Archive forJune, 2009

Come On Baby Light My Fire…

Light My Fire…

 

Staying in a rain forest can put a damper on having a campfire. Literally. So when the weather permits, and Brian doesn’t think “There’s already too many fires going. We don’t need to add more smoke to the air”, we light one. Like most people who utilize campgrounds, I enjoy sitting around a good campfire, relaxing and watching the flickering colorful flames, while sparks burst out in search of the nearest tree, clothing (preferably new) and exposed skin. Then there’s the roasting of hot dogs, which, of course, is the only way to prepare them. I realize that hot dogs are a questionable source of nutrition and we seldom have them, but there’s just something about a campfire that makes me crave a hot dog, so I figure what the heck, you only live once. Anyway, Brian doesn’t have any patience when it comes to waiting in line ups at the grocery store (or any other store for that matter) and yet he’ll take hours, truly, to roast his hot dog. Waiting for the fire to burn down to coals, holding the stick at just the right distance while slowly turning it until, as the sun is beginning to break over the horizon, the hot dog is evenly cooked. Forget that! Put the hot dog on the darn stick, thrust it just over or slightly into the flames, turning it until it splits or actually catches fire, and be done with it. So what if it’s a little burnt crispy on the outside and there’s a bit of ash residue after it fell off the stick and was rescued. And so it may or may not be done on the inside. That’s what condiments and coctails are for.

Anyway…The other day the weather had cooled down quite a bit. I was enjoying the fire that took mister, I have to tediously and methodically place each stick just so and then move them around endlessly while the fire flares up and dies repeatedly, 45 minutes to get going, and watched Brian as he removed 3 good size rocks from around the fire pit and placed them into the fire.

“You realize that’s not wood” I said, wondering if, perhaps, he had consumed more coctails that I had.

“I told you the other night that I thought we should heat up some rocks and put them in the RV and see if it warms up.”

“Uhh huhh.” was all I could think to say, as I scrambled to recall that conversation.

Over the next hour or so he tended the fire as only a wannabe pyromaniac does, and we discussed where the rocks would be placed and what they would be placed on once inside the RV. I don’t care that hundreds of years ago they place hot rocks inside the bed to warm it up. Heated rocks were NOT going into our bed. Microwaveable wheat bags take care of that rather nicely now, thank you very much.

The floor near the entrance of the RV was the chosen spot. I was a little leery of his suggestion that the rocks be placed on top of wood blocks but he was confident that they wouldn’t burn as he didn’t think they would be THAT hot. So I sat on the edge of the sofa right next to the door and watched as he first placed the wood pieces on the floor and then……The first rock is brought in and I immediately smell and see the smoke coming from it as he places in on the wood. As my eyes begin to react, the second rock is brought in adding to the interior smoke, and just before he shows up with the third rock, the fire alarm goes off and I quickly reach it and pull the battery off so the neighbors don’t come running or worse yet the fire department. I wasn’t sure how our explanation of warming up the RV with hot rocks, when we have a perfectly good furnace and space heater at our disposal, would be received by anyone coming to offer aid and there wasn’t enough coctails left to go around. At this point we leave the door open while it clears. The smoke dies down, but the smell of burnt wood is still strong, so Brian moves one of the rocks to find the wood….drumm roll please….burning underneath. Now, I’m not one to say I told you so, so I won’t. His next idea to place the cooking grill from the bbq under the rocks first was put into action and did indeed work, and it wasn’t long before we were curled up warm and comfy in the RV.

 

hot-rocks_3Note that there were 3 original rocks, but one split in 2.

 

This is the point where I’d like to give Brian credit. He has such an inquisitive mind, and he’s always thinking of how things work, how they can be improved or simply done differently and sometimes, as in this case, just for the fun of it, put something to the test or in this instance his test, and although the result may come by a different route than originally anticipated, which is usually half the fun, it’s always a learning experience.

And so after making sure the cell phone had a full charge (in case of emergency, wink) we climbed into bed and turned out the light, while the rocks continued to provide heat.

“Goodnight Dear”

“The fire extinguisher is by the door, right?”

“Yes Dear.”

J

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This And That…

This And That….

 

There’s this…

We recently took the motorcycle to the farm to load it on to a truck and take it out to British Columbia where our RV is. As we were going to be at the farm for a few days and the truck was being used for other purposes (see last post) the bike would be left out by the driveway, uncovered and at the mercy of whatever the weather wanted to throw at it. After I queried Brian about maybe putting a tarp over it for protection, he informed me he had one in the truck, although it might be a little worn. I assumed that worn meant thin, faded and perhaps a little raggedy. He did indeed produce a tarp. A green tarp. And with each of us taking the 4 corners, we shook out the green tarp with the intent of covering the bike. Well as it unfolded, the “worn” area was exposed, along with anything on the ground underneath it. Oh, it was worn….worn right through and down the middle producing a big gaping hole. The picture below is worth much more than a thousand words.

 

 

 

suzuki-tarp-3

 

While he failed to see the humor in it, I laughed so hard, I could barely speak, and as I tried to suggest that we dispose of it, Brian the “I Can’t Throw Anything Away For A Least 20 Years” guy, reminds me it can still be used to lay on when working on one of the vehicles, to which, between the snorts I’ve now developed, I say “Yes Dear”. So as I pick myself up off the ground, dust myself off, and wipe away the tears running down my face, he neatly folds up the tarp and places it ever so carefully back on it’s shelf in the truck, to be used another day. And so the bike was left at the mercy of the weather. We now have it in the rain forest with us, and Brian did put a blue tarp over it a few days. Then he soon took it off again as, although it looked ok to me, he thought it looked horrible as it had a bit of dusty white patches. I looked around us at other RV sites and see FAR worse than his tarp, which probably would have been easily washed up, but noooooo. The way he went on about it, you’d have thought it was going to bring complaints from the neighbors or worse yet bring down the property value. Oh wait, we don’t own any property here. We’re in a campground. And so, once again, the bike is left at the mercy of the weather, plus the neighbor dogs, and a variety of feathered friends.  

 

And then there’s this…

As you know we, live in an older model RV (No roll outs). This, of course, means dealing daily with small spaces. The bedroom, aka closet, has room enough for a mattress with three out of the four sides of it against the walls, with a 1’x1’ cupboard attached to the outside edge, at both ends, in case you can’t decide which end is the head. This makes the bed 1’ away from the kitchen. The upside to this is that can we make coffee every morning without actually getting out of bed. The downside is that the door is an accordion style plastic kind of thing that glides along a slider at the top, and if you want to go to the bedroom in a huff because you’ve just had a “difference of opinion” with someone else in the RV, you loose the dramatic effect of slamming the door. Try slamming THAT and all you get is a wobbly accordion plastic door that pretty much goes nowhere… I KNOW! Hmmmph.

 

And finally…

Get out your pencil. The Campground is owned by:

a)     A nudist colony

b)     Tibetan Monks

c)      A local chapter of Hells Angels

d)     The Green Party

 

We were chatting with one of our neighbors the other day, and we discovered that the campground we stay in has been owned and operated by a nudist colony for over 30 years. Yup, I said nudist colony. Nope, I’m not posting any pics. Apparently it was an active colony years ago, but has settled into a “regular” style campground over time. The adjacent property (We wondered why the fence was so high) is still used for those who wish to camp in their birthday suits, but rumor has it that it’s the same “Old” crowd. Eewww! I can just picture a few old naked Tibetan Monks sitting around the campfire with a few old naked Hells Angels chatting it up with a few old naked members of the Green Party…..On second thought that’s a visual I can do without.

 

And that’s that J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ONE MORE TIME ….

One More Time ….

As you may remember from my last post, we had just returned from Alberta and I was enjoying being home in the RV again. Well that lasted 3 days. Yup, 3 whole days and we were on the road BACK to Alberta…again. I KNOW! Why, you ask? Hmmm, let’s see. Could it be we already missed everyone? Sorry but no. Perhaps we craved the never ending construction zones? Ah, no again. Or maybe there was an emergency? Well not as I saw it. Brian, however, found online, in Alberta, a big old 1972, 361 cubic inch displacement, Fargo truck that apparently needed to be rescued and he was just the one to do it.

“Why do you want a big old truck that isn’t running?” I ask, hoping

he’s joking.

“Look at it! It’s fantastic!” He replies while practically jumping out

of his seat with childlike excitement. Damn, he’s not joking.

“What if it needs a lot of work? How and when will you work on it,

and I thought we were fixing up the boat right now to sell it?”

“Oh, it’s just the timing chain. From what it says here, I’m sure

that’s it. I can fix that easily.”

Don’t you just love it when guys say things and expect us to believe it in hopes we’ll quietly go along because perhaps we really don’t understand much about the topic at hand? Now I know he’s quite the mechanic, but giving a “sure” diagnosis from a description given by someone trying to get rid of an old truck taking up space in his yard, is like me saying I’m sure you have the Swine Flu because you sneezed after visiting the petting zoo yesterday. Just not enough information. That, and the fact that I’ve witnessed his “It’s not hard to fix”, “The parts should be easy to find” and “It’ll only take a couple of hours”, turn into “@%&#. Whoever designed this should be shot!”, “@%&#. I can’t believe the parts are so hard to find!” and “@%&#. I should be done this by now!”.

“How are you going to get it to the farm?” I ask.

“I might be able to fix it right there and drive it. If not then I’ll use

my diesel truck (It’s at the farm,) to tow it. I replaced the fuel pump

last week when we were there, and it ran. Aaaand we could also use

the diesel to bring the motorcycle back here. Pretty smart, eh?”

I hate when he makes a valid point, as we did want to get the bike here. The Fargo truck, however, was another matter, but the look on his face told me we were heading back to Alberta to at least take a look at it and if nothing else, we’d be bringing the motorcycle back. So after making a call to verify the old truck was still for sale, we packed up the car, with more tools that luggage, and were out the door the following morning, heading for Hope and our morning coffee.

The next day (Sunday) we ventured off from Calgary to Mossleigh, Alberta. Quaint little town, Mossleigh. I thought Busby (Where the farm is) was small, but seriously, this towns “Welcome” sign and “Thanks For Visiting” sign were within 5 feet of each other. We had to turn around and approach it again at a crawl, and sure enough at the 4 foot mark, we knew we’d found the right place, because parked at the entrance was THE big old 1972, 361cid, Fargo truck.

Now trying to make a long story short, let me just say that all the parts were NOT put together. Some were, although at the moment not clarified, in the back box of the truck. One or two were MIA, or better yet MI-unA . The tow bar was rather questionable in its reliability and legality and there was not a gas tank to be found. Anyway, we left with a promise to call the seller one way or the other. By the time we got back to Calgary, it was my understanding that Brian was not buying the truck as there was probably too much to be done to it. Sounded good to me. Our next step, then, was for him to drive the motorcycle, with me following in the car, to the farm, where said bike would be placed on the diesel truck and taken home to the RV.

On Monday, we did indeed make it to the farm. However, that’s when another chapter was added the story. When Louse and I went outside for some fresh air and a chat, the guys (Brian, Terry and James), began discussing the old truck, and sure enough, by the time I came back in, plans were made for Brian and James to take the diesel truck and go back and get the Fargo truck….I KNOW! You can’t leave them unsupervised for a minute…Aaack! So on Wednesday, James spent his 30th birthday with his dad on a mission to make it to Mossleigh (4-5 hr trip), pick up the Fargo, and get back to the farm (6-7 hr trip with tow) before dawn. After spending and hour or two finding and renting a reliable and legal tow bar, they headed back with one geriatric truck towing another larger, geriatric truck, and at 03:02 a.m. …yawn… both the men and the trucks pulled into the yard. They were tired. They were smiling. They had completed their mission. Cheers!

Thursday had the guys spending a bit of time checking out the brakes and such.

Definition of Such: Whatever is in, under, attached to,

hanging from or appears to be in any

way, part of a vehicle.

fargo-truck-inevitable

fargo-truckfarm

At this point the truck is parked out back to be…SURPRISE…tinkered with another day. Friday we returned the tow bar, which meant an extra trip back to the Calgary area. We spent the night with James and Natasha and hit the road on Saturday, where I spent 10 hours staring at the back of the diesel truck and the bike, with my trusty walkie/talkie at hand in case the bike looked like it was becoming unstable. In the end it was mostly used for letting Brian know I needed a pee break. But we’re back now, the diesel truck is at Mikes car lot as Brian wants to sell it, and the bike is being enjoyed in the nice weather. Oh the boat? Well it’s still in the water, still floating and still on the To Do list.

Sorry we didn’t have more time to visit with friends and family, but if our track record is any indicator, plus the fact the Fargo truck needs to be worked on, we’ll see you all soon. J

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