Monday, September 30, 2013

Osprey – Ultimate Fisherbird

This video is a bit grainy but shows the Osprey to be great at catching fish. Look at how many fish are near the shore in the first part of the video!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It’s Raining…….. Tree Branches!!

It’s very windy here in the campground today and it’s raining tree branches! Some were big enough to break through the roof vent windows if they had hit them, so for we’ve been lucky.

They’re calling for rain but it looks like we’re going to get a doozer of a storm. Not much else to write about today…. aside from wanting to remove my left foot everything is great! Smile

Have a great weekend everybody!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Previous Muscle Cars – Long Post!

My love for Muscle cars began in High School but of course I couldn’t afford one so it took a few years but in June of 1985 it was here. Here are my Muscle cars beginning with my first one.

It was a special order 1985 Mustang LX 5.0 HO (Police Package), this was the only way you could buy one in 1984 and the first half of 1985. In 1986 they made this a model so all you had to do was check the box on the order form. I ordered the car in April of 1985 after going camping with my girlfriends family and while in our tent hearing a V8 car going by. I looked outside the tent and there was a hunter green 1984 LX 5.0 Police Mustang going by. I stopped the ranger and asked what it was, I had never seen one. He gave me the break down and I hit the Ford dealer and ordered one.

The final cost of the car was $8,450.00. It had the first roller cam, 4 barrel with vacuum secondary's, short length tubular headers and pretty decent heads all of which put out at the time at bone stock 215hp. The average V6 puts out more than that now but none sound as good! I ran a respectable 14.8@92mph in bone stock form. The best this car ever ran was 14.1@95mph, still mostly bone stock.

First Mustang

My second one was a 1985 Mustang GT, it was a sickly beast when I bought it but it was near mint when I bought it in 1994. The window black trim was peeling but I had that fixed, I wish I had a picture of it that way.

In June of 1994 me and my best friend Roland (his Camaro is in the background, he still owns it today!) ripped out the tired stock engine and installed a new short block, Performer RPM intake, Holly 4 bbl carb, GT40 Heads, E series Ford cam, Ford long tube ceramic coated headers, 3.73 gears and the car ran 12.6@108mph and beat several ZR1’s that tried to mess with it, Z28 Camaro’s had no chance, Trans Am’s were breakfast as were other Mustang’s!

I can honestly say it was faster on the street than it was at the track. Output was around 380hp to 400hp and traction was iffy at best in 1st and 2nd.



I also had a 1997 Mustang GT but that year they were low 15 second cars and I lack pictures of the car. It was pretty, but not very fast.

I traded the ‘97 Mustang GT for a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII. Does a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII qualify as a Muscle car? HECK YES! This thing ran 14.8@99mph and all I had to do was turn off the traction control. I unfortunately had to sue Lincoln because when it was in getting oil changed and a TSB performed they “DROPPED” the transmission out of the car and couldn’t explain to me why they wanted to remove the transmission when all they were doing was basic stuff and a TSB.

The car never drove without a bad vibration again, I sued, I won and the guy I helped the FBI put into jail for child porn (long story, might tell it some day) ended up buying the car from Ford not knowing it used to be mine. It’s like karma made sure he got that car shortly after he got out of prison. I found out by one day visiting the dealer for maintenance work and seeing the car there and him getting into it and driving away. I could not believe my eyes! I talked to a few guys I know there and they confirmed he bought it… couldn’t have happened to a better guy… the car deserved better though. Had it not been for what the mechanic did, I would have kept this car a long long time.



This next car was the epitome of a Muscle car, a REAL 1969 SS 396 SS Chevelle (I say real because there are a lot of clones out there). My friend Roland and I rebuilt the engine in this one as well and you can see below what we did. Some people loved it, some hated it, I loved it. We added new heads, headers, Performer RPM II intake, 498 lift (can’t remember the duration), this was a mild cam but it had a nice lope and made good power. It also had the M21 rock crusher 4 speed transmission. Power we assume around 420hp, I did take it to the track once but they restricted me to 15 seconds because the car lacked a modern seat belt. I ran the car as slow as I felt I could muster without going crazy and ran a 14.6@98mph and they told me I could no longer race the car until I got the proper seat belt. 14.8 in the Lincoln felt fast, 14.6 in the Chevelle felt like it was loping along, funny how perspective is ay?

This car could probably run into the high 12’s maybe giving my previous ‘85 Mustang GT a race for the money to about 70mph, after that the Mustang would have left it behind.




Chevelle before & after


2006 Mustang GT. This is the scariest fastest street car I have ever owned, it didn’t start out that way so I’ll explain each modification below. In this picture you can’t tell if the car is stock or the 530hp monster it ended up becoming. I’ll leave it that way. My best bud Roland’s Camaro runs into the 9’s in the quarter mile (pure race car), even he thought this thing was a monster on the street, the car would try to go sideways in each gear until it got traction, it was fun to steer it with throttle! Same with the ‘85 GT to a lesser degree.



In this stock 300hp configuration the car ran a respectable 13.7@103mph, considering how restrictive the air intake was I was amazed at the performance. Continue below…


In this configuration the car made around 338hp as verified by a Dyno. The car ran a very respectable 13.3@107mph this way on street tires. The modifications here are Demolet air intake, modified tune and flowmaster mufflers.


In this configuration below the car put out 385hp using the 87 octane tune and did not feel particularly potent and ran a best of 12.9@110mph which while impressive wasn’t worth the money spent on the supercharger. The modifications here are a V3 Vortech Supercharger with smaller higher output pully, 60lb injectors, dual high flow fuel pumps and a custom tune for different fuel types.

I received a new tune and one size smaller pulley and this beast put out on the Dyno 530hp!! Granted this was in very good air, low humidity in the 30’s so best case scenario. It probably averaged 490hp and up depending on the air outside. It’s average run with a bad 1.8 60ft time was a 12.0@118mph to 12.2@116mph, a 1.6 60ft netted 11.8@118mph which if you know drag racing is unreal for a street car, at least it was in 2007.

On street tires this car had zero traction on the street but it also never lost after the final config was installed with street stickies. Every car it met, it beat, was it the fastest on the street? Heck no, I just never ran into one faster, also cars this fast you don’t race at stop lights, that’s for teenagers. Us old folks find a place out in the country and get ‘er done there after talking and working it out for safety.


That’s it for the Muscle cars I have had in my life, I know the Chevelle and my 2006 GT are still out there making somebody happy. The 1997 Mustang GT was totaled by a teenager during a test drive at the dealer I traded it in at. I don’t know where the ‘85 LX or ‘85 GT ended up at but I hope they are still out there! The 1996 Lincoln is most likely out to pasture, the guy who bought it wasn’t known for taking good care of his cars plus Ford sold it with the same vibration I sued them for so it’s probably rusting in a dump somewhere.

I doubt I’ll ever own another Muscle car, these days we are all about paying off debt, getting rid of stuff and looking towards the future. I miss these cars but I’m happier with the RV, something my wife and I can enjoy together and that makes it worth it.

Bears Win Again And Awesome Fall Weather Is Here!

Bears go to 3 and 0!


The next few weeks are supposed to be as close to perfection as it can get considering we live in Illinois! WooHoo! Or, as Ronda would say Woot Woot! Smile

The tree’s are starting to change color so there should be some great pictures coming.


Sunday, September 22, 2013


It’s been a great weekend! We arrived Friday night, had a huge fire went for a few long walks and Saturday I worked and after we had family over for another huge fire and conversation.

We woke up this morning with all the vents and windows open and we could see our breath! FOr people who like the cold it was a bit too… well, cold! We decided to turn on the furnace and see how it works and within minutes the rig was toasty warm. Smile

Today I’m working again and we’ll be heading out around 4pm to be home in time for Da Bears!!

Only a few weekends left in the camping season but the temps should be like this going forward we hope.

Have a great week everybody!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Joys Of Home Ownership

Remember the days when homes were an investment? The bygone era of equity building each year as your American Dream gained value? Yeah so do I… now lets look at the present, since 2008 our house has seen a drop of at maximum $150,000 and currently it’s worth about $100,000 less than it was in 2008. Disappointed smile 

Some would say houses were gaining value too fast, I would agree with this since I couldn’t capitalize on it. Disappointed smile Dagnabit….

We have replaced the roof, siding and repainted the house all in the past few years, net gain of all that work? Still $100,000 less, no gain whatsoever plus our very large neighborhood which enjoyed a near zero rental status now has just this year had 100 homes purchased by management companies who throw a coat of paint on their purchase and then rents out to whomever they can get, including section 8.

The result on values is a trend down further because the market reacts to these things, never in a good way. So what was once one of the most desirable neighborhoods in South Elgin is now not even on the list. It’s still a nice looking neighborhood but you can spot the rentals as you drive down the street, banged up garage doors, unkempt lawns, weeds growing taller and taller, it makes you sad… so there is about 1 or 2 houses per block that look not too good when the rest look very well cared for.

What is my point you ask, well after we have replaced darn near everything the AC died yesterday and could it just spring a slow leak, nope, it blew a line most likely in the A-Coil. The unit while high efficiency and near silent in operation uses the old refrigerant meaning its expensive to buy and get put into the system. The tech that came out like most of them went into it all needs to be replaced because if I replace the A-Coil it could spring a leak somewhere else blah blah blah it’s going to be very expensive.

I happen to know if you replace the A coil and do a proper pressure/vapor/temp check and look for leaks it will probably last for years. I spoke to the tech on the phone after he left my wife and he wasn’t pushing the new system on me like he was her (my impression was he pushed the new system on her), I got the impression he felt she would just pass on the info that we need a new system and that would be it. When I called him he seemed perfectly ok with replacing the A coil and recharging the system, perhaps because I told him the chance of us buying a new one is ZERO.

I explained to Ronda they all come off as charming, nice and believable but I used to be in the AC/Heating industry and they’re like the old pushing tin guys so I don’t trust any of them. Plus I know how this stuff works, they aren’t that complex and in the old days if there was a leak it was repaired. When did we cross over into the everything has to be replaced mode that we have today?

I’m not dumping $5,000 to $10,000 on a house that is LOSING money and all the money we have dumped into it has thus far been thrown into a pit never to return or to return at less than 1 to 3% a year. 14 years of home ownership wasted, we’ll have to stay here a very long time to build equity again, the economy is laughing at me saying that.

So, I am purchasing a new A-Coil myself, replacing it and then hiring somebody to charge the system since I couldn’t find the right refrigerant online. This system has been inexpensive to run and has kept Ronda cool as an ice cube for 14 years, I know this repair should be good for another 5 or more easy and should come in under $650.00. All of our neighbors have new AC units, we can hear all of theirs, ours is near silent, it’s going to stay that way.

Anybody want to buy a house? It’s the same price we paid for it 14 years ago….

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The $5.37 Order At Taco Bell

Ronda sent this to me this morning and I was almost in tears I was laughing so hard… then I realized wait a minute, this is me! Disappointed smile 

$5.37! That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said,"It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me."Only $4.68"he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen? I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me? I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler? "Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?" I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind! "Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn.What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. Then, a few other objects came into focus: The child seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard. Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle. Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger!

My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found. I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was,"What is the world coming to?" All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here"? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits. Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake".

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized. She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time." All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast. As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was that I had successfully found my way home. Pass this on to the other "old fogies" on your list (so they can have fun laughing, too). Notice the larger type? That's for those of us who have trouble reading.

Monday, September 16, 2013


I’m kind of going all over the place here. I don’t know about all of you but for my entire life I have believed in God and Jesus. However I have questioned if it’s like they make claims of in Church. I have always been unsure of what to believe. The various church’s I have been to have always been filled with people who seem to be doing what their faith told them not to do. Judge others, make demands of people and even the Bible itself seemed to have sections written to ensure women knew their place… so much of it felt more like how men wanted women to be and blamed Eve for taking a bite out of the apple, seemed to be too contrived to me, too easy since it was man who interpreted God’s word. I believe if a woman had been the one hearing God’s word the Bible might appear a bit different today.

I believe I am as close to being a Christian as one can be thinking this way, maybe I’m wrong but I don’t use it as something to use over somebody. Today it’s popular to mock and laugh at Christians, they remove Christianity from schools but have no issue with Islam in schools or prayer rooms in schools or public places that don’t allow a cross. People scream that this isn’t a Christian country ignoring the facts and also ignoring that the separation letters were not law and yet, here we are. I digress, by ripping out the values that Christianity brought to this country we are replacing it with what exactly? Government? Yes, Government… it is now the all knowing all powerful and it’s getting more powerful by the day. Since there is no God according to these masses Government fills the void and they seem very happy with that.

I don’t know why the people who are so intent on ripping out Christianity are so easily ignoring Islam as it gets roots into more places. If Christianity isn’t allowed in public places why isn’t this standard used for Islam? Rhetorical question, this isn’t the place for this question and I began this post by saying my entire life I have believed in God and got off on a tangent again.

I just wish I knew how I believed in him, I believe in Jesus Christ as well and in fact this is the only part I can say with conviction. I believe in them whole heartedly because looking deeply into what so many scientists say how we came to be, makes no sense, at all. Name one complex thing you can build without a plan. If you take lincoln logs and throw them into the air, do they fall into the form of a log house? If you threw them into the air a billion times would they form a house? How about a house that is self aware? This is too simplistic yes? The scientists would have us believe that we are a mistake. Yet here we are, the product of monkeys right? Yet monkeys are still here, are saber tooth tigers still here? Wooly Mammoths? All of those creatures have been replaced yet we come from monkeys and they are still here. People accept the explanation of Darwin and that’s it.

I do believe in evolution so Darwin is partially correct I think, heck I don’t have the answers but I honestly believe neither do the scientists. These guys can’t even get global warming right to span 3 decades and we are expected to believe they know what has happened over 4 billion years? Sorry, can’t do it, they have changed their minds way too much on too many things since just 1970 for me to follow their theories, you can’t even get 5 of them into a room to agree with each other.

The random end to a mix-mash of events over millions of years and complex brains that are self aware are the end result? Seriously? You believe that only one species would become self aware? Does that really make sense? I’m sure many will school me o this, please just post an opinion ok, no essays.

I digress again, September 24th Kirk Cameron’s movie unstoppable is making its debut at a local theater and we will be going. This is a man who started out an atheist and is now a man of faith. I have read some of his work and watched some of his videos and while I don’t agree with some of his words I think overall he is honest and has put out a movie that explains his path and I plan to watch it so maybe, just maybe I can get some clarity for my path.

Ronda knows what she believes through and through, she never waivers, I hope one day to be that strong. If you have a chance, check this movie out and let me know what you think.

Let me know what you think about my ramblings above as well, I know some of you have strong thoughts on the subject. If you have nothing but negativity to respond with, don’t. Thank you.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Da Bears Win!! 31 – 30

Whew, it was a close one but a win is a win!



Friday, September 13, 2013

Quote Of The Day

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde

So true! Have a great weekend everybody!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget - Sept 11th, 2001 & Sept 11th, 2012


Sept 11th, 2001 New York




Sept 11th, 2012 Benghazi





Friday, September 6, 2013

Good News

My sister in law found out she is now in remission from her bladder cancer. I got a very excited text from her this afternoon with the results.

Prayers answered. Smile