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Rockport Beach, Texas

7/31/11

Sleepy Time

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

That picture is evidence of an unbelievable event in my life. That is the time this morning when the sweat had been rinsed off and a cold glass of apple juice was in my hand and the A/C was cooling me down. Before that time this OFM had washed the Truck and then washed the Castle and then put everything away where it belonged. Now it was lying low and being cool time as the temperature reached 95 by lunch time.

The next couple of days are supposed to be just as hot before a slightly cooler rest of the week. Some of the wild critters in the area were taking it easy in the shade of the trees. This young critter was heavily into a long nap this day.

An attempt to repair a rod that had been in the wrong place at the wrong time was attempted. Late this afternoon it was given a good try out down at the harbor. It turned out to be a “never mind” and now resides in a dumpster minus the eyelets. They are in my spare parts drawer in a cabinet of the Castle.

As an offshoot of the rod work something new was learned about baitcaster reels. They are now days designed for a maximum and minimum weight for casting just like the fishing rods. The new reel of a couple of months ago has been giving me fits when being used on the plastics without weights. It just would not work right.

Today while reading about the reel on the internet, one person mentioned that it was designed for a minimum of one quarter ounce lure for casting. This is heavier than my normal lure choice. At the harbor several different weight lures were tried.

Below one quarter ounce the reel was very difficult. At one quarter ounce the reel became a new entity and performed very well. Hmmm. At a half ounce lure the reel was still was doing well but the rod was approaching its limit on weight. WOW there is a lot of things to get right for a well balanced rig for casting. It is guaranteed that it is worth doing from my experiences over the last fifty five years.

Be assured it is not like the rod or reel did not perform outside of their design limits, but there was a major performance difference when inside the design limits.

For instance, “professional overruns” (backlashes, bird nests etc) went away when within the limits of design. This was a very educational event in my day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/30/11

A Solution

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It is not a surprise that a new to me tool popped up when some research was being done on tying leaders for fishing. The leader making sites were ok but when a beading site was viewed the solution was right there. So here is my new toy that was the center of attention today for me.

These are round nose pliers made for making loops in wire. The loops are important to leader making and jewelry beading. After years of fighting making loops with ordinary needle nose pliers, here is the end of the fight. The nose points are round points that make making loops very easy AFTER the short but important learning curve..

It is a wish that my mind had known about this type of pliers many years ago. Apparently they have been around forever but my brain did not recognize the importance of them. A new tool for me is better than a new toy to a three year old.

Sitting around making loops and getting close to trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/29/11

Tropical Storm Don

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

TS Don has done its deed and moved inland. Several folks emailed or commented about what the Team was going to do. Stay or run. Since the wind speed running down the highway exceeds what TS Don was bringing ashore, staying seemed smarter. The Team has been out and around getting pictures of the devastation from TS Don.

The rain during today was counted and the droplet count came to around fifteen during the three hours of rain clouds. The run off from the rain did not cause any damage as the ground soaked up all of the drops as fast as they hit. In fact one of the bushes in the campground was calling Butter, the campground dog, to come by and help with the moisture trouble.

A visit to the harbor area yielded a picture of the waves crashing into the bulkhead near the Salt Water Swimming area. It was very impressive and dramatic. Can you imagine the force behind these mighty waves? Any minute I could be swept out to sea.
With no regard for my own safety a walk, fighting the terrific wind, over to the Rockport Beach area was taken just to record the event for my readers. The waves were smashing into the beach with vigor. Foolish folks out playing in the surf were being tossed around in danger of being fish bait. It was an awesome display of nature’s power.
After dodging all that danger my body was worn out and the Team headed back to the Castle to rest and recuperate. Covering Gulf of Mexico natural disasters like this is really an interesting way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/28/11

Mr. Ivan

Adventure Location: Sinton, Texas

Today or more specifically this afternoon was a fantastic time in my life. The Truck hauled my fat body down to Sinton, Texas for lunch and visiting with old friend Ivan. It turned into a nearly five hour visit full of fun, laughter and memories.

Ivan has a lifetime of great stories to tell you when you are ready for them. One job he had in his life was training B-25 pilots during WWII. He was very polite about some of the events but it is a sure bet he has plenty of other escapades of trainees he could tell about.

His hometown was up in central Texas. He told of funny stories during his growing up time in that town. His mind is a vault of lots of history about several places in Texas.

If you ever get to meet Ivan be sure and get a tour of his master wood craftsman shop and some of his creations. He has two wall clocks that he built that are great to hear and see.

So what does a master nice guy named Ivan look like? Here he is at the restaurant where we spent two hours eating and visiting.
Then we retired to his home and visited until 1700 hours. Wow that was fun.

He doesn’t look like he is in his later 80’s but he is. Now this was an excellent way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/27/11

Foxy Grass

Adventure Location: Fulton, Texas

Sightseer, my Surly LHT bike, crawled out of the back of the Truck for a bit of rearranging of things it normally carries. Success was not had but progress was made. Additionally the gearing was given a second look to see if different gearing is needed now that my lifestyle has been changing. This was very successful. The gearing that came with Sightseer is still just right for my current body limitations. This was very good economical news.

By the time Sightseer was finished for today it was 91 deg and 85% humidity so the Team was finished outside until evening.

Late in the evening the Truck carried me for a meander around Fulton. We stopped at the Copano Bay Fishing Pier to look around and piddle around. The temperature was down to about 87 and a strong breeze was helping make it tolerable. Some folks were over by a bulkhead cast netting bait. Every time there was some bait caught the little boy would squeal with delight and scramble to gather the bait up and put it into the bucket. Here is a picture where the cast net was in flight.
Nearby was some fox tail grasses dancing in the breeze. My fat old body plopped down right in the driveway of the turnaround and took a few shots for the blog tonight.
This was pretty much the end of the evening. Getting out in the heat is not conducive to trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM

7/26/11

Boat Testing

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Sometimes you have to be careful when selecting a boat. Check it out carefully.

http://www.toughboats.com/video.cfm?fullscreen=1&filename=Toughboats_BubbaCRevLegal

Mostly stayed cool inside today. Got the vacuuming done that was halted for the illness that hit last week. Sometime during the day, the bicycle grips my son sent me for Christmas were found under some fishing waders. Great now they are installed, but not adjusted. It was just too HOT for me to be out riding a bicycle this afternoon. The rest of the state is even worse, WOW. At least the grips will not get misplaced again since they are on the bike.

In the late evening a ride to Conn Brown Harbor gave me a surprise. For a couple of years the powers that be down there have been piddling around cleaning out old sunken boats that they allowed to leak into the water. For the most part they are all cleaned out. Here is a shot along a bulkhead that was just a long row of sunken shrimp boats in 2007.

Back in another part of the harbor a new dry stack facility for recreational boats is under way. It will be in a good location up here at the end of the channel that runs down to Port Aransas and out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Notice the two ocean going shrimp boats docked there. One of the shrimping seasons opens very soon and lots of these larger boats have arrived and docked here in Conn Brown. The closest boat is from Mississippi. About a dozen others are in the harbor.

This is the special fork lift that will be placing the recreational boats into the dry stack spots. It is kind of like putting pallets of goods up on the high shelves in a large warehouse. The wheel of the forklift was about even with my eyes. It is a big sucker.

Healing is going well but not nearly as fast as my wishes want it to go. At least the Teams were able to get out some today in search of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/25/11

Something Good

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

At least the body held up until the grocery shopping was done this morning. Nearly $30 after entering the store they let me leave. Some great stuff came home with me.
As you can see from the picture something good is about to happen. It turned out the start of something good was a bit too late for it to be ready at supper. Therefore it was down to the café for chicken enchiladas.

When the Castle accepted me back into it, the pork roast was ready to bring to completion. It naturally had to be tasted and is wonderful. Now there are three containers of pork waiting for meal times for me.

The campground road work did not start today to nobody’s surprise. Very few folks in this town do what they say they will much less when they say they will. Maybe tomorrow the sound of backhoe/front end loader at work will awaken me.

While wandering over to the garbage container some red berries on a bush caught my eye. They are very bright. Much brighter than the picture shows them to be in fact. Glowing would be a good term for describing them. Red beans and rice anyone?
A major realization today was that the old road bed next to the campground is an area that can be utilized for golf swing practice including hitting pitch shots. That just opened a whole new facet of fun that can be had at this location.

Sightseer really needs to be unlimbered the minute the edge comes off the heat. For now any outside “activity” definitely needs to be over by 1100 hours to prevent passing out.

Man of man this heat and humidity really gets in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/24/11

Cotton Picking Time

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

My eyes opened and suddenly most of my body was ready to jump out of bed and get busy. That lasted about an hour before the weakness boulder ran off the roof and smashed me to the bed. Around thirty minutes later my body gently eased out of bed to commence a gentle day of recovery.

A little running around netted this nice picture of the cotton field that is ready for harvest. The area around here is about one third harvested at this point. It is not likely a banner year of production with the lack of rain.

Speaking of photography, Mr. Bayfield has written an excellent article in his blog about photography tonight. It comes very highly recommended by TheOFM.
http://thebayfieldbunch.com/2011/07/seeing-with-photographer-eye.html

Another forum member from Texas Kayak Fisherman has started a blog of his funny stories. His first one is here.
http://talesofhumor.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-saw-grown-man-cry.html?showComment=1311561312249#c5279218581007716216

He is going to have to work pretty hard to top that story. My already sore sides made the excessive laughing rough.

My health seems to be nearly back to reasonable. This has been a rough event. Basically it was three days in bed or in the bathroom until all track of what day of the week it was was gone. There is hope that tomorrow will be a completed recuperation. There is not enough time left in my life to wasting a week on being sick. Then it will be time for that can be done in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/23/11

Changes

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Morning Edition

This morning has dawned and moved on but my wonderful thermal curtains kept it from me. When a decent sleep for the first time since last Monday night finally came to an end, it was good to get out of bed. Two cups of apple juice really hit the wakeup spot in my body. This illness has created change in my taste buds. Never before has apple juice been more than tolerated by my taste buds. Now it seems like it was brought on the earth just for me. It is wonderful. It is odd how old bodies change during aging. Any way my body is moving around slowly and with care. According to this computer today is Saturday so maybe something gentle can be found to be a small adventure. Big adventures will have to wait for healing and cooler weather.

Late edition

Only two sessions of horizontal were needed to make it through the day. YEA! There is strength still missing but at least some outdoor time was achieved. During a pass through the harbor area, it was noticed that the new mural was finished. It looks pretty impressive in person.

A start toward the waterfront areas of the City of Aransas Pass was aborted by a feeling of weakness. A good lunch of Tex-Mex beef soup was partially eaten. My tummy could not hold all of it. Next time my order will be the small size. There was a lot of beef in it. Also in the soup were large pieces of carrots, cabbage, chunks of potatoes and several different floating spices. This is worth a return order when my body is in proper eating shape.

When lunch was finished and the Eating Team walked out into the parking lot a sight of disaster greeted. Not the kind of disaster like on the island in Norway where the police were an hour and a half away when seconds count, but an almost comical disaster. Apparently this truck argued with something fairly firm and lost. The owner fixed it with four Band-Aids.
Back at the Castle it was horizontal passed out time for a while. One of the nice things of this area is there is usually something to go see to use up some time in air conditioned comfort. So off the Visiting Team went.

This is what we looked at for information. The prices were stupidly high for what you get. Hobie products have always been way over priced since Hobie Alter built his first surf board.
At least it was well air conditioned inside as the sales person gave me a lecture about how I need to buy an inflatable yak that she had never seen much less used. They would never stock it so I would have to pay for it up front and they would order it for me and I would have to take it whether I like it or not. Maybe my face really does look like I am that stupid!

Any way at least the Team was out and about a little today in some effort to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/22/11

Real Food!

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It may not seem like much of an adventure to you, but for me it was a grand adventure. The Truck actually took me to Whataburger for a Whatachicken sandwich. AND almost ¾ of it was eaten. That is the most food at a sitting since last Tuesday at lunch.

Speaking of that lunch, my sister and I have exchanged some emails about my symptoms. She decided that the most likely thing is food poisoning from something. My vote goes to the Wal-mart fried chicken that was purchased near noon Tuesday for lunch. About an hour later my tummy was upset and I thought it was just the excess or old grease. That was the last “solid” food until this evening.

It did seem odd that my cold or flu did not have any nasal congestion to go with the other symptoms. Thanks SIS that was a good call.

Now for the rest of the big adventure. On the way back home from the Whataburger, a side trip by the Texas Parks and Wildlife office at the Rockport Harbor proved interesting. They are getting the mural on the front of the building repainted.
That will be fun to watch as it progresses to completion.

My strength is nowhere close to being back yet so there is more recuperation time to be endured before the Teams can get back to the important job of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

Sicko Update

Sicko update.

Still sick but the symptoms seem to be slightly less. We will see. The bed is taking care of my trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM

7/20/11

Sicko

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

About 2200 hours last night the fever, chills, headache and cold sweats started. They are still going on. Must be a bad cold virus got hold of me. No more entries until my body is well. Some of you folks get out there and try to have tooooo much fun for me. TheOFM.

7/19/11

Nice Homes

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Work day and it was a hot one. Immediately after breakfast this is the machine that confronted me and my obligations.

While the clothing was washing, a walk along the waterfront before it got extremely hot was taken. The path chosen ran next to the water on some shell along a paved road. The road is the access to several nice houses and business along the road. Here are a few of the homes. Keep in mind there is a road between my camera and the front fence. My heels were getting lapped with water from Aransas Bay.

The porch on this house looked very inviting but it was not to be.

This home had a balcony that ought to provide some wonderful sights in the evenings.
And on down the road a bit was this building that seems to be some sort of condominium set up. It is definitely a nice looking building. Keep in mind my feet were at sea level for these pictures.
After the clothing was finished, taken home and put away it was time for many hairs to be cut. It went well without bloodshed.
Wow that is a lot of work so my lunch was earned, don’t you think?

Then it was time to get back to work. The vacuum was extracted from under the bed and prepared for action.
The Truck was moved into range of the extension cord. The floor of the truck has quite an accumulation of beach sand and other debris from the fishing and exploring expeditions.

After vacuuming up about thirteen pounds of dirt, the chore was finished. The sweat was pouring off my body like some saltwater waves had made it to the campground to douse me. Everything was squared away and a refreshing shower taken. Then it has been goof off and stay cool for the rest of the afternoon and evening. This goofing off is a pretty good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/18/11

Middle Age

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Some sort of sinus virus got hold of me last night so most of the day until near evening was just being lethargic, slightly feverish and lazy. By dark the sinus trouble was pretty well gone and the rest of me back up to adventure level. However there was no adventure to be had. The biggest “excitement” was seeing the Truck become middle aged.

Now that the Truck is well experienced it should be easier for us to get out and stay busy trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/17/11

Raising Kids Right

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It was a very heart warming scene down at the Rockport Harbor this late evening. What seemed to be several grandpa/ grand kid teams were doing a great job of trying to catch fish. The harbor area especially near the shrimp boats usually has lots of small perch in the 6-8 inch size that are relatively aggressive when it comes to eating. A small piece of shrimp or other bait applied carefully to a very small hook barb gives you lots of action.

There were frequent squeals of delight all over the bulkhead. It did not seem to be any sort of organized event. All sorts of equipment from nice rods and reels to tree limbs were being used. This was definitely a better deal for the kids than punching electronic game buttons inside the house. Perch jerking with a kid is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/16/11

Fishing Tools

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

In response to an email with questions, tonight we cover some of my fish handling tools. When a fish is caught, it is preferred to NOT handle the fish with rags or hands if you are not going to keep the fish. The protective slime on the body of the fish gets disturbed and can lead to mortality of the fish. Wasting natural resources like fish is not part of my lifestyle when it can be prevented.

If the expected fish that will be caught is larger then my larger “boga” style fish gripper is used. It does not pinch the fish lip but rather the jaws just lock so they will not open until the trigger is pulled. You can clamp this gripper or my smaller one seen later on any part of your body and it will not hurt. There is no pressure at the gripping point.
To grab the fish, the T trigger is pulled back and the jaws open. When the fish’s lip is in the jaws area just let go and the fish is captured very well. Just pull up on the T trigger to release the fish.

My unhooking tool is simple needle nose pliers. Since barbless hooks are my only hooks used, no fancy unhookers are required. These particular pliers are by Berkley and have spots on them for special fishing tasks like crimping leaders and other things.
These tools had a bad habit of hanging up in my deep pockets of the pants normally worn while fishing. So a couple of months ago a belt was set up with holsters to carry the tools. The belt will also carry one water bottle carrier if it is desired.
On the right is my smaller “boga” type gripper for the normal five to ten pound fish in this area. It is a little easier for my arthritic hands to handle but a larger fish would give you fits twisting around on the gripper. This tool belt makes it easy to get my gear ready for walking a jetty or pier. Whip it around my waist, buckle the buckle and grab the always ready rod. Then head on out.

After the belt is buckled, my wiping cloth is slipped under the belt and dangles handy on my forward left side. It is a synthetic cloth given to me as a Christmas present a couple years ago and it does a great job. You can rinse it out in the salt water. Squeeze it to damp mode, pop it a couple of times and it is dry enough to use again for your hands.
One rod and reel, the small tackle box shown in a previous post, a water bottle and my tool belt with cloth makes me ready to take on the fishes in my quest of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/15/11

Catch of the Day

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

A request came in to give more details on the “cleaning tables” mentioned in my blog. Texas fishing rules do not allow full cleaning of the fish until they are on land and not to be transported by boat again. The game wardens are better able to validate the legality of the fish you keep for consumption. So now many of the boat launching locations have cleaning table for your catch.

This is a typical one down at Little Bay boat ramp.
It has lots of parking nearby for vehicles with or without trailers. The boardwalk is sturdy but can be slippery when wet so care in walking is required. Notice the roof on the table area. It is not to protect you from rain or sun. NOPE. When you put fish on the table the seabirds crowd around to get the remains. The roof assists in keeping the bird droppings from landing on your food or body. It is nasty when it does.
Notice the raised board along the front edge. That is where you place the fish for filleting. Seldom does anyone scale or gut fish in this area. They just fillet them and are gone in a few minutes. The water hoses are used to wash the area down. The fillets are also washed off before placing them in plastic bags for transport to the grill at home. The fish remains are tossed over the rail in front of you for the birds to fight over. Some of the discussions are fairly serious especially between the pelicans.
Most of the cleaning tables also supply 120 volt electrical for the use of electric knives for doing the filleting. Manual knives are still used by some folks like me that do not harvest a lot of fish. The electric knife will let you fillet fish at the rate of about two minutes per fish. It is very quick and clean. With my fillet knife it takes me about six minutes per fish.
Notice in this overall interior picture that the cleaning area is well lighted for use at night. At the far end labeled Catch Of The Day is the obligatory spot to hang your catch on the hooks so you can take a bragging rights picture. This is an unusual table structure in that there is a bench for folks to sit on while waiting their turn at the table. This particular table will accommodate four folks cleaning at a time. It is not uncommon in the evening for there to be a line waiting for their turn at the table.

Needing to use the cleaning table at the end of a day of fishing proves you have had a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/14/11

Black Hat Man

Adventure Location: My Head, Texas

A nice book on fly fishing was being read today. Fly fishing for salt water fish is a big deal down here on the Coastal Bend of Texas. These folks tie their own flies, wade in the water with the stingrays, go out in kayaks and power boats and do a lot to help the local economy all for the momentary thrill of a thirty pound redfish on a fly rod.

It sounded like fun so the library furnished the book for me to start my education. The first thing that was learned is that the cost is a lot more than my SSA budget will allow. Fly rods for over $300 with a reel for over $200 and the fly line runs around $50 and etc etc etc. Never mind was my idea on the matter.

However they did mention some good fishing tips it seemed to me. One in particular seemed very applicable to my fishing. The tan or light brown of most broad brim hats causes reflected glare on your polarized eyeglasses. You DO wear polarized glasses don’t you? The first suggestion was to use a magic marker to paint the down side of the brim flat black. That was given a try with this result.

It did not really do well, but it was given a try outdoors to see what it seemed like. It definitely helped on the water.

A better stain was needed and Wal-Mart had it in the shoe section of the store. Leather dye in a bottle looked like a good second try.
The same hat, which is my old one, was given a coat of dye. It worked much better than the magic marker. See.

Now that is a strong dark black. It needs to dry more before it is put on my head. Hopefully it will hold up well and do the job.

In the meantime, about noon, two chicken breasts were put into the slow cooker with some BBQ sauce of choice to cook. About an hour before they were finished some beans of choice and bell peppers were added to the mix. The aroma from the slow cooker was very difficult to resist until supper time.

About 1800 hours it was dished up and ready for the feast.

WOW that was some very good feasting. Eating that meal was a pretty good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/13/11

Big Surprise

Adventure Location: Packery Channel, Texas

Early again on the road is getting to be too often. About 0830 the Team was headed out to Packery Channel to walk the bank and jetty fishing. After the slow ferry boarding and then the only road on the island closing one lane, it took a long time to get there. Some rain fell on the Truck as we waited for our turn to roll on down the highway toward our destination.

Finally we reached the current parking lot to see this beautiful weather.
A few folks were around fishing and crabbing. A couple of nice visits were made with folks along the edge of the water. Then it was time for me to get moving on down the channel. My fishing gear was put on my body and away the Bank Fishing Team went toward the jetty a half mile or so away. We never made it.

A spoon has been tried for catching fish for over forty years with never a nibble. It has to have been at least a half million casts during that time before the third cast today resulted in a strike and hooked fish. The fish tore the line off my reel at a good pace. Then it was remembered that the drag had not been retightened when the rod was assembled at the Truck. Some drag tightening helped the situation.

The fish was still very determined and active. Finally after several minutes on my light tackle the fish was landed. It was a barely legal redfish.

It was a feisty little devil that earned its release back into the channel. The gold spoon can be seen hanging from the fish’s mouth. Here is a better picture of the type of spoon used. The one that caught the fish was lost later on a rock.
By the time the walk was half way to the jetty it was getting pretty hot for me. The Fishing Team turned around since over half my drinking water had been consumed already. Only one other bump on the spoon happened before the spoon was lost. Then on the way back another lure was tried with zero success. Arrival and packing the gear into the Truck was finished about 1130 hours. It was getting miserably hot.

We hit the Whataburger on Padre Island for lunch. That was good. Then the Team went down to PINS just because we could. The crowds were fairly dense so we turned around and headed back to go through Corpus on the way to the Castle.

As we were about to exit Padre Island the Packery Channel County Park came into view and a quick turn was made into it. This is a very good access point to the inland end of Packery Channel and all the flats area around there. After carefully checking out things a few pictures were taken. The first picture is to the left from the parking lot.
The second is to the right from the parking lot.
The channel is between the park and the flats, but is a very short paddle to cross it and get busy catching fish. Folks also wade into the water from the park and fish along the edge of the channel.

From the looks of the moderate crowd there today many folks were out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/12/11

Early Morning For Me

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

My eyes opened slightly before six am this morning and my body even got out of bed! So an early for me start was made on the day. Breakfast and necessities were taken care of before the Team headed for the pier at the Rockport Beach. OOOPS the waves were from the wrong direction so we headed back to the harbor area and better wave action.

By eight thirty the sun was out strongly, the fish were not biting and my head was feeling odd. Time to head home. Did not make it home before the migraine blindness started. So it was rinse off and hit the horizontal for a while.

Later it seemed to be a nice idea to get out a little, so the electrical installation at the campground got some watching. It did not last long in the heat before it was back to the horizontal. About three episodes of this activity, it was evening and the temperature was down to a "cooler" eighty eight. Cooking was not on my agenda yet, so the Team went over to my hole in the wall favorite cheap place and had a grilled chicken dinner that was very good. Then we went over by the boats to just stroll a litlle. It turned out that a little strolling was just right before we headed back to the Castle.

By tomorrow the headache should be gone enough to get busy trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/11/11

Campground Consultant

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It seems my consulting days on the design of a campground expansion are over. The electrical contractor showed up a day early and went to work with a vengeance. His company is one that has done work in a campground of my residence before. They do great work and do not mess around.
A first order of business is to recover the buried treasure. The treasure is the end of the conduit bundle left buried during the first edition of the campground for this future expansion. It was not where the campground owner remembered it. There fore the dirt moving took on a life of its own.
The conduit bundle was finally located in between two camper’s trailers. The depth was only two feet down and the conduit was in good shape.

Once the start point was located the contractor went to work trenching to the new campsites. Some of the spots were very cramped but he was able to get to most of them with careful tedious maneuvering.
Here is a shot of him and his crew at work. All three of these fellows were excellent of attitude, ability and action.
The electrical folks and inspection should be finished by Thursday. After that Ron the dirt worker fellow can get started on the new road and campsite. He has a good eye for getting the turning curves right for RVs. Maybe by mid August the expansion will be ready for occupancy.

My volunteer service to the campground owners was my long term experience as an RVer. Spotting utility hookups, campsite locations amongst the many trees and guessing at the backing radius needed for each site were the bulk of my suggestions. The owners have never had or used an RV but definitely wanted a good set up campground. When the rest of the work is finished, this will continue to be a very good value in Rockport camping. The campground is Anglers RV Retreat. Tell Dawn that TheOFM sent you.

Now it is time to rest and cool off. It has been fun working construction again. Sometimes doing things that are a bit different are a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

7/10/11

Fixture Foolishness

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Of course a day without plans gets to be a day with lots of running around.



That picture above is where the bathroom light fixture used to be. About four years ago, a store near me at the time put RV fluorescent fixtures on sale for half price of about $20. Four were purchased and replaced four incandescent fixtures in the Castle.

One of the fluorescent fixtures made about six months before failing. This morning number two failed. However it took me about six hours, a new electrical tester and blowing a fuse in my multimeter to finally figure out the internal circuit on the fixture was a goner. That fixture is now in the dumpster. The picture above is where it used to be right in front of the medicine cabinet.

Even though the light from the fluorescent fixtures is very much to my liking, the cost of running them is not. A new fixture is $75 now and the bulbs are about $4 each and last a bit over a year. An incandescent fixture of equal light would cost about $15 and the bulbs run $ .50 each and last for over three years. Since both run on my solar powered 12 volt system the electricity is no cost difference.

For now it is a hard deci$ion as to if the bathroom fixture will incandescent or fluore$cent. There was even thought given to just putting in a 120 light since the Castle is normally plugged into 120 volt anyway. That turned out to be just as expensive as using 12 volt fixtures. Now it is decision time tonight and get moving on it tomorrow.

Now these folks know how to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.