Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Special Edition!

Oh yeah!  I am indeed the proud owner of a Special Edition.  There may have been other Special Editions in my checkered past but none come to mind at the moment.  This could be a first!

The SE's predecessor slipped out of my hand and went splat on the unforgiving tile floor.  Post splat, it started and stopped, operated at half speed, obviously circling the drain and primed for owner assisted suicide.  I obliged, tossed it into the waste basket.

Went online, checked the usual suspects for a replacement: Amazon, Walmart, etc, seeking (as always) the biggest bang for the buck.  Couldn't believe the number of models - and prices - out there; Amazon had 37 models with prices ranging from $15 to $220.  Gotta wonder about the high-end models: do they do the job better - faster, deeper, harder?  I doubt it.  But hey, they include a branded charging glass with USB cord!  Whoop-de-freakin'-doo!

Ended up going to Walmart which had 8 models in stock, $25 - $190, including aforesaid USB model.  And, the SE.  Wow!  Special Edition!  In stock!  Only $40!  Tossed that puppy into the cart and boogied on to toilet paper, coffee filters, bananas, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, I've made you wait long enough.  Here it is.  Eat your heart out!  You may be wondering what makes the SE so S.  Me too.  Looks exactly like the one I gave Trish for Christmas except for color; her's is blue.

Yep, it's a Sonicare toothbrush, been using them for decades, great little machine except for the built in dumb-ass features: beeps at 15 seconds, stops at 1 minute.  Those irritating features may be helpful in training a 5-year old but I'm a 2-minute kind of guy.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Reflection, Part 2

The Reflection is a quantum leap above the Cougar in amenities and conveniences, not a Rolls Royce but definitely a high-end Buick.  Of course, the major thing for Trish is that the color goes well with the new truck.  Well ......maybe not THE major thing - but it's right up there.

The interior is more tastefully done than was the Cougar,which boasted Early French Whorehouse decor (it didn't boast for long though; I ripped out the curvy valances and window side wings the minute Trish gave me the go ahead.)  Conveniences the Cougar lacked include a high powered exhaust fan with wall-mounted control panel, automatic leveling (a biggie), convection microwave.

Amenities include heated recliners, and, would you believe, an electric fireplace?  At first, we thought what a joke, a fireplace for cripes sake.  Now, we're thinking Oh Yeah, crank that puppy up and take off the morning chill!  It's located below the TV.

It's 31' long, a hair longer than the Cougar but has more floor space - 3 slides instead of 1.  The dry weight's about the same, 8K and change, more aluminum, less wood.

This being our 4th RV, we know the drill when it comes to upgrades and enhancements, and we start slapping them on right away.  For the last several days we've had daily deliveries of goodies from Amazon, etrailer, et al.

Now, I'm in install mode: single control bathroom faucet and shower valve, paper towel holders in kitchen and basement, 2 propane gas gauges, 3 entry step covers, 2 closet shelves, extra sewer hose storage tube, screen door grille and handle, 3 roof vent covers, 2 level indicators, fridge fan, hangers for hoses, electrical cords, towels, and keys.  And a partridge in a pear tree.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Reflection, Part One

There was nothing much wrong with my old truck, a 2013 RAM 2500.  It had its quirks but pulled the Cougar just fine.  I was in a time bind when I bought it, with no viable options available in make, model or trim level.  It was basic, and - despite my well-earned reputation for frugality - I'm pretty much done with basic. 

My 2017 Chevy Silverado isn't basic.  It's loaded with goodies and creature comforts that will be much appreciated by this old creature - and my favorite female creature as well.  That said, the new truck came with a major problem: the bed is 5" higher than the old truck, and the side rails are higher also.  You have to pole vault into the bed if there's no stepladder handy.  

The real problem though is that the Chevy and Cougar aren't a match made in heaven.  Not even close.  They have irreconcilable differences: truck is too high, 5W is too low, no way in hell to make them compatible.  So, the RAM is gone (traded in), new truck sits in garage, Cougar sits a few feet away, can't move trailer with truck, now what?

Raise the 5W?  Not good.  Lower the truck?  Even less good.  Replace the Cougar?  Maybe.  But: we love the Cougar, have added lots of upgrades, got it just the way we want it - with one exception: we decided to convert the fold-out sofa/bed to a day bed.  Two days prior to getting the truck, I ripped into that old sofa/bed, totally demolished it and set the pieces out for the trash hauler.  Lovely.  Just freakin' lovely!  Can't move Cougar, have to sell it in place, and I just made it less sell-able.  Talk about shitty timing!

The above situation was resolved several days ago.  We drove up to Las Vegas, traded in the Cougar, and bought a new 5W that would work with the truck.  The new rig, made by Grand Design, is a Reflection 29 RS, pictures and details coming in next post.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Coolest Rest Stop Ever

This rest stop, on US 95 in southwest Nevada, merits the Coolest Rest Stop Ever Award.  
That truck is pretty cool, too.

Yeah, that's my new truck, 2017 Silverado 2500.  Trish likes it but Ranger and Artie are reticent, apparently unimpressed with the heated leather seats.  We're on our way to Las Vegas on a shopping spree, racking up break-in miles so the truck is ready to tow the RV.  
I'll divulge the main objective of the trip in a later post.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shot in the Head, Part 2

I worked my way through college.  Worked semester breaks, holiday breaks, summers, part time jobs and night shifts when school was in session.  Many of my school friends spent their semester breaks skiing in Colorado and doing other fun stuff.  Finally, I opted to bag work for a few days and have some fun myself.  Of fun, there was naught.  I went back to working during breaks.

Above, Wayne and I peer through the opening where the rear window used to be.  There were 13 bullet holes in the trunk, in addition to the lead that blew out the window.

The incident occurred in 1965, not 1966 (next time, Wayne, do your homework, you turkey!).  Here are a few other details.  The 1st day in the Sallisaw lockup, a young man came into the facility and we had a 'lineup' - which included the 4 of us and nobody else.  He took one look at us and said, "No.  Those aren't the guys."  At that point we thought were outta there. Wrong!  Back in the slammer.

The next day, a middle-aged man came in and we had another lineup.  We'd seen this guy before, hanging out with the sheriff in Waldron, Arkansas, when he kicked us into the holding cell.  The guy, never got his name but Lying Sumbitch works, pointed at me and said, "He held the hammer!"  Then, Mr Sumbitch pointed at Rich and said, "He took my $25!"  Naive no more, we fully realized we were in deep doo-doo, probably destined to end up in a landfill or chain gang.

We were never formally charged with anything, were never fingerprinted, were never read our rights -which was appropriate because we obviously had no rights whatsoever in Oklahoma.  Miranda rights did not exist then, became law in 1966.

Wayne and I, the wounded pair, wanted justice - or was it revenge we thirsted for?  We wanted to go back down there and hang 'em out to dry.  Rich and Mike F were willing to drop it.  We met with the MN governor and the state attorney general - who agreed with Rich and Mike F, advised us to drop it and get on with our lives.  And so we did.

Above, we meet with the Minnesota State Governor and Attorney General.  L to R, Attorney General, Governor, Mike F, me, Rich and Wayne.  The Governor is holding the double-ought buckshot pellet that hit me in the head.  The meeting took place a few weeks after the incident and our wounds were healed by then.  Wayne and I both had glass embedded in our faces, plus the wounds themselves, and looked like hell for the first couple weeks.

The story made national news via the Associated Press.  There were articles in dozens of MN and ND newspapers, some of which debated our innocence.  I wrote letters to a couple of the papers, words of caution: get your story straight or prepare for a libel lawsuit.  In my dreams!  When it came to financial means, I envied the wealth of the proverbial church mouse.  I couldn't afford to even look at an attorney, much less hire one.

It has always struck me as ironic that I was wounded in the US but not in Vietnam, despite being under fire numerous times.  And, despite having several fellow warriors get nailed right beside me.

Support from the College
In addition to our college president rounding up support and getting the governor involved, the college dean of students wrote a letter on our behalf.  Here are some quotes from that letter:
"I am personally acquainted with these students and am able to testify to their character and reputation as well as their academic performance and leadership abilities."

"The list of their collective and individual achievements would be too long to outline in a letter of this nature.  However, some specifics might be briefly mentioned.  Mr. Delaney has been a member of the student government, and outstandingly served on student government committees, as well as having served on faculty-student government committees by appointment of the President of the College."

"They are the kind of young people that Moorhead State College is proud to have enrolled as students."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Shot in the Head

Yes, I was shot in the head.  Then, I was thrown in jail and framed for armed robbery - as were 3 of my friends.  It happened in 1965 in the friendly little state of Arkansas in the wee hours of the morning.  We were college students on spring break, driving south, trying to escape the bitterly cold winter of northern Minnesota for a few days.

Many readers of this blog have heard about the incident but don't know the details.  Although I've intended to write the whole story for many years, I never got around to it.  Recently, Wayne, a fellow traveler who was also shot in the head, did write the story.  Here it is:


I'll add some background information and comments in a future blog.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

3 Trees

Is that a creative name or what?  Not really, but nothing else came to mind, slow flow day for the creative juices - probably weather related.

This is one of those paintings that took on a life of its own right out of the chute.  I like the way it turned out, even though it has no resemblance whatsoever to the original concept.

3 Trees
Acrylic on Canvas
12" x 24"