Just Do It Yourself . . .

First off, Jan and I want to send out our “Get Well Soon” wishes to our good friend, Nick Russell of Gypsyjournal fame.

Well, it looks like we dodged a bullet on most of today’s rains, with it never getting very heavy, and pretty much over by 2pm. And even tomorrow’s ‘Heavy Thunderstorms’ have been downgraded to ‘Storms/Wind’. It would be nice to have it ‘downgraded’ to ‘Sunny’ for tomorrow, but that’s probably not going to happen.

But on the upside, this weekend is still looking nice.

Todd, our GGS service guy, came back to top off our diesel tank. I figured he’d wait until he came back on Sunday to service the generator, but he went ahead and did it today. He said he probably won’t be back on Sunday since our replacements, Donna and Joe Shelton, were experienced enough to get themselves hooked up.

Of course when you think about it, with everything already here, and set up and running, it’s no different than pulling into an RV park and getting hooked up.

I  had mentioned a while back that as of right now, we’ll be moving back and forth between the Lake Conroe TT park and the Colorado River TT park in Columbus, TX for the rest of the year, into next, depending on park openings down the League City area.

Since I originally set things up on a Friday for some reason, all of our 10 upcoming two week reservations start out on Friday. But since we’re leaving the gate this Sunday and going into Lake Conroe, I had to lop off two days of our reserved 14 days to make things come out right.

But I was thinking this morning that if I pushed everything back two days that it might make things a little easier in a couple of ways. First off, the traffic looping around the top of Houston on Beltway 8 should be a little lighter on Sunday, not that it’s usually that bad in the middle of the day when we travel. But maybe more importantly, by coming in on Sunday when a lot of weekend campers are leaving, it might give us a better choice of sites.

Anyway, rather than me starting at the last of my ten reservations and backing each one up two days, one after the other, going forward, I thought I’d just call Thousand Trails Reservations and let them do it.

Surely their sophisticated reservation software would be able to move all the reservations forward two days, automagically, all at once. But I quickly found that they would have to do it one at a time, just like me.

Geez!  I’ve seen cheap, badly-written campground software that would do this with no problem. So I ended up doing it myself, since the last time I let them change a bunch of reservations, they screwed it up.

Sometimes the only way to get something done right, is to do it yourself.

Of course sometimes I screw it up too, but at least then I know who to blame.

One chore I forgot to tell you about yesterday was to check the water in our rig’s house batteries

Rig Batteries 1

I was immediately surprised to see how much dust from the trucks going by, had accumulated in the battery compartment. When we get settled in after our move this Sunday, I’ll pressure wash it to clean up. I also noticed a little corrosion on the terminals that I’ll take care of at the same time.

Because of the internal bracing in the bay it can be hard to get distilled water into the back set of batteries, so I made up this water hand pump using a well rinsed out windshield washer fluid jug and this Pennzoil Gallon Fluid Transfer Pump

Rig Battery Pump

This lets me put the hose nozzle in the cell opening and just pump to top it off. No fuss, no mess.

Battery Fluid Pump

I’ve given you a link to one on Amazon, but I think I got mine at Wal-Mart.

My engine batteries are sealed and on a swing-out tray above the house batteries. And since they’re sealed, they need no maintenance, just like the battery in our truck.

One less thing to do.

As far as today was concerned, I didn’t schedule anything major since the weather was supposed to be pretty rainy. But it actually didn’t turn out bad. So I took care of some small stuff that had been pushed down on my list by bigger stuff.

First up, I wanted to install some grommets on the floor mats in the truck. Unlike a lot of vehicles, our Dakota doesn’t have any way to fasten the mats down and they get scrunched up under the pedals after a time.

So I got out my Lord & Hodge Grommet Kit and installed two grommets on each mat like this.

Grommet Kit

When we get back to Conroe I’ll stop off at an auto parts place to pick up some of the screw-in hooks that will hold the mats in place.

I’ve also used the grommet kit to put some additional grommets in our canopy tarp here on the gate to be able to put tie-downs exactly where I want them.

Finishing up, I liked the paracord boot laces I made for my Red Wing boots so much, I made up a set for my steel-toed boots too. I started wearing these boots again a week or so ago when it was so cold and rainy, and my other boots got wet.

I hadn’t worn them since last year’s gate when we had to wear all the Frack gear, and I’d forgotten how comfortable they are. Especially considering they only cost about $30 vs. $175 for the Red Wings.

Boot with Lace Keeper

The only real downside is that they are a good bit heavier than my others, but I certainly feel light on my feet when I take them off.

FYI the little American Flags are called ‘lace keepers’. They keep your laces from gradually getting uneven over time. Most people are stronger in one arm than the other, usually on their ‘handed’ side, i.e. right-handed or left-handed. So they tend to pull harder with that hand than the other one, without even knowing it.. And so the laces gradually get mismatched in length.

But the lace keepers provide enough drag to stop that from happening.

And you can get them in hundreds of different styles, including military branch insignia, sports teams, car manufacturers, and many others.

A few years ago when we were on a drill rig gate, I was waiting to talk to the Company Man, along with another couple of guys. One of these guys was about 6’ 6’ and built like a pro linebacker.

I happened to look down at his boots and couldn’t resist a chuckle. Seeing where I was looking, he smiled at me and said, “My 6 year old daughter gave them to me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.” And then I understood.

And I must say he did look resplendent in his well-worn boots, complete with large pink Hello Kitty lace keepers.

Hello Kitty

Thought for the Day:

“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.” – Bill Murray