Friday, September 30, 2005

News about our newest Team Member.
Do you remember Ms. Della Latitude? She was our newest Team Member, a laptop computer who got sent back because she would not operate. Well, we had a big Team Meeting yesterday, and decided that we really needed to have a backup computer. What would we do, for example, if while in Mexico Mr. Chips crashed and we would not be able to get online? Wouldn't that be just terrible? Hmmmm?

So, last nite we placed an order for another laptop. But this time it was for a brand new laptop from Dell Computer. So our newest Team Member is now Ms. Della Inspiron. And we are very inspired to tell you about her! Ms. Della will be delivered to Aunt Shirley and Uncle Seymour's home in a couple of weeks. On our trip south, we will stop and visit and of course, pick up Ms. Della Inspiron.

9PM - Camping in the City of Antioch.
We have come to Antioch to shop for short pants at a store named, "Work World." This store sells George's favorite short pants, so we have come here to buy some.

11AM - Some readers wonder when The Team will be on the road again?
During the past week, we have received emails asking when we will be heading out again? MsTioga and The Team will be leaving our homebase of Concord and heading south toward Mexico around the middle of next week.

But this question brings up what we will be doing in Mexico this year? Our plan is to stay in our adopted Mexican home town of Santa Rosalia. We intend to become a part of the community during the winter months. It is not clear how we will accomplish this goal. Our blog will tell the story of the people that we meet, the friends that we make and our daily life in the Town of Santa Rosalia.

California gasoline mileage less for MsTioga!
MsTioga keeps track of her gasoline mileage. All thru Canada, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon, MsTioga's mileage averaged about 8.5 miles per gallon. When we entered California, MsTioga's gasoline mileage plummeted to 6.5 miles per gallon. Wow! The gasoline in California is more expensive and appears to be not as good.


No Google map link today.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Our backup camera needs a nite lite.
Ms. RV Looking is our backup camera. She works great during the day. However at nite, even though she has a nite/day selection mode, nothing can be seen. Last nite we experimented with a nite lite, and it seemed to help. This nite lite will have to be pretty brite.

And that is what today's item on the "To-Do" list is going to be. Finding, buying and installing a nite lite for Ms. RV Looking.

12 - Noon Trying out a halogen bulb for the backup camera nite lite.
Looking for the simplest method of illumination, a halogen bulb is being fitted into the backup light fixture. Tonite we will test it out to see how well this works.

9PM - Backup Camera nite lite experiment.
The trial to see if the halogen lite would allow Ms. RV Looking to see at nite failed. Not enough lite came thru the lense of MsTioga's backup lite fixture. It seems as though a new lite fixture will have to be mounted. One that gives a lot of lite.

Late in answering emails.
I am late in answering many emails. Some unanswered emails go back to September 20th. I want to answer all email, but may not be able to catch up until the end of next week.


No Google map link today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

MsTioga's "To-Do" list is getting smaller.
We are happy to see so many completed items on our "To-Do" list! There are still many items left, but the hardest (and most expensive) things are now done.

Reducing noise inside MsTioga.
MsTioga wants to be able to drive down any road, and make no noise at all. This is very hard to do, especially when driving off paved roads. Mainly, we are talking about noise from things rattling around in our cabinets. At a Team Meeting a few weeks ago, MsTioga wondered what would happen if all of her cabinets were lined with carpet? Would this cut down on rattling noise while driving on unpaved roads?

Today we will go and get some carpet, cut it to size, and line the bottom of our cabinets.

4PM - Reader emails that MsTioga is too much work!
This afternoon a reader sent an email, and he wrote:
"It seems that there is too much work to do in order to live in your RV. Is it worth it?"

This question really makes us on The Team wonder. Worth it? Wow! Here we are traveling anywhere that we want, camping in wonderful places. We are able to work on MsTioga at these beautiful places. It is a joy to do this work. It is a gift from heaven!

Perhaps it is a mystery for some to understand why even working hard to maintain MsTioga is a fantastic thing? Take right now, for example. We are making this post from what we call Blue Rock Camp. In the pic below, I am resting at this camp. Yes, our Camp is only on a street in my son's neighborhood. But it is also my home. And that is the beauty of it. Because anywhere that I go, anywhere that that I Camp, I am home!


George and MsTioga loving our RV life at Blue Rock Camp.


No Google map link today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mr. Sunny gets his solar battery deep cleaned.
The Team is Day Camped in lovely Newhall Park, and ready to work on our next "To-Do" list item.

Once each year, Mr. Sunny's battery bank is disassembled for cleaning. Last year the batteries became to hard for George to lift. This year we bought a battery lug lift handle in order to carry the batteries to the sink for cleaning. It is not possible to properly do our maintenance with the batteries remaining in their bank location.

Each 6 volt deep cycle battery sits in its own plastic battery tray. These battery trays are very important. Batteries seem to exude electrolyte, no matter how clean they are maintained. At least once each year, we take apart the entire battery bank, clean each battery all over, along with the battery trays and the entire battery compartment. Each copper cable end is cleaned until the copper is shiny bright. Battery studs are cleaned. All nuts, washers, lock washers are cleaned or replaced as necessary.

2PM - Battery bank cleaning job is finished.
This is a long hard job. Hard because the batteries are heavy and awkward to lift. This may be the last time George is able to do the annual battery maintenance without help.

In the pic below, Mr. Mavica catches George resting just after cleaning all of Mr. Sunny's six deep cycle batteries. Do you see the batteries are on the carpet next to George? After the battery bank area is cleaned, the batteries will be put back and the cables and wires reattached.


A little rest after cleaning
the battery bank.


No Google map link today.

Monday, September 26, 2005

MsTioga visiting Jose the Mechanic!
Early this morning MsTioga, went over to see her friend, Jose the Mechanic whose shop is in the City of Concord. MsTioga trusts Jose, because he has done excellent work before, and does not charge too much money!

MsTioga has several things to get tweaked:
  • Steering oil leak?
  • MsTioga has a very slow oil leak coming from her steering gear box.
  • Cooler engine on hills?
  • MsTioga complains that her engine gets too hot sometimes. Not overheated, but just too hot. We want to get a recommendation; Tranny cooler? Engine Cooler? Both?
  • Shock absorbers?
  • MsTioga sways or rocks side-to-side when going over uneven surfaces. She wants to find out why? Maybe MsTioga needs big truck shock absorbers?

1PM - Installing new shocks!
The work at Jose's Auto Service is going fine. In the pic below, Jose shows the new shocks to be installed into MsTioga, as George looks on.


Jose shows our new Monroe shocks.

5PM - MsTioga is all done at Jose's Auto Service.
MsTioga has new shocks, and new fan clutch, a new steering box and her rear end fluid was changed! MsTioga is feeling great!


MsTioga, George, Jose, Rodrigo and Eduardo in front of Jose's Auto Service.

Sad news about Ms. Della Latitude.
Do you remember that our newest team member, Ms. Della Latitude, a Dell Latitude laptop computer had to go back for replacement? Today we had to cancel that order, and ask for our money back.

With all of the shipping back and forth charges, the cost of Ms. Della was getting closer to a low-end brand new Dell laptop. We will have to think about waiting a bit to get a laptop.


Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Sunday, September 25, 2005

7AM - Cleaning House!
Last Friday I posted about getting rid of stuff that I do not use. This morning starting around 5AM, everything was taken of each cabinet, one by one. The cabinet was scrubbed, cleaning all of the dust and dirt. Then, only the items that we use were returned to the cabinet. Wow! There is a LOT of stuff gone.

Now we have tons of space with empty shelves and even an entirely empty cabinet. Does this mean that we can now go shopping?

EmptyCabinetA09-25-2005Copy EmptyCabinetC09-25-2005Copy

MsTioga's empty shelves. [Thumbnails]

3PM - Day Camped in Concord High School's parking lot.
While dumping trash from this morning's house cleaning, we came upon some of MsTioga's old curtains. These are just about the right size for our new cabover curtains! So, we put these old curtains up. Wow! Because these cabover curtains are forward of our old long curtains, they give the feeling of more room when closed.


Cabover curtains compared to old curtains.


No Google map link today.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Going to breakfast with Mr. Dick!
Our own Mr. Chips has a very good friend whose name is Mr. Dick. Mr. Chips and Mr. Dick have written 100s of emails to each other. We received an email invitation to breakfast this morning from Mr. Dick, and are meeting with him at "Country Waffles" located in the City of Clayton, California. We on The Team do not know exactly what a country waffle tastes like, or how this waffle is different from other waffles, but we hope to find out and let you know.

9AM - Country Waffles for breakfast.
Mr. Dick and George went to eat at Country Waffles. We found out that a country waffle is a nice crisp Belgian style waffle that tastes great! After breakfast, Mr. Dick went to MsTioga to visit with his good friend, Mr. Chips and also to chat with the rest of The Team.


Mr. Dick visits with The Team. [Clickable thumbnail]

2PM - Ms. RV Looking gets her cable re-routed!
As you may know, Ms. RV Looking is our wonderful backup camera system. Her cable routing needs tweaking, because the cable is somewhat exposed in its run from the camera on MsTioga's rear to the monitor up front.

In the clickable thumbnail below, you may see Ms. RV Looking's cable running from an upper cabinet, along the top of the window header and then down the right side of the window treatment. The cable then runs along the floor inside of MsTioga to the monitor on the new front table. We hope to make Ms. RV Looking's cable completely concealed.


Concealing cable running inside MsTioga [Clickable thumbnail]

4PM - Re-routing cable was a tough job, but it is done!
The job was tough because it got pretty warm inside MsTioga. There are only a few tiny places where Ms. RV Looking's video cable may be seen. Don't you like it when you finish a "to-do" and are able to mark it done on your list?!

Mr. Chips and George need help with Cascading Style Sheets.
Are you really good with HTML code and especially Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)? Hmmmm? Mr. Chips and George bought the book, "HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS." We need some help debugging our code.

If you know CSS, please write, OK? Our email addresses are in the "Contact" link at the bottom of this page in our footer. Thank you sooooo much!

7PM - Stealthy Evening Camp.
MsTioga found a place to make her Evening Camp in the parking area of some closed stores. MsTioga is renowned for her stealthy ways, and sometimes even though she is sooooo famous, appears almost invisible to neighbor's eyes.


Our stealth Evening Camp off Clayton Road in the City of Concord.


No Google map link today.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Curtain project!
Now that we have ordered the new privacy curtains that will hang from MsTioga's cabover shelf, the next thing to do is install a curtain rail. The problem with buying curtain rods, is that they do not turn corners easily. So, we are making are own curtain rail out of pieces of aluminum angle that we bought from Yard Birds yesterday. This morning we will be fabricating this aluminum angle so that it will bend around the corners of the cabover shelf in order for the curtains to open and close.

Mr. Mavica has promised to take pics so that you may see what this curtain rod is all about, OK?

10AM - Fabbing up the curtain rail.
Thank goodness for David's workshop! David has a ton of tools. In the pic below, the curtain rail is being notched so that it will fit into MsTioga and make the required bend. David's wood cutting blade is being used to cut aluminum here. Do you think that we should buy him a new blade? Hmmmm?


Notching the aluminum curtain rail.

12 Noon - Curtain rail is finished!
In the left pic below, Mr. Mavica shows you the installed curtain rail. Isn't it shiny? These are thumbnail pics and you may enlarge them by clicking. The pic on the right shows a closeup of the curtain rail section that is curved. Do you see the little drapery hook hanging from the rail? Hmmm?

The deteriorated shelf behind the curtain rail [right thumbnail] was from water damage before MsTioga met George. Fixing this damage will be part of a future project.

CurtainRailInstalled09-23-2005Copy CurtainRailB09-23-2005Copy

Finished and installed curtain rail. [Click to enlarge]

Lunch time!
The Team has moved to the lovely Newhall Park in Concord. George is having lunch here. Wanna know what is on the menu? BBQ beef ribs, a donation from son David. Also, baked beans and corn. Sounds good, huh?

Getting rid of stuff that I don't use.
When I decided to become a fulltime RVer and not have a stick home anymore, there was lots of stuff to get rid of in order to fit everything that I owned inside MsTioga. Just before I took off forever, I was giving away stuff with both hands. Man! Even now I am still getting rid of stuff that I don't ever use. I'm beginning to wonder about how little I need in order to live this fabulous life?!

One of the projects while at my homebase is to go over every single thing inside MsTioga and make a decision. Keep it or get rid of it. You would not believe at how much storage room is beginning to show up. And as I get rid of unused stuff, I am beginning to feel really good about all of this empty storage space.

Could it be that having a bunch of stuff is a not a good thing? Hmmmm?


No Google map link today.