Friday, September 28, 2012

We Have Company Coming Tonight!

Our nephew Jared is coming to the RV tonight to enjoy the fire pit, not! Smile with tongue out He’s actually coming over to the RV to watch “The Crazies” and “Paul” which is cool because he signed up for the Marines and will be heading to boot camp next spring so we’re going to try and get some time with him before he goes.

He’s a great kid, gung ho and ready to serve his country, we couldn’t be more proud of him!

Semper Fi Jared!






Thursday, September 27, 2012

Email Response “Why Do You Hate Apple So Much?”

I didn’t respond to the email, I figure many others who read my blog may be asking the same thing so why not blog about it.

First, I don’t HATE Apple, but I do have what I believe are good reasons to not like them very much. Steve Jobs once said “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas” – Steve Jobs 1996. He also said "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this" — Steve Jobs, 2011. Funny that if Xerox had a few patents on what Apple stole Apple likely wouldn’t even be a company today.

His statements say everything, whenever he complained about other companies copying Apple ideas I laughed, karma is like that. They nearly died as a company and because of Microsoft’s money in 2007 and Steve Jobs run over anybody attitude they climbed up out of the hole and are now the wealthiest company in the world. Their stock is around $700.00, is it worth this kind of money, I don’t think so but they have a huge fanboy/fangirl base that literally will by something just because it has the Apple on it. If the device has issues they will defend Apple and place blame elsewhere.

Apple has always been shameless in who they will sue if a company happens to do something similar to an Apple product. This isn’t the only reason why I dislike Apple, they moved production out of this country to a country known for crimes against its own people (China), crimes that continue today and they did it for one reason, to dominate any market they get into and to make as huge a profit on it as possible. I don’t fault them for trying to make a profit, I fault them for not caring who gets hurt while doing so.

They couldn’t dominate the computer market, the best they have ever done is around 7% market share so they did the smart thing back when they only had 3.5% market share, they entered other markets. Hey, I believe in the fair market and I’m a capitalist so I have no problem when a company is honest in its dealings and making a good profit, this isn’t how Apple conducts itself however. Side note, ask India, China and Africa how the computer garbage dumps are doing, throw in Dell and others here as well. Not only do we want other countries to drill for our oil so we don’t make a mess here, we want them to take our garbage as well. Recycled a Apple or Dell computer, ever wondered where they ended up?

The reasons why computer junk ends up in these places is because of unfair trade agreements between these countries. Give this some thought, China ships us a huge volume of well, everything, what goes back to China in these huge ships filled with essentially empty containers? Since we don’t produce much for these countries because of these horrible trade agreements it’s very cheap to ship garbage (plus recycled computer hardware) there since they don’t have the same kind of laws we do. Check out Apples web page for how green and wonderful they are, it makes me sick knowing the truth of it and I WILL get flak from people claiming I’m wrong. This is fine, continue buying from them and be happy, it’s your choice.

What is Apple good at? Apple wraps average electronics in pretty wrappers, charges more than any other company does for a similar device and is pretty insistent that their devices are near infallible. I have been working on their products since they came out over 30 years ago, they are far from infallible. When their OS gets attacked by a virus, like a true politician they claim that’s impossible and ignore the problem until it gets so blown up in the press they have to acknowledge it and handle it.

The press screams for a few days then everybody is in love with Apple again shortly after. Foxconn employees commit suicide and Apple “schedules a surprise visit” to alleviate public pressure and show everybody how on top of the situation they are. Expose’s are done showing conditions in these Foxconn “factory cities” and how much press does that get? Barely a mention and the story quickly fades. 2000 people get into a fight and it makes the news, how much press was there for the reason this brawl started in the first place? Crickets can be heard, oh you can find stories, but the mainstream press is finished with it.

I know Apple isn’t alone in this but I don’t understand how a company can sell products here for huge gains knowing they are hurting people. There are issues with the iPhone 5, quality issues, anybody shocked to hear that considering what's going on in the factories making them? I don’t fault the production line people for this, they are treated like dirt in a country that doesn’t value human life. The Chinese economy is booming because they don’t have to face the same kind of regulations as the US does and they pay people a pittance, the only people who matter in China are the elites, the rest can be stepped on and cast aside.

So, these are the reasons I dislike Apple, I have rid myself of all of their products save two, one of which is on eBay right now. The other, an iPad my boss bought me for work. Other than the iPad I am free of that company (in 4 days actually) and it feels good. When I see in the news what’s going on at Apple/Foxconn factories I don’t feel like I am contributing to it anymore.

I can’t wait for the day China is called upon to account for it’s crimes against it’s own people, but the US won’t be the one to do it, China buys our debt for a reason, but that’s for another blog. A company as big as Apple is now, can you imagine the fall? Without Steve Jobs there, it will be EPIC. I actually feel the same is going to happen to Microsoft, without Bill Gates in control the fall will be pretty epic there as well.

That’s all, don’t agree, that’s fine, we agree to dis-agree…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Avengers Movie Was AWESOME!!!!!

We rented the movie on Vudu in HDX, cranked up 1,500 watts of sound system and watched what has to be one of  the most entertaining movies I have ever seen!


How Do Men Say Hello In Chi-Town?

I walked by a guy who had on a Bears shirt, I have on a Cubs shirt, as I walked by I said “Bears” and he said “Cubs”… and I kept on walking with a smile on my face.

I don’t know if there is any other single town out there with this atmosphere. At work somebody will just say “Bears” and then everybody else says “Bears”, you know, in that Chi-Town dialect. Other times it’s pure SNL Superfans… “Da Bears”! Plus, who could forget “Da Bulls!”

SNL Super Fans

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What An AWESOME Day!

We didn’t go camping this weekend, we wanted to but too much was going on, oh how beautiful it is! No clouds, nice and cool, heading to family to have a get together, the wife is driving and I’m working/blogging using the MiFi.

We won’t miss another weekend until the end of the season, no way. Smile with tongue out I hope everybody’s weekend is as great as this day is!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Site # 86

Here is a view of the site all the way around… there is some weeding to do and general cleanup but overall it’s ready to be used.






Some weeding, cleaning up and this fire pit will be awesome!








I wonder who will be over there next year? Smile with tongue out


Monday, September 17, 2012

Disgusting Walnut Goop

What happens through the summer when you’re parked under a walnut tree? The roof turns black. What happens during the fall? The walnuts rot in the tree and fall onto your roof and drip black goop that doesn’t wash off.

Keep in mind when you see these pictures, the sidewalls were washed, NONE of the black goop came off. I’m going to bring some stronger stuff this weekend, right now it rains down walnuts when the wind blows, they make a very loud thud when they hit! I can’t wait until we move to our new spot next year!

So much for the rig staying clean for even a week after detailing. Disappointed smile




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We Picked Site 86

We drove up to Blackhawk Valley and looked at site 145, decided instantly against it and walked around 86 and decided instantly to go for it. We paid the initial payment so we are set for next year.

Technically we can store it here for the winter but if it snows I’ll lose access to driving it because of the steepness of the hill. We’ll see, we’re going to discuss storage with them this weekend.

Here is a picture we took tonight which I think shows how big it is, what we found though is behind the American flag is another area that 5 or 6 people could easily sit around in. We’ll take more pictures of the site this weekend.


Leasing A Site For Next Year

We had decided to go for it if either site # 86 or site # 145 was available for next year. If not we would go back to storing the rig and taking it out for new trips a few times a month like we did the first 2 years. Site # 85 wasn’t worth it we figure, too much work to make it nice.

Here is site # 86 during the heat wave, it’s HUGE, has a large fire pit, a deck and only one neighbor which right now happens to be us in site # 85. I don’t have a picture of site # 145 and I need to go back there to make sure it’s still a site we’d be interested in. I’m told we have first dibs until this Friday.


Here are the pros and cons to leasing at Blackhawk.


Very nice campground, friendly people, very large lots and lots of room for visitors. Their pricing is the best in the area for the entire summer and with our usage the electricity has been cheap. We can get a large amount of wood (a tractor loader bucket full) for $45.00 which lasts a long time. The campground is secluded and has a far away feel when we go there, it’s about an hour and 20 minutes to get there.


There is virtually no cell phone coverage because the campground is located in a valley. Their internet connection is a 50/50 crapshoot. It seems to be up only when I don’t really need it.  Disappointed smile  The owners are nice enough but they don’t come off as particularly friendly, it doesn’t seem like they remember you. The *#&$^% walnut trees make the top of the RV black pretty quickly.

I was able to make it work for working remotely this year but it made it stressful at times. Site # 145  is on the side of the park that supposedly doesn’t work off of a repeater but I have no proof of that since the owners don’t seem to know (somebody else works on it). Site # 86 is darn near perfect for having people over and being able to spread out and have fun, it’s also pretty private and the same price as out plain jane site we have now.

Ronda really likes site # 86 and so do I so we think it’s worth it to make a go of it. We may have an issue with our door being lower than the deck but that’s something I can take care of.

Here is a map of the campground with the sites we’re looking at circled in red. Site # 145 has better shade but the site is a bit smaller, I’ll post a picture of it when I go there this Thursday.


Hard to believe another season has almost gone, this is our third season as Class A owners and we have gone out almost every single weekend, does that mean we’re no longer newbs? Smile with tongue out

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11/2001 - 11 Years Later – Never Forget



The main Government site for 9/11 had a theme “Never Forget!”, that site was removed February of 2009. Why is anybody's guess but in my view the Government has lost sight of what we learned that fateful day… I just hope some how some way the parties in control learn to work together, they aren’t exactly showing us how to work together though, are they. I digress…

Since 2009 new sites have sprung up and gone and new ones take their place. A few years ago was put up and hopefully will remain.

Here is a picture from the memorial website, pretty much sums it up. We are once again in an election year so we hope and pray they are ready.

Today we will watch the memorial/documentary programs, cry a little and pray something like that never happens again.


Monday, September 10, 2012

You See Something Strange Every Trip

On the way home yesterday we pulled onto I88 East and within a mile had to swerve to miss what was left of somebodies AC unit cover. I knew right away it was from an RV. I was averaging 59mph but managed to catch up to the rig, a fifth wheel, minus an AC cover, well, actually some parts were still there because they were still flying off.

I pulled up next to him and honked and he gave me the thumbs up but I managed to signal him to pull over. I walked back to the passenger window and he told me others had told him this as well, so I responded well maybe you should remove the parts that are still lose so people don’t have to swerve around them as I had to.

He replied there's nothing I can do so I’m going to continue on… Disappointed smile  I said ok, have a safe trip and left. I agree there is nothing he could do to repair it, but he could have removed the loose plastic parts that were flapping in the wind waiting to tear off and hit a windshield at least!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vacation Comes To An End

The campground is emptying out pretty quickly now, I am doing my duties with tanks and cleaning the windshields and checking the engine etc…

Maybe somebody can explain to me why people with diesels feel the need to fire the engines up at 5:30am, rev them up and idle them for 20 minutes only to shut them off until they leave several hours later? There was a Holiday Rambler club here this weekend and most of them only left around 11am this morning yet most of them cranked up their engines at sun up, I believe I understand diesels well enough to know that they don’t need an early morning warm up for leaving 5 hours later. Disappointed smile

I finally had gotten some sleep when these guys fired up, let me tell you, 12 diesels running at the same time will wake the dead, or wake a guy who doesn’t sleep well making him one cranky SOB.

I finished writing up the instructions for the lady next door so hopefully now that the campground is almost empty she’ll be able to handle most of the  RV chores alone.

Well, time to flush the tanks and begin heading out, we wanted to wait for the mad dash for the exit to taper off. We’re heading back to Blackhawk and pretty soon we have to commit to one more year there or go back to how we camped before leasing a spot… we aren’t sure yet, what do you guys think?

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Ok, so only the power posts are haunted….  Smile with tongue out  or more specifically have high EMF readings. It was fun though even if nothing happened. Ghost Hunters use a KII which seems to have activity everywhere they go, they ask a question and the KII responds… the red light flash light it has was cool though!

So, there appears to be no ghosts in the Geneseo campground, not that we tried very hard to find them. We watched White Noise last week so didn’t try EVP but I’m going to try that tonight, who knows maybe we’ll get something…


Stop laughing!!



Smile with tongue out


You know you secretly hope we find something! Smile

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Thunder and Lightning Storm

Starting around 4:00am this morning the skies opened up. I wish I had a way to record it properly it was that intense. Lightning crackling across the sky and instant thunder means the strikes were very close by. This went on for 4 hours, it was awesome! It rained very hard as well, I wish I had taken video but the only camera I had is my T3i and the battery was dead, lousy timing.

It’s only 74f outside today and cloudy so we’re happy! Perfect day for a long walk and a fire pit tonight. Ronda is out buying batteries for our “Ghost Hunting” equipment… ok stop laughing! Smile with tongue out  We’re going to have some fun with it, I know we won’t find anything in a campground but the idea is to have fun with it.

I’ll post back tomorrow and if we capture anything it will be there!   Thumbs up

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Couple Next Door

When we pulled into site # 1 we never expected this but then stuff happens. We didn’t see the neighbor next to us until our 3rd day. I was filling a little plastic pool with water so Loki could splash around and keep cool and we could dunk our feet when I noticed a lot of water coming out of the rig next door.


I took a closer look and when I saw it was coming from the floor and not a connection, I ran to the door and knocked. It took a few moments but an elderly lady answered and explained she had over-filled her kitchen sink. She also explained she didn’t know what was what and that somebody was coming to help check it out for her. I offered my help if she needs it and went back to our rig.

I could tell somebody set their rig up and it couldn’t have been her judging by what she told me. It’s a fifth wheel and well, you can tell who ever set it up knew what they were doing. Last night I saw her coming back with other people so I walked over and asked if everything was fine (not sure why mind you, it was a gut feeling) and if she needs any help let me know, she thanked me and re-explained what happened. She is such a sweet lady, my guess is she is in her mid 80’s, if not older.

This morning (9/4) she and Ronda started talking and she explains that she just got married 5 months ago and her and her new husband came to Illinois to meet his family and then are moving on to Pennsylvania to meet hers. Before getting married both her and her husband were very healthy, since getting married she has been sick twice and last week in the campground her husband had a stroke while working outside on the rig, they were getting ready to leave and had about 2 hours before hitting the road when the stroke happened. Makes your heart hurt just thinking about it.

There is a hospital less than a mile away and he was rushed there and when stabilized he was air lifted to Peoria for further treatment. His daughter, who she had just met, has been driving her to the hospital and back each day since so she is staying in the camper until something can be arranged. At the time I’m writing this he was given a new drug called TPA which helped keep the paralysis at bay and he looks to have most of his mobility but no speech yet.

Before going out for dinner at The Cellar (9/4) we left a note on her door offering to dump her tanks and handle anything else she might need help with.

This morning (9/5) there was a gentle knock on our door and she asked me if I could check her tanks and locate a leak she is dealing with. I checked under the rig and sure enough there was water dribbling out near the gray tank. I went inside and checked the tank readings and they were reading full. I showed her how to read the tank sensors and then showed her how to dump the tanks.

As soon as the water level lowered you could see that the leaking stopped, which was a good sign. We went inside and she showed me the plumbing for the shower was all wet. Thankfully the access panel was easy to remove, I checked the connections and they were both a little loose. I tightened them up and she dried up everything she could and then we check the sensors again and the black tank was still showing 2/3 full so her black tank sensors are dirty.

I explained what she could do to clean them and also to add some water to the black tank after dumping with some Dawn or Joy dishwashing liquid to help clean things out. She was using chemicals that caused odors instead of removing them so I was able to talk her out of that. Since we’re going to be here until Sunday I’m going to go by daily and see if the smell returns and also help her monitor tank levels and then I’m going to watch her dump the tanks before we leave to make sure she is comfortable with doing it.

I’m a little worried that there won’t be many people around the campground after we leave, it’s almost empty here now. I’m going to speak to the owners and ask them to help her out after we leave. Ronda and I are praying for her husbands speedy recovery so they can get back to their honeymoon travels. If you have time to say a prayer for her and her husband it would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

They Predicted 84f, It’s 95 With A Heat Index Of 102!!

How is it, yesterday they predict a high of 84f and this morning they change it to the mid 90’s? All week was supposed to be mid 80’s to high 70’s, instead it’s more like what we dealt with during the July4th vacation, HOT! I have the blankets back up over the windshield and slide windows to help the AC keep up.

   IMAG0968    IMAG0969

Yesterday we lost power when the circuit breaker overloaded at the power box. When I turned them back on it was very hot to the touch, so I’m keeping an eye on it.

Supposedly it’s going to be much cooler for the rest of the week but if they can’t predict the next day how can we trust they are going to be right?? Before hitting the post button EDIT: Scratch that! The temp tomorrow has been changed from 77f to over 90 AGAIN!!!! With the rest of the week of course being in the high 70’s, but don’t you believe it, at this rate you can bet we’ll be in the 90’s all week, wouldn’t it be nice if we all got paid to be wrong all the time? Disappointed smile Three days in a row where the prediction is over 10 degrees off, at this rate my 6 year old niece could predict the weather better. 

Ok, enough whining about inaccurate weather people… Smile with tongue out

Tonight I’m taking Ronda to “The Cellar” in Geneseo, IL for our anniversary dinner since they were closed for Labor Day yesterday. We were going to have a fire tonight like last night but it’s going to be a bit too hot so we’re going to a local store to purchase a movie and we’ll sit inside and pop some popcorn and enjoy movie night.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Methane….. You Know It Stinks…..

Good grief, the stench is back, Ronda just got done losing her dinner because the rig decided to chase us out out by stinking up the joint… I give, now what the frackin heck can be the cause this time? I power flushed the tanks, everything smelled rosy until…

Today for some reason, it’s windy, great right? So you know air is going by the fancy schmancy rotating air vents we had installed so why the heck does it smell like the local sewer treatment plant?? We make it through the July 110 degree meltdown with no issues, no wind to help keep the stench out but doesn’t matter, no smell! Now it’s fantastic out and we get the stench back. Disappointed smile

Tomorrow is our 13th anniversary so I’m sending Ronda out while I spend the morning flushing the works and praying something got stuck or something that I get cleared out or we won’t make it the week. For now I’m playing the change the direction of the fantastic fan game, when using the head suck air into the rig, when not have the air blow out of the rig pulling air in from the bathroom vent.

So far that works, no smell but when it hits 90 tomorrow I better have it resolved… there are times I actually hate this rig and this is one of those times. Steaming mad

EDIT: FOUND IT!!!  Ok, right now I bet the rig is blogging about stupid owners!! If you find her blog let me know I’d really like to see what she writes about us! The gray tank was full and had filled up into the shower base. About 3 inches of gray water was sitting in the shower, I was in the back talking to Ronda when the light bulb went off. Light bulbLight bulb ok, so it went off twice!!

I was telling Ronda why doesn’t it smell in the toilet room?? I move the dogs den and open the shower door and there it is, about 1 inch from overflowing… Disappointed smile  That damn tank sensor isn’t reading right so after our anniversary tomorrow on Tuesday I’m going to clean out the gray tank…

I was going to just delete this post but it is a kind of time capsule that down the road we can read back on and say, “remember that??” and hopefully laugh!

Have a great Labor Day everybody! Smile with tongue out