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Monday, April 21, 2014

A Wing and a Prayer, or 750 Miles in a 1960 Bus


     It’s been a long time since I went anywhere on a wing and a prayer.  When I was sixteen I hitchhiked all over the United States. On this particular adventure I didn’t have a wing, just a lot of prayers.  I started in Los Angeles and went up and across the country and eventually ended up in North Carolina.
 
     When I was in my late teens, a friend lived in Corpus Christi Texas and wanted to move back to Los Angeles.  That’s about 3000 miles cross country round trip. At the drop of a hat I got in my 1963 Econoline van and drove out to Texas to pick him up and bring him back to Los Angeles.  There were a lot of other shorter trips with the same scenario.  Some old worn out vehicle taking me on a thousand mile round trip.   Los Angeles to Salt Lake and Los Angeles to Ensenada are a couple of examples. 

     On all these trips I really never gave any thought to breaking down and not being able to get back with my ride.    I now have the opportunity to go to Yellowstone and live and work in the park for the summer.   I have ten days to get there.  I have been working for the last month to get ready to go.  The trip may be in jeopardy because right now I don’t have the funds to make the trip.  There is this old saying that life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans. 

     The thing is that back when I was trekking all over the country I was never really concerned about having the money.  I was never really concerned that the car would break down and I would be left in the lurch.   I’m still scrounging for the funds and with a little luck I will get the minimum need to get up there.  It is about 750 miles one way.  I think that this old bus of mine will make it.  But for whatever reason traveling on a wing and a prayer in a lot more stressful that it used to be.


     There is in place a way for you to invest in my adventure.  There is this site called GoFundme that I have signed up for that allows for donations.  I don’t think of it as Ebegging.  I have an obligation as a result of the funds donated to this adventure.  First of all I must have an actual adventure.  Secondly, I must write and post about the journey.  A lot of people that I meet and talk to have dreams of adventure but for many reasons must defer them.  By donating you can be a part of the journey, a part of the adventure.  

     I will chronicle the journey and do my best to keep it interesting and entertaining.  Thank you for your support. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

50K Saturday at the Golden Nugget

Every couple of months the Golden Nugget holds a poker tournament with a 25K guarantee .  The buy in is $135 for 12K in chips.  30 minute blinds with a good structure.  Today the tournament has a 50K guarantee.  same buy in and same structure.  The casino needs 500 players to break even.  As of an hour before the start of the tournament there were 240.  I'm sure that another 100 or so will register.  I'm hoping they stay well under the 500 mark.  I'll post again later after the tournament has started.

In June the grand series starts.  This is a month long series of tournament.  I most probably will not be here in June but you never know.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

To Keep Or Not To Keep, That Is The Question

     There is this old saying that the time required to perform a task expands to include all the time available to complete the task in. This has been a constant rule in my experience.  I also have a parallel rule.  The items you choose to store expand to fill the space available to store them in.  Well I am full up in the storage department.  The problem is I can’t take all this stuff with me and I need to decide what is important and what to discard.  For the last week I have been going through the boxes and draws of the bus sorting and evaluating the many treasures that I stored.  More often than not I catch myself asking “Why did I want to keep this?”  There is the occasional “So that’s where that is.”  But mostly it’s “What was I thinking?”

     I might have a miser’s bone somewhere in my body because I often find myself saying “I can sell that.”   I do have a lot of experience selling stuff and I know that if I think I can sell it then it will sell.  But as someone else said “time is money”.   The time required to sell the stuff would exceed the value I would realize from selling it.  It just goes against the grain to trash something that I would and probably will pay good money for in the future.  On the other hand part of my ethos is that we do not possess our possessions they possess us.  You know less is more and all that stuff.
 

      So I continue with sorting, sifting and repacking.  All the while Boo searches for the tennis balls I store away for her.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Day at the Flea Market

I've been going to flea markets for as long as I can remember.  I have been to sell hundreds of times.  A few years ago I got stuck in Las Vegas and have only sold at the local flea market a hand full of times.  In my effort to get out of Vegas I went to the market and sold both Friday night and Saturday.  Between those two days I made enough to cover the Fuel up to Yellowstone.  Now I need enough to cover the fuel back down south.  

I closed out my storage unit and organized my stuff on the side of the road.  Unfortunately I could not take it all and while I was at the flea market someone made off with my bike.  I had it locked up but they got past the lock and took the bike.   I would like to be able to just let the bike go and not be angry about the whole thing.  Then again, there is a part of me that hopes that who ever took it gets knocked off the thing in heavy traffic.  

I will probably go to the flea market again this coming weekend.  I still have some things to sell.  The pile in getting smaller.  

I have established a place for interested parties to contribute to my efforts to tour the universe.  It is up on the right side of the page.  It is a go fund me site.  The truth is that it has not been very successful.  Its been up there a couple of years and I have gotten less than $50 in donations.  It really kind of pathetic.  I haven't given up hope yet.  I guess I need to be more entertaining in my exploits.  Rest assured there will be no videos of me running up to random women and twerking them in a speedo.  Do men even twerk?  Just shows how up on things I am.  

  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Holy Grail and Other Rare Treasures


 
     Everyone has heard of the Quest for the Holy Grail.  There have been books written and movies made about it and the phrase has come to mean finding something that is extremely rare.  By this definition I found the Holy Grail.  I have an old Greyhound bus.  It is a 1960 GMC 4104 to be precise.  In October of last year I discovered that the throttle cable on the bus was no good.  It was not the original cable.  The replacement cable used was not the same design as the original.  The replacement was a simple braided steel cable.  A braided steel cable is designed to be pulled on.  Because there is some pushing on the throttle cable and braided cables are not good for that the cable failed. 
     I began looking for a new cable and quickly discovered that most people did not even know what I was talking about when I said I need a cable with one strand standing proud in kind of a screw like fashion.  I discovered that GMC had a department where they were supposed to preserve all the old material on their products.  I called the legacy project at General Motors and they said they could not find the drawing for the part. 
     I sent emails and contacted cable manufactures all over the country without success.  I did find one company that made something close and they wanted $25 a foot.   I needed 35 feet.  That was not going to work. 
     Finally fate stepped in.   I posted a request for information on a forum about converting the bus to an electrically operated throttle.  I guy who read the post wrote me saying he had a cable and would send it to me for the cost of the postage.

     Will wonders never cease?  It is a miracle, Manna from heaven.  Now I need to get it installed and get on the road. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

There's a New Social Network Site For RVers Called Rvillage My Review

There is a recently launched social network site for RVers called RVillage.  It is located at WWW.RVillage.com.  The concept behind the site is that it allows you to post your location and keep track of the locations of people you know.  In addition you can see if any other Rvillage members are in your area or in your camp ground.  The site host groups that allow you to associate yourself with like mind RVers.  I started a group for GMC 4014 owners.  

I truly like the concept and believe that it may turn into a great asset to the RVing community.  There have been a couple of users that are obviously wanting to use the site for self promotion.  I will wait and see if the owner of the site keeps this under control.  

The functionality of the site leaves a little to be desired.  Its hard to upload photos.  This make meaningful discussion in the group forums a little difficult.  As with any new venture it will take a little time to sort out.  I am very hopeful that it will indeed turn into a tremendous asset. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Identifying a Wooding Verona Ax Head

I continue  in my weekly trek to the local swap meet to discover treasures to sell to make money.  It has not been going too well of late.  I have a lot of competition and the easy access to the internet has made finding bargains more difficult.  I went three days this

week and all I found was a double bite ax head.  It used to be there was a little money in these thing if you could ID them and they were rare.  The problem is IDing the maker.  Why don't people put their names on the things they make.  This head had an impression on it and it read either US01 or USO1.   After a lot of looking my best guess is that it was made by Wooding Verona.  Anyway, its up on Ebay and we will see what happens.