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Nice Beach

6/18/18

Gnome Home

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/18/2018
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This mornings walk was a pleasant little stroll along the lake and golf course. Most all the flowers are finished blooming and the forest is maturing. It is a nice place to walk/ride a bike just for the fun of it.

Along the way the OFM spotted a Gnome Home made from a hollowed out tree next to the creek. This gnome has some nice waterfront property to enjoy and watch the folks pass by on the adjacent path. We bet there might even be some fish and turtles in the back yard.

Here is the hollowed out tree the Gnome lives in.

Gnome Home


And it is even decorated with some pretty flower buds outside the front door. They will soon be pretty flowers if the OFM recalls correctly.



The heat is not slacking off so all exercise walking is done early in the morning. But that is OK because a nice early morning walk is a pretty good way of trying to have tooooo much fun to start the day well.

6/16/18

Way Too Hot

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/16/2018
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At least the two migraines today were lighter in intensity and lasted a good bit shorter time. That means the OFM is not near as bad as yesterday. It was still a lot of bed time day. 

By supper time the OFM was good enough to head out to a new restaurant he had been told about down in Priceville, Al.  It was supposed to be very good and it was. We will be going back again.

 The menu is catfish and other good meats with excellent vegetables tonight. His meal was much larger than we expected. Two LARGE filets of catfish, 6 hush puppies, a cup of cole slaw topped with fresh slices of onion, a sweet potato and iced tea made up the meal. From the looks of the other diners meals, the meals are all large.

The miserable heat is keeping most folks inside during the day. The pine trees are dense enough that the Castle only gets a minor amount of sun on it during the day. Even without the sun heating the campsite, Sierra’s temperature gage about 1600 today was still reading 97 degrees in the shade. There is no golf happening for the Teams in those conditions.

Tomorrow is a visit with the OFM’s folks over in Madison. Their home AC works very well and we will enjoy it.

The heat is not letting the OFM run around outside to have adventures or take pictures. Do not worry if no blog is posted for a few days. The OFM teams are not going to fight the near 100F heat in an attempt of being outside for trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/15/18

OFM is Mentally Out of It.(Update)

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/15/2018
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The OFM is having a couple of migraine attacks each day the last two days. He is about beat to a rancid pulp by them. We will return when we have nicer news. Migraines are not good for trying to have tooooo much fun.

UPDATE: The OFM took it real easy today. Might have been due to the crowbar I was threateningly holding next to his head. Anyway it has been recovery time without any new attacks so we are hopeful. The big trouble is the extreme unusual heat in the area. Mostly we just stay in the AC.

We actually did dump the black tank this afternoon with no trouble but that was about it. If you did not know it, a 20 foot long trailer can get much smaller on a day of not getting out of it for trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/13/18

Location Assistance Requested

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/13/2018
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It started innocently but the OFM imagination took it onward at light speed or faster. The Boondork had mentioned south Alabama as a place to spend some time. The OFM knew a little bit about the area from several years in the past.

Fast forward a couple of hours worth of the OFM brain whizzing with thoughts. The Teams are Escapees members of nearly 22 years. The Escapees campground at Summerdale, Al has been our home once for a couple of weeks. So the OFM started digging through the Internet to check out things down that way. Records for temperatures were checked and it is a couple of degrees cooler in the winter than Corpus Christi Tx. That is well inside our tolerance.

Next we checked for golf. Good grief lots of golf in the area.  Ok now how about shore fishing.  A major nice pier on the surf in the Gulf and another pier at Fairhope in Mobile Bay. Then we were able to determine there is a nice amount of shore fishing on the bays. Maybe even some kayak fishing! A lot of things have changed in the last few years.

OK so far so good. What we are asking for is personal experience information in the area including including the other side of Mobile Bay from September until April. Good, Bad, and whatever you wish to help with would be appreciated. We have not really explored that area very much so we think a few months there might work out pretty nice.

You can email the OFM directly at texnomad@hotmail.com or you can leave a comment. We are very willing to dig into Internet sites that you might recommend.

Of course we are REALLY interested in places where we can take great pictures to post while trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/11/18

Healing Again

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/11/2018
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This morning dawned with the OFM not ready to get going. The migraine that started last Saturday evening was a mean one this time. This morning was not a feel good morning yet so things moved slowly. It seemed to the Teams that the OFM needed to get some gentle exercise outside.

Eventually he got himself together enough to grab the camera and his hat for a walk. We heard activity at the soccer field and headed that way. The maintenance crew was into a big maintenance job. It looked like an aeration of the field in progress. Other chores were going on out there also but the OFM could not tell what it was. One thing for sure, it was pretty large equipment working.

Along the north soccer perimeter road is a heavily wooded drainage ditch. We had never looked into the foliage for fear of something insectual biting us. Today the OFM was doing his usual GrannyJ impression and noticed a narrow path going into the ditch area. It looked like a critter trail so he was very careful when going into the brush.

Well it was bright sun outside but in the jungle the light was about 80% less. In this next picture the flash had fired so it looks brighter than to regular lighting.



It was a nice little crick and no insects attacked. But he did not dawdle any longer than needed for the picture.

From there we had a nice meander at a gentle pace down to the river and along the river trail toward the water park. Trees and shoreline on our left and play fields to our right most of the time. A few pictures of tree leaves were taken trying to make the light of the morning create a magic effect. None turned out well so they went bye-bye .

We did find one fungus getting a good start. It is about the size of a quarter in this picture. The natural color was tending toward a beautiful purple in the dark spots. We will keep an eye on it for future photos.


Most of the rest of the day involved beds and chairs as the OFM continued to get better. By evening he was doing well and decided a yard bird salad would be good. A large bowl was centered on the counter and the refrigerator was emptied of lots of good stuff not the least was a double handful of sliced and cooked yard bird from a couple of days ago.

8" Wide Bowl


It was wonderful.

Meanwhile our friend Darrell Goza (http://gozatravels.blogspot.com/)  is hitting the road tomorrow after being held up for several months helping taking care of a family medical trouble. His blog is definitely worth reading. He is completely capable of trying to have tooooo much fun. 



6/9/18

Three Generation Family Gathering

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/9/2018
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Early this morning the e-mail came in from the OFM’s son. Somebody was needed to hold the backup wrench and be the general laborer for the lawn mower deck repair. So naturally the OFM took time from his hectic schedule to get over there and help.

When we got there disassembly was well on its way.


There were some boxes with the new parts in them on the garage floor. There was some old parts scattered around. We were hoping someone knew where the parts went during the repairs.

A conversation with the OFM’s son revealed the failure of the mower blade jack shafts and the new parts were on site. Several other parts were inspected to find out how near failure they were. They all seemed to be adequate for another season or two but the whole rig was definitely worn from the previous ten years of use.

The mower deck was in the yard being blasted clean by grandson Gavin with serious effort being applied.


Then the OFM and his son moved the deck to the sun baked drive way to dry to a crisp. That did not take long. We were still discussing parts and potential repairs until well after the deck was dry. Then the deck was moved inside the garage to the shade and in front of the fan for the real work.



Now more clean up was done to the deck. A torque wrench was brought into play and assembly began. It was slow going because we were very careful to read and follow the instructions. We did not want carelessness to result in a whirring lawn mower blade coming off to injure someone.

It took a good while to get everything done on the deck. Then it was time for lunch. The whole family and the OFM headed out to a burger place nearby for a good lunch. Grandson Gavin was so good he even got a DOUBLE SCOOP ice cream cone for desert.

Now it was time to put the mower deck back under the mower and get it all put together. The OFM’s son did the rolling around on the floor hooking up the connecting parts while the OFM wobbled around handing him parts and connectors. When that was all done, the OFM did a quick check of the whole piece of equipment to see if any loose tools were evident.

Now it was proof time. The key was turned and the equipment sprang to life. Nothing seemed wrong so it was put in gear and a test mowing strip was done. OFM’s son pronounced it ready to work. 

During the testing the OFM swept the old grass clippings and other debris out of the garage and stood in front of the fan until testing was finished.

A successful repair was declared and it was a wonderful day of visiting the OFM’s family and being of some use. This made for a wonderful day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/8/18

Sierra Decoration

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/8/2018
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It was hot today and the OFM tried to play golf today. The change is he took a golf cart for an attempt to tolerate the heat better. It worked he made it one hole farther than walking before he had to quit. He quit on hole 5. He was very hot and his body did not seem to be sweating in the high humidity, so he quit and headed for the AC.

Meanwhile back at the campground the mail arrived with a decoration for Sierra. The new Texas registration sticker came in.



We got it installed on Sierra and now we can go back into Texas legally again. Of course that will still be a while but we are glad the to do list is a bit shorter now.

And there you have it, all the exciting things we did today in the effort of trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/7/18

Body Slam!

Adventure Location: Decatur Alabama
Adventure Date:6/7/2018
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The OFM slept very late this morning. In fact he slept clear through the night without interruption for ten hours. That means it was1000 hours before breakfast and cleanup was finished. It was hot outside with the usual no wind. A bike ride was suggested and all the Teams thought that was a good idea.

The OFM gathered the things together for a bike ride. Helmet, gloves, keys, water, turn on brain, and a few other nicnaks were gathered. Then we checked on the bike and it was still asleep under the picnic table.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Well we woke it up and got it ready for riding. Air in the tires, seat uncovered and our other stuff loaded. Then it was time to get riding.

We rolled the bike out from under the table and got ready to ride. The OFM forgot he is the OLD Fat Man. He attempted a flying start by stepping on a pedal and swinging his other leg over the bike and riding off like he has done in the past.  Well it did not quite work out. In fact it did not even come close. As he leaned the bike over slightly to swing his leg over the gravel under the front tire let loose and a sliding we were going. He hit the brakes as the tire slid farther sideways and the OFM went the other way.

Now you may be wondering where Sierra the faithful truck was during all this. Sierra was standing close by to help if needed. And Sierra was right, help was needed.

As the OFM was going down Sierra closed in to give the OFM something to bump into instead of the hard ground down there. So the OFM basically slammed into Sierra’s driver door and slid down the door surface to the assist step and stopped.

The feverish activity came to a sudden stop. KABANG.  OK take a minute to evaluate the situation. Blood: one small gravel scratch on a leg. Bruises: Probably will show up later.
Bike Damage: None in sight.
Feeling of STUPIDITY: Strong in the OFM.

After a moments checking that the event was now dormant, the OFM started to get up and untangle the participants. It did take a few moments but actually went very well in spite of the fool doing the untangling.

OK time to try again. This time the OFM applied the bike brakes and did a no rolling straddle of the bike. Then the pedals were positioned for a start and the gravel was warned about what would happen if it misbehaved again. The OFM pressed on the pedal and the gravel behaved and away we went. We rode through the campground, around the soccer fields, past the ice rink, along the road around the golf course, along part of the path near the river, near the water park and past the tennis courts. About then the left knee decided it wanted to go home so we did.

When we got home to the Castle, the OFM was extra careful when dismounting to come to a complete stop in a straddle position before doing a dismount. One uncontrolled body slam a day is plenty. It was pretty warm but the ride was a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 


6/5/18

Good News for a Change

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: June 05, 2018
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The email came like lots of other junk or scam email. Then another later and another later for three days. So we researched it a bit as best as the Teams could figure out how to research.

You are supposed to print a coupon and take it to the pharmacist when you get your new drug. Well we printed it out since the OFM’s supply of eye drops was on its last drip. Away we went to the local Walmart to get the new one month supply and check out if this offer was a scam or what?

The clerk took a glance at the print out and said it is a real thing. And the coupon was good. In fact they fill a lot of prescriptions using it.

The coupon had a price that was supposed to be near the current real price. The clerk checked and the price was correct. Good grief the OFM thought that is a lot of difference. So we let them fill the order.

After our short 15 minute wait the time of reckoning was upon us. We sure hoped it was still a good coupon. IT WAS. Check this next picture to see the reason. Our price today was the one on the left. The one on the right was what we had been paying every month for the last year.



Now that is the kind of numbers that makes the SSA income feel a lot better. The coupon came from a company named GoodRx.  It seems that you put the drug into the search bar and GoodRx will be one of the results with prices for local druggists on that drug.

This is an totally new to us event. If it continues to work out, it will go a long way toward our efforts at trying to have tooooo much fun.

6/2/18

Playing Lumberjack

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: June 02, 2018
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When the OFM finally awakened it was well into the morning. He was not enthusiastic this morning for quite a while. After breakfast and some Internet time he decided the rain would hold off today and we could get some outdoor cleanup done.

A quick look around told us that the Castle needed to have the roof “unlogged” of the tree debris from all the wind storm effort. Then a quick look around the campsite told us that the ground needs some cleanup also. The yard blower was brought out to go to work. First was the roof. The ladder was brought to see if we should use it for access for the blower.



We gave that a try and it was a BAD idea. So the OFM went back to using the rear ladder of the Castle. He prefers to stay away from standing on the roof due to his “wobblyness”. Today he did  well and the blower was put to work. Sticks, limbs, leaves, pine needles etc went flying every which way. The blower has been a very worthwhile purchase for the Teams.

The OFM did notice the small gutters at the edge of the roof were getting clogged with tree debris. So he squatted next to the edge to try to clean the gutter with his finger. AIN’T NO WAY THAT WAS GOING TO WORK OUT WELL. So he got back up (that was a sight to see) without falling off the roof ( another miracle). The blower was set next to the edge of the roof so he could use the A style ladder. This is seen in the picture above.

He headed back up the A style ladder and stopped to try to clean the little gutter. His thought is we need a wire bent on the end to use while standing safely on the ground. Nothing came to mind immediately so the blower was retrieved and blowing all the leaves etc. away from the Castle was done. Then it was put it away time.

The ladder was folded and stored under the rear of the Castle. The electrical cord was coiled and tied. Then the storage bin was opened and there it was. The canopy hook for the canopy we got rid of years ago was waiting to go to work. So we put it to work.

We tried it out several ways and it worked sort of. 


Then we raised the loop end some and the hook end fit right into the gutter and the debris came on out easily. WOWOW are we happy about that.



Now we have an easy GROUND BASED no OFM climbing required way of keeping the gutters clean so water does not puddle back onto the roof. In short order the gutters were clean, the hook put away, the electric cord stored and the blower secured in a cabinet and the sweating OFM back inside in the AC cooling off. Now it was time for trying to have tooooo much fun again.

6/1/18

Rain Hibernation

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: June 01, 2018
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The OFM was less soggy during the monsoon seasons in Viet Nam. The steel hand rails at the office are sagging from being soaked. This is getting old and still more is in sight.

Adventures are hard to come by. A little walking gets done and even one picture got taken. Check out this cute spider web.



We will be glad when it dries out enough to drive on the street without leaving ruts. We are still alive and paying bills hoping for some sunshine. Eating an ice cream cone has been our closest attempt at trying to have tooooo much fun lately.

5/29/18

Mr. Alberto's Visit

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 29, 2018
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Mr. Alberto de la Storm came by for a visit this afternoon. It was not welcome. However we had no say in the event so we sat it out. About 1700 it pulled out to bother other folks and let us get started in the cleanup.

The Castle was noisy during this event. We kept on getting KA BOOMs on the roof and sides of the Castle. Our site is inside a tree cave formed by 80-100 foot tall trees.



That means lots of nice shade during the summer and plenty of tree droppings all year round. Keeping the roof cleaned of debris is a continuous chore for the OFM. However it is required for the protection of the Castle from all sorts of troubles.

Here is one of the tree droppings that hit the roof and came over the side to join us in the campsite. As the OFM looked upward he could see several other leafless limbs that would also be good candidates for penetrating the roofing of the Castle.



We were very glad when Mr. Alberto moved on to the northwest to leave us alone. The rain was pretty hard for about an hour. To the Teams surprise we did not see any flooding in the area from this incident. Dancing in the streets and waving goodbye to Mr. Alberto is a GREAT way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/28/18

Storm Report

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 28, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.

The golf course beat the OFM to a pulp AND THEN LAUGHED AT HIM.

In the mean time we received another picture of the storm at the Gulf Shores beach.



Apparently the storm moved just enough east that the area is not having serious effects from it. Now we know from experience missing storms from the ocean is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/27/18

Weird Boat (UPDATED)

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 27, 2018
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It was a very crowded day today as lots of folks came into the campground to visit other campers. In other words it was PACKED. Lots of kids were having a great time. But the best of all is we did not hear even one cross word in all the activity.

There was a funny boat parked along the road. It apparently was a jet drive. I will let the readers figure out what it was used for. No one on the Teams could even hazard a guess.




After the OFM went out for supper, a large black and green roiling cloud formed near and moved toward the campground. It was ugly for certain. When we returned it was only a few minutes before the news was being passed around about the rainstorm headed for us in about thirty minutes. During that thirty minutes six million, seven thousand and thirty four folks bailed out of the campground. Ten minutes later the rains hit here and the OFMTeams went into hibernation inside the Castle.

The bad side is that the fireworks show did not happen. Maybe tomorrow they will get to set it off. Then the big weekend will be over. One thing for sure the folks here this weekend knew how to have a really pleasant party while trying to have tooooo much fun.

UPDATE ON THE STORM ALBERTO
The OFM Teams has a member on the beach at Gulf Shores Alabama. Mr. A Ward has sent us this current picture of the weather there. It is just starting to become something to catch your eye on the horizon. We will update as news arrives.

Gulf Shores Alabama Beach Front


5/26/18

Happy Folks

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 26, 2018
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BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM echos all through Point Mallard Park as the Memorial Day Celebration gets underway. The music is loud and incessant. The mood is jovial and upbeat. The crowds are beyond belief. Here is the road from the highways that leads to the park. 



The lines have been like that since about 0900 this morning. Out the road about a mile is a parking lot with transportation to inside the campground to a long walk to the public celebration part of the park.



Once out of the van they have about a half mile walk  to the entertainment area. At least it is a pleasant walk since the temps are in the mid 70s. Here is the other end from the transit van stop.



That is a view right up one of the streets in the campground part of the park. We get the idea that every campsite has visitors to go along with the campers that belong there. It is definitely crowded. We have two more days of this.  So far it has been a very happy crowd of folks just trying to have tooooo much fun.



5/24/18

Nap Time

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 24, 2018
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It seems the OFM is finally starting to feel better after two plus days of less than the best. Boy o Boy did his appetite return with a vengeance. It was getting on toward lunch time and he was HONGRY!  Then the BBQ place in town came to mind and their large stuffed baked potatoes.

Now that was a good idea. Sierra got busy and took us over to the BBQ place and got parked in their very tight parking lot. The OFM nearly ran, OK let us just call it speedily wobbled inside and ordered up the biggest potato to go.

A few minutes later the counter person wheeled it out in a wheelbarrow. Two other guys came out to help us load it into Sierra. Then away we went. When we got back to Comfort Castle, Sierra backed up to the open door at high speed and slammed on the brakes and the potato slid right up the ramp onto the table.

The OFM got Sierra put away and waddled into the Castle licking  his chops with great enthusiasm for the forth coming feast.



And feast he did and did   and did. Then it was NAP time. And that is how to have tooooo much fun at lunch time.

5/23/18

Making The Boys Look Silly

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 22, 2018
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The days have not been really exciting but still very much worth living. This evening the OFM was wanting a gentle walk after supper, so the camera was grabbed and away we went to see the sights. (?)

Over at the soccer field it is training time for the new recruits. This group is apparently just getting started on the techniques of soccer.



Then over to the left is some young players being supervised in their practice by what looks like some 12-13 year olds. They seemed to be in great spirits. A cute event was when a smaller girl was chasing a soccer ball with two larger boys right behind her from the other team planning of getting the ball from her.  She made a deft move and while at a full run made a backwards heel kick that sent the ball right between one of the pursuers legs. She immediately did a quick pivot and gathered the ball and kicked it back to her team mate by the goal. Those two boys sure looked sheepish after that.
Here is the group where that event happened.



The OFM walked on around the soccer field to the sounds of all the laughter and meandered on down to a small creek. While standing there he realized that all that cloud cover was the beginning of the weather event headed our way by way of Florida. We are supposed to have a long session of rain type weather for over a week. The Teams are really hoping that the river stays out of the campground.



If that weather event actually comes this way, we bet the hot air balloon launch will be canceled. We were hoping to get some close up pictures of that event.  We will still have golf, biking and trail walking for trying to have tooooo much fun.



5/21/18

Dripless

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 20, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.

It was that time again. Maintenance time that is. Water heater anode rod changing time. The OFM got on his getting wet clothing. Then he got the fresh water hose set up with the jet nozzle for flushing the tank. Then the tool box was robbed of the socket, wrench and teflon tape. Then he flushed the hot water out of the tank and turned off the heater switch. Next was turn off the water to the tank.

After doubling checking that everything was ready he put the wrench to the anode and started to remove it expecting a shower at any minute. BUT for the first time in his life he did things right and the anode rod unscrewed easily from the heater.

Then it got a bit more interesting. There was such a build up of rocks that the worn anode did not want to come out. So he back flushed the heater some through the clogged opening. That disturbed the rocks enough to let the worn anode come on out of the heater. Good grief it came a landslide of chunks of rocks out of the heater opening.

The water jet was activated and flushing commenced. Flush after flush was done until it seemed we had removed enough rocks to fill Palo Duro Canyon. Finally we could hear the water stream hitting the heater walls again. That was a nice sound. Here is a picture taken just after the flushing was finished.



Now it was time to put the new rod in. The teflon tape was carefully wrapped on the new rods threads. Then the rod was carefully threaded into the heater mounting hole. Careful tightening of the anode rod commenced. Firm tightness was achieved and not any over tightening.

The telling moment was here. The water was turned back on and the heater filled. The air was all burped out of the heater and we let it sit under pressure for a few minutes as things were put away and the area cleaned up.

The moment of truth was upon us. A dry paper towel was wiped on the under side of the anode mount. NO LEAKING WATER WAS EVIDENT. The OFM wanted to dance a jig but he was not coordinated enough. So he was happy to just smile big. Having a job go right is a great way of having tooooo much fun.

5/20/18

Manipulated

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 19, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.

The photos in OFM Adventures are edited with the great free program Photoscape. Search for it on the Internet and down load a copy for free if you wish. It is a simple program that does all a simple fool like the OFM needs for his blog.

While the fool, OOPS I mean OFM, was messing around today he found a new set of buttons that did some neat things to the picture. What they are good for, we have no idea but it was fun looking around at the effects.

Here is the red flower original we mutilated.



Then we tried the SEPIA key on it and got this.



A little more piddling got us this with the GRAYSCALE key sent us this.



The usual key for black and white change from color gave us this.



Then the big surprise was the invert negative key which presented us with this shocking result.



We have no idea what this information is good for but here it is. Messing around in photo manipulating software can be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.









5/18/18

Dull Day

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 18, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.




Some days Decatur Al. has less than perfect days for trying to have tooooo much fun.


5/17/18

Grape Crop

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 17, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.


The weather is sometimes very rainy and with lightning close by. Other moments it is sunshine and beautiful enough to get you well out on the golf course or on the bike path when the next storm roars through. The OFM got to experience both.

There is not much exciting going on around here. The Point Mallard Park is getting all the decorations and set ups installed and in place for the big festival on Memorial week end. We plan to hibernate that weekend. Could happen we will finally get to do some painting.




The rains have made the wild grapes get going. Here is one near the campsite showing signs of a large grape crop this year. Last year was a huge crop and this year looks to be just as big if not bigger.

The Teams are still keeping the OFM active. His knees are doing much better with very little climbing of steep hills or boulders being required. He is still gimpy but the gimps are smaller now. And of course we are still working really hard at trying to have tooooo much fun.




5/15/18

ERRRRRK

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 15, 2018
Click the picture to enlarge it.


We recently noticed a set of tire tracks at the entrance to the campground. The straight road from the stop sign a couple of blocks away seems to entice high speed foolishness. That is not good since the road has a fairly sharp right turn to go into the campground. There is no left or straight ahead available. Left or straight finds the upper end of the deep drainage creek heading for the Tennessee River.

This is the skid marks on the bike path next to the road.



In this case the skid marks head right on out across the ditch and into the trees. You can see them very well in this next photo.




It appears that this person was lucky enough to get stopped a few inches before encountering that nice tree between the tire ruts.

A couple of years ago a drunk made it off the road between two trees that mutilated his vehicle sides and partially hit a tree on the left front of his vehicle before taking a nose dive into a deep gully. He lived but he must have used up an enormous amount of his luck from the looks of the mess he left behind.

A message to any RVers headed into the Tennessee Valley during the summer. It seems that all the campgrounds we hear about are booked solid until well after the Fourth of July. Point Mallard is definitely booked solid for that time period.

The good news is that we are, at 2000 tonight as this is being written, getting a good soaking rain that the area needs. The crops are planted and starting to grow well so this should help bring in a bumper crop this year.

Feasting on fresh local grown food is another good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/13/18

The Joy of Small Spaces

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 13, 2018
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A well known and well cussed fact of RVs is that the smallest part that will wear out first is the one that the rest of the RV is built around. So this morning was the day of disassembly of the Castle was done. One of the jalousie windows in the kitchen had the operator go bad.Today was finally the replacement day. The best news is there was no red fluid spilled.

The operator is placed inside the window frame behind the levers and bars that operate the window. The functional room to work is just right for fingers the size of toothpicks with the strength of Godzilla.

After careful consideration of using the sledge hammer to open up the access, the OFM calmed down and we went to work on the window. Upon most of the window being disassembled we found that the two visible screws were reachable. The surprise was the screw above the operating rod hidden in a very small access port only visible by small flashlight illumination would have to be taken out by feel since the available area would not allow a thin shaft screw driver as well as a flashlight.

The screw was “calmly” removed and placed on the counter. Of course all the work had to be done while leaning over the kitchen sink and dodging the faucet spout and the overhead cabinet.  

The new operator was placed into the proper spot. Now the trick was to hold in midair 8 loose pieces of window while your other five hands hold the operator in place and put the screws back into the mounting holes that you can’t reach with your short fat fingers. After threatening the window pieces with the sledge hammer again they decided to cooperate and went back together with minimal “special instructions” from the OFM.

WOW that was a chore. We carefully turned the operator knob and EVERYTHING WORKED. Talk about astounded!!!!
Here is the only picture taken.




Soon we need to change the water heater anode rod. That is also another great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/12/18

2 Years Later

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 12, 2018
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It had only been 2 years since the OFM noticed his then 8 year old golf club grips needed replacing. Grips are like tires on a vehicle. They wear out and require replacement now and then depending on the mileage.

So the OFM hopped right to the task two years later and set up the OFM Golf Club Repairs shop to take care of the task.



The grips were part of a kit from Academy. They are good grips but not A+. The OFM’s golf playing ability does not require even Z- equipment. Of course no chore involving sharp items like knives can be done without leaking some red liquid and using several pre-manufactured bandages.

After a couple of hours of difficulties and leaking red fluids on things the chore was completed. The rest of the evening there has not been any new leakage spots on his body. Not springing new leaks is a good way of having tooooo much fun.

5/11/18

What To Do?

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 11, 2018
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After way too many shots on hole 9 including a couple of his famous foot wedges, this is what the OFM faced when he finally got close to the green.



The Teams left because we could not stand to watch the OFM cry again. Does he really call this trying to have tooooo much fun?

5/10/18

Fun Golf Again

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 10, 2018
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 The last of the pile of pictures coming your way tonight. Things are going to be a bit busy until next Monday so we do not know when we will get a chance to publish again. However you can be sure we are stockpiling pictures again.

Along the trail by the golf course was this one simple shaft of light coming down out of the high trees to illuminate a pair of blossoms. They would likely go unnoticed except the OFM Teams were on the meander and noticed them in the dim forest light.



We thought they were pretty.

Another trail in the area, there are a lot of them, had a tree with blisters on the leaves. None of the other trees nearby had these blisters on them. If anyone knows what they are please let the rest of us in on the knowledge.



Here is something that had the OFM  puzzled for a couple of days. We see these backyard playhouses frequently around this area. Seemed odd to the OFM until he remembered we are in a major highway for tornados.



Today is the first day the OFM got to play a full nine holes of golf since we have been back. Something was always getting in the way until this afternoon. He walked the front 9 holes and made it all the way with minor pain. It was also a hot day so that was even more surprising. He managed to score a 47 for the nine holes. It was disappointing how much he had forgotten of the “how to” part of golf in the six months since our last chance to play. But he still enjoyed it for trying to have toooo much fun.

5/9/18

Explosion

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 09, 2018
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It is here! The huge allergy explosion has arrived in full force. The dark little creek nearby has produced its share of mold and mildew to add to the onslaught.



All along the roads and paths the bushes are pounding out the pollen generating flowers to assault anyone walking the area.



Naturally the pine trees are bringing us trouble from the skies with their pollen dropping from every place we can see. The oak trees are coming in with reinforcements at a rabid pace.



Every way you look the vines are climbing to fill the open space from the bushes up to the tree limbs. At least they are very fragrant.



And as if that is not enough, the lake is putting out pollen floating on the surface. 



You can’t even get away from it out in a kayak trying to have tooooo much fun. WHERE IS MY FLONASE?

5/7/18

Always Something

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Adventure Date: May 07, 2018
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Flint Creek is a large creek coming off Wheeler Lake. The closest trail to the campground runs down to Flint Creek and along it to Wheeler Lake. That trail is heavily used but is still a never ending story. Every time the Teams meander along that trail something new happens. Today was no exception.

The OFM was pretty gimped up today and we had lots we wanted to do but most of it had to wait. The OFM decided we needed for him to get some gentle walking done at a slow recuperative speed. That easy short and close trail was the choice and away we slowly went.Around the soccer fields, then past the ice skating building and down the slope to the water front pathway. So far so good.

 No big special adventures yet, but of course, the OFM is known for finding crazy adventures where none existed for decades until three minutes ago. The camera was at the ready and the Meanderer was ready for any excuse to pause and rest.

Naturally he had to check out the creek for turtles, frogs and snakes. He carefully was pushing the brush around to make a viewing spot through the underbrush for a picture. Finally he gave up and backed out to the trail. 

He glanced over his shoulder just in time to see this huge snake coming down the tree close behind him for a visit. WOW that fat boy can jump. After a few minutes his heartbeat slowed to about 694 BPM and he could stop quivering enough to see where the snake went. It went nowhere.



Now it was giggling time over that scare. Always something isn’t there.

OK now we continued on along the trail and soon found this tree with a secret message in the bark. Please let us know if you are able to decode it.



What we see is a castle turret on the far left. Then a plus sign. Then a large squirrel straddling the new branch doing something. We have not been able to decide what the message is about.

Jump over the other adventures for the day to tonight and to supper time. The OFM had boiled chicken breasts( our favorite way of cooking chicken) for supper, and future suppers, when he got the idea of putting together a chicken salad for our meal. After putting a lot of stuff into the large bowl here is what it looked like.



It was only a few minutes later when it looked like this.



WOW the OFM put away a lot of food didn’t he. That’s OK. You can work up a big appetite running from Tree Snakes when you are out trying to have tooooo much fun.