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Nice Winter Evening, Rockport, Texas

11/30/12

One Less Team Member


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

WOW it has been an eventful day.

The first thing that was special was finding a picture of the sleeping bag clipped over the door on cold nights.  That sucker was buried deep in the never never land of old pictures. Now we have a picture to explain last night’s verbiage.

About 0200 last night the OFM was up and about. He decided to take a look outside to see how things were behaving. The moon was very bright so he got the dim idea of taking a picture by moonlight. It came out amazingly well after all.
 

We got laundry done early this morning as in before 0900.  Then the Teams tackled the bathroom. It was totally scrubbed down and disinfected with bleach afterward.  It was surprising that a cold chisel and hammer did the job instead of needing a pneumatic jack hammer.  By now it was noon and time for lunch.

When lunch was finished it seemed to be just right for some fishing. After all this is a winter day and the temperature is only 81.

While out fishing this picture presented itself. It is now the header picture for a bit.

That is one nice looking winter day isn’t it.

After all that work and excitement things got really going.  Plans for golf on Monday with Billy Bob were made. That will be fun again.

Then some emails with Horst of http://texasreflectionsphotography.blogspot.com/  resulted in plans to meet him out north of Del Rio on Wednesday. That will be fun for two bloggers to meet up and tell tales.  But we are not finished yet.

Lots of folks love to add to the amount of stuff they have around them. The OFM loves to get rid of stuff to have less holding him back. The OFM Teams will soon be one less in number. After several months of not using the yak, it demanded to be sold to someone that would use it.

 Since the happiness of the Team members is very important, the yak was advertised for sale. As of today it has a new owner that will make great use of the kayaks massive abilities. And it is several fewer things the OFM has to worry about remembering where they are located.  No more paddle, rod holder, seat, anchor or red flag to worry about tracking. Best of all is no more strained back muscles trying to handle the heavy yak all by himself.

Clint Eastwood said it well when he said “A man has got to know his limitations.”

Getting lighter and lighter is another good move toward trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/29/12

Bald Head Help


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The insulation is finished for a while now. The OFM is bouncing all over the place wanting to roll some wheels.  He figures he can get outa town about Sunday morning for somewhere dry. He is stumbling around mumbling things like “Pecos River high bridge, Cottonwood Campground, Panther Junction, Panther Cave, San Pedro” and on and on. His case of hitchitch is rather severe. It looks like the Teams need to be ready for any place at any time.  There he goes giggling again he he he he.

After a few tests of the new insulation have proven the installation does the job required, the OFM will start on the decision of what decorative idea to use over the visible insulation.  It would be nice to have something cute covering the white foam and drywall screws.

One area that had a lot of foam added was at the head of the bead. In colder weather the OFM’s bald head would get cold. His Daughter in Law knitted him some head covers last Christmas and they work very well until he squirms so much they come off.  The added insulation at the head and side of the bed should make it a lot nicer to sleep in the future.

In case there is an RVer out there that does not know this technique, here is a very good tip.  The door on most RVs does not insulate very well.  Two cup hooks were placed above the door. Then two binder clips are attached to a large towel, blanket, or in the OFM’s case, a light weight fleece sleeping bag. The binder clips lever arms are then put over the cup hooks to hold the sleeping bag snugly against the door. This works well for heating or air conditioning. If it is sized carefully the hanging material can be just swept aside momentarily as you exit or enter the RV.

Keeping cool or warm contributes significantly to the fun when you are trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/28/12

More Insulation



Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
 
The cold night made the OFM remember that his plans to add insulation to the Castle during the summer were never put into action. So the action started today. Already in the past lots of insulation has been added to the Castle and it has helped tremendously.  It is time for more.
This time, sheets of foam are being added to the outside walls of the Castle. For example inside the bathroom closet was one wall about four feet long that was still factory only. In an Arctic Fox the factory insulation is better than most RVs, but there is room to add to the insulation. Here is the unfinished foam in place on the longer outside wall.
Of course no work can be done by old folks without some colorful additions to their bodies.

Another thing the Teams do is put foam in the big window at the dining room table when the temps get very high or low. Here is the foam in place waiting for the shade to be pulled down for the night.

All these seemingly small changes make large differences in the comfort and lack of cold or hot spots inside the living area. An additional effect is that several times campground owners/managers have commented that the OFM Teams have the lowest electrical bills of all their campers. Since the main cost of electricity is for the AC or the electric heaters, this means that the extra insulation is doing some good.
Adding insulation to your home to help stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter is good for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM
 

11/27/12

What Is The Truth??


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

AHHH now we have some more info on the Bibe lion attack or non-attack.


A remote section of Big Bend National Park remained closed Monday in the wake of a mountain lion attack that left a visitor with minor injuries.

The attack Friday in the Mesa de Anguila area of the park was the second this year involving a park visitor. Officials were unclear, though, whether the mountain lion viewed the visitors as prey, or was simply curious.

David Elkowitz, the park's chief of interpretation, also said it was unclear whether the scratches and scrapes sustained by Andrea Pinero Cebrian, a visitor from Spain, were inflicted by the lion or incurred when she fell while trying to run away from the animal.

"The people involved walked out, they received treatment, they left," Chief Elkowitz said Monday morning. "There’s been multiple patrols looking for the animal. It hasn’t been seen again. All accounts are that it seems to have been a young animal. The area is still closed. It’s a very remote area on the west side of the park.”

According to reports collected by rangers, Ms. Cebrian and two friends initially saw the mountain lion from a distance and tried to scare it off by throwing rocks. A short time later they encountered the lion again and tried to flee by running down a trail, he said.

 

So the saga continues and the whole truth will likely never be known. But when the OFM goes out there in the near future you can bet on him trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

11/26/12

Unrecoverable Locations


Adventure Location: Sinton Golf Course, Texas

BillyBob suckered the OFM into going to the golf course for a fun day of excellent golf. The day was fun because BB makes it fun.  The excellent golf was played at some other course.  A few golf balls were sent into unrecoverable locations.  Other times excavations of huge volumes were attempted with the golf clubs.

The number of strokes taken was so high we ran out of score card room to write all of them down. When the ordeal was over we hit the local buffet to attempt to eat all the food in the county. BB wimped out after only six or seven plates full but the OFM was still going strong. The amount he consumed caused the earth to change its tilt.

The twisted ankle seemed to be nearly healed and did not cause any trouble on the golf course.

When it was all said and eaten, it was a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

11/25/12

Into Every Life Some Pain Must Fall


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Good Grief things did not go right today, but that is not unusual at all. The OFM got up and piddled around in the usual manner.  Then he stepped on the cord for the heater on the edge of his left foot.

Time out for some background now. In Viet Nam out in the jungle the OFM stepped in a hole and fell with his foot trapped in the hole.  That got him a helicopter flight to the Cam Rahn Bay hospital. It was a diagnosed as a severely sprained left ankle. After a week in the hospital and six weeks in a cast at the 6th Convalescence Center he was pronounced “healed” and was sent back to his duties as an infantryman running around in the jungle.

“Healed” was an optimistic term to say the least.  Since then the least little unevenness of footing on the left side can put him down. That left ankle has not really recovered in 45 years but the OFM can normally work around it. Now back to the original story.

The left ankle immediately registered its disagreement with that event.  The ankle was given the regular remedial care.  The order of the day became being very careful and taking it easy on the ankle to aid in the healing.  Normally it only takes a day or less to be OK again.

A little before noon the Teams decided to go to the harbor pier to just get out and be gentle to the patient.  It was good to be out as the day was incredibly beautiful.  Fish were even being caught. Here is Mike with a nice ladyfish.

 On down the pier Bob caught a small undersize speckled trout.

Well it was time for the OFM to get his fishing rod out.  The ankle was doing well and pier fishing does not need a lot of walking, at least at this pier.  The Fishing Team came back onto the pier equipped for fish battles. As usual there were no fish battles for this Team.  Eventually the Team worked its way to the end of the pier. At the end of this pier is a nice handrail that you can hold onto as you go out on the rocks at the end of the pier.  The OFM has done this a few hundred times without any trouble and today the rocks were even dry. A few steps around on the rocks while holding the hand rail led to one small uneven step with the left foot. 
Yep you guessed it, the ankle failed again and the OFM was being very gentle with no amount of bravado at all. We stayed on the rocks about twenty minutes fishing and waiting for the ankle to quit hurting. Eventually the Team made its way back past everyone and to the Truck.

Since then the OFM has been being lazy at the Castle with the ankle wrapped in a towel to create a warm area around the ankle. The heating pad on low is too hot for a small area like this. Ibuprofen is, of course, in his system now.

With a bit of luck the Teams will be back into action in the next day or two. Sitting and doing nothing is not our idea of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

11/24/12

Almost Supper


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

From the Big Bend NP Website is this important news.

"A female hiker was injured by a mountain lion while hiking in a remote area of Big Bend National Park on Friday, November 23. Andrea Pinero Cebrian and her companions were exploring the Mesa de Anguila near Lajitas when she was attacked. Cebrian was treated by Terlingua Medics and her injuries are not considered to be life threatening. The Mesa de Anguila has been closed to all visitors while rangers and park biologists investigate and patrol in search of the mountain lion."

On Big Bend Chat was a publication that said the hiker and her two companions tried to out run the lion instead of following proper wild country procedure.  She was last in line of the group.

Folks if you are going out into the wild country please take the time to learn proper procedures for dealing with the inhabitants of the wild country.

Now the question is what should you do? The answer is at the Bibe website. Go to this page and study it carefully, it can mean life or eaten.


Here is an excerpt from that page about lions.

 “Big Bend is mountain lion country, especially the Chisos Mountains. While lion attacks are rare, several have occurred in the last decade. Should you encounter an aggressive mountain lion, hold your ground, wave your arms, throw stones, and shout. Never run. Keep groups together and consider hiking elsewhere with young children if you come across a special mountain lion warning sign posted at a trailhead.”

As you read, the hiker and her companions tried to outrun the lion. YOU CANNOT OUTRUN A LION or most other wild mammals.

Running from a mountain lion is NOT a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/23/12

Mini Adventures


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The OFM did his usual good deed that is done almost every eight weeks.

The staff was in a jovial mood so it was a big laugh fest.  They gave him the carnival tent size free shirt and away we went.  The mandatory stop at Academy ended with the Shopping Team walking out without spending any money. A couple of more stops were made on the long trip back to the Castle with an expenditure of less than $6.  That is called a miracle.

The long time in the horizontal position this afternoon certainly helped the OFM feel better after losing so much blood.  It will be Sunday before he is good to go again.

About an hour before dark the Fishing Team hit the harbor area to see what we could scare out of the water.  Nothing of course. The interesting experience was standing on the bulkhead in 82 degree weather watching the front come our way.  The wind started up from the north and a wall of cool air hit us.  This went on for about fifteen minutes.

The wind then slowed and the temperature went up to about 79 according to the Truck thermometer.  The rain that was supposed to hit here hit about 2000 but was light and lasted nearly two minutes.

Grandson Gavin is now Mr. Cool.
Mr. Cool

Mini adventures can be fun in the search for having tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/22/12

Howling


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Since it is feast day the Teams had a goal for today. At 1400 we gathered for the shared meal. The campground owners put on a very nice Thanksgiving meal for friends and campers. This year there was some excitement.

The camper in #4 had cooked a large turkey for the gathering. The campground owners’ dog, who the OFM calls Mooch Pooch, was standing around waiting for a handout.  Usually MP is very polite.  #4 went into his trailer for a minute. MP hopped up on the picnic table and helped herself to a little over half the turkey.  MP was put into doggie prison for the rest of the day.  Not to worry though, there was plenty for every person and a few thousand more. We had fun.



You might think that that is fingernail polish in those bottles. Surprise, it is actually fishing lure paint. The Ofm has been piddling around about making some lures himself.  WOW the parts are too expensive.  The special paint they sell for lures is unreasonable.  While looking around in the Wal-Mart this morning, he realized that fingernail polish is usually a very good grade of lacquer and is waterproof.

So he stood there in the women section of Wal-Mart for a good while choosing a couple of colors for lure painting. It is also apparent that buying a plain white lure of the type he wants to use and painting it with fingernail polish is the cheapest way to piddle with lure making. Along the way he has found out that the soft plastic body lures for jig heads can be washed in soapy water, dried off and then Sharpie markers paint accents on the soft plastic very well.

After the excessive feast and a long nap to let the sugar levels get back to normal, the OFM took a ride down to the harbor to walk around a little. It was getting dark but the lighting around the area is good enough for decent walking at night. On a trip out on the pier, this cabbage head convention was noticed. The Canon camera is unreal. There was barely enough light for him to walk safely but the camera makes this look like it was noontime.

As luck would have it, when the Ofm finished his walking he noticed Earl and his wolf Juna sitting at a picnic table. Well we had a great visit.  When Juna is ready to go home she stands nearby and gives out with a beautiful nearly musical howl.  She is very nice Siberian Husky.

This was an easy day all about gently trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/21/12

A First For The OFM


Adventure Location: Rockport Harbor Pier, Texas

It was not known what today had in store for the Teams. It turned out to be interesting with a first for the OFM.

After harvesting the items for his part of the Thanksgiving feast, the OFM was ready for some lazy time.  Lately fishing at the Rockport Harbor Pier has been a very lazy effort. No fish bother you as you relax leaning on the rail.  Of course Mike had to mess it up and catch a very nice speckled trout. It went home with him for supper.

Then later in the afternoon BillyBob showed up to cause havoc. After a bit of rabble rousing he suggested we go toss fishing lures at the water. That sounded good so off we went. The wind had picked up a little and shifted directions from this morning so it was a whole new adventure.

That BB is really good at navigating rocks. He gets in some practice demonstrating his rock dancing ability.

The OFM would likely have fallen in since he is so clumsy.  But instead he caught a nice Spanish Mackerel.  It put up a heck of a fight. After a few minutes the OFM was finally able to lift it over the handrail for a picture. They have some very serious teeth so his hand was kept far away. This is the first Spanish Mackerel the OFM has ever caught.

A fellow walking the pier wanted the mackerel to take for his supper. He was a very happy fellow and told several folks who gave it to him.  A bit after he left, two bicyclists came riding up and asked if the OFM was who caught the fish.  WOW you should have seen his fat head get bigger. We visited a few moments and they went on their way.

Meanwhile BBob had found a cast net in a smaller size.  He gave it to the OFM.  The OFM is a long time removed form when he used a cast net during his youth. 

We found a safe spot to try our luck at casting the net. The technique came back swiftly. However the bone spur in the OFM’s right shoulder complained very loudly about that movement.  It looks like the cast net will get a new owner. The OFM is very protective of that shoulder. He does not want to go through surgery on that shoulder like he had to do on the left shoulder.

It was definitely a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/20/12

Of Moths And Butterfiles


Adventure Location: Lake Corpus Christi, Texas

Does anyone else consider airplanes to be canned virus? Yep right at five days after the Friday flight and the OFM is feeling “flu-ish”. He will probably be a wreck the next seven days. Hopefully Grandson Gavin did not catch anything from him.

For no good reason the Teams voted to go to Lake Corpus Christi today to do some outdoors walking and biking. We did get in a bit of walking but the blistered feet objected to very much exercise.  It was up to 83 degrees F when we left and headed back to the Castle.

It had been forgotten that there is lots of miles of good roadside shoulders in the area for bike riding. All around Sinton is great road riding. Here is an example of the size of the shoulders on the road as well as how flat the road is for easy riding.
 

We made it into the State Park at Lake CC. The first stop was the necessities building on top of a hill overlooking the lake. My goodness the lake is very low.  We decided to go over to the fishing pier to park for our meandering starting spot.  The pier is water challenged for fishing now.

So the Meandering Team got busy looking around at all the exposed lake bottom. One of the first things we spotted was this critter making its way along the top of a concrete bulkhead.

Next we headed off through the bushes growing on the lake bottom. To our surprise there are hundreds of butterflies and moths occupying the bushes. They would fly up like a big cloud all around the Team and then start to settle back down on the bushes. It was really interesting to participate in this event. Here is a picture of the butterflies on the first bush.

Then we came to a bush that let us grab a shot of three (at least) butterflies on it.

Down closer to the water was this moth that was very pretty. It held very still for the picture to be taken.

By now the blisters were talking loudly, so the Team headed back to the Truck for lunch. The vote after lunch was to head on back to the Castle, which we did. The bright sun, warm day and cool breeze made for a fantastic day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

11/19/12

Abject Stupidity


Adventure Location: Near Rockport, Texas

The OFM received a good or is it bad, anyway a lesson on using hip waders today. The previous times he has used the waders he did not go very far from where he entered the water. So having bare feet in the wader boots was just fine.

Today was a new era in wade fishing for him. He walked over a half mile barefoot in the waders for the fishing effort. Of course he did not catch any fish. Here is the area where most of the walking happened. That is not him in the picture. It is a real fisherman instead.

His final destination was the other side of the bridge.  BUT on the way there the error of his ways became apparent.  Socks are required on his feet when using the waders.  By the time the Fishing Team got to the bridge the OFM’s feet were screaming at him.  The walking stopped and he just stood in the water casting lures for a long time.  But it could not be put off forever; the long painful walk back to the Truck had to be done. And done it was at v   e   r   y    s   l   o   w   speed.

After arriving at the Truck and putting away the fishing gear, the painful process of getting the waders off was begun. The good news is the blisters had popped and were not many in quantity.  Tonight a warm bath for the feet and some antibiotic ointment on them should help the recovery pace. No, we will not be showing photographic evidence of his stupidity.

This evening we headed out to check the harbor area for fish catching.  The Little Bay area is known for good catching of speckled trout.  This pair of fishermen were enjoying the nice 75 degree, sunny weather.

The Teams have learned this lesson well.  Bare feet in will never again be allowed to interfere with trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/18/12

Joy in a Small Package


Adventure Location: Northern, Alabama
Gavin beats out blogging.


Trying to have Having tooooo much fun. TheOFM

11/17/12

Symptoms Of Fall


Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Suddenly Mr. Genius (TheOFM) finally figured out that fall is upon us. I mean what more does he need to wake him up. We have short days, cold wet weather and Winter Texans flocking into the area daily. Perhaps a few more items would help him understand about the changing of the seasons.

Over at the Memorial Park the fence vines are turning yellow as their growing season ends.
 
Around the campground the shrubbery is taking on the fall appearance also.

Along the roads some of the palms are even setting fall berries.

And if that is not enough he really ought to understand that those 400# acorns slamming things around and littering the ground are a fall event. By the way, yes they hurt when they hit his bald head.

There was an interesting addition to the campground.  This tire seems to me to be in need of some duct tape to keep it useful.  Like maybe four or five rolls of duct tape.

But the Teams in general are getting into the laid back attitude of the fall season. We need the rest to be ready for the next season in the life of those who are trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

11/16/12

Finishing The Story


Adventure Location: Memorial Park, Rockport, Texas

A few days ago the OFM messed up and did not go to the new lake trail at the Memorial Park cause he is a dummy. Today the Teams forced him to correct that mistake.   A morning walk at the park was very nice with only one ambitious mosquito to fight. We meandered our way to the start of the subject trail.

It is a nice trail that wanders along through the trees like a proper trail should. The width makes it easy to stay away from the brush along the trail. That way you do not get so many mosquitos or scratches.

It is only a short way to the new lake but you would think it was thirty miles across the burning Sahara desert in July from the way the OFM whines and carries on. The wimp. Suddenly here is the lake right in front of you with nice benches to sit upon and enjoy the view.

From here it is an easy back track to the main trail. One member of the Teams was still whining something about needing a golf cart. Good Grief!

Back on the main trail was a nice surprise. The dog park is divided into parts to fit the size of the hounds. This sign gives you a clue as to which dog run to try out first.

Back over at the main ponds we were treated to this nice scene. The ducks and turtles were playing nicely so we did not get to see any fighting. It is starting to feel like fall is approaching around here.  The OFM says he is ready for the December speckled trout run down at the harbor pier.

The new trail does seem to add a nice new dimension to the trying to have tooooo much fun activities. TheOFM

11/15/12

The Boardwalk at PA


Adventure Location: Port Aransas, Texas

As we continue onward into the alligator marsh there is an opportunity to put your head into the mouth of an alligator.  Photographic evidence of that adventure would be a good thing. Let us know if you get eaten.

If you can finally break yourself away from all the nice blossoms and fragrances, there is more to be experienced here. At the end of the flower garden is the entry to the marsh boardwalk. Be aware that, as the signs and BillyBob said, this is alligator country. No they are not tame so do not try to pet them.  If you do try to pet them please let us know if you survived.
On the day the Meandering Team visited, the reeds and brush had been beaten back from the boardwalk so the walking was easy. As you step onto the boardwalk here is your first view.
Pay careful attention to the water under your feet as you stroll along. There is no telling what might come into sight. From alligators to ducks to snakes are all real possibilities. Most likely you are safe from Gila Monsters though.

Around the bend the terrain opens up and you can see the bird watching stations ahead and above. The man and lady with the wheel chair were nice to meet.
 
After a bit of meandering the Team headed up the tower. TheOFM’s knee was not behaving very well so it took some time but the Teams do not back down too often.  From the tower we were able to get a couple of nice overviews of the sanctuary. The first picture is looking to the left from the tower.

And the next is looking to the right.  In this picture you can see the next two viewing stations. The telescopes are active and free to look at the area.

While the Meandering Team was piddling around looking at the slough bottom a visitor came calling.  It paddled around looking for excitement but decided the OFM is just too boring.

Yep it was noisy out there with all the ducks messing around but it was also very nice. This is definitely a good place for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

 

11/14/12

Flower Walk


Adventure Location: Port Aransas, Texas

A friend of the OFM mentioned a nice walk to him a few days ago. Since it was only cold and windy with no rain, he decided the Teams would check it out today. It turned out to be a very nice very short trail but with a lot packed into tits short length. Tonight is the first part of the report. The parking is excellent but limited to about ten vehicles. The trail can handle assisted folks very easily.  There was one wheel chair and several canes out on the boardwalk. It is excellent in design.

Here is the sign telling you where to park next to the sewage plant. No stench was the big surprise to me.

After parking and getting bundled up the Meandering Team went to work. From the parking lot a paved path leads the way.

Tonight we only cover the first couple of hundred feet of the walkway. This is a very nice garden with lots of variety. This sign tells an important story about the plants.

Nearby are two very fragrant roses. Of course since the OFM used to grow fragrant roses for a hobby, he had to spend some time with his nose stuck in the blooms keeping the honey bees pissed.

There are so many different blooms in the garden that showing all of them would take a long time. Here is just a very small sampler of some of the great viewing.




Several shrubs/trees/ unknown pieces of vegetation were in the garden that were not blooming.  This one had some neat looking leaves that caught the OFM’s attention. Those leaves are in the five to six inch size. A waxy feel to them was noticed.
This was a very entertaining section of the park.  However on the wrong day the mosquitos from the adjoining marsh would carry you away to be subdivided amongst their kinfolks.

Tomorrow the report should be about the rest of the boardwalk. It all combined to make a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.