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. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ceramic Heaters and Refilling Small Propane Bottles

I have for a number of years used small ceramic heaters to get me
through the cold months.  A number of years ago my RV furnace went on the fritz and I had to stop using it.  To replace the furnace I had to pay $500 plus.  I went out and purchase a small portable ceramic heater.  The brand I purchase was a Coleman.  I liked it because I could get it cheap.  I think at the time that they about $100.  I found it on sale and snapped it up  The heater has a battery operated fan (I never use)  and is designed to runs on small one pound propane bottles.  The problem with these small bottles is that they only last  
for part of one night.  Five or six hours at most.  These thing are expensive and pound for pound the propane in them is four times as expensive as refilling a larger tank.  I looked for another solution.  I purchased a hose that allowed me to connect a standard BBQ bottle to the heater.  The hose cost less than $20 but saved me at least that much on the first bottle.  Depending on length of use I can get up to three weeks out of a 20 pound BBQ tank.  That's using it from 8 or 9 in the evening until I wake up in the morning.

    Yes I use it while I sleep.  Ceramic heaters do not produce deadly gases.  They do however consume oxygen.  A drafty motor home is a perfect place to use one.  If you are in a more air tight place they require 6 square inches of ventilation .  This is like lowering a car door window a half an inch.  

  Finally I use a valve that allow me to refill the small bottles for use with smaller ceramic heaters.  These valves screw into the large propane tanks.  You connect everything and turn the tank over and open the valve.  In about 30 seconds it refills the small bottles.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Silver or Silver Plate, How do I ID This

I have, of late, been haunting a local flea market.  I look for things that I can sell to make a little money.   I have from time to time purchased things on what I call spec.  In other words I do not know if they have value or not.  One of the enduring mysteries of flea market finds is silver and silver plate.  Naturally if you find something and it says sterling or 925 then that is clearly an indication that it has some value based upon the silver content. 

Assuming that is that it has not been faked.  But the greater mystery is narrowing down who made it and when.  I just found a piece of silver or silver plate at the flea market and got it for $8.  I have no idea what it is worth or who made it.  I’m not really sure what to call it.  Is it a sugar bowl or something else?  I don’t know. 
I have done this many times over the years.  I will come into a piece of silver and try to id it.  There are a number of sites online that are helpful in IDing silver.  There are also a number of sites that list maker’s marks.  Inevitably I will not find the mark I am looking for on any of these pages.  You would think that you could upload a picture of the mark and the computer would ID it.  I guess we’re not there yet.

TAs you can see this is a oval container on four legs.  There appears to be cherubs of a sort on two of the legs.  There is a face on the handles that appears to be a lion.  The top has patterns etched into it that to me have a North African feel.  On the bottom it has four marks.  There is a “J” .  Then there is a circle that appears to have a stylized FVH inside it.  This is followed by three letters “MET” and finally the number 35.   So what is it and who made it.   I have no idea.