i'm no superman

I'm back home this morning. My Weekend at Billy's has been canceled due to poor planning. I failed to take into account the triple digit heat, running the AC, and head winds which made driving at 60MPH a challenge. I made it roughly to the halfway point between here and Capitan, NM before I turned around and went back home. What was my reason for turning back? At the second stop I had a chance to do the math and learned the gas would have cost me $500 round trip. I was getting a whopping 9MPG (I normally get 21MPG on hwy's w/out trailer). This was unacceptable given that I'd gotten 15MPG (w/trailer) on a trip I took last Nov. You can see how much the heat affected my mileage. So I'm cancelling any trips until it gets cold again. Yes I drove home feeling very angry and defeated. At least the lesson cost me half what it could have, and there's still a little money to spare. I'll add it to the budget for the next trip.

I tried to save this by staying someplace out there, but there's nothing close to where I was. Big Bend was south of me but, after doing the math, it would have cost me the same in gas as NM. The Caverns of Sonora was the closest attraction with camping, but was closed on my way back home. It was also above 110 degrees the entire time out there. Now there was a pretty good breeze going, but even with, it felt like being in front of a giant blow dryer. Even my beagle finally gave up leaving the cab when we stopped so she could pee. She held it til we got home and took the longest pee I've ever seen.

The upside to the trip was getting a chance to catch up with lots of friends. One who deserves mention stayed on the phone with me during a small crisis. I neglected to refill my tank and hit a long stretch of highway. I was sure I would run out before making it to the next stop. I pictured the beagle and I melting on the side of the road until help arrived. That didn't happen and I made it to the next station while she distracted me with a risque story about her shimmying out of her pantyhose once during a road trip. When I refilled I learned there was only half a gallon left. That was too close!

The entire day felt like the "Crying Game" shower scene.


weekend at billy's

My best friend was going to hang out with me on my birthday this weekend but unfortunately air fares were way too high. I"m bummed that I don't get to show him around San Antonio and to the best BBQ house in Texas, The Salt Lick. I even planned to take Friday off to make it a four day weekend. Since this isn't happening I've got four days to kill. I was thinking about camping but being Memorial day weekend everything is booked up. My second idea was to go to New Orleans even though I have a thing against cities. This one is different in that it has two things I love dearly. Great jazz and amazing food. Two problems are my that I can't take my dog everywhere I want to go, and it's gonna be a busy weekend. What to do, what to do?

Billy The Kid

Enter one William H. Bonney. One of my guilty pleasures is collecting biographical books about gunfighters of the old west. The other is visiting the places these people lived, fought, and eventually died in. The bonus is that I'm going in the trailer and can take the dog everywhere I want to go. It's not full timing but I do get to pretend for a few days as I boondock in Lincoln and Fort Sumner New Mexico this weekend. I can't wait!



it's the little things

Not recommended for pot roasts or casseroles

... like this that make life easier. The Jetboil flash cooking system only boils water, but it does it really really fast. I've had my eye on this for a while but never could justify buying one since I really haven't backpacked in years. It wasn't until REI's upcoming sale ad that I realized that this would be perfect for the trailer. Normally I put away gallons of tea and the one thing I hate is waiting for the water to boil. This does it in a fraction of the time, and has multiple applications for cooking in general. I'm adding it to my kitchenware when it goes on sale this weekend.

The majority of the cookware in my trailer is camping cookware. The stuff is very light, compact, usually built for multiple uses. I've found replacements for almost everything I use daily except for my cast iron fry pan. Nothing beats it and it will most likely be transitioned from kitchen to trailer unless I can find a suitable replacement. 



adventures in being a homebody

My personal life and work have become busier than normal as of late. At first it felt good and I was thinking that I was back on track to a "normal life". It's when things were about to reach a fever pitch that I came to and it brought me back home. Slow down. So over this last weekend I blissfully did almost nothing. I took care of some long overdue maintenance with my truck and then settled in to watch Eureka and V reruns. Drive thru's and some delivery kept me away from any physical activity in the kitchen too.

With wheels this home might be worth something

Now onto the beans and ham. Normally I'm loathe to going anywhere more than (roughly) 10 square miles from where I live. I really hate cities and crowds. Ok, it's not the cities that I hate so much as what happens when you cram that many people into them. I should know since I was born and lived in in the two most populated cities in this country. New York and Los Angeles. After spending more time than is reasonable, I knew early on that I preferred the great outdoors. Way way outdoors. What this brings me to is I'm wondering where and what I will become once I'm finally living in the element that agrees with me most. 

I'm looking forward to meeting that man and hope he's who I wish to become. Indeed!



home by the sea

A recent conversation and then later post by a fellow blogger touched on some past events, and those yet to come for me.

Here's the blog entry I'm referring to. This entry managed to really piss a lot of people off. Personally I don't see him as meaning to and was only expressing a point of view.

The conversation was about my future plans and what I'd seen when visiting my grandfather a few years back. Gramps overcame a lot in his lifetime. He was able to function independently up until the last two years of his life. He did need a hand doing a few things but was still in his own condo before the last two. It was those last two years that he was finally unable to care for himself and went into a nursing home. My aunt tended to his every need diligently, 12 hours a day, for the last two years at said nursing home. He had his favorite nurses and the staff there loved the old man because of what a charmer he was. My aunt became a regular fixture there and assited the nurses frequently with the other tenants living there. These were the years when I was in the middle of my unemployment and getting out to see any family was a bit of a challenge. I managed to make it out twice, his birthdays, to see him. I spent almost a week each time I was out there and was glad that I was able to. I'm glad that he had such great care and never once felt as if he'd been abandoned there. He passed away in his sleep at 104 years of age.

What I saw the other residents go through there was what had got to me. Maybe even helped steer me towards my decision to full time. I did meet a few spirited people who never gave up and learned to make the most of it where ever they happened to be in life. Sadly the majority of the residents there had simply given up. I don't want this to be me. At least if I do ever wind up in such a place that I only landed there because I was incapable of caring for myself. I hope that I'll be in full possession of my faculties (like my gramps was) and die of old age while I'm full timing somewhere out there.



Incidentally, I was born in the year of the horse

For some odd reason I've been vacillating between wanting to date and completely avoiding it (so that I keep to my future full timing plans). It'd be nice to have someone to share my day with (outside of coworkers) and would very much like to get laid. It has been a while. Now my beagle offers a certain level of companionship that works for the most part, but it falters in my two biggest needs. Then again, this is good practice for what living on the road will be like.


home improvement iii

I'm still waiting on the thermostat I ordered from Amazon to arrive. Since it hasn't, I went out to the local RV parts shop and found the fan I want for bathroom. It's supposed to replace the bottom half of the ceiling vent and is supposed to be an easy install. I tried and could't get the part to fit so I gave up. Well, that and I no nothing about electricity other than the wobbly feeling you get when coming into contact with it. I think I'm going to get this one installed professionally if I can't find some help to do it. In the meantime here's a picture of what it might look like when installed. It's called the Vortex, made by a company called Heng's, and costs $50.

I hope this vortex doesn't need water.