Wednesday, September 24, 2014

National Punctuation Day

For all you bloggers, texters and tweeters!
You may be interested to know that September 24th is...

National Punctuation Day

It would be a good day to see how much of our English language structure we actually remember.  We've gotten into a habit of cute writing, decapitated words and invented phrases.  In honor of National Punctuation Day I give you an old friend, Weird Al Yankovic with Word Crimes!

Let's all try writing in good English at least for one day.

How to celebrate National Punctuation Day.

More National Punctuation Day information.

Tomorrow, back to the road trip!

Keep following and Happy Travels!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grin, Snicker, Laugh!

I've heard it said,

 "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans".

While I didn't personally tell God my plans, I did tell everyone that would listen.  I posted it on this blog.  It was no secret that I was planning to retire and be outta here!

Thinking back now I can vaguely remember looking up at a virtually cloudless sky and noticing one small cloud formation far off in the distance.  Now I'm not one that sees animal shapes and things like the in cloud formations and water ripples in the pond.  But I possibly might have noticed that small cloud formation may, just maybe, had taken on the shape of a sly grin!  Nah!  Probably not!

Then a day or so later while still preparing the bus for this grand journey on a nice breeze-less day, still in Jasper, GA, a soft easy breeze blew by.  Now some say they can hear voices being carried in the winds.  I don't!  But I have to admit that the rustle of the leaves in the near by trees could have easily been mistaken for a light easy snicker.  Nah!  Probably not!

Even though I had moved out of the garage where I was building the bus I had only gone about 15 miles to a campground just outside of Jasper, Ga in a little town called Talking Rock.  I felt I still need about a good week to organize the bus and arrange things the way I'd like to have them without having to split my time and thoughts between setting up the bus and working a job.  So I booked a spot here for a week.

The first day and night I really did nothing.  I watched a couple movies.  Took walks.  Rested (much needed) a lot.  But that second night...   BOOM!  The sky fell.  It didn't really bother me as I was in the comfort of the bus.  But if I ever heard out right laughter, I heard it that night.  

Will I continue to make plans?  Of course I will.  But they won't be etched in stone.  Besides, I'm retired.  Where do I have to be other than wherever I am at the time?  First lesson learned...

Take life easy and enjoy it as it comes.

Speaking of enjoying life, this is a nice little campground nestled just outside of Jasper, GA.  It's Talona Creek Campground in Talking Rock, GA.

My spot.

My spot.

My spot.

My spot.

My spot.
The campground.
The campground.
Tent area.

Creek side.

Creek Side.

There are creek side swings.

Tent area fire rings.

Pirate ship fort the kids.

Pirate ship fort the kids.

Pirate ship fort the kids.

This is also a horse facility.

Wooden cowboys.

Office and bath house.

Sasquatch will welcome you to camp.
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Happy traveling!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Plans, Plans, Plans

One of the good things about retirement is that you don't have to make plans like when you're a part of the main work force.  However when you first enter into retirement I imagine you have to break old habits.  You know, like getting up at a certain time everyday.  Scheduling out your days, weeks and months to the point of when and where you may take a vacation NEXT year.

This is what I might start off doing when I leave here:

This is the first place I want to stop:

So I won't even get out of Georgia the first night.

This is the second stop:

I'll be meeting a fellow traveler, Ed in Keyser, WV

Then I'll be heading towards Philly Town.  Yah!

Then on to Drayton, North Dakota for the Sugar Beet Harvest.

Then on to Coffeyville, Kansas for Amazon.

I guess  I haven't learned to break old habits.  You may say, "That's not that bad.  That's only three months".  Well while that's true, there's more...  

January 6 - 20, 2015 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ

January 17 - 25, 2015 32nd Annual Sports, Vacation and RV Show also in Quartzsite, AZ

February  8 – 22, 2015 Habitat for Humanity building project in Hobbs, NM

May 2015  Escapees CARE Center Livingston, TX.

June 27 – July 5, 2015  Habitat for Humanity Global Village volunteer program in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

And then, who knows what else.  

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Another Awe Sh#%! moment

Here's another Awe Sh#%! moment

If you read my post on May 5, you may remember my tale of troubles on the road.  What I didn't say back then was that while trouble shooting my fuel problems I was on a roll. Thought I'd solved the problem.  All I had to do was disconnect the fuel changeover solenoid and feed directly from the tank.  The sun was shining, Life was good.  Tools in hand.  What could be better?

Awe Sh#%!

In my haste in disconnecting the fuel lines, one of the fuel lines didn't agree with my plan. Not to be out done, I man handled it.  It, not to be out done, laughed at me and said (it did, I actually heard it), "Oh, yeah!"  And just broke off in my hand.

You'll notice the two fuel solenoids above.  One has three ports and one has only two ports and a big hole in the side.  Can you guess which one I broke?  Since then I have learned to be more gentle with Easy and show her more respect.

Just another of several Awe Sh#%! moments that I was able to live down enough to smile as I related it.  Know that there are more to come.  Feel free to share your (speak-able)  Awe Sh#%! moments in the comments below.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Putting in a heated floor

I HATE being cold.  I hate the thought of being cold.  I hate getting out of bed on a cold winter morning to step on a cold floor.  Even carpet can't really take the cold out of a cold floor.  The most it can do is attempt to mask the cold and it doesn't do a good job of that.

So I decided to install in floor heating in the bus in an attempt to address that concern.  I contacted the kind people at Pex Heating  They were very helpful in getting this part of the bus build accomplished. They even designed the heating system for me free.  They must have thought it was a joke.  I had to submit a design request a couple times before I got a response for a heating system for a 300 square foot school bus.  They're used to designing systems for houses and office complexes. So when someone emails a request for a little box of a living space, probably smaller than some of the closets in their other designs, it's understandable if they were skeptical.

They submitted their design and even contacted me by phone to see if I had any questions.  Being on a budget I began ordering supplies as monies were available.  I have still a few more parts to obtain before the system will be operable but I've gotten the main part, the in-floor tubing down.Here's how that went.

I started by laying down 1/2" foil faced rigid foam insulation.

Next I began laying out the sleeper sub-floor using 1" X 4" furring strips.  
The tubing would lay within channels.

I laid out the 1" X 4" strips with spacers to see how the channels would end up.
The videos Pex Heat supplies give very detailed instructions.
You want to make sure you will have a return without having to cross tubing.

Being careful to round the corners where the tubing will turn.

This is the front section of the bus.
They designed the system in two zones.  This is the front zone.
I wanted three zones.  Their design tech said because of the size of the system I'd only need two.
I'm glad he knew what he was talking about.

This is how the tubing was shipped.

This gives you an idea of how the tubing is constructed.

Getting ready to get to work.

As you lay the tubing down it helps to anchor the turns. 
 Otherwise if it pulls up you will find yourself short when trying to lay everything back down.
They give very detailed videos on how to install it.

Once down it can be covered.

If you look closely at the picture above you can see the first two rows lifting out of the track.  I started with the roll laying on its side and laying the tubing in the track.  Then I remembered one of the videos saying the best way to lay the tubing down was to hold the roll feeding it over hand in front of you and walk on it laying it in the track.  You're not putting any pressure on the tubing because you are actually walking on the 1" X 4" strips and the tubing is in the grove between them. Once I did this the rest of the tubing laid down with no problem.
Watch the videos on their website.

It was also suggested that if you were to lay a metal transfer plate over the tubing you would get a more even distribution thorough out the entire floor instead of just over the tubes.  I had some of the metal ceiling I had taken down left so I used this for the transfer plate.  I was mainly concerned with covering the center walking area as the sides will be covered with cabinets and furnishings.

And down goes the top sub floor.

(Above picture)  As you start to cover the tubing be sure to mark where the tubing is.  Once you cover the tubing it is almost impossible to tell where it is.  I drew lines the full length of the bus indicating where the tubing is before I began screwing the top sub-floor down.  I would not screw anything within two inches of either side of the lines.  If you've done construction work before the norm is to draw lines and screw along the lines.  Here I had to remember to screw away from the lines.

Lines drawn.  And the screwing begins!

And that was just the front half of the bus.

Now for the back half!

Looking towards the back door.

After the floor is down in goes the pre made closets and walls.

The plan was to finish all this and be operative before I started to travel again.  However due to time and financial constraints that hasn't happened.  I have the main part installed and will have to finish the rest of the installation as I travel.  Stay tuned and I will keep you abreast of how it's going.

There's just short of three hundred feet of tubing running through the floor of the bus.  In all I lost 1-3/4" of floor to ceiling height in the bus.  1/2" rigid foam, 3/4" furring strip and 1/2" OSB.  That's a small price to pay for warmed floors.

Here is where all the tubing comes up through the floor.
This will be (unlike the European version) my water closet.
It will house all the water controls for the entire bus including a tankless hot water heater.

Oh, by the way, if everything seems to have gone effortlessly check out my Awe Sh#%! moment here.

Check back to see how I'm doing or better yet sign up to get email updates and watch me finish the bus.


Gas tank access hole!

This is just one of several (sounds better than many) Awe Sh#%! moments.  While putting in the tubing for the heated floor system I was careful to note the two gas tank access holes that needed not to be completely covered over.
Fuel tank access holes.
Well, cruising right along like it was a nice sunny day I had my Awe Sh#%! moment.  As you can see below I completely covered over one of the gas tank access holes like I knew I'd never need to access that particular tank.
Fuel tank access hole missing?
Now I'm on a recovery mission.  Got to go back and find the hole with out damaging the heat tubing I so carefully set in the floor.  The red and white tubes are the hot and cold supply lines for the bathroom vanity.
Fuel tank access hole recovery mission.
I had to unscrew part of the flooring and raise it up enough to cut the hole without cutting the tubing.  I propped the flooring up on a glue can and commenced to cutting. (see red arrow)
A success!
This Awe Sh#%! moment was successfully converted into an OH YEAH!  moment!  But you can believe this was not the first and surely won't be the last Awe Sh#%! moment.  I'll list more for you as the shame eventually wears off.