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Wild Rose Pass, Texas


Mango Marvel

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The new modification to the Castle is even better than was hoped.  That is some good news for a change.

Late evening yesterday a migraine hit and slowed me down a bunch.  Today was a slow day.  The most industrious thing done was the laundry.  You can tell the Winter Texans are arriving by the number of folks in the laundry.  In another couple of weeks things will be getting crowded there.

The big news is peeking out from under the trailer to see what is happening.

After doing some wade fishing, pier fishing and jetty fishing my decision was that a boat would be a better idea for me than wading.  The Puddle Boat has been promised to Heroes On The Water and will go away in mid-November.  It is a bit more active a boat than my head is feeling comfortable with these days.  Steady and calm is more of what is needed.  So a change in boats was in order.  The Tribe 9.5 is an excellent boat for someone with better balance than my body can muster up.

West Marine was running a sale on an excellent replacement boat.  It is a new generation of the first SOT that was part of the Teams. This is me in the first Mini-X a few years ago.

The new member is a Malibu Mini-X in mango color.  West Marine said that any color I wanted was available as long as I wanted mango.  So for some silly reason Mango was my choice.

The Minix is actually slightly lighter and shorter than the Tribe but is a couple of inches wider.  Maybe it should be named bathtub!  It is a very docile boat that is not the right boat for long distance paddling. But it should be very good for someone who wants a boat to take them where they might normally be wade fishing.  It also floats very shallow which is a trait desirable to me.

Now all that is needed is to get busy out on the water trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Armless In The Castle

Adventure Location: Comfort Castle, TX

Things are being worked out.  The new chair was a bit awkward in the small confines of Comfort Castle.  Over and over the arms on the chair impacted items that did not need impacting.  After a good while of that nonsense, it was time for action.  The tools came out and the Demolition Team went to work.  Now the new chair is armless and works much better than it did before.

After an evening and a morning of the new arrangement without the dinette seat, the conclusion is that this is a significant improvement.  In reality all that was removed was sleeping capability for two small children if the dinette had been let down into the bed mode.  The Castle can now only handle four adults with two in the full bed and two on the fold down couch.  That couch has been my bed a few nights and many more as a nap location.  It is with personal experience that I can say it is a very comfortable sleeping accommodation.

The last two mornings were cold. It was cold enough for me to be in long pants with a jacket yesterday.  Today we are back to reasonable.  It is shorts and sandals weather for the next few days.

A small area rug was purchased to fit under the new chair to prevent sheet vinyl damage from rolling around.  It is a cheap Wal-Mart model like the other rugs in the Castle.  So far it is doing a good job of protecting the floor and behaving under the rolling wheels.

 The trim and some other things were done to the new wheel cover cabinet.  My catch-all baskets were moved down to it.  Let me guarantee you that industrial Velcro sold at hardware stores holds very well.  Peeling up the old portion stuck to the table required some serious effort.  Also a basket does not need two strips 1 ½ inches wide and three inches long to hold them in place. Pieces of the baskets were torn off before the Velcro would release the basket.

Some new Velcro in much smaller size was added to the basket and cabinet.  Now the stuff is off the table.  The table feels like it is tremendously larger now. The new cabinet was declared finished.

 We had a new Winter Texan from Utah move into the retreat this afternoon.  The lady of the couple was doing the driving of that rig.  She had no trouble putting that thirty foot fifth wheel right into the spot where it belongs.  It was a wonderful show of competence.

There is another rig due in tomorrow for the winter. That leaves five empty spots to be filled yet.

The water level in the bay has returned to normal.  With a little luck we will not get hit with any of the red tide this far from the gulf.  It would be nice to get out and try some fishing as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


New Chair

Adventure Location: Comfort Castle, TX

Oh Give me a home where the buffalo roam

And I’ll show you a dirty house.

That is what the Castle was feeling like as the latest project was winding down. There had to be over four million screws, nails and staples in that one little dinette seat.  It is true it takes much longer to dismantle an RV item than to build something back in its place.

All that was done was to take out the dinette seat near the door to make room for a much more comfortable chair for my aching body.  Seems simple doesn’t it. Well it is simple in concept. Here we are at the beginning of the quick effort yesterday a bit after lunch.

A few screws were pulled out and then the real effort began. Of course it was more difficult because a lot of the material needed to be saved to rebuild the small cabinet needed to cover the wheel well that would be exposed.

By the time it was late and yesterday’s blog entry was posted, my body was beat from all the twisting and turning.  A lot of places had to be disassembled with a chisel and screwdriver so as to not damage the wall of the Castle.

 The going was very slow but persistence paid off this evening.  This morning a run to Corpus Christi was made to Office Depot to hopefully get a new better chair for me.  The Team was lucky and got the last one they had of the model that fit my back properly. It was $200 but my back is worth it.

Then it was get busy on the dismantling. FINALLY dismantling was finished and the new construction started.  It was only a simple box to fit into a spot where nothing is square to each other. Here is the frame nearly ready for some sides.

Each side had to be custom beat to fit.  Those are not rectangular pieces; they are trapezoids of all kinds of weird dimensions.  After a lot of custom fitting, the box was starting to take shape.

There is still some trim to fit and install but the basic structure is finished.  A trip to a hardware store for some screw that will look decent is needed to finish the trim work.  Most likely the box will get one or both of the baskets off the table put on it.  They are my miscellaneous things that are used often storage.  Here is a picture of the new chair in place.  The floor still needs some scrubbing to remove the stains from the things that were stored under the dinette seat. Notice my board persuader just to the right of the fire extinguisher.

 The chair in and of itself was a pain to put together but certainly does feel nice to sit in.  My back, hips and knees are already appreciating it.

 Keeping your back, hips and knees happy goes a long way toward trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Remodel In Progress

Adventure Location: Comfort Castle

Hi Folks the Castle is in the middle of a serious modification.  Part of the dinette is coming out and depending on choices to be made yet there could be more to be done.  Hopefully it will be done tomorrow.

Making your home more your home is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. The OFM.


Carrying Boats

Adventure Location: Cove Harbor Marina, TX

While my legs were out getting some ambulating time in to keep them limber, we came across some interesting sights at Cove Harbor Marina. A new place to walk is nice to help in keeping my interest going. There are lots of boats here to see and wonder what their stories are.  There ought to be innumerable stories that can come from the boats if they could talk.

Since it was late afternoon almost all the guided trips had come back and left the area.  One came in during my walk.  The three folks had three nice redfish.  The guide took them to the cleaning table and quickly made fillets of them.  The clients were heard to say they were going to a restaurant that cooks your catch for you for supper tonight.

The seagulls and pelicans were having a feast on the remains of the fish.  They do not dine politely at all.

Out front of the cleaning area are a marsh and an island that will someday provide me and the yak a place to fish.  Actually it is my hope that we go catching instead of fishing. It is not far to paddle.  Wind protection can be good when you choose the proper day for the paddling.

 There are several large boat yards in this area that repair larger boats.  How they moved them to the boat yard was unknown to me.  Now the solution is about to be revealed.  While walking along the fence line, the Walking Team came upon these rather stout boat trailers.  Apparently these will haul the large boats around to get them to the repair shop.

In the last picture you can see some of the large boats that are being repaired in the yard.  My guess is that the repairs cost more than my SSA will cover.  That means my boat will remain a yak that can be carried in the Truck.

Walking in a new area is another great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Beautiful Morning

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

For the golfers, check out this statistic. STAT OF THE WEEK: Dustin Johnson hit the longest drive on the PGA Tour this year, 463 yards on the par-5 seventh hole at the TPC Boston in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. WOW my two best shots in a row would not go that far.

The morning was slightly earlier than usual. The decision was go walk the loose sand at the beach to try to strengthen my knees some more.  Maybe they will quit aching so much if they get more exercise.  We will see.

It was an unbelievably beautiful morning at the beach here in Rockport.  After doing as much walking as I could comfortably do in the loose sand, the upper pavilion picnic tables were used for a resting spot.  The picture is from up on that second level looking south along the beach.

Isn’t this a wonderful looking spot to enjoy being outside.

A fellow that came past mentioned that he had caught four small redfish in the shallow surf this morning.  That would be a lot of fun on the very light tackle he was using.

Later in the day after lunch and some more personal stuff was finished, fishing in several spots from the bank or pier were tried.  Not a thing bothered my lures again.  However, about seven this evening, a fellow on the concrete pier near the harbor landed a very nice speckled trout.  That is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Construction Progress

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

It was another predominately lazy day around here.  A bit of shopping was done in Corpus but mostly just finishing up personal details was the order of the day.

Down at the harbor the new education center is coming along very nicely.  The carpenters are making good progress on the building.

It is good to see them taking the hurricane ties seriously on this building.  There are quite a few pounds of metal being added to the lumber as the building goes together.

 During one of my short walks today this feather leg totally ignored me as it concentrated on getting itself fed.

It was a very pretty bird with glowing colors.

The weather was warm and the breeze pleasant making it a great day for folks to be out and about on the beach trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Very Vanilla Day

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Some days are very vanilla and this one was extremely vanilla. But some important personal things were taken care of that have been nipping at my heels for a couple of months.  It certainly feels good to get some nuisance personal business items set back into the proper place. Now on to the “exciting” part of the adventures.

The inverter trial has proven to be highly successful and is over.  It was time to make the change more permanent and safe for travel.  The inverter had been laid in the cabinet with open contacts.  Any moving of the castle could have caused a short circuit and fire.  It was time now to remedy that situation. Here is a shot of the lugs used to wire the inverter into the Castle’s wiring.  Notice the large unprotected connections.  We cannot have them bouncing around during travel.

 The terminals were taped with electrical tape until the insulating thickness was equal to the attached wire.  Then the inverter was wedged and tied into a position that will be maintained during travel.  The grill over the opening in the cabinets was re-installed and everything is ready to roll when the time comes.

Shower stalls always seem to need more light in them and the Castle’s shower was not any different.  Two things can make a lot of difference in a shower stall.  A clear shower liner is used for a shower curtain in the Castle’s bathtub.  A new one was recently installed to replace the old one.  The water from all the different places we go causes all sorts of hard water stains to cloud the light entry into the bathtub area.  About 9 to 12 months is all the Team gets out of a $3 liner before it needs replacing.  The chemicals to clean the deposits cost more than a new liner.

 In the above picture you can see the double bulb light fixture that I installed right after getting ownership of the Castle.  Now with the clear curtain and a double bulb fixture there is enough light in the shower for even my bad eyes to function.

Being able to see while taking a shower is another great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


SST(Edit: Monday Noon)

Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, TX

After morning chores it was time for a trip to the beach since Parks and Wildlife are reporting no red tide near the state park.  Lies. All lies.  The Team pulled into the park and stopped at the main office to get our day pass.  Immediately after stepping out of the Truck my nose began to act up.  With pass in hand we stopped at the facilities.  My nose was complaining even more. Finally we made it to the beach and drove down to the Fish Pass Jetty.  It appeared that the parks folks had cleaned the sand off a day or so ago.

By the time my gear was on my body to fish the jetty, my lungs had had several coughing fits and my nose was producing enough drainage to raise the level of the oceans two feet.  With fishing rod and camera at the ready the Team headed for the jetty rocks.  Within a few feet of the rocks was a dead bull redfish.  This fish was about three feet long.  The funny thing is there was no odor from the redfish or any other of the dead fish lying around.  But my nose was telling me something is bad wrong.

Still the Team pressed seaward amidst much hacking, sneezing etc. etc.  The water was a beautiful blue green except where there was a dirty brown red scum and off color slop in the water. It is hard to see in the pictures but it was ugly.

On the beach sand was a line of off color residue from which my feet were careful to stay back from.  The pictures taken of that mess did not show the line well enough to discern the scum from the sand. Meanwhile my respiration was getting worse and worse.  We left.

Within a mile or so inland my breathing got better.  By the time we crossed the ferry onto the mainland my breathing trouble was over.  Definitely be careful if you venture near a red tide area.   It will be a long time before this Team returns to the beach AKA Red Tide Area.

Once we left the ferry landing my body was feeling fine, so a stop along the shrimp boat channel was made to practice with the gold spoons that are used as fishing lures.  There are three different types in my tackle box.  Also there are several different retrieves to use on them. Since using spoons is new to me, practice was needed, especially over weed beds in shallow water. Along the shrimp boat channel are several places that have shallow water with weed beds. Excellent was my thought.

 The STUPID SPECKLED TROUT thought different.  About three or four practice casts would be made then a SST would get in the way and get hooked on the spoon.  This got old after a short while so the Team left and went to the Rockport harbor were we could practice in peace without the SSTs interrupting.  The SSTs were all slightly over minimum for keeping but my freezer has plenty of fish in it for now.  They were all released alive and told to come back next week.

The practice went well.  Now there is knowledge in my brain about how the different lures work and how to make each behave as I wish at any time.  This was a fun way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

Edit Monday morning:  This is from the TPW report issued thismorning. The Team was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Mustang Island State Park: After 2 days of heavy aerosols, the state park has seen light aerosols this morning due to light winds. However, as winds pick up, we expect aerosols to increase accordingly. Discolored water and dead fish are once again being seen; the heaviest concentration of dead fish (mostly gulf menhaden and striped mullet) is near the Fish Pass jetty. "


Perforation Prevention

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Many chores were done today.  A serious one was vacuuming the interior of the Truck.  About six cubic yards of New Mexico dirt was removed.  Now it is a bigger step up to get into the Truck.  Then the ladder was set into position and washing the Truck commenced.  It seems that the paint on the Truck is actually white still.  It has looked like New Mexico dirt tan for so long the true color had been forgotten.  Maybe the fuel mileage will be better now.

Lots of the fish catching in this area is done by wade fishing.  A boat or yak is used to get to an area then the boat or yak is anchored in shallow water and the fishing commences while wading.  The OFM is deathly afraid of getting perforated by objects in the water like old iron junk, broken glass or STING RAYS.  A lot of research has been going on about folks that got sting ray perforated and lived to tell about it.  It seems most all the perforations have been above the knob on your ankle.

The sting ray barb does considerable damage that takes months to heal with lots of medical help along the way.  That is not my idea of trying to have tooooo much fun. Therefore today a purchase was made to lower that chance of perforation to a very small amount. Here is a picture of what a sting ray stabs you with.

In the market are a couple of different types of leg and foot protection.  More research including talking to a couple of folks that have experienced sting ray blows. Sting rays by nature are very docile critters that do not “attack” other creatures. However they are well equipped for self-defense.  All the times that were found when folks were perforated were when the ray had been stepped on while the folks were wading in the water.

 Down here the type of walking in the water developed to prevent stepping on a ray is called the “sting ray shuffle”.  You never lift your feet off the bottom but just slide them along. Every time my feet try that my body ends up stumbling and falling. Inevitably a step or two is taken during any few steps wading.  That is dangerous.

The leg protection chosen is this model.

They cost about $45 drive out and are a lot cheaper than the cheapest doctor visit.  They should give better than 90% protection probability.  They unfold and then are wrapped around your lower leg.  Inside the very tough cloth is a rigid hard plastic layer.  They are not actually comfortable to wear but do not seem to be bad either.

Once the straps are adjusted, the guard rides very low on your foot covering your ankle well. The guard will supposedly stop most ray’s barbs until you get up to the King Kong size rays of over three feet across. The folks who had been hit while wearing the guards told me that there was no doubt that you had been hit.  It was like being hit with a hammer handle.  My cowardice tells me it was a good purchase. Here is a picture of one installed on my right foot.  This was a difficult picture to take.

The same company makes Ray Guard boots and a boot and leg protection all in one piece.  The boot is very heavy.  In fact the combination boot/leg guard weighs so much it made my bad knee hurt just to walk around in the store while wearing them.  All of the products seem to be very good quality of construction.

Using this protection should go a long way toward making fishing keep on being a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Dangling Feet

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

It was Friday after Thursday's hard day’s work on the electrical systems in the Castle. Therefore it was time to meander and relax.  So after a very lazy start to the day the Truck started rolling toward the water somewhere.  At first the goal was PINS but we never made it there.

Along the way we spotted these yakkers out lowering the level of the oceans by catching so many fish at Light House Lakes.  This is along highway 361 between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass.  The park there is a major launching point for entertainment with paddle craft.  Power boats do not launch there.

 The weather at LHL seemed rather nice so the Team crossed the ferry into Port Aransas.  A left turn in town took us to the Station Street Pier where we watched a Winter Texas land a large sting ray.  The guys out on the pier seemed to be a bit careless with the ray. The Team left before they finally got it unhooked.

The Team wandered on to the PA jetties but the hordes of folks and very rough water deterred us from stopping.  The Truck did have some fun playing in the loose sand before the Team headed on south on highway 361 to wherever we ended up.

Nothing caught our attention as we headed south but when we crossed Packery channel, it was looking very beautiful.  It was nearing lunch so it was time to get on over to the Padre Island Whataburger before the crowds showed up.  They started filling the Whataburger as the Team was pulling out.  It was decided during lunch to go back to Packery and walk out on the jetties there to see what was going on.  It turned out to be a good decision.

After parking in the new parking lot, the camera and water bottle were grabbed and the Walking Team hit the concrete.  It is now possible to go all the way from the boat ramp to the end of the jetty and stay on a concrete walkway.  That is a lot easier walking than the ankle deep loose sand.

Quickly the Team crossed the sand dunes area.  The dunes are recovering from the construction equipment running on them during the parking area construction.  In a month or tow the dunes should be in good shape again.  They were fairly careful to protect the vegetation, so only the blowing sand has to rebuild.

 The path made it to the jetty and the Team noticed some very fishy water in the channel.  Several turtles were frolicking in the wave action.  A lady and young boy were standing on the edge of the rocks as the lady was reeling in a very active fish.  The boy got the net ready but it took a couple of tries before the fish was netted.  Here they are immediately after netting the nice LARGE speckled trout. The water depth under the net is about ten feet.  That is a rock ledge they are standing on.

It attracted a crowd of guys who clapped and cheered at the successful capture of supper.

As the Team meandered on out the jetty, the waves continued to grow.  Near the end you could see waves breaking onto the walking surface.  Not for me today.  But short of that area was a group of folks and a fellow was bringing in a nice size redfish.  He got it onto the jetty and was measuring it.  At his feet was another nice size redfish.  He was heard to say that both of them were a half inch under the maximum size allowed to be retained.  More supper in the making.

The walk back to the Truck was a study in slow piddling enjoyment of the cool day, gentle breeze and bright sunshine.  Back at the Truck a vote was taken and it was time to head back to the Castle.

Back at the Castle some water was installed in my stomach and we decided to head over to the harbor and see what is going on there.  Not much as it turned out.  However my fishing rod jumped into my hand and a walk along one of the piers chunking a good spoon provided the entertainment.  Along the way there was a couple from Houston to visit.  The fellow was asked if he would rather have a fishing rod or a shovel in his hands.  For some reason with no hesitation at all he answered FISHING ROD. And we both laughed.

The pier has a bench built on one side for part of the way along the walkway. Some very pleasant time was spent thrashing the water with the gold spoon while hanging my feet over the water.

 Now that is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Inverter Wiring

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Another chore is off the TO DO list now.  Today was get the inverter hooked up to supply a full 400 watts of power for the Castle.  A lot of different ideas have been bouncing around in my empty head for the last few weeks about the inverter.  The trouble has been that the circuit that was being used to power the inverter only allowed 84 watts of power or it would be overloaded.  Sometimes that was not enough to recharge the computer even.

The inverter is capable of putting out 400 watts of 120 volt power. My expected normal usages are in the 150 to 200 watt range for shorter times and about 100 watts for longer periods of charging batteries.  It was hoped that the TV would also run on the MSW inverter. 

Today was the successful installation of the inverter in a 12 volt circuit that can actually handle a 600 watt inverter if needed in the future.  The main 12 volt supply circuit is wired with 6 gage wire which will handle 50 amps of power. The trick was to find a good place to tie into the wiring. 

So while sitting at the table thinking about the different circuits, it dawned on me that the converter that used to charge the batts when plugged in to shore power was right at my feet.  Ever since the solar was activated, the converter/charger has not been used.  The solution was easy.  Take the 12 volt wires from the converter/charger and wire them to the inverter.

The correct terminals were purchased at the local builders supply.  The batts were disconnected.  Then the wiring got the terminals attached and the wires attached to the inverter.  Next was clean the batt terminals and hook up the 12volt again.  To my surprise everything worked as planned.

Next the inverter was placed in the compartment in a position so it would not get moved around. The grill was stowed away for now so it is easy to keep an eye on the new setup.

The white extension cord was run under the carpet runner and over to a multistrip where almost all of my junk gets its power.  The strip was plugged in and tested.  Then each of the appliances was plugged in to check their operation.  Except for a 12” fan, all the other things work as designed. Even the TV works just fine.

This means that the next time the Team is boondocking everything except the AC and microwave can be run from the batts. This is a good event.  Make no mistake, the solar will not likely pay for itself in my lifetime, but if it is on the rig it might as well be used.  The way solar pays its way is in staying in free or very cheap campsites instead of the $20 and up sites. For example having solar allowed me to stay for seven days at San Pedro Campground near Del Rio for a cost of $14 instead of $161 at the local commercial campground. That is a savings of $21 a day there.

 The Castle’s solar system ran me about $1500 to install. It was installed just to allow me to stay at some really special locations that do not have power hookups.  At this moment the solar has paid back, to the best of my recollection, about thirty days of campsite value.  That is somewhere around $600 of savings leaving the Team only about $900 to go to be broke even just by saving on campsite fees.

Some of the special to me locations that the solar has allowed me to stay are San Pedro Campground on the waterfront of Lake Amistad TX, Cottonwood Campground in Big Bend TX, several campgrounds in the New Mexico system and there are others but you get the idea.

At least my chores list is declining finally and that is good.  So this evening a bit of fishing down at the harbor and then a walk along the Rockport Beach made for a great finish of a day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Blood Suckers Again

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

A massive trail of bodies marks my path around the area today.  The little rain we had a few days ago has brought out hordes of mosquitoes to be killed. It is not possible appreciate the cooler weather due to all the blood sucking mosquitoes if you step outside. It had been my hope the extended and ongoing drought had killed off a few million mosquito eggs. Apparently trillions of eggs have survived, hatched and come looking for my blood.

Meanwhile a wild thought hit me in the back of the head this morning.  A blog that is occasionally read took me off in to the world of simple living folks.  That led me to wondering how much clothing was on board the Castle that has not been worn since the full timing started.  Then that led me to wondering how much clothing was onboard that used to be worn since full timing started but is now not used.  The divesting got under way with vigor.  Here is a picture of the first half hours pile from just the bath closet’s first go around.

Before it was over for the day, there were two large armloads gathered to go to the Castaways thrift shop here in town.  Five churches sponsor the store and it pays for church activities. An even dozen hangers were in the pile.  The dumpster got some more hangers that were in bad shape.  Shirts, pants, biking clothing and whatever got in the way made it into the piles. It was not actually much weight but definitely a lot of volume to regain in the cabinets and closets.

Speaking of bicycles there are two neat ones on tap for tonight.  The first was leaned against the wall of a restaurant here in Rockport. It has been seen around town for a couple of years and is apparently the primary transportation for one of the residents.  The fishing rod holder is well done.  Sometimes it has a milk crate on it and other times a tackle box.  It is very well used.

Tonight over in Aransas Pass was this motor bike hanging on the back of a pickup truck.  The exhaust is in a bad place for me.  My foot will just HAVE TO get in contact with the muffler.  That could be a major ouch.

It is about time for another picture of pretty flowers.  These were growing about two feet from the edge of the saltwater near downtown Rockport. 

This cool weather is a good time for everyone to get out and try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Aromatics Or Stench?

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Another fact finding ride was taken today down toward the red tide areas.  Let me guarantee you that that area is a mess visually and sniff wise.  Rotting fish is nothing new to me but this stench from the Red Tide actually irritates my nose.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife folks call it aromatics.  My name for it is HORRIBLE STENCH.  Today’s north wind has helped send most of the STENCH off shore.

There was not much excitement going on. Port Aransas is exploding with new houses and people. There are structures going up all over the place.  It is a building boom the likes of I have never seen before. It looks like it will only take a few years and Mustang Island will be covered with buildings inviting a big hurricane to come in and put the island back to near natural.

Part of my effort today was looking at larger yaks to allow me better Laguna Madre fishing access.  The prices on the yaks do not know the economy is depressed.  That itch will just have to wait for a bit.

On the internet was the news that for the first time in three years those of us on SSA might get a minuscule raise next year. That would be nice for a change.  Every few pennies helps when you are living on early SSA income.

An evening look around the harbor and Little Bay showed that the cold weather was here.  The very few folks there were out had on light jackets to stay warm in the 74 degree cold.  Cool weather for the next two nights will make for good sleeping.

This next picture is me down across from the entrance to Light House Lakes checking out the fishing in the area.

  It is a nice area for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Broken Bed

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

For a month or so the bed platform in the Castle has been acting like a trampoline at times.  It is not supposed to do that.  So while the bed was stripped down for laundry the platform was checked out to find the reason for the “softness”.  Lo and behold two of the joints on the far side of the frame were coming apart.  That side of the bed platform had dropped over an inch.  At least now it was known what else there was to fill the day.

Now it is my duty to explain that the worst part was not the contortions required getting into the space to work, but the contortions that are required to get my trifocal glasses into position to allow for that wonderful human item called vision.

The decision was made to take the top off the platform instead of trying to get an old fat body into the 12 inch high storage area to work.  It was actually an easy decision since my body is thicker than 12 inches on a good day.

 The failing joints are against the wall.  The bed platform was not attached to the wall, but was a free span from the foot of the platform to the head of the platform. That is too far for a 2x2 pine chunk of wood.  After checking out the situation, my decision was that two short struts going to the floor in the correct spots would solve the trouble.  The joints also needed to be tightened up, but that was the easy part.  Here is the worst joint.  It doesn’t look all that bad but it was.

Sometimes brute force is needed in a situation.  This time something had to hold the frame up in the correct position while the new struts were screwed into position.  Say hello to a two ton hydraulic jack.

The framing did not really want to go up to the location level with the freestanding wall section.  So another command decision was made to stop at the 3/8” short position.  From the sound of all the creaking and groaning going on from the framework, my guess is that the platform had been installed slightly low along that wall in the first place.  Six years of road torqueing and an old FAT man sleeping on it had it warped it seemed.

 The struts were cut to the finish length.  All holes were predrilled for the screws.  The first strut went in well and made a lot of difference in the stiffness of the platform.  The jack was moved over to the second spot.  The holes were predrilled and the strut installed.  Both struts were secured at the bottom with an angled screw into the floor.  The whole assembly is very rigid now.

 The top of the platform was replaced.  The tools were all cleaned up and put away.  After that it was ibuprofen time.  Now that the platform was repaired, it is a requirement that it be tested for safety reasons so a nap was taken on it.  It is my wonderful duty to report that it works very well.

The twenty minute in a normal situation job took the usual three hours plus required when working inside an RV. But a good sleeping location is important to trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.


Poking Holes In The Water

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The morning is going well. The laundry is gathered up.  The soap and quarters are corralled.  Then it is out the door to find a flat tire waiting on you.  Get out the noisy compressor and air the tire up.  The whole area has to wake up due to the noisy compressor.  That is ok since it is after 0600 and they all need to get up.

A roll over to Wal-Mart results in a patched tire in short order.  All right now get to the laundry to commence cleaning the clothing.  Wrong.  The laundry is packed so we head on back to the Castle and other chores.  What a way to start the day!

Down at the harbor is some new construction going on.  Pilings and pedestals were being installed.  Whatever it will be should be interesting.

There is the explanation sign.  One of the local boat people tells me that the current education center has lots of attendance for the programs there.  They needed more space to handle the crowds.

There has been some destruction going on in the Castle too.  The microwave that came with the Castle was very powerful.  In fact it was too powerful for a lot of my cooking.  The power level button did not actually cut back on the power input.  It just timed the power on and off to meet the fake level set. Cycling the power on for ten seconds then off for ten seconds is not the same as lowering the power level.  Food has been exploding in this oven for a few years.  Finally it was time to fix the problem.

The 1100 watt oven had to go.  It was given away to a good home.  In its place now is a 700 watt oven. 

The spring bar in front of the oven is removable for use of the oven.  It reinstalls for travel down the road.  The lower power of the new oven has made cooking mush easier.  It uses five amps less than the old machine.  Yes that means that the food has to cook a short while longer.  Hopefully there will be a lot less food that gets burned with this oven.

Having well prepared food is a good way to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.