Monday, June 28, 2010

Wrapping up June

Here it is June 28th and there isn't much time left to reach the half way point for this year. How time flies (when you're having fun).

There were 4 comments to my previous posting and three of them are not readable by me. Please email me directly at . Others have similar problems reading your comments.

It has been a busy 10 days or so. We were at a rally last weekend with our Escapee RV friends at Kalona. The city has a nice compact city park campground and it is as level as a good pancake. Thankfully, the gravel pads were solid. The grass between the site pads was soggy to say the least. After the rain Thursday night, we had lots of water just waiting to soak in.

Tomorrow we take our Honda to the shop to have the tow plate attached (It arrived this afternoon). Then it will be my turn to get the lights installed. While we were at the rally, UPS delivered a box containing our "Brake Buddy". The Brake Buddy senses that we are slowing down the motorhome and activates the Honda brakes. We felt that we needed the additional braking help since the Honda is a thousand pounds heavier than the Saturn. So it is all coming together so that we can tow it a week from Saturday.

Today we visited with our friendly doctor about some of my physical aliments. Yes, the old body is beginning to show its age. In a nutshell, the trips to the bathroom at night are beginning to rob me of my needed sleep. Hopefully, a simple pill can help. (Isn't that the All American Way, just get another pill?)

On our return to the farm, we stopped at 3 parts stores hoping to buy a starting capacitor for our air conditioner. On Thursday, we'll try place number 4. Thankfully, the air conditioner in this motorhome has two compressors, so we can survive on just one compressor if the temperatures are not too extreme.

Oh, happy days.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Comments and It is Raining Again

Will the individual who recognizes the address below please email me directly. I can not read your comments.

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It is raining again!!!

It has only been 5 days since I last posted and time marches on. For starters, it has rained 4 of the last 5 days and is predicted to rain 7 of the next 7 days. The grass (lawn version) is really soaking it up and growing like a big weed.

As I told you last time, we finally purchased a Honda CRV and so far we're happy with it. I can get into it with out backing in or hitting my head, even when I have my hat on. We're still learning about the bells and whistles, but we do know the fundamental stuff. Today we ordered the tow plate so that we can tow it behind the motorhome. And arrangements have been made to get it installed. Plus a few days ago, we sent money to a fellow for his Brake Buddy brake controller It supposedly installs very easily.

The last item to worry about are the rear lights. We saved the cable harness from the Saturn and we'll see if it can be adapted. Something more to do.

Summer is here and we're into the "check up routine'. Next week I go in for an update on my hip pains and the prostate. The hips have been talking to me for years and it is finally getting to the point where I'm looking for some pain relief. It will probably be a few pills this year and a new joint (s) next year. The prostate seems to demand some attention, as I'm getting tired of making a bathroom run at night every 2 hours. The first option is to try another pill. (OH, the joys of aging. But I don't care for the alternative.)

We just completed our 16th year of full-timing in an RV a few days ago and we're looking forward to several more. What has changed is that we're spending less time on the hill-top on the farm. This year, we leave around August 25. We also didn't return until the later part of April. And so it goes.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

We bought it, a new car Honda CR-V

Well, it took a trip to Ames, where we were stood up by the sales agent. Then a trip to Iowa City where we did a bit better and finally said, "We'll take it." Buying a big ticket item like a car is just not fun in my book. The typical American consumer is not skilled at doing it and as a result leaves way too much money on the table. The sales agent did comment that the most difficult buyers are farmers. I suspect that they have lots of practice with buying machinery and selling grain and livestock.

Did we get a great deal? I don't think so. But we won't look back at it. It is over and done with. So we bought a 2010 Honda CRV. It has automatic four wheel drive and is tow-able 4 down, meaning we don't need a tow dolly to keep two wheels off of the ground when towing. The bad thing is that there is a 2 minute warm up procedure that we need to go through each time we tow it. (But no fuses to pull.)

Now the challenge is to get a tow plate so that it can be towed behind the motor home. I've told Sandy that it won't be available for our rally the end of June. So she'll just drive it behind me in the motorhome. (Or do I drive it behind her in the motorhome?) Then we need to get a braking system for it plus a light connection. It may be ready to roll by the end of July.

Last night we had another rough unsettling night with a series of rolling thunder storms that passed us by. We did get 1.5 inches of rain plus some very close by lightening strikes, which is enough. Interestingly, we noticed that the small creek at the south edge of the farm did not go out of its banks. I'm surprised.

Sandy was laid pretty low all day yesterday with a different sinus problem. She had a runny nose and a bad cough, reminiscent of last winter. This morning she seems almost back to normal. I suggested that perhaps she was allergic to the new car! I hope not!!! But I did open it up all afternoon to air it out.

It appears that today will be an inside day, with brief showers all day long.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buying a new car (still looking)

It has been a week, more or less since our last update. We haven't spent all of our time looking at cars, but we sure have spent lots of time thinking about the process. (I hate buying anything and especially any big buck item.) Last week we visited two local dealers (Honda) and obtained a price from each. Both strongly encouraged me to come back, almost saying that, "our price is too high and we'll do better".

Yesterday we called a dealer in Ames, IA which was running a big ad 3 weeks ago when we were in Winterset. For starters, I had a cold feeling when the first sales agent left to see what they had and said he would call back in an hour. Well, in about two hours, another agent called. So we explained our needs and wants again. He listened politely and also left, promising to call me back (which he did).

In the course of our conversation, I sensed that he was really trying to help. At the end of the conversation, I said that we would be there to see him at 10:30 today. In the meantime, he would take my requirements to his manager and get a price. Fair enough!

So this morning, we were up early and after breakfast and our early morning surfing, we headed for Ames in the rain. We arrived on schedule only to learn that the agent we were talking with was not in and another one stepped in. When he stepped away for a moment, I told Sandy that this didn't bode well, so don't expect a deal today.

We spent about two hours with him, looked at the one unit they had in stock and also showed them our Saturn. They worked up a set of numbers, which I rejected, saying that their price on the Saturn was much too low. I get a real charge out of the sales pitch when they try to say that we are sometimes biased towards something we think of as being near and dear to us. (We were aware of what NADA said it was worth.) So they did agree to cut the difference in half, which was not enough for us.

About then the big gun (sales manager) stepped in and gave us his high pressure sales pitch. (For any of you that have listened to a Coast to Coast membership park sales pitch, it was similar.) We listened to his pitch for about 5 minutes and then we decided that we had spent enough time. We agreed that we'd talk with them again before we do anything.

Back at the farm, Sandy and I then again went online to a site that provides current market car prices, even on new vehicles. We reviewed the prices they used and concluded that their numbers were not reasonable. So tomorrow we wait for their call, or I'll call them. Negotiating for a purchase of this size for me is not fun.

To relax this evening, I am lucky to be able to watch a program on Public TV about Winston Churchill's life. We'll resolve the car issue tomorrow, or maybe the next day.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Problems reading the comment from one individual

On the previous blog, there were two comments posted. I can read the comments from jk, but the one-line comment from the second individual is nothing but square boxes. I have seen the same type text on previous postings.

I'm not sure if it is the editor you are using or what, but if you want to email me directly, perhaps we can resolve it.

Perhaps we need to ask, "who can read both comments?" and what do you use for equipment? Who can't and what do you use.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Visiting with Daughter Beth

We finally made it up to wonderful Wisconsin to spend some time with our daughter Beth. It is always great to see family and this trip is no different.

During lunch, the subject of planning for next year came up. It is very interesting what the divergent views are. Sandy is to be hosting a family gathering next summer. Where and when is TBD (to be determined). I've made a few suggestions and they were promptly shot down. So being a little bit of sound mind (I think), I've clammed up and I will let the experts determine the event, location and details. Okay, I can handle that.

A friend has sold us on the idea of buying a Honda CRV, a little taller than our Saturn and a bit more spacious to carry all of that stuff we accumulate. We've looked at the Honda and I decided to stop in at the Ford dealer here in Dodgeville to see what compares with it. Well, they just as well as said, "We don't need your business." I walked in to the show room where there were two offices occupied, both with customers. Shortly one customer left and so I walked over to that doorway. After being ignored for over a minute, I decided that they didn't need any more business. There was not so much as a single word to let me know they would be available shortly. The salesman in the second office likewise kept himself busy with another customer. So after 5 minutes, I decided that they didn't need my potential business.

One of the great things oabout visiting daughter is that we have DSL internet service. Right now there are three computers online and service is great.

Enough for today.