Saturday, February 21, 2015

Learning Curve and Knowledge Base

In preparation for my next seasonal gig, I've been researching how to get my Geo and Motor Home five hundred miles down the road.
The obvious answer? Tow it. Get a dolly. Get a trailer.
So yesterday I went to an RV dealer. While these guys are expensive, they know their stuff. Here's what I learned.
A dolly is cheaper than flat towing a car. The guy told me for $3,600, I could have a hitch and brand new dolly, suitable for towing a small car.
But, he warned, this situation is so tedious with all the lights and hook ups, removing and storing said dolly on location, that most "older" folks just don't want to deal with it. They tow their cars, but leave them hooked to the motor home rather than unhooking everything and running around, only to hook it all back up again.
Flat towing is the ticket, he said. It just so happened, a customer heard our conversation and agreed. "I had a dolly. I hate it. Flat tow your car."
What's that cost? Well, for $4200 we can have you ready to go.
I gulped. Not going to happen. "Well, talk to me. the Geo?"
"Yes, we install brackets and electric braking in case the thing comes loose from the motor home."
Humm. My mind was working. The Geo has been diagnosed with a fatal tranny. I've vowed to drive it until it bites the dust, however long that may be, but bottom line, not sticking any  more money into  it. "Keep in mind, if you're flat towing, you can not back up, not even an inch. If you get in a spot that you can't pull through, you'll have to unhook everything, move the car first, then back up the motor home, re-hook and try again."
Wow. That's a head full of info.  
"What about a new car, only manual transmissions?"
"Don't take anyone's word for it, you've got to check the owner's manual and make sure it can be flat towed. Even some automatics can be flat towed, but check the owners manual before you lay down any cash. Had a guy come in with a brand new car, said the salesman promised it could be flat towed. He lied. The purchaser lost several thousands re-trading that car."
"Humm," I murmured. "Maybe I'll just get a motorcycle."
With that I left, pondering the car situation. Maybe I'll get a scooter or a bike. Or, for $4200, I could get a friend to drive it to location and I pay their airfare back.
So, let me throw the question out there:
any ideas???

Friday, February 13, 2015

Look Before You Sit

In an effort to get back in hiking shape, I've been putting serious time at the local gym. I really like the place and the hours are good. Watching the calories slowly add up for the intense effort expended makes me realize how sweet backpacking is. Never have to kill myself in order to enjoy a cupcake.

I have my routine. When I get to the gym, I claim a locker, put my smart phone, ear buds, reading glasses, water bottle and wash cloth on the bench nearby. Then I change, weigh myself and groan. How did I let these pounds jump on my body?
Over the holidays, silly. All those chocolate covered yummies, nuts and drinks?
Yup, I grimace. Never again. Hiking weight is healthy weight.

Just as I prepare to lock my locker, I turned to see a massive woman sit right on my phone, washcloth, ear buds, etc. For a moment she seemed oblivious to the fact, but then, something must have finally registered. She rocked to one side, lifting a cheek, revealing my stuff. "Oh," she said, and nearly pushed my phone onto the floor.

I gathered my stuff as she repositioned herself, wondering how she lost so much sensation in her a$$.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Winter Walk on Greenbelt

While waiting for various personal things to get done, I took a long walk today on the Greenbelt. This trail hugs the Boise River and is sometimes difficult to find access because the parking along the few streets it crosses is unmarked.
However, I found it at Eagle Road and River Meadow Rd. There, you cans hike west at least miles. Along the way, you'll meet bikers, roller bladers, joggers and tons of dogs.
Everyone is friendly. 
 The mountains rise in the distance while to the right, the biowaste treatment facility and other private property is fenced off. To the left is the river and fishing.

A guy parks his bike and went fishing. Unbelievably warm temperatures brought out scores of folks today. 
A sign warns of nesting herons. Its amazing how many nests were in a dozens tall trees.

One of my favorite views was of the island below. I could imagine wading out there for a picnic.

Another access points for this trail is Broadway Avenue, near the University. Beautiful homes have their backyards bordering this trail. I imagine they are equipped with alarms.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blame It On the Fries

So I'm at the gym, killing myself on the elliptical trainer, checking calories burned, damning those French fries to hell and back.
Work out for an hour just to burn off that generous scoop of hot salty fries that appeared next to the sandwich I ordered at a dinky diner in Fairfield? Nope, never again. Not worth it. Last weeks tasty treat is this weeks abomination of stinkin' fat.
Headphones in place, Latin Dance Club pumping, I'm breaking February in hard. No one wants to hit the trail fat and weak. Let the pain begin.

Suddenly I hold my breath. The stench is worse than a skunk's worst discharge while sitting in a pile raw manure.
There's only one guy in the row ahead. Really? Really, you're going to act like you don't smell that?He's cute, strong and working out like a fiend. He's also plugged in to head phones and making out like the air quality didn't just drop to fatal levels.
I keep working out. Maybe the dude's eating lots of veggies. Broccoli will do that to you, or cabbage.

Eventually the odor dissipates and I can raise my nose from the fan venting on my face. Holy guacamole, within ten minutes another ballast shoots my way. I frowned. He didn't look like a broccoli kind of guy. In fact, I bet he plays football and hangs at the bar. I'm going to blame his trouble on Fries, too.

Maybe that's why all these machines at the gym have fans, aimed right at your face.