Finally . . . Maybe

Well, I was at the repair place at 8am this morning.

And then things went downhill from there.

When the guy from RV Glass, that was supposed to know all about installing this type of gasket on an American Eagle, didn’t show up, Josh, from Coach Supply, gave him a call.

And it turns out that the guy knew nothing about coming to help install my gasket. Nobody had said anything to him about it.

And in fact, he was already booked solid the rest of the week, anyway. And on top of that, he had never installed this gasket on any American Coach whatsoever.

At this point I threw a major snit fit (note the ‘n’).

I first called American Coach parts down in Decatur, IN to confirm, yes they did have the gasket in stock, and it was $266.69.

Then I got on the phone with RV Glass out in CA and jumped all over them, but politely.

The local RV Glass guy here in Elkhart had admitted on Friday afternoon that they were trying to use a cheaper, generic gasket instead of getting the real one from American. This, coupled with the phantom, know-it-all, no-show repair guy, was the last straw.

When I related all this to RV Glass HQ, that seemed to get the ball rolling. It took a little while but I later got a call back saying the gasket was waiting down in Decatur.

I had already mentioned that I was willing to go down and pick it up, so about 1:30 Jan and I hit the road for the two hour drive down there.

Real Gasket

When we got there, the gasket was waiting as promised, and already paid for.  I had told Josh not to worry about trying to install everything tonight, since we were already on the hook for tonight’s motel room, but that we would get a early start tomorrow morning.

We got back to Elkhart about 5:30 just in time to get with Nick and Terry Russell to have dinner at El Maguey, probably our last time this year.

So hopefully, this time tomorrow we’ll be back in our rig.

We hope.


Thought for the Day:

If you don’t read a newspaper, you’re probably uninformed. If you do read a newspaper, you’re probably misinformed.


Cabin Fever . . .

Jan and I headed out to breakfast at Bob Evans this morning about 10:30. It was either that, or take her down with a tranquilizer dart. And Mister too.

Both of them are getting severe cabin fever stuck here in this EconoLodge motel room. As far as me, I have my laptop, my Kindle, and my phone, so I’m fine.

But our breakfast was good. In fact we’ve never had a bad meal at Bob Evans, even when Nick steals my cappuccino.

About the time Jan was bouncing off the walls again, Nick called a little after 2, and we all headed over to Mishawaka for some shopping, finally ending up at Golden Corral for dinner about 5pm.

This is our third visit there and every one has been great. We’re going to miss it when we leave the area.

On the Landon front, he has his own version of the shish kabob. His is made from marshmallows and strawberries. Actually it looks pretty good.



Chris sent over a better photo of his new Yamaha 1900 bike. He and a bunch of other retired firefighters are planning a trip out west later this year, and he’s really looking forward to it.

Yamaha 1900


Tomorrow morning we’ll have the continental breakfast here at the motel, then I’ll head down to Coach Supply around 8amto see how things are going to work out with our windshield gasket. I’m also going to call American Coach down in Decatur, IN to confirm that they do have a gasket in stock and how much it is.

I want something decided by 11 or so, in case we need a gasket from American Coach. Either way, I’m afraid we’re probably looking at another night here in Cabin Fever hell.


Thought for the Day:

I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. – George Burns


I Miss My RV . . .

That’s what Jan said this evening watching TV in motel room. And I agree.

Yesterday, we had a number of comments wondering what Mister was doing during the whole windshield thing. And the answer is, as usual he was trying to get right in the middle of it.

Mister and Windshield

At times he would even be hanging out the opening watching the guys work. Finally I put him on his leash and tied him off to a scaffolding by the rig and he just lay there and watched.

Jan and I both got up early this morning, (well, 8am early, early for me) so we could check out the free (that always gets my attention) continental breakfast here at the motel. And it wasn’t bad at all.

They had muffins, English muffins, toast, and Belgian waffles, as well as cereal, milk, coffee, and OJ.

About 9:30 Jan and I drove over to our coach to pick up some more things for our extended motel stay. While we were waiting for Josh to open the shop, we met Jerry and Tish Unterkoefler who showed up in their Monaco Diplomat. They wanted to talk to Josh about getting some new Captain’s Chairs for their rig. Said they were next heading down to Decatur, IN to have Monaco replaced the seals on their slide.

Started to ask them if they could pick up the correct windshield gasket from American Coach.

Leaving Coach Supply we headed over to Wal-Mart for some cat food and chips, and then on the way back to the motel, we stopped off at Steak and Steak for lunch.

This time I had the Jalapeno Crunch Steakburger.


And Jan had the Chili 5 Ways.


Both very good, just like our last visit.

Although we don’t usually eat two meals out a day, we made an exception and met Nick and Terry at the Wings Etc. over by the Wal-Mart. And by the time we left, we both hurt.

But, as Jan said. it was a ‘good hurt’.

I guess Nick just doesn’t see enough of me now since we’re not parked right next door, so he called a little before 9pm with some made-up computer problem just to get me to come over.

But I did come home with strawberry-rhubarb pie and warm chocolate chip cookies, so it was all good.


Thought for the Day:

"The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors." – Henry Becque


I love it when a plan comes together . . . or not!

Well, today got off to a good start. We were up about 7am, had our coffee and muffins, cranked up the rig at 8:40, and then pulled out at 8:45, heading about 6 miles up into Michigan to Coach Supply to have our passenger-side windshield replaced.

We pulled into the bay about 5 after 9, and a few minutes later Josh and his helper started removing the old windshield.

Windshield Repair 1


The driver’s side took a little longer because they wanted to be careful to get it out in one piece since it will be reused.

Windshield Repair 2


Next the old gasket came out and area was cleaned up and the new gasket started to go in.

Windshield Repair 3


But then the first problem showed up and it was a big one. The gasket was the wrong sized. It was too big.

So after a lot of back and forth with the supplier, Josh headed down to south Elkhart to get a new gasket.

And after comparing the old-new gasket with the new-new gasket, the new-new gasket was noticeably smaller. So things were back on track.

Soon the new gasket was installed and they were ready to reinstall the driver’s side glass. The new-new gasket still seemed to be a little large, but they were hoping that the glass would seat it into place.

Windshield Repair 4

But when they got the glass in place the glass was still gapping around the gasket. So they took the glass back out, and the gasket back off. So we went back and compared the original gasket with the new one, and the differences were obvious.

Windshield Gasket

Not only the size difference, but even the corners were rounded differently.

So now we’re stuck. I suggested they get a new gasket from American Coach down in Decatur, IN. But now RV Glass is sending a guy out on Monday morning who says we don’t know what we’re talking about and he can make it work. We’ll see.

So now Jan and I will be spending the night in a motel for the weekend until at least Monday, maybe Tuesday.


Thought for the Day:

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." –Tacitus


It’s All Nick’s Fault (again!)

Head Update: So Far, So Good

It looks like some of the swelling has gone down, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if I  have a dent in my head when this is all over. We’ll see.

Well, it looks like our windshield repair is still on for tomorrow. Josh, of Coach Supply, wants us at his shop a little after 9am. Says he picked up all the parts this morning.

I was relieved to hear that as I was worried about getting a windshield gasket for a 15 year old rig. American Coach said they had one in stock, but companies sometimes say that until you try to actually order one.

It’s less than 4 miles up to Coach Supply in Michigan, so we’ll be ready to head out about 8:45. Josh said it should only take about 4-5 hours or so.

They’ll pull out both windshields, remove the old gasket, replace the gasket, and then reinstall the old driver’s side glass, and install the new one on the passenger side.

We’ll see how it goes.


Apparently Landon’s ‘school’ is doing dinosaurs this week.

Landon drawing a Dinosaur

Who was that Masked Landon

I made the mistake of calling it his daycare, and he, very indignantly, said, ‘No, it’s School’.


Sometime in the next week or so I’ll be switching this blog over to a new site.

You can check it out here. New Site

As I said, Nick has been nagging me to start running ads on my site like he does on his. But to do that, I have to move the blog from the free area of WordPress onto a paid site. And since my original theme, DIgg 3 Column, is no longer available, I also had to choose a new theme. Nick suggested that I just use his theme, but I figured that would be just too incestuous.

This new one, Brava, is not perfect, but it’s the best one I’ve found so far. That’s not to say I won’t find a better one in the next few weeks and change to a new one.

Later this evening, Terry Russell invited us over for warm Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Really, really good.

And Nick’s still trying to get me to switch over to his Suffusion blog theme. Nag, nag, nag.


Thought for the Day:

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function. – Unknown



Well, except for waking up about 5am with a dull headache that a couple of Advil took care of pretty quickly, my first night with a new hole in my head went pretty nicely.

No real pain except for the occasional headache, and a feeling that the top of my head is tight, I guess because my scalp was stretched to cover the wound.

About 10 Jan took off the bandage to clean and moisten the wound. I’m supposed to use Vaseline or Neosporin to keep it moist each time I re-bandage it so it won’t scab over

While I had the bandage off, Jan took a couple of photos, but since some people might feel they’re a little gross, I posted them on a separate page if you want to look.

Head pic 1

Head Pic 2

But don’t blame me if it puts you off your feed.

Jan and I sat outside with our coffee and muffins for a little while, but, although it wasn’t real hot, it was pretty muggy, so we didn’t stay out as long as usual, much to Mister’s dismay.

I don’t know if it’s because of the surgery, but I did feel kind of washed out today, so I pretty much goofed off the entire time.

Finally, about 3pm Jan and I drove down to Martin’s Supermarket to pick up a few things, including more gauze and tape for my head. While we were there, I got a call from the Doctor’s office just checking up on me to be sure everything was all right.

Nice people.

About 4:30 we headed out with Nick and Terry to have dinner at the Flippin’ Cow. a new-to-us hamburger place on Lake Simonton near our RV Park.

Flippin' Cow

The last time we ate here it was called Lakeshore Grill and was pretty good. Apparently the same people still own it, they’ve just changed it over to a burger joint.

And a very GOOD burger joint.

In fact, their ‘Stella Moo’ burger has been voted The Best Burger in Elkhart County, and is now in the runoff  with one other place for the Best Burger in seven counties that comprise the Michiana area. The winner will be announced July 7th.

And if I can find where to vote, I would certainly vote for the Stella Moo that I had, shown below.

Stella Moo Burger

It has two steak burger patties topped with smoked beef brisket, jalapeno bacon, onion straws, pepper jack cheese, and Alehouse BBQ sauce on a toasted wheat brioche bun. Then I added tomatoes, jalapenos, spicy mayo, and sweet heat pickles,

This has got to be the absolute best burger I’ve ever eaten. And Jan said the same about the one she got.

We’ve already planned to go back next Wednesday because it’s $1.99 burger night and the burgers are cheaper.

But as much as I like the Stella Moo, I’m also tempted to try their Hunka Hunka Burger Love. It has two steak burger patties, peanut butter, jalapeno jelly, smoked bacon, and pepper jack cheese on a toasted pretzel bun.

Decisions, decisions.


Thought for the Day:

"There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well." – Booker T. Washington


Just in Time . . .

Well, we were up about 6:30 this morning, way too early. I mean, this, and I have to have a hole drilled in my head too?

Anyway, we headed out about 7:15 with a stop for breakfast at a nearby McDonald’s, before getting to Dr. Roger Moore’s office about 7:45.

I was taken back to the treatment room a few minutes before 8, and the doctor came in about 5 after. A very nice guy, he had me carved up in about 15 minutes, and then I went back out to the waiting room to wait for the results. It apparently takes about an hour to freeze the carcinoma, section it, and then look at it.

In my case, he didn’t quite get it all the first time. He needed to go a little deeper.

So it was back into the treatment room for another 10 minute session, and another hour wait. But when I got called back in the next time, the doctor said they got it all that time, and he was now ready to stitch me up. Which again took about 15 minutes.

I never felt the slightest bit of pain from the beginning to the end, even from the local anesthetic the start. All I could feel was dull pressure.

They take digital photos along the way, and I got a look at how my head looked after the stitches and it’s really puckered where the skin was pulled together over the hole.

But right now it looks this this.

Head after Op

We were out of the office about 11:30, which meant the entire procedure took about 3 and a half hours, which is about what they said it would be. I will not have to go back since the stitches they put in are dissolvable.

So hopefully, this will be the end of it.

As far as the Just in Time part, we were really lucky that there was a cancellation so I could have the procedure done today. As we were walking into the office there was a sign on the door saying they would be closed all next week for the 4th of July Holiday, so we would have had to delay our leaving on July 7th as scheduled.

To reward myself for being such a good patient (after all, I didn’t get a lollipop or anything.), and since it was lunchtime, and we were hungry, we stopped for lunch at the Steak and Shake near the RV Park.

We both wanted to try their version of Cincinnati’s Chili 5 Ways, so we got one and split it.

Jan actually liked their version a little better than the Skyline version we buy.S and S Chili 5 ways

Jan had the Garlic Double SteakBurger with a bun topped with, what else, garlic butter, and then toasted.

S and S Garlic Double Steakburger

I had the Bacon Lover’s Double Steakburger.

S and S Bacon Lovers Double Steakburger

It’s been a while since we’ve eaten at a Steak and Shake, just like Taco Bell the other day, and like Taco Bell, this was really good today. We’ll have to go back.

I do want to thank everyone for their good wishes and prayers this morning. It’s always nice to know you have friends who care.


Thought for the Day:

“The purpose of power is power.” — George Orwell


Everything Comes Together . . .

When I was blogging about the two movies we saw on Saturday, Maleficent and The Edge of Tomorrow, I spent some time Googling about the films.

The first thing I found out was that Tom Cruise’s part in Edge was originally written for Brad Pitt. But when he dropped out, it was rewritten for Cruise.

In fact, the entire script was written and rewritten several times, including even after filming had started. They didn’t even have a ending to the movie when they started.

As far as Maleficent, they really did a great job matching up the original Disney Sleeping Beauty Maleficent

Maleficent - Old


with the Angelina Jolie version.



One thing I found funny was concerning a scene in the movie where Maleficent  meets up with Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) as a young child.

Maleficent and Aurora

They tried three different young girls to play the part, but even after Angelina got to know them and played with them ahead of time, they would run away screaming as soon as they saw her in costume.

Then someone noticed that in between takes, Angelina’s daughter would run over to her and ask to be picked up.

So someone got smart and suddenly Brad Pitt and Jolie’s daughter Vivienne was in the movie.


Nick and Terry finally got back from their Michigan road trip about 2pm, which was a good thing, since things had been entirely too quiet around here.

Then around 4pm we all headed out to celebrate Terry’s birthday with a meal at King Wha, our favorite local Chinese place. Our meal was great, and as usual, we had enough to bring home.


For the last couple of weeks we’ve been wondering how things were going to play out over the next couple of weeks. We’re scheduled to leave here July 7th, and head down to the Indian Lakes Thousand Trails Resort at Batesville, IN.

But we’ve had two things in the works that might have disrupted that schedule. The first is getting our cracked passenger-side windshield replaced before we leave the area,

We set everything in motion a few weeks ago, but then everything seemed to grind to a halt.

And also a couple of weeks ago, I went to a dermatologist because I thought a bump that suddenly appeared on my head might be skin cancer. So we’ve been waiting for the pathology report to come back.

But then today, everything fell into place.

I had called my National General Insurance agent, Chris Yust, of C and C RV Insurance this weekend to see what she could do. She and her husband, Charles, are RV’ing up in Alaska, so there’s a 4 hour time difference, and since it was the weekend there wasn’t a lot she could do until this morning, but boy, did she get things moving.

I got an email forwarded from NG by saying the claim had been approved and RV Glass had been notified. About 5 minutes later I got a phone call from RV Glass telling me the claim had approved and they had contacted the repair place. And about 30 minutes after that I got a call from Josh at the repair place giving me a tentative repair date of this Friday at 8am.

Then at about 2pm I got a call from the dermatologist’s office confirming the initial diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, and after finding out they had a cancellation for tomorrow morning, I’m scheduled to have MOHS surgery, starting at 8am and lasting from 2 to 4 hours. It will be done under a local anesthetic as an outpatient.

So by the time most of you read this, they’ll be carving a new hole in my head. And as hard-headed as I am, I figure it will take the entire 4 hours.

Thought for the Day:

Stop Expecting Me To Be Normal


Gotta Love that Global Warming . . .

This time 3 years ago we were spending a week at Glacier National Park in northern Montana.

At that time, it pretty much looked like this.



And this.



But, after more than 15” of snow the other day, the above scene looks like this.

Glacier Natonal Park Snow2

Yes, the waterfall is frozen. Really glad we aren’t there this year.

Later in the afternoon, I went outside to change out one of my headlight bulbs on the truck. I remember the good old days when you could just pull the bulb socket out of the back of housing, plug in the new bulb, put the socket back in, and you were good to go.

However, changing this one out now requires a #10 Torx driver and a 10mm socket and a ratchet with a long extension with 4 bolts and  screws.

After finally finishing up the headlight repair, I checked the engine oil and transmission oil, on kind of a ‘while I was in there’ basis.

Around 3pm we headed back over to Mishawaka for a couple of reasons. The first was, Jan already had a Wal-Mart / Sam’s list, and we were just there Friday.

The other reason  was that when we ate at Outback Steakhouse that night, I left my little bottle of ground Ghost Pepper/Trinidad Scorpion powder, and I was hoping they still had it.

So our first stop was at Outback, and they did still have my bottle in their Lost & Found box. Yea!

And our next stop was, believe it or not, Taco Bell. Jan and I had been seeing the ads for their new ‘Quesarito’. It’s a burrito wrapped up inside a cheesy quesadilla.


It looked really good, and tasted even better. Jan got hers with the ground beef, and I got the grilled steak. And they also have shredded chicken. We both got the Quesarito Box, which comes with a Quesarito, a Crunchy ground beef taco, a Doritos Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco, and a drink.

The  Doritos Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco has a taco shell made in, what else, Doritos Nacho Cheese flavor. And again, it’s really good. If I’d known how good, I would have paid the little bit extra to get both tacos that way.

And even better was the price. Our total bill was $12.38.

We used to eat at Taco Bell a lot when our kids were little, but kind of got out of the habit. Maybe we need to rethink that.

Our next stop was Sam’s Club. We wanted to get another box of the fresh cherries that we got on Friday. They were really good, and we wanted more. And then after our Wal-Mart stop, we headed home.

Coming back to Elkhart, I stopped off at Menard’s to get some hardware for my latest project.

I needed to take down my AC grills so I could clean the filters, but that involves digging out a screwdriver, and it’s a pain in the rear trying hold the grill up with one hand and get the screws out with the other.

AC Coil Cleaning 1

Plus the fact that continuously putting the screws back in the same holes is making them looser.

So I decided to install hanger bolts in the screw holes and use wing nuts to hold up the grill.

Hanger bolts look like this. It’s wood screw on one end and a machine bolt on the other.

Hanger Bolt

But the first problem you have with these is – how do you screw them in. Well, they make a special driver that looks like this. But it costs more money (about $8) than I spent on the rest of the project (8 hanger bolts and 8 wing nuts – about $6).

Hanger Bolt Driver

So here’s my cheap version. It’s just two nuts with a lock washer in between, and then tightened down snug.

Hanger Bolt Driver -DIY

Then my ratchet will screw them in just fine. And cheaper too.

So when I got finished, and after cleaning the foam filter, it looked like this.

Wing Nut Installation

Much easier to take down and reinstall.

Tomorrow Nick and Terry should be back from Michigan. Really looking forward to it.


Thought for the Day:

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons"
Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

“There is no need for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, President of Digital Equipment Corp, in 1977


A Movie Two’fer . . .

Normally, when we’re not having muffin muffins with our coffee in the morning, we have English muffins, buttered and then toasted with cinnamon and sugar. Well, when we were at Wal-Mart yesterday getting groceries, we came across a new product.

It’s a Cinnamon Vanilla English Muffin from the Thomas English muffin people, and it’s really good,  especially when you add butter, more cinnamon, and sugar.

Unfortunately, according to the package, it’s a Limited Edition, so stock up now.

Later, about 1pm, Jan and I headed down to the local theater for our movie two’fer afternoon. We do this a lot, because it’s just more convenient.

Our first show was The Edge of Tomorrow, the new Tom Cruise science fiction movie. I haven’t been a big fan of Tom Cruise since he screwed up the Mission Impossible franchise, but the concept of this movie, and previews on TV, were intriguing enough to make me want to give it a try.

As far as the concept goes, think Groundhog Day with a alien invasion. Cruise, killed in the first day of a D-Day style invasion to retake continental Europe from the aliens, wakes up the day before the battle, and does this over and over every time he’s killed, each time getting a little closer to the solution of defeating the alien invasion.The movie is very well done, and we both liked it. Worth Seeing.

Our second move was Maleficent, a retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale, but this time from the viewpoint of the Evil Queen, Maleficent. And through the storyline, you find out who she is, why she’s ‘evil’, and what made her that way.

Like my feelings about Tom Cruse, Jan is not a big fan of Angelina Jolie, but she liked this movie, and she liked Jolie in it. And so did I. Nobody but Angelina Jolie could have played this part.

The effects are great, and the story ends with a twist from the original version.

Well Recommended.

By the time we got out from the movie, it was about 6pm, and after talking it over we decided to have dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus over in Middlebury.

Das Essenhaus

We always try to eat here at least once when we’re in the area. And it’s always good.

When we eat here we normally order from the menu, and don’t do the buffet. And we always get the ‘broasted’ chicken.

If you’ve ever wondered what ‘broasted’ chicken is, it’s basically Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s cooked in a pressure cooker fryer, just like KFC is. It’s just not KFC, but a competitor. And without all those pesky franchise fees and royalty payments.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus

We always get the 4 piece plate which gives us chicken to bring home. I got the ‘Broasted’ Potato Wedges, and the fresh green beans. And Jan got the same thing, except she got Mashed Potatoes with Gravy instead of the wedges.

You can’t eat here without having one of their homemade pies for dessert. Tonight Jan had her favorite Chocolate Cream Pie, and I had a really delicious slice of Praline Pecan Cream. Really, really good.

We finally got home a little before 8pm, just in time to miss the heavy downpour that came through.

Lucky us.


Thought for the Day:

Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature. – Cicero