Saturday, September 23, 2017

Got Internet Now, and a Trailer to Unload

Spent about 20 minutes on the phone getting my Boost Mobile 4G/LTE WiFi Hotspot reactivated.

It's a far cry from the 150 MB FiOS we had in Long Beach, but at least I have some connectivity.

We have to completely unload the trailer to get the ammo cans out, as I can't store ammo at the storage place.

Then I'll take the big trailer back to U-Haul, which is located on the South side of Fort Collins. Monday I'll go back there and rent a small open trailer, load up the items that I'm allowed to store, and drag them over to the storage place.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Final Leg of Journey Today

Looks like I-70 Eastbound is open again. Woke up early (for me) when the dog started making a ruckus to go potty, which she FINALLY did today.

This trip has been hard on her, as she's never been in the car for more than 20~30 minutes before.

Time to take a shower, get packed up here, fuel the Jeep, grab a BIG travel coffee, and head out towards Fort Collins.

The Kids don't really have any Internet service at their place in Bellvue, so I'll be using one of my wireless 4G hotspots, *IF* I can get a connection.

If I can't get a connection, posting might be pretty spotty for the next month until we get settled in whatever house we buy.

Talk at y'all later today.......

Thursday, September 21, 2017

In Grand Junction for the Night. Next Stop....Fort Collins

Long day driving. Not so much in hours, but in "mental calculation load" terms.

We filled up in St. George before we left, and then twice more. The Jeep was guzzling fuel like crazy towing the loaded trailer through the mountains. Tomorrow we cross the Rockies, IF we can get through the Vail Pass. A semi truck heading West went out of control, crossed all the Eastbound lanes, and then crashed into the side of the mountain and burst into flames. CoDOT is working to clear the mess, but as of  1811, the pass was still closed.

The CoDOT website gives a detour route, and hopefully if Vail Pass is still closed tomorrow they'll have the detour signs in place.

I'll check again Friday morning after we have breakfast.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Made it to St. George

Had very little traffic leaving L.A., so I guess leaving at 1000 on a Wednesday is a good idea.

Went through Vegas around 1600~1630 and hit quite bit until we got out of the city.

Then smooth sailing to our arrival in St. George.

The trailer tows fine, but I think they should have spread the weight of the heavy items a bit more evenly, rather than concentrating almost all of it in the very front of the trailer.

I think it's a bit "nose heavy", but these guys have been packing stuff for 14 years, so I'll cut them some slack.

Tomorrow will be a drive from the SW corner of Utah up to where the I-15 and the I-70 split. My wife took the 15 into Salt Lake City, and will catch I-,80 go through Southern Wyoming, and then catch I-25 South, and come into Fort Collins from the North.

I typically take I70 East, go through the Rockies, and catch I-25 in Denver. Since my son has never seen the Rockies, I think we'll take that route.

Next Stop, UTAH!

Just finished loading "The 1%" remaining in the Jeep and trailer. As soon as the dog finishes up her business in the back yard, we're outta here.

See you tonight, God willin' and the circk don't rise.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I'm Too Tired To Think Straight.....

12 hour marathon.

House and garage are packed into the 6 U-Boxes (God are those things flimsy JUNK!) and the overflow filled about 2/3 of the 6'x12' trailer.

The house in 99% empty, and the remaining things will go with me, my son, and the dog when we depart Long Beach Wednesday morning.

I was wondering why me feet were hurting so much, and then I inspected the Denali boots I was wearing all day.

They're worn out and shot, and I've only been wearing them for six months!

I not only hurt in places I forgot I had, but hurt in places I didn't know I had.

Next post will most likely be from St. George, UT, our first night's stop. I'm pretty sure we'll need to get gas in Baker, CA, and one place I want to stop is "Arne's Royal Hawaiian Hotel", and abandoned hotel where the two guys on RoadKill made a stop.

I'm hitting the showers, then the sack.

G'night, all.........

T Minus ONE and Counting.....

Good Lord....this is the most monumental PITA I've ever been through.

The packing/loading guys are here filling up the six "U-Boxes" that U-Haul dropped off and positioned yesterday, and "1-800-GOT-JUNK" is coming by for another load.

This is stuff I really wanted to keep, and have definite future uses for, but I'm dumping it to keep peace, or at least try to.

If the marriage survise this, it should be damn near bullet-proof in the future.

My son is coming over tonight after he gets off work, and he and I and the dog will take off tomorrow after U-Haul picks up the U-Boxes.

Per our real estate agent, I'll lock up everything except the front door, leave my keys on the counter by the stove, and set the snap locks, and close the front door behind me.

I'll post from the road, and probably one more from here tomorrow before we leave......

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Things Ending and Things Beginning.....

Dragged out my big Toshiba laptop to get ready for the trip. Spent about 45 minutes last night updating Windows and all the other "security" utilities I run on it.

The former Radio Room is now empty. All the equipment is packed away, the desks are dismantled and in the front yard, and "1-800 GOT-JUNK" is coming this afternoon to haul away many things of my past.

I made up a network diagram of our home network for the new owners. There's a "Coaxial Segment" and an "Ethernet Segment", but I'm pretty sure my nice, neat drawing might as well be done in Martian for the new owner, as he's not a "Tech Guy" at all. Perhaps it will help whoever they call if there's a problem. They only active component is the network switch; the coax splitters should last 100 years unless the house takes a lightning hit.

Oh, well....time to get my hand cart and start moving large boxes of stuff out to the front yard for the junkman......

Friday, September 15, 2017

Network Going DOWN....

Seeing as I have to empty this room TODAY, I'll be powering down this PC, tearing the desk apart and dragging it out for the junkman, and falling back on my laptop.

Posting from this point on will be very sporadic.

See you all on the flip side.......

Leaving Kalifornia.....

Last post here for a while. I may or may not post from the road...we'll have to see about that.

And the place we'll be staying at has basically NO Internet, so I'll be using one of my portable 4G WiFi Hot Spots.

Things are going South in a hurry here. My wife she was going to arrange the junkman pick-up, but since *I* didn't get this room cleaned out yesterday because I was outside making big piles of stuff into smaller pile of throw-away and very small piles of keep, she says I broke my promise to have the room cleaned, and now it's my task to make arrangements to having the stuff hauled away.

And I'll have to park the Supra on the street starting Sunday night, as she's demanding I have the entire driveway empty so U-Haul can fill it with pods. I took the tap measure outside and measured out the area they said they'd need, pointing out that two of the six pods could be placed alongside the house, by OH NO!!!!!! The whole damn driveway MUST be empty accord to She Who Must BE Obeyed.

And other misc BS, dagger stares, etc, etc, etc.

Makes me wonder why I bothered to get married again. I can give myself this kind of abuse, and then it's over. She's running at flank speed all over me, and shows no signs of letting up.

Oh, well......

So here's something I ginned up a while back. I was planning on making it pretty and polished, but that wouldn't really fit with this blog very well, so here it is:


Leaving Kalifornia…..Or Should That Be “Kommiefornia”?



As our time in The People’s Demokratik Republik of Kaliforniastan draws to a close, I thought it interesting to go through my time here and reflect on some things. There’s times I wonder if I made the right decision when I moved here, and ponder what Might Have Been if I’d stayed in Illinois. I can pretty much say that I never would have had the interesting career I’ve had, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of the things I got to do while living here.


Things I’ll miss:

My family and friends

The Battleship Iowa

The weather. My wife has never lived anywhere with REAL weather. The first major thunderstorm will have her under the bed clutching the dog

The ocean. Now I’ll have the mountains, though, so I’ll call that a wash

In-N-Out Burger. The closest one is in Utah

Really good “Chinese” food. The only place I’ve that I like is the HuHot, a pretty good “Mongolian BBQ”, but the add-your-own sauces are pretty bland, at least compared to The Golden Camel in Torrance

REALLY good Mexican food, although The Kids tell us Fort Collins has some great Mexican restaurants

KLOS, KCBS (“Jack FM”), KROQ, KSWR, KYSD, and a couple of other FM radio stations

150MB high-speed Internet for a reasonable price


Things I absolutely, positively, will NOT miss:

The congestion that comes with “postage stamp” sized lots. Our lot is 5400 sqft, with maybe 15’ between the houses, and is in a neighborhood consisting of a couple of hundred other houses. I don’t want to know when my neighbor flushes their toilet, or what they’re cooking for dinner

The traffic. Used to take me 20~22 minutes to get to the Iowa in 2008. Now it takes 45 or more

The graffiti that gets painted over only to reappear a day later, larger and more colorful

The trash alongside the roads and in the parking lots. It’s everywhere. It really boils my blood to see somebody open their car door, dump a bag of McDonald’s on the ground, and then walk to a store that has a big trash bin right by the entrance...

The crime. This part of Long Beach is pretty safe, but go a mile or two North or West, and the whole scene changes….

The STOOPID gun laws

The even STOOPIDER (is that possible?) politicians. How Nazi Pelosi and Dianne Frankenstein manage to keep getting elected is astounding

The taxes. You name it, and it’s most likely taxed here. And at an exorbitant rate…..which is increasing. Our betters in Sacramento just added $1/month to everybody’s water bill, domestic and commercial, to pay for “Safe, clean water for our rural brothers and sisters”, or some equally inane reason. They’ll probably want another tax to repair Oroville Dam…..

The ever increasing numbers of The Entitled and their attitude. And their driving is getting worse. Cutting across multiple lanes without a turn signal, stopping in the street to talk to somebody, blatantly blabbing away or texting while they’re driving, etc, etc, etc

The FOURTEEN Mexican and SEVEN rap crap radio stations on the FM dial

I’m tempted to say “The DMV”, but that’s highly dependent on which office you go to

So bye-bye Kalifornia. You used to be The Golden State, but that was a long time ago, in a USA far, far away

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Light Posting Ahead.....

Getting down to the wire, and the stress level here is past eleven....

I'm going through the remaining piles in the backyard, and told the wife to call the junk man.

This is as hard for me to do as it was for me to stop on the aft brow of the Iowa yesterday, and salute our flag before I walked off the ship for the last time.

I know, it's just "stuff", and it's bad to be too materialistic, but this "stuff" is a collection of things I managed to acquire after I got sober in 1995. I put my life back together and got my own apartment after living in a men's sober living house for a year, and slowly started rebuilding my life.

Amateur Radio played a big part of that, and for years I scratch-built equipment because the job I had managed to hold on to before I had my "Moment Of Clarity" didn't pay all that well, so I had to build stuff if I wanted to get on the air.

So I guess this "Pile Of Junk" as my wife refers to it represents a whole lot more to me than just parts for future projects, and parts from past projects; it represents a time of my life where I not only found sobriety, but had to "reinvent myself" as a means of keeping busy. "Idle Hands" and all that....

I'm happy that my son kept all the little things we built together during that time, as I was completely out of his life for a couple of years after my first wife tossed me out. I didn't really come back into his life until my best buddy from college dragged me out of the cheap motel I was slowly dying in, and helped me clean up. It took me another couple of years before I finally manged to get sober, and stay that way.

Maybe it's finally time to put that all behind me, and open a new chapter in life.

I still hate tossing out good parts and equipment, but the clock is ticking, and if I don't get it done in the next 48 hours, it'll cause a real mess with things....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

T Minus Sven Days and Counting.....

Next Wednesday we bid goodbye to Kailfornia.

It will be bittersweet.....

The movers are scheduled, my 6'x12' trailer is scheduled, and I dragged a bunch more stuff to eWaste today.

I was "saved" from the agony of dumping perfectly good stuff because of the gentleman who bought a receiver I sold on eBay. He lives in Costa Mesa, and came up here to pick it up so he could save the shipping cost. We got talking, as Hams do, and he followed me back here from our meeting point. Together we went through all the stuff I've collected over the years.

He's a "hard core" Ham, and scratch builds things and restores equipment, so he lit up when he looked at the stuff I had.

He took three radios in various states of restoration, all the parts for them we could find, four pieces of old (but working!) HP test equipment, and TWELVE boxes of miscellaneous parts, cables, variable capacitors, transformers, chokes, knobs, tubes, and other stuff.

We had his Subaru Forester loaded to the gills when he left with a big smile on his face.

My wife couldn't believe somebody was so happy to drag a car full of "junk" home, and the huge piles of "stuff" in the backyard are now manageable.

I spent some time after he left consolidating several boxes of stuff into single, larger boxes, and if I keep doing that over the next few days, I should make the piles of "stuff" get down to "Wife Approved" size.

I loaded up the Jeep to the max with stuff I'm taking down to the Iowa, and that cleared off the back porch, and made several of the smaller piles disappear.

Wednesday will be my last day on the Iowa for the foreseeable future, and walking down the brow to the pier for the last time will be hard.

As one of my blogging friends has told me "Colorado is beautiful, but they don't have battleships".........

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jeep Maintenance, Part II

Just finished the front brakes, and inspection.

Took about three hours, and all of the rubber boots on the CV joints, steering rack, and other suspension bits are in good shape. NO tears, rips, or leaks, and not even any seepage indicating a pending leak.

Taking a break after I washed up, and then I'm off to get the oil and filter changed. I generally do that, too, but I don't have any 5W-20 oil, or a filter.

I'll take the Supra for a drive on Thursday and then change the oil in that.

The hardest part about doing the front brakes was jacking up the car, and dealing with the BIG rims and tires...

9-11

Read the others who have posted.

They've done a better job than I could ever hope to.....

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Jeep Maintenance....

Started off this morning by replacing the two gas struts that hold open the rear hatch, and the one for the hood. Then I changed the "cabin" air filter for the passenger compartment and the wiper blades.

Then out came the power tools, floor jack and jack stands, and I commenced to replace the rear rotors and pads.

Making sure the parking brake was OFF and the front wheels were  chocked securely, I jacked the car up and pulled the drivers rear wheel off. The caliper came off easily, but the rotor....SHEESH!

Took me about 20 minutes to find some videos on YouTube showing how to do it. It's really quite simple....you just wail away on it with a BFH until it comes loose!

I found by using a big pry bar between the rotor and caliper mount I didn't have to bash on it as much as the people in the videos were bashing on it.

Took longer than I thought, and it was nice to have my son over to help with the big, heavy rims and tires, and flying the floor jack.

Got the rear finished, but it wasn't all that many years ago that I would have continued and done the fronts, too.

Those will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm trashed and filthy and need a shower and a good night's sleep to do this again.

T Minus 10 Days And Counting.....

I scheduled this to post today, but somehow it got inserted out of order.  Guess I wasn't watching what I used for the post date!


Boy.....I'll be leaving Kommiefornia in ten days. Things are getting really REAL here!

Monday morning I'm picking up the little 4'x6' trailer again, and taking another full load to the eWaste / electronic recycling place. It pains me to dump perfectly good, usable, serviceable stuff, but I just can't take it all with me.

A couple of my friends came over to look through it, but they're not satellite or microwave guys, and one of them expected everything to be pristine, 100% functional, include the manuals and original shipping boxes, and be free-for-the-hauling.

Well....the equipment I have like that is NOT going to be given away! It's already packed up and waiting to be loaded on the trailer.

"In The Good Old Days", Hams were happy to take stuff that needed a bit of work and some cleaning, but was otherwise useable, and especially if it was FREE!

These days? Most of then have devolved into "appliance operators", very few people build anything more complex than station accessories, and unless the gear you have to offer is clean and fully functional, nobody wants it.

And as soon as the coffee kicks in this morning, I'm going to tear into the Jeep and do the brakes on all four corners.

I figured since I was putting new rotors and pads on the rear, I might as well do the front, so I picked up two new front rotors while I was at O'Reilly's. I decided to go with ceramic pads on the rear, along with matching pads for the front. These will hopefully last a good long time. I should probably replace the rear shocks, as they're just starting to get a bit "bouncy", but that can wait. I'll do the front and rear shocks once we're in Colorado...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Junk/Spam Comments On Old Posts

Am I the only one this happens to?

I keep getting obviously junk comments on posts that are several years old.

Blogger usually catches it, as it goes to the email I used when I first started the blog.

Others are equally obviously spam, as there's always a punch line at the end, but the ones that say things like "WOW! Great Blog!" or something similar that look to be machine generated are anooying, but look harmless.

Oh, well...they go in the spam bucket, which gets checked and empty every so often.

Down to less than two weeks now. Hope the crazy little Fat Bastard with the bad haircut doesn't start anything until we're out of here!

And yes, I keep a complete HF radio and power supply in a sealed up steel box, "Just In Case"......

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Idiot Kalifornia Drivers

I went to U-Haul today and rented a 4'x6' open trailer, and towed it home.

I filled it with electronic stuff that had value, but nobody wanted, and my wife was yapping at me to get rid of.

As I was towing it to the eWaste recycling place, some MORON in a brand-new Buick "mini SUV" shot out of a side street about 25' in front of me, not even bothering to heed the stop sign, and proceeded to cross all THREE lanes of the street, and get into the left-turn lane. I laid on the horn and got on the brakes so hard the ABS kicked in, and missed her by about six inches. She had a "deer in the headlights" look to her once she heard the horn on the Jeep, and heard the tires screaming for mercy.

I damn near had to stop and change my shorts.....

I haven't seen anybody do anything that freaking STUPID since about 1980 when some young bimbo ran a stop sign about 50' in front of me, and I plowed into her after trying to take evasive maneuvers and realizing I could 1) go through the guard rail and into a 100' deep gravel pit on my left, or 2) brake as hard as I could, slow down as much as I could, and hit her.

She was driving a battle-cruiser class 1976 Chevrolet Caprice, and I was driving my 1975 VW Scirocco. I couldn't get around her to the right, because right after she ran the stop sign and entered the intersection, she looked to her left, saw me coming, and slowed down to a complete stop with her mouth gaping open.

There were half a dozen witnesses who commended me on driving skill, and told the Illinois State Trooper who responded it was "100% her fault".

This happened on the Friday afternoon of a Memorial Day weekend, she stunk of beer, and said she'd been in a hurry to get to her friend's party "before the band got there".

The cop cuffed her, threw her into the back seat, and took her away. He was NOT happy that my girlfriend's little boy, who we'd just picked up from pre-school, had split his head open and was bleeding all over the place.

So anyway.....I dropped off all the stuff after filling out some paperwork because I dropped off a couple of old CRT monitors and some other electronics items the State of Kommiefornia has deemed "especially hazardous", and took the trailer back to U-Haul.

I went back home, picked up the 10 items that sold on eBay, and took them to my shipping place.

Sure enough, on the way back home I met another freaking idiot who can't drive. This one came blasting out of a strip mall on the left side of the road, went across all three lanes of oncoming traffic, and then shot across all three lanes in my direction of travel, missing me by a foot or two, and all the way over into the right turn lane. I was on the brakes (and horn) hard again, and their passenger threw her hands up over her face when she noticed me bearing down on them.

Cripes.....TWICE in one day! WTF is wrong with people?

And I still haven't repaired the brakes on the Jeep, but I'm damn sure getting the parts and doing it tomorrow!

I won't comment on the ethnicity of either driver........

Sunday, September 3, 2017

T Minus Seventeen Days and Counting....

Wow...."The Day" is rapidly approaching.

My son came over last night, and it looks like he'll be going with me and the dog on our move from here to Fort Collins. He's never been in that part of the country, and he really wants to see it. He got to be pretty good friends with my wife's sone and our daughter-in-law while they still lived here. He's withing a couple of years of them in age, so they all hit it off quite well.

And he REALLY wants to see his little nephew Noah.

I'm not afraid doing the drive by myself, but having him along puts my wife at ease. AND I'll be parking the Supra at his and my ex's house while we're gone. I'll get to FTC, have a couple of days to unload the trailer into a storage facility and return it to U-Haul, and rest for a day or two. The I'll fly back into Long Beach, Uber over to their place, and head back with the Supra.

SO...instead of loading up the Supra to the gills with car parts and calling a transport company, I'll *carefully* select some tools and spares I might need, and leave a few boxes of car parts for the trailer I'll be pulling with the Jeep.

The YUGE pile of "stuff" in the back yard has shrunk somewhat, but I still have a lot of stuff that I'll be either taking to eWaste, dragging down to the Iowa, giving away, or loading on to the Junk-To-Go truck we'll be calling in a few days.

This is finally starting to get "real", and my wife is stressed out to about "eleven"......

T MInus 10 Days And Counting.....

Boy.....I'll be leaving Kommiefornia in ten days. Things are getting really REAL here!

Monday morning I'm picking up the little 4'x6' trailer again, and taking another full load to the eWaste / electronic recycling place. It pains me to dump perfectly good, usable, serviceable stuff, but I just can't take it all with me.

A couple of my friends came over to look through it, but they're not satellite or microwave guys, and one of them expected everything to be pristine, 100% functional, include the manuals and original shipping boxes, and be free-for-the-hauling.

Well....the equipment I have like that is NOT going to be given away! It's already packed up and waiting to be loaded on the trailer.

"In The Good Old Days", Hams were happy to take stuff that needed a bit of work and some cleaning, but was otherwise useable, and especially if it was FREE!

These days? Most of then have devolved into "appliance operators", very few people build anything more complex than station accessories, and unless the gear you have to offer is clean and fully functional, nobody wants it.

And as soon as the coffee kicks in this morning, I'm going to tear into the Jeep and do the brakes on all four corners.

I figured since I was putting new rotors and pads on the rear, I might as well do the front, so I picked up two new front rotors while I was at O'Reilly's. I decided to go with ceramic pads on the rear, along with matching pads for the front. These will hopefully last a good long time. I should probably replace the rear shocks, as they're just starting to get a bit "bouncy", but that can wait. I'll do the front and rear shocks once we're in Colorado...