I’m heading back into lockdown mode myself and avoiding people anyway.

I’m going to pick up my dog and bring him home after nearly six months of him being gone. It’s gonna be so weird to have him back but I’m excited at the same time. I am sure he will be so excited to see me and get home too.

I’m also picking up my new (to me) vehicle and driving it back so I am going to get my road trip on after all! No idea which direction I’ll be driving back yet. I’ll know when I leave!

I’m glad I saw the problem with my Avalanche before I pulled the trailer halfway across the country. I’ll be getting it ready to sell when I get back. I think the issue is not as bad as I thought originally. I think it is just the rubber boot on the axle and not the joint itself. It should not be too expensive to fix it.

At the airport it is pretty busy. Way too busy, but at least everyone is masked up even though half don’t have their mask on correctly. Gotta cover the nose people; it’s not a jockstrap for your chin. I forgot my hand sanitizer but they had overpriced sanitizer wipes so I had to buy a pack. It’s easier than the liquid too.

Like everyone else, though, I am flying too so I am no different. We all have our different reasons and justifications for flying. I really cannot wait to get this over-with. I have to go to DFW then on a puddle jumper to MO.

I have snacks but breakfast was very early and now I am used to eating meals and not snacks and garbage foods. Traveling like this makes it difficult to do the diet but I will stick with it as much as I can. It’s a very long travel day, though, so I’ll be having to find something to eat at DFW. The turkey wrap on the plane menu was 24g of fat! I just cannot do that.

I wear stretchy cargo pants when I travel. And no, they are not like leggings so don’t get too excited dreaming of that mental image. They look like regular pants and are comfy and practical for travel. I will definitely not wear shorts on a plane; done it before and froze my ass off, plus my bare legs are not going on those seats.

Cargo pants give me places to put things without having to dig into my backpack suitcase (I will not check bags when I fly). Sanitizing supplies, masks, gloves…all in one pocket. Phone and cables, chargers, AirPods in the other side. They may not be for everyone but I am making it easier on myself.

I always consolidate everything down into my backpack before going through security – phone, wallet…everything, Before I board the plane I organize and pack stuff into my pockets that I need on the plane so I have most everything I need. I want to minimize disrupting the boarding process. The sooner we load the sooner we can get off the ground on time or maybe even leave earlier.

On the plane it is kind of a strange vibe. It is quiet and everyone is mostly staying to themselves. Most certainly I am not the only one on this flight that ate an edible or two this morning before boarding. Wake & bake!!!

I got a pair of AirPods Pro and holy cow…the noise canceling is even better than my Bose headphones which had this weird whine during the noise canceling. I heard no plane noise and they sound fantastic. I see what all the talk is about. Very impressive. They are much easier to carry too so I cannot wait to take them to Europe.

Speaking of whine I got a glass of the red stuff. It came in a can and I asked the flight attendant “What, no wine in a box?”. Nothing tastes good out of a can, especially booze, and this was certainly no exception. It had paint thinner notes with more than a hint of aluminum. I had one and it was enough. I’m doing good anyhoo with the edibles kicked in.

The first leg of the journey has been very calm; a smooth flight and no one acting like an asshole (so maybe THEY ate some edibles too!). I was actually worried about people being ducks but maybe they are getting the message they have to abide…just like The Dude. There’s no food unless you pre-order it beforehand so check on that before you fly anywhere.

I decided I had to eat something and was open to options knowing what was available at the airport would not be remotely healthy. I was going to go to Panda Express to eat what they try to pass off as Chinese food but on the way I saw Smashburger. I never had one but wanted to try it out so I did that instead. I don’t know if it was because it was in an airport but I found it very underwhelming and not worthy of the hype.

The final leg of the journey was okay. A little more lively crowd but still no assholes. The short flight was on American Airlines. I liked the first leg on Alaska much better.

I was glad to be on the ground and maskless and even more glad to see everyone. Wearing a mask all day has not been horrible, and medical people do it every day. I think I just might be able to do this going to Europe with no problem if it opens up consistently. By the time I got to where I was going it was 16 hours in a mask. I could do a non-stop to Amsterdam no problem I believe.

I’ll post again soon!

July 23rd, 2021

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

Got my last appointment done today and it is the weekend. Yay x 2! I had to drive to Tacoma for the appointment and the weekend traffic was early today so it took a while longer to get back home. I also had to stop at the storage unit and clean stuff out of my truck. Mostly it was tools and stuff I was going to use for the trip in the trailer that isn’t going to happen yet. Again, I say 🤬.

I’ll figure out the next trip very soon. All this work I have been doing and getting a few new things for the trailer today is really getting me even more excited to go. I just gotta have a dependable vehicle and I hope to have that taken care of soon.

With that comes a bit of sadness, however. Selling my Avalanche. My parents bought it new so it has some real sentimental value for me. I believe it is the only vehicle that they ever bought new all those years on the planet. I will miss driving it and 18 years of familiarity. There’s even a little “character” from my mom backing into something, leaving a divot in the plastic body parts.

When I got home the painter was painting the front of my house so the door was taped off. I decided to just go to town and kill some more time and take care of any errands I needed to do before the weekend. I stopped by Goodwill to burn some time up and I actually found a few things for the trailer I could use.

I found a couple of coffee mugs that match the teal color on the trailer so that was kinda cool. Since they are plastic (lightweight and unbreakable bouncing down the highway unlike glass or ceramic) I don’t know if I will use them for coffee but I can use them for other things. I got a small coffee cup that holds maybe a double espresso, and then lo and behold I actually stumbled across a small Italian stovetop espresso maker to go with it! Hot damn! Coffee in the trailer is now solved. It is small and easy to store and use. I also got a brand new 2-quart Crock-pot that was still in the box…AND it was half price so it was ONLY $3! I can use that in the trailer as well or in the house. A few good scores.

Some really nice weather here right now – 60s & 70s, with sunshine every day with some fog early or marine layer some mornings. I wish I had a charcoal grill but it’s just as well I don’t. Burning restrictions are starting up in a few days as well as new mask mandates. We’ll leave that alone.

I had to quit drinking wine again. I started enjoying too much of the grape every night so it was time to stop for a while. Buying cheap wine is part of the problem – it’s, well…cheap, and it’s sweeter than good wines so on a hot day it goes down easy. I’m just taking a break from it for now; I’ll be washing wine glasses again before too long.

I started watching the “Chef” series, which is based on the movie I raved about last week. The series is just as good and it makes me hungry watching it. Lots of good foods and interesting people. Jon Favreau does a great job in this series as well as the movie. It’s really making me want to go crazy cooking again! I foresee a chicken caprese ciabatta in the very near future…

That’s it for this post. Be safe!

July 21st, 2021

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

It’s time.

I discovered today that my truck needs another repair so I am going to fix it and sell it. This time it is one of the front axles. The joint on the end of one side is going bad and has to be replaced.

I just cannot do this any longer. I am going to have to give up and get something else to drive that is dependable; I just cannot be left stranded someplace and I like to be in more solitude than campgrounds so that could be problematic. I don’t mind fixing things – that isn’t the issue – but if I am in the middle of nowhere and something breaks I am hosed. That being said, I guess it is better it is happening now instead of being on the trip I was planning to take. Grrr…🤬🤬. Oh well. Life marches on. I may get delayed a bit but not delayed forever.

I guess I will go ahead and finish getting stuff in the trailer tomorrow. I will be going somewhere eventually so I might as well do it since I have the time. I started on it a few days ago and did some more this morning in anticipation of finishing it up and taking an adventure. Instead I went to a few places to see if they can fix it and most places are booked out a few weeks or longer. I can still get by with it for now but it cannot go on without being fixed. It cannot get done until someone can fix it but at least I still have wheels unlike before.

Mechanical stuff does break and the truck does have a lot of miles. It’s all good. Frustrating, but good. The trailer has different systems than the truck and I have done my share of fixes there. But, the trailer doesn’t leave me stranded like the truck does.

I know the time and money and elbow grease I have put into the trailer will hopefully keep out going for quite a while. When I had that wheel bearing go out last year after they replaced it they checked the other side and greased it so it fan get down the road okay. I have definitely learned quite a lot about maintenance, upgrades and repairs on that trailer.

That’s it for tonight. Just needed to rant. Stay safe!

July 20th, 2021

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

One more appointment down today so that means only one more left this week. I am going to be taking off and hitting the road soon since I can free my schedule and go away for a few weeks. I am making some time for me; I will be going someplace and doing something. I need it. I deserve it.

After getting the air in the tires checked I took the trailer to wash it at the car wash. It is amazing to me to see older cars around here with moss on the roof and I had a couple of spots where that was happening a little. The trailer was dirty from just sitting and I will need a cover for it by this Fall.

Then I thought I would go by the glass shop to check on re-doing the rear window and see if whether or not they could do it in the trailer and get an estimate for that. Unfortunately they were out on a service call so I didn’t get to talk to anyone. Oh well, as long as it is not leaking that is okay but it looks bad and needs fixed so I will follow up on that soon.

The trailer is ready to go mechanically. I still have the rest of the caulking I will finish up soon, but I will be taking care of a few spots left that are of some concern in the next day or two. Otherwise there is nothing real major left to seal so it should go quick.

Inside the trailer, I have the bedding washed and packed and I’m starting to get some groceries in there. I packed some canned goods mainly (in case of rodents since you can’t trust those little bastards to stay out). I also packed a few other things up in a cabinet out of reach of invaders.

I will finish going through cookware to see that I have all I need and make any necessary changes. Since I like to cook, and I am used to them, it would be nice to have good pans and pots in the trailer but it is just not financially feasible. However, taking my enameled pots & pans would be pretty nice and they are easy to clean. I do have a small enameled Dutch oven in there so I can use it for a big pot or a frying pan. I have two sizes of cast iron skillets along in case I want to cook on a wood fire so I don’t ruin my other cookware, plus I can bake in them. I will be putting one of my woks in the trailer and can use it outside on my camp stove/oven combo.

This afternoon I met up with a friend and he & I went on a two mile hike. Felt good to get out and I definitely got some cardio in. A mid-60° kind of day, clear sky…great for a hike. Still got a sweat up though.

Tonight I portioned out some snacking items to take when I am ready to go. I weigh all of my foods and package snacks in zip bags to keep portions under thumb. I really hate using plastic bags (pollution) but they are easy and I use them over for many things like my popcorn; I buy bigger bags on sale to portion so it saves money.

I should be good for the road with snacks but it will be tough since I graze when I drive. That is why I do portion control and it has helped me lose weight. I will even be taking my scale with me. Go ahead…laugh your ass off. I am staying alive – I got shit to do.

I still look at my dieting app to see where I am at with nutrition amounts each time I want to eat something, be it a meal or a snack. And I adjust what I want to eat to stay within my max amounts as best as I can. If it means using a tool like this to help me it is well worth the $60 a year for my health.

I was asked at cardiac rehab if I think I can keep up the diet methods I am using and I said “yes” without hesitation. I feel I can and will do it. I may not portion stuff out into baggies as much, but yeah…I will get more familiar with portion sizes and I can stop doing that as much. I will continue to weigh most everything though, especially cooking meals.

Speaking of food, yesterday I took a trident salmon burger and tossed it on the grill. I sprinkled some water on top and sprinkled some taco seasoning on top. After 5-6 minutes I flipped it over and repeated the procedure. When done I shredded it up into a tortilla, tossed some romaine on top along with some low-fat cheese and fresh tomatoes. I finished it off with some Chipotle Salsa Cremosa made by Herdez. Oh man…I was really craving tacos and that took care of that.

I got some fruit yesterday called an “aprium”. I looked it up and sometimes they are called other names but the most common is a “pluot” (depends on a few things to determine what they are called). It a cross between an apricot and a plum. Incredibly juicy, sweet and delicious with a light, wonderful flavor.

Just wanted to close this post by passing along a safe cheap flights link that gives me a chance to win a free subscription. It is where I get my info for flights: http://fbuy.me/r8U0_.

Have a great night/day.

July 17th, 2021

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

What the…

The tree above is called a “monkey puzzle tree”. I did not know much about them other than there are a few around the area that I have seen in various places – you cannot miss something that unique.

I had to know more so I did look them up and they are from South America. It can grow up to 150 feet tall with a 7’ diameter trunk and, get this, can live for 700 years or more and up to 1000! It is a prehistoric tree that dates back 210 MILLION YEARS! Crikey!

I got more caulking done on the trailer today after a trip to do laundry and get a couple of things from the store. I’ll be working on it more tomorrow and now that I am getting better at doing it it’s going faster so I can be done with it this week hopefully. I got one of the storage compartments sealed up, a window, and one side of the front. The rear window is the only window left but I need to find out about getting it fixed so I will check into that before I seal it up in case it needs to be removed to fix it. I am hoping the wind dies down tomorrow so I am not getting hit with it all day while trying to get it finished.

The winds are still blowing, both literally and figuratively. It just won’t stop and I hate being out in the wind while trying to work on the trailer. We need rain pretty badly and the snowpack in the mountains is all gone now and the winds just dry things out quicker. Might be a scary Summer and Fall until we get some precipitation and the fire danger is extremely high. It has been averaging around 60° F here so it has been very pleasant as opposed to the 100° F weather we had a few weeks ago.

I am still planning on getting away someplace in the next week or two after I get some appointments out of the way. Cardiac rehab is the biggest hurdle to doing so but it is going good. I am learning some things about exercises and diet that I needed more info on. I feel confident I won’t need to go for the full 12 weeks and quite possibly even less.

I should be able to start riding my bike again in a few weeks so that will help with my exercise regimen. That will be strange to do. I won’t be riding to town anytime soon though. It’s hard to believe it has been almost three months since my bypass surgery and nearly six since my heart attack. My chest is still tingling & numb and that gets annoying since it seems to change all the time.

The new iPad and keyboard cover are awesome. I have been using it and trying to learn some new things about it, especially using the Apple Pencil. It is odd not having an old-school computer but I think I can make this work pretty well; it’s just a different way to use a computer. This tablet has plenty of power and a much better keyboard than my MacBook Pro did.

I am starting to replace my DVDs with digital downloads when I find them on sale. This also gives me a chance to see what DVDs I can get rid of. It also gives me a chance to revisit movies I used to like to see if I still like them enough to replace but I am certain that I won’t replace them all. Digital copies are sure a lot easier and some have special editions that are not available anywhere else.

That’s it for today’s entry.