20191108 First bike ride since I don’t know when..

Today started as a very inauspicious day.  High general anxiety kept waking me up at night so I was a bit groggy this morning.  It didnt get better so a bit of antianxiety meds were required.  Then a bit more.. Then knowing….Knowing.. that I had to get moving somehow.   Well Laura managed to get me out the door into the sunshine by saying I just had to sit there for a while….


It helped.  It always has…  But I needed more so I finally got the bike setup and went for a ride.  Yes my almost decade old Diamondback mountain bike that has fewer miles on it than a new pair of shoes…  Lubed it up a bit and took off.  Just to the local store and back with breaks, rt maby a mile, probably less.  But it felt good..  I need to do this more often..

Picks of my Bicycle
Bike model
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Diamondback ResponseXe 6061, 22″ tires, Santour PFF gear, steel pedals, xc260 rims, Shifter SRAM SX-3 Trigger 7spd, RockShox XC28, coil sprung, 100mm fork, KMC-Z51 chain

My disk brakes are working well but my chain keeps slipping.  How do you tighten these?  It’s also hard to change gears.  Perhaps the lines have rusted?  It has been out in the elements for a while.  What do I lube? Replace? etc…  The chain is all rusted do I get a staineless one?

I would also like to see about what it would take to inexpensively make it electric.  Something to help me coast once I am up to speed.  I cannot afford the good kits.  For that kind of money I would just buy a scooter and call it finis!

Any help or sugestions would be appreciated




p.s. The pic of me with the bike is about 2 years old.  I will get a new one…

Blog 20181017 Hugs

Blog 20181017 Hugs

I feel I have to get this off my chest.  One of the biggest things ever to have happened me occurred just last week.  I had just returned to Cincinnati after spending the summer out in the Utah Idaho area and was I attending the Horses and Hounds SCA event in Cincinnati Ohio. It was at that event that I volunteered and was running the food service tavern so the people had something to eat while we are all out playing around.   It was also at that event that a freak accident took the life of one of our SCA members. He literally died in front of me – perhaps a good ways off- but in front of me none the less.  I don’t know what to say about that and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. What can I say?  Someone I’ve never really met passes away or that someone in an organization that is forms a big part of your life lost one of its valued members pursuing something that they truly loved. I only spoke to the man for a moment but he will be missed and frankly I will personally miss the innocence I had …. that we all had before this happened.   Just what are you supposed to tell your friends or family about what you’re thinking when you …..when you don’t really know to think.  

In the end I just give them a big hug and say I will be there for them.

Hugs to all….

I love you.

Blog 20181010 Migraine Days

Migraine days

10-10-2018, 10-11-2018 ->


It’s days like this that are the hardest.  

Today I went to my Dr and got checked, spec’ed, poked and squered.  Such fun. But at least I got some help for my current migraine and hopefully for the future ones..  Saw friends later on and volunteered to come help the next day… I found it helps my pain to help others.  Life is like that…


Night – After all the sealing we still have a leak around one of the roof vents.  I hope to get up there this week and fix it and add another vent cover. Meanwhile pain and meds all conspire to make me tired but twitchy and unable to sleep.  Started trying about 9. Finally slept I think around 3…


Up at 10 very groggy and disoriented. I feel almost stoned.  Not like I would know what that is (no really, never have) but I am way out of it.  Have to beg off my good deed for the day as I can barely walk and talk.. Much less at the same time.  Laura goes over to help. Love that lady. Always ready to help others even when she gets voluntold…. Sorry about that..


2pm.  Post migrane issues are now current migraine issues.  Definitely not living in the same world as I should be.  Want to just beat my head against a wall until I find the reset button..  Doesn’t work so I take meds and wait…


Yeah life sucks sometimes but I still drive forward.  Why not? The alternatives are really boring.

Blog 20181002 – And then this happened

Hi all!

I keep trying to come up with more interesting things to say and then not saying anything.  So at this point let’s just tell you what happened. I am on my way back to Cincinnati from Idaho Falls and as life would have it.   Bing, Bing, Bing plot complication on the radar.

Today, I left Kansas City in route to Cincinnati – drove a few hours and then the pain in my leg from an infected insect bite decided for me that I had to stop.  Went to the doc in the box wherever I ended up (Columbia, MO). The leg turned out to have a painful cellulitis infection that was now several inches across. 1 shot later and a script for strong antibiotics and I was through.  I also weighed at the doctors office and found out that my weight basically hasn’t changed in the past six months. I really hate this idea but at least it’s not going UP either and there’s a lot of reasons that my weight lass stalled.  Migraines all summer (possibly helped along with sinus issues) dietary issues… etc.

In the end I’m just looking forward to getting back getting back to Cincinnati and seeing my children and finding out what has been going on in their life.  It’s hard not being part of their life but I think it’s time for them to see what they can make of it. I am also excited about going back to the makerspace Hive13.org because they always seem to inspire me and help me going on my crafts.


So I’m spending tonight in the parking lot at the local Cracker Barrel on massive pain killers because of the cellulitis skin infection but I’ve got a beautiful woman here, a nice house, life’s good.   I hope it is for you as well.

20181004 – The road less traveled

I have frequently joked that all my electronic map gadgets bar 1 had tried to kill me.   Well today was the day for Garmin. I was 25 miles from my goal after traveling all the way across the USA when it suddenly decided to take me on a new and novel experience down a picturesque road in Kentucky instead of down the slightly farther FREEWAY path.  We turned east at Sparta Kentucky and it being dark I had no idea I was in for some of the most harrowing driving experiences of the trip. Should I tell you about how this road was barely wider than the RV I was driving down it? Should I mention the railroad tracks and barely there bridge that both struck sparks off my trailer?  Perhaps the 3 cars that attempted to head on crash into me in the darkness deserve merit? No I think it will forever be the stretch of the (barely wide enough for a car) road that was crumbling off the cliff that really had me white knuckling it….. ARGH!!!!!!


F@#$@#@#$$ GARMIN!


This is not the Road less traveled… The road was LITERALLY named GOAT TRAIL for a reason…. Huff Huff… Grrrrrrrrrrr…  Where is my shotgun…..


I survived…  By NOT listening to it at the next major intersection and making my way to the fricken freeway I should have been on in the first place…  10 mins later I had arrived..


Can I panic now?

Finally An Update: A sad one

Finally an update:  A sad one


For those of you who have been following, upon entering the state of Utah on our way to Alaska we were struck with a lot of vehicle problems.  First the trailer wheel hub died.


Then upon checking the van out for problems before heading to Alaska we find that the engine needs new injectors…. At least…  We then decided to stay in Utah and abort the trip to Alaska. We definitely did not want to get into the wilds and THEN have the van die.. So we made the best of it and hung around with friends and family for a while.   Then….. While driving through the Curlew Grasslands we had a deer commit suicide diving in front of the van causing what looked like fairly minor damage. However this in turn killed the power steering – which took out the belt – which stopped the water pump – which caused the engine to overheat and blow the internal seals.   The insurance company then totaled the van.


Oh… Joy…  We are a thousand miles from our nominal home base and our house no longer rolls.  


I must admit that we were already looking for another house on wheels but NOT THIS SOON!

It was quite the shock.. But we have friends and were able to find a car to use so life went on..


Eventually we found a vehicle we liked at Camping World in Idaho Falls and started working on financing..  There we found a bewildering litany of problems. It all came down in the end that Camping World would not accept anything but cash and my credit union only sent a letter of credit until they had the title in hand.  So I was stuck.. Again. After much deliberation I flattened my retirement account, such as it was, and with savings was able to buy a 1998 National Tropi-cal 6351WB. What an upgrade….From about 100 sqft to a 36 ft long wide body with a slide.   A stove, A SHOWER! We are very psyched!


It took a while to move things over and to strip the van but today the parking space for the van is empty…  I have some real mixed feelings about that. One, I feel like I have done a good thing by using up an old house and moving on to a new house but Two, I feel like I have somehow betrayed my old house.. It doesn’t make much sense to me but I feel a sense of loss.  


Life will be different now.  Class A house with a trailer in tow plus another car for city driving will be very different than a Van and trailer that can go anywhere and park anywhere.  We are now looking at only moving every quarter or so and making big moves at that. Ohio to Utah to Ohio to TX. (see the kids every spring and fall in Ohio)  


In many ways it feels like the end of an era in my life but also like the beginning of another very different one.   

p.s. I will get pics up when I can.. The internet is not fully setup at the new house and is still giving me problems…

20180509 Kansas to Colorado

A beautiful driving day. Started out in Selina KS at about 1700 ft, ended the day in Arriba, CO at an ear popping 5200. Certainly didn’t look like we were gaining altitude through the plains. But with Denver only a hundred miles away and a mile high, it had to happen sooner or later.

The noteworthy event of today was finding an old fashioned soda fountain and just had to stop. Kate was great and fixed us up with a sundae. I proselytized for my spice mix and a good time was had by all.

Later in the day we had a squall to drive through. One of those interesting weather events that Kansas loves to offer small girls with dogs – but no witches were harmed today. Intense but thankfully short. It probably could have become a tornado if it wanted.

Overall, we recommend I-70 for a cross country trip, so long as it’s not high summer. There aren’t many shade trees, or trees at all, to keep things cool. We should hit Utah tomorrow.

– Sean

20180508 St Louis to Kansas

I think we may have officially found the kitchiest tourist trap ever.  It was full of all the gas station trinkets and toys, tee shirts plastered with Missouri’s silhouette, windchimes, ‘down home’ barnwood and shiplap signage, and redneck joke items.  They did have fudge, though, so that’s a slight redeeming factor.

We’re pushing hard for Utah since there’s an SCA event we’re hoping to make it to this weekend.  Six hours down today and only about another 13 hours of driving left til Provo!

  • Laura

20180507 Indiana to St. Louis

Well, we intended to get a bit farther, but staying with one of my cousins in St. Louis was too tempting an offer.  He has a gorgeous bit of property and was exceedingly hospitable on short notice.  Mike, if you’re reading this, thanks again for the parking spot and dinner!

In continuing news about van prep/repair, we re-installed the vents so they actually work and don’t shove water into the trailer.  Sean also got the propane lines run for the lampworking torch, so that’s one step closer to being usable on a regular basis.  Meanwhile, I installed a new aerodynamic vent cover on the trailer’s roof, so hopefully it contributes to some improved gas mileage.  The clutter continues to slowly find homes, and we’re very proud that we now have a bed that doesn’t require us to move the entire contents of the van around if we want a nap.  It’s still got a couple backpacks and such, but that’s much better than it was at one point.

  • Laura

20180506 Kentucky

Kentucky was lovely.  We spent some time with my family, including my grandfather, who recently had surgery (all is well!)  I’m so glad we got to see them for a few days before heading out.  In those days we got a bit more organized with the van and pulled off the vents that were pushing rain into the trailer instead of keeping it out.

After leaving the twisty roads of Appalachia, we headed north and west across the state and spent the night at Indian and Celina Lake Campground in the Hoosier National Forest.  Highly recommended if you’re passing through that area.  Although we were just there overnight, we pulled out some of the camping equipment and did a little open fire cooking.  I improvised a recipe for garlic cheese bread that turned out okay.  Sort of like the taste of a focaccia crossed with the texture of a soda bread.

A bit of late night electronic wizardry from Sean has our power situation much improved.  Something something inverter something… I didn’t exactly follow, but the gist is: we now charge in 2-3 hours instead of 8.  And the microwave works, which is probably more exciting – at least for me.

  • Laura