Dragon Boy . . .

Well, someone’s all ready for Halloween.

Landon’s having so much fun Brandi will be lucky to get him out of it between now and Halloween.

Landon Dragon 3

Landon Dragon 4


Today was another of those dreary, overcast, do-nothing days that we like so much. Jan and I spent most of it catching up on some old TV shows on our DVR, some of them dating back to our gate guarding time. I watched very little TV during that period, spending most of my time either outside on the gate, or inside sleeping. And I was surprised how little I actually missed it.

At 5 Nick and Terry, Stu and Donna McNicol, and Jan and I drove over to Palmyra to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse. I know it was Saturday night, but I figured we were getting there early enough so it wouldn’t be a problem, and we didn’t need to use their Call-Ahead feature.

Big Mistake.

By the time we arrived there was already a lot of people standing outside, waiting to be called. When I signed in they said that it would be between 50 minutes and an hour. It turned out to be about an hour and 15 minutes. But we had our usual great meal so it all worked out. The only problem was that it’s always so noisy there, it’s hard to hear yourself think, much less talk to each other. But we had a great time anyway.

As we were leaving Texas Roadhouse we saw this beautiful 1949 Hudson in the parking lot. Unfortunately this nighttime photo doesn’t really do it justice. But it really is a beautiful car.

1949 Hudson


Stu and Donna will be leaving tomorrow morning and we’ll really be sorry to see them go. Hopefully we’ll meet up again soon.


Thought for the Day:

"Moderation is a good thing. If you don’t overdo it." – Hagar the Viking


How Far We’ve Come . . .

This is what Amazon’s home page looked like the first day it went online in July 1996.

How things have changed.


For our anniversary I got Jan a Medi-Rub 2000 Foot Massager. I know it’s not the most romantic thing, but it’s what she wanted, so it’s what she got.

Medi-Rub Foot Massager

And she seemed real happy to get it and started using it immediately. And that’s what counts.

After coffee and muffins in the morning, Jan and I pretty much just goofed off all day, and that was really nice. It was overcast, just perfect for doing nothing. I had some projects I had planned to do around the rig, but those seemed to fade as the day went on.

And we did nothing until about 5pm when we headed out with Nick & Terry, and Stu & Donna McNicol for dinner at Fuddrucker’s. And as usual when RV’ers get together, we spent more time talking than eating. I realize that might be hard to believe after looking at Nick and I, but it’s true.

Finally leaving Fuddrucker’s , our next stop on the way back to the park was the Mazzoli Ice Cream shop. Jan had seen the place as we were coming into town on Tuesday, and it caught her eye because it was advertising Pumpkin Custard.

And Jan loves anything pumpkin.

But tonight was her first chance to try some, because the place is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Everyone really liked their homemade ice cream, and as it turns out, there’s a good reason for that.

Fred Mazzoli, the original owner, was Milton Hershey’s  head dairy chef for almost 20 years, and developed many of Hershey’s famous products. And it looks like that goodness carries on today. Hopefully we’ll get to go back before we leave the area.

Luckily for us, tomorrow looks to be another do-nothing day. Maybe I’ll actually get some of those projects.

But probably not.


Thought for the Day:

"As you journey through life take a minute every now and then to give a thought for the other fellow. He could be plotting something." — Hagar the Horrible


Happy Anniversary to My Sweetie!

Happy Anniversary


Thanks for 45 Wonderful Years!

You’ve made it seem like only yesterday that we met.

Exploring PA . . .

We started out about 11:30 this morning with Nick as our tour guide. Ostensibly, we were also looking for a nearby Camping World so I could check out some step covers, but we ended up on a wild goose chase through some beautiful Pennsylvania countryside.

Some of our wanderings took us through Hershey, PA, “The Town that Chocolate Built”. And even the streetlights are shaped like Hershey Kisses.

Hershey Kiss Streetlights

All over town there are hospitals, libraries, schools, colleges, and orphanages built by company founder Milton Hershey. And like all the towns in this area, it seems like every home is nicely painted and neatly landscaped.

Our quest for Camping World turned out to be a lost cause since we found out that Camping World’s website considers Camping World RV Sales sites the same as the camping stores. So we ended up at an RV sales lot, and found out the nearest Camping World store is actually in New Jersey, 87 miles away.

Oh well, we saw some beautiful countryside, anyway.

Our next stop was a Staples, where Nick mailed a package, Jan got some fancy paperclips, and I got a new toy – A USB computer-controlled missile launcher.

Missle Launcher

Just another way to annoy the cats.

Afterwards we drove through a few of the surrounding towns, and also checked out a nearby Outdoor World RV Park.

We were all entranced by unique architecture of the area’s buildings.

PA House 1

PA House 2

After some more driving around and a few more stops we ended up having dinner at the Golden Corral in Lebanon, one of our favorite places around the country.

After a nice leisurely meal, we got back to the park to find our friends Stu and Donna parked right up the hill from us. It’ll be good to see them again.

It’s supposed to be a really rainy day tomorrow so it’ll probably be a stay-at-home day. Those are always nice.


Thought for the Day:

"The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." – Ronald Reagan


Circuit Breakers and Fuddrucker’s . . .

This morning started off earlier than I really wanted, but once I was up, I was up. So after coffee I pretty much just sat back and enjoyed the morning. Officially I was waiting for the park repair guy to show up to take a look at my electrical problem. Of course they said he’d be here the first thing this morning. But since by now it’s after 11 and he’s still not here, so that’s not working out too well so far.

But he did finally show up about 12:30pm, and for once, I got a guy who knew what he was doing. But I did have to prove to him that I really had a problem after he didn’t see anything wrong on his meter. But once I showed him what would happen when I plug in my coach, he was convinced. And as I had figured the problem turned out to be in the circuit breaker itself.

And even better, while he went off to find a new one, Terry Russell invited Jan and I over to have a bowl of her world-famous Apple Crisp, hot out of the oven.

A little later the repair guy showed back up with a new breaker, and after installing it, I plugged my coach back into it and everything was now working perfectly. Glad that’s fixed.

A little after 2, Terry, Jan and I headed to get our Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart shopping fix. Nick stayed home to work on the next issue of the Gypsy Journal so it was just us three.

And we were all pretty much shopped out by the time we got home a little before 6. But being shopped out doesn’t mean we weren’t hungry, so after we got things put away we all headed out to have dinner at a Fuddrucker’s we’d seen on our way into town yesterday.


Thought for the Day:

“Occasionally wrong, but never in doubt.”


Pennsylvania 6-5000 . . . well, 1-7003 actually.

After a pretty quiet night at the Cabela’s in Triadelphia, WV, we headed out a little before 9, but only across the parking lot to a nearby McDonald’s for breakfast.

Jan was happy to see that they now have “Pumpkin Pie” pies, and they’re really good.

Getting on the road for real, we traveled about 60 miles before getting on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the next 175 miles. Nick had said the last time he and Terry were through here the road was pretty bad. But we were pleasantly surprised to find it in excellent shape, making for a nice smooth trip.

We got off the tollroad just south of Harrisburg for the last 20 miles to the park. Our toll for the trip was $45.25, not too bad since the road was so good. I really hate it when the tollroads are in worse shape than the free ones.

We got into the Thousand Trails about 3pm and unhitched our toads at the Family Center. Then it was into Nick’s Explorer to drive around looking for a good spot, or spots, I should say.

We ended up finding a couple of sites across from each other in the 30 amp B section and got parked and set up.

Things were going fine on my end when about 15 minutes after I hooked up to shore power, I had no power in the coach. I know I had it when I first hooked it up because I checked, but not now.

What ever was wrong with my pedestal, my Progressive EMS just didn’t like it. In fact now it would not only not let power into our coach, but it would shut itself off.

I was pretty sure it was the pedestal, but couldn’t be sure until I checked it out further. But it was getting to be time for supper so off we went. I told the ranger on the way out that I had trouble with my electric and he said they’d sent someone over tomorrow.

We had a great meal at A & M Pizza in Hershey, really, really good. Nick and Terry had eaten here before, and now we really like it too.

Getting back to the rig I wanted to do one final test to see if I could isolate the problem, and also get us power for the night. So I dug out my heavy duty 20 amp extension cord and my 20amp to 30amp adapters, and hooked up to the pedestal on the empty site next door.

And everything worked fine. So now we have power for the night, and I know the pedestal is the problem. A couple of hours later I checked the 20 amp cord and found it not even warm, so I know I’m not overloading it, even though I actually hooked up to a 30 amp outlet, My EMS shows we’re only pulling about 19 amps anyway.

Looks like we might be in for some rain tonight and tomorrow, so it might be just a goof-off day.

And I’m really good at that.


Thought for the Day:

Anyone who thinks wisdom comes with age is either too young or too stupid to know the difference.


Wheeling into Wheeling . . .

After a great two weeks at the Thousand Trails park in Batesville, IN, it was time to move on. In case, on to Hersey, PA and the Thousand Trails park there.

So after Nick and I both topped off our diesel tanks, we all headed out for Wheeling, WV about 270 miles.

We’re going to spend the night at the Cabella’s in Triadelphia, WV, just east of Wheeling. Then tomorrow we’ll have a 250 mile journey on to Hersey.

After a smooth trip, marred only by a 30 minute delay going through some construction coming out of Wheeling, and only about 10 miles from Cabella’s

We finally got parked at Cabella’s with some confusion. The sign on the light pole said ‘RV/Truck Parking”. Then the sign underneath said “No Overnight Parking.

So Nick and I headed into the store to check it out. And were told it was OK to park overnight and didn’t know anything about the signs.

A while later, we decided to have dinner at the Quaker Steak and Lube on the side of the parking lot.

Then it was back to the rig for the evening to watch the new Fall shows.

Cabell's Parking Lot

Tomorrow, on to Hersey.


Thought for the Day:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death. – Joan D. Vinge

Rabbit Hash . . .

Picking up where we left off yesterday,  this next aircraft is the Convair B-36.

The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made and had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built. It was also the only combat aircraft propelled by both piston and jet engines.

B-36 Bomber


The B-36 was slow and could not refuel in midair, but could stay aloft as long as 40 hours. It was so big it even had 6 bunks and a crew dining area.

Moreover, its phenomenal cruising altitude for a piston-driven aircraft, 50,000 ft. put it out of range of all piston fighters, early jet interceptors, and ground fire.

The photo below shows the relative size of the WWII B-29 and the B-36.

B36 B29

It was operational from 1949 to 1959 when it was finally replaced by the B-52, which debuted in 1955.

This is the A-7D Corsair II ground attack plane. I used to work on these when I was a DOD contractor.

A7D Corsair II


And this is the A-37D Dragonfly. Built by Cessna (yes, Cessna) it was originally the T-37 light trainer, but was outfitted as a combat aircraft during the Vietnam War. Another aircraft I worked on.

A37 Dragonfly


This is the Canberra B-57B light bomber. I worked on these at Otis AFB on Cape Cod during the early 70’s, although I was working on the RB-57 reconnaissance versions and the EB-57 electronic countermeasures version.



The Canberra was actually a British design built under license by the US. Designed at the end of WWII it was originally slated to have piston- driven prop engines which accounts for the mid-wing nacelles. But it was switched over to jets before it went operational.

It’s also the only plane I ever worked on that had Buick (yes, Buick!) jet engines. Until I saw these, I never even knew Buick made jet engines.

B-57B engine


This is the B-58A Hustler, the first US jet bomber to cruise at supersonic speeds, in this case, over 1300 mph.



The B-2 Stealth Bomber.

B-2 Stealth Bomber


This is the fabled U-2 spy plane,

U-2 b

U-2 Spy Plane


which was replaced by the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.

The SR-71 still holds the records for both altitude (over 85,000 ft.) and speed (almost 2200 mph) for an air-breathing engine (i.e. not a rocket). It is however, rumored that the Blackbird was easily capable of exceeding these public records when needed.

I got to work on one these one time when I was at Otis AFB.



The museum also had a great collection of missiles and rockets, from the Jupiter to the Minuteman, and more.

Museum Missiles


If you like planes, this is a museum for you. Check it out.

Dayton Air Museum Overview


Now catching up on today.

Mister spent the morning laying out in front of the rig catching some rays. This is one lazy cat.

Mister Catching Some Rays


About 2pm we all headed out on our last day of touristy things, in this case, about 30 miles south down into Kentucky, to visit Rabbit Hash, KY.

Hey, I didn’t make up the name.

As Nick said today, you have to be going to Rabbit Hash, because you’re not going to stumble on it by accident.

The whole place consists of two stores, the Rabbit Hash General Store,

Rabbit Hash General Store

Rabbit Hash General Store 2

Rabbit Hash General Store 3


the Rabbit Hash Mercantile, and

Rabbit Hash General Store 6

Rabbit Hash General Store 9

Rabbit Hash General Store 7


The Scalded Hog, the local BBQ joint.

The Scalded Hog


It’s apparently a popular destination for weekend bikers, since there was about 50 bikes parked around town.

Rabbit Hash General Store 4


While we were there, Nick and I saw this sign and he said it described us.

I said I’m Old, you’re Odd. Who’s Otherwise?

He wouldn’t answer.

Rabbit Hash General Store 8


They did have a lot of flowers in planters and baskets around town. Very nice.

Rabbit Hash Flower


Rabbit Hash is a neat little town. Kind of reminds me of Chicken, Alaska. You can find out more by clicking above.

Finally heading home, we passed a number of barns with quilt patterns painted on them.

And we had the bonus of two deer at the first one.

Barn Quilt 1

Barn Quilt 2

Barn Quilt 3

Getting back to the park area, we decide to have dinner again at Sherman House Restaurant & Inn, the great German restaurant we ate at last week.

Tomorrow morning we’re heading out for a two day trip to the Thousand Trails park in Hersey, PA. We’ll overnite about half way at a Cabella’s in Wheeling, WV.


Thought for the Day:

Orchides Forum Trahite. Cordes Et Mentes Veniant.

All Planes, all the time . . .

We headed out on our Dayton daytrip about 9:30, but our first stop was at the McDonald’s in Harrison, right inside the Ohio line. And after a quick breakfast we were back on the road for the rest of our 85 mile trip.

Our first stop was the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, located in and around buildings that housed the Wright Brothers and their businesses.

Dayton National Aviation Heritage Museum

Most people know about their bicycle shop, but less well-known is the fact they were also in the printing business, printing newspapers, flyers, pamphlets, and other items. And in addition to running two companies, they were also designing the first airplane at the same time.

As their businesses expanded, they moved to bigger buildings but always in this same small area of Dayton.

One of the first things you see inside the Museum is a replica of the Wright’s 1902 Flyer, the first successful powered heavier-than-air craft.

1902 Wright Flyer


While we were there we also saw this replica of the Wright’s Bicycle Shop, where they repaired bicycles and built new ones.

Wright's Bike Shop

Although Jan and I enjoyed here, we both agreed that we liked the Wright Brother’s museum at Kitty Hawk, NC.

Next we headed about 10 miles away to visit The National Museum of the United States Air Force.

National Air MuseumLike visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, it’s hard to know where to start. They had pretty much one of everything, including some that I’ve never seen in person before.

There are planes everywhere you look, in front, behind, overhead, etc.

Wright Pat Overviewdasdfsdf

From the Red Baron’s Fokker Triplane,Red Baron Frokker


to the Kettering ‘Bug’, essentially a 1917 version of the cruise missile.

Kettering Bug


And this Kellett K3 Autogyro.

Kellett K3 AutoGyro


This is the last remaining Seversky P-35, the forerunner to the P-47. It was the Army Air Corps first production, singe-seat, all-metal pursuit plane with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

It also has the unique property of being the only plane flown by both the U.S. and the Japanese during World War II. The Japanese government bought 20 of these from the US in 1938 and used them through the war.

Seversky P-35


I can only figure that the pilot of this B-24 Liberator either married a redhead, or got a ‘Dear John’ letter from one.

B24 Stawberry Bitch


This is the ME 163B Komet, a WWII German rocket-powered interceptor designed to climb rapidly and bring down the Allied bomber formations. It was hampered by its short range and vulnerability to being shot down while landing.

Me 163B Komet


The is the ME 262A, the first jet aircraft used in combat.

Me 262


This is the P-61C Black Widow night fighter, the first US plane designed specially for that purpose. The radar in its nose allowed to track and shoot down enemy aircraft in total darkness.

p-61C Black Widow


This is one that I’ve never seen in person before. It’s the F-82G Twin Mustang, similar to the P-38 Lightning, in that it has two fuselages joined by a common wing. It was the last propeller-driven fighter aircraft acquired by US.



And this is the B-29 ‘Bockscar, only the second plane to drop an atomic bomb in wartime, in this case, on Nagasaki, Japan.

B-29 Bock's Car


And this is a replica of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb that was dropped. It derives its explosive power from the plutonium, unlike the ‘Little Boy’ bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima three days earlier, that was powered by Uranium 235.

Fat Man 3


We’ve now seen both WWII atomic bombers, this one, along with the ‘Enola Gay’ at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

This wraps up today’s blog. I’ll continue our tour in tomorrow’s post.


Thought for the Day:

There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.


Nice Slow Day . . .

Today got off to a slow start. I woke up early with a headache, took some aspirin, and then went back to bed. So when I finally got up it was almost 11. Almost half the day gone before I even got started.


About 1pm I called Spartan Chassis about my tail pipe and fuel tank problems.

To catch up, the end of my chrome tail pipe extension had rusted out so I ordered a new one from Spartan a couple of months ago. But when I tried to replace the old one I couldn’t get it loose. The extension was inserted into the pipe coming out of the muffler and then a 4-inch clamp encircled it.

Well, for the last several days I’ve tried everything to get the old pipe out of the muffler pipe with no luck. I’ve tried penetrating oil, brute force with a rubber mallet and a length of galvanized pipe, and heating the outside of the pipe with a propane torch. Nothing worked.

I had assumed that this extension was the original one, but after talking to Spartan I don’t think so. According to Spartan the extension should not be inserted into the muffler, but merely butted up against the muffler pipe and then the clamp holds everything together.

So now I’m planning to just cut off the old extension flush with the muffler pipe and then clamping the new one on like it’s supposed to be. But it will probably have to wait till after we move this coming Monday.

My other question was about my partially collapsed diesel fuel tank, caused by a clogged fuel tank vent hose. He thought my idea about putting 5 to 10 PSI of air pressure had a good chance of working. Again I’ll wait till we’re at our next park.

About 5pm we all headed over to Batesville to get our Mexican Food Fix at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant. It had been recommended by a waitress at Skyline Chili, and boy was she right.

It was really good, and really popular, too. Within 15 minutes after we got there the place started filling up. Hopefully this will hold us for a while, since good Mexican can be hard to find up North.

Later, after we got home, Landon’s Aunt Sherry posted this photo of Master Landon at dinner tonight. Looks like he’s having Mexican too.

Landon Eating


On another note, I found this photo on Facebook and really got a kick out it.

Scares The Hell Out of Me


Tomorrow we’re got to make the 85 mile trip to Dayton to visit the The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, and the Wright Brother’s Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.


Thought for the Day:

You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." – Margaret Thatcher