Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Minor Curtain track repair and Scooter goodness!

Today I hopped on the scooter and took off to Yarnell, Arizona.  This is where a tragedy occurred this past summer where many fire fighters unexpectedly perished while fighting a blaze.  Here is one article which found, haven't read, but it's for those curious.  Many more out there.

Was a great day for a ride and a great day for the Scooter!  Today I surpassed 45,000 miles on the odometer!  YAY.  Surpassed this on way back to Congress, AZ.

Have also seen some other neat milestones.  Probably of no significance to anyone but wanted to post.




Mileage on 11/2/2013
Mileage on 11/9/2013

















Had lunch someplace on 11/8/2013 and noticed this pickle

 

Curtain Repair


This is a repair to the track for the privacy curtain which closes around the drivers cab on a Class A RV.  Shortly after took to the road I somehow snagged the curtain on the drivers side (while it was in traveling position) and popped screw out.  This fix should keep it secure as there is now a little "give" due to how did the repair.

Prior it was screwed into the cheap sawdust board by a tiny little screw.  Now there is a longish bolt that goes through the floor of the little cabinet above the drivers door.  The nut rests on floor of that compartment, which is suspended somehow over the bottom of the cabinet itself (i.e. it's a false floor of sorts).  While this is not foolproof, it was an easier way to fix it compared to some other methods.  I think the false floor also gives it some flex, some give, so it won't be apt to break again.

Wonderful hardware store!
This is the reason I chose to go to Yarnell, one of the reasons anyways.  There is a hardware store there and I really enjoy supporting small, local businesses.  The hardware store was an awesome one too!  This picture can't describe the joy I had going into the store.  Little bit of everything all crammed into the small store.  Shelves upon shelves of stuff.

In here they helped me find a proper bolt (based on sample I had).  Was able to pick up another set of drill bits (couldn't seem to find the two sets that pretty sure I have with me someplace).

Again, felt good to support local stores, even more so after the tragedy they had!

Tools of the trade
Step 1:  Gather together all materials.  These included a thin bladed slotted screwdriver, a phillips headed screwdriver (never used), the bolt and nut (from hardware store), and two washers (had on hand), along with some thread locker (had on hand also).

Pre fixing
Step 2:  Examine area and drill out hole to support the longer fastening device.  This picture can show the how it was broken and can barely make out where the hole is for the screw.  Can also tell how long the existing screw was, which is a primary reason it didn't last long, with my clumsiness.

Washer and sealant
Step 3: Insert bolt and fasten.  I was either very lucky, or very skilled (prefer skilled) in estimation of length of bolt I would need as didn't have a clue.  Brought a sample bolt from my old MakerBot CupCake #1670 with me to the hardware store and told the guy who helped me...  Something like this about twice as long.  And it worked, barely.  When got it through, put the washer on (washer already on below), and then squirted a drop or two of the red thread sealant, which can barely tell here.  Notice how not much of the bolt sticks up, hence being lucky or skilled.

With bolt on
The thread sealant will help lessen the chances of the bolt loosening and falling off end of the bolt.  This stuff is commonly used in areas of high vibrations, or where really don't want it to fall off.

 Step 3A: Just picture of nut on.  Notice how none of the bolt protrudes above the nut.







  
All done!  YAY

First box of Goodies!!!!

And some mail too, but this is about the goodies..

This is the first box of stuff received from my mail forwarder.  It included some stuff from projects have backed on Kickstarter, and also some items from AdaFruit, which will be shown in later posts.


Nutritionals


First to point out is some nutritionals. Not much to say here, got some anti-oxidants, and lots of other good stuff in Ciaga (not Viagra I must say).  Also have some Kenzen Vital Balance (a meal replacement), which is chock full of Organic goodness, including lots of MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides), probiotics, lots of good enzymes, and even some chlorella to help detoxify.  If I was diabetic, this has the potential (varies by person) to help regulate blood sugar.  And some more filters for my shower head to give me better water for a smoother skin (aaaw), cleaner shower, using less soap, and vastly reduced chlorine and other nasties.

Practical Meter


This is one of the things backed on Kickstarter.  It is a handy tool to know how fast items are charging.  I backed it at a level where could get the meter and a handy-dandy cable

 It has 3 power connectors, one each of Micro USB, Mini USB, and Apple Dock.  While I personally don't own apple products currently who knows what tomorrow will bring.  It is possible to power more than one device at a time.  So, if use this pig-tail connector, I could charge an apple product, and also two more, one with a Micro and one with a Mini connector.  It reduces how fast things charge, as the USB port will only output so much juice, but it's possible if in a crunch.

The lights, 5 of them, light up depending on how much current is drawn.  This allows us to identify what USB connection will charge the fastest.  The cables themselves are fast charging cables in that there's only power and ground wires and no data transfer (xfer) wires.  If use a different cable it is still possible to transfer data even when have this product in place, but charging might be slowed down, sometimes significantly.

This project was a little late in comparison to when they projected it would be done by, but that's alright as am quite happy with the product!

Now, for some reason, and will be checking with the project creators, I received two of these when only backed one.  Due to number of projects I've backed am not quite sure if this one has doubled my rewards.  Think there were one or two that have.  So, will be a good person and verify.

Adafruit goodies


Not related to Kickstarter, and forgot exactly what I ordered, but they have a Sous-Vide kit (in the box) and also picked up a temperature measuring device.  Maybe a couple other things too.  Will detail it later.

ThriftyVac


Will post a full review of this later, but the project creator, Tom Cannon, actually carried the olympic torch one year.  He posted a picture of it in one of his updates, Update 24.  I thought was very neat as not many people get the opportunity.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Travel to Congress.. Arizona that is.

It's unusual for me to leave so early.  Packed up in Apache Junction and hit the road well before 10 am.

Started along with intention of going to Camping World to look at an electric add-on to make my water heater both electric and gas, then off to Congress.  There have been times where it's been couple days between showers, and adding this is one step in remedying that..  No more Pepe LePew time...

The add-on is called Hott Rod, and it's a fairly simple and straight forward install.  It plugs right into an outlet, utilizing normal electricity and has it's own thermostat.  Will be posting about the install, complete with pictures.

While at Camping World also picked up a replacement exhaust fan.  Have two in the roof, one is almost brand new and the other one is an original, which doesn't work.  The doesn't work part is the fan motor and not sure where to get one.  Will be posting about this install too.

Wonderful people we meet


While at Camping World, in Mesa, AZ, there was an RV there with a satellite internet dish setup and they were dry camping.  This was neat, so approached and looked around Satellite dish, and heard some rustling and tools moving on other side of RV.

When walked around there was a gentleman getting up after rummaging around underneath.  I had to ask him about his satellite dish and then the conversation blossomed from there.

While I forgot his name (sorry), I will never forget his story.

He, and his wife, had a beautiful 4,000 square foot house in Northern Idaho.  They started looking around at RV's, talking with people, and exploring the lifestyle.  This process, for them, lasted about three years, and they had only one condition..  They must sell their home.  Then they can continue with their dream.

Once their home was sold, they chose an RV, and paid for it with proceeds from the house (which they built).  At the time, the price difference between a New RV and one less than five years old, was about $15,000.  For them, it was best to buy new.  This was about 7 years ago.

Now, it's just him, roaming around, writing (not blogging) his adventures, and enjoying life.  He has taken up a new interest in music.  Knows how to play the guitar and is learning three (yes three) new instruments.  He also dry camps (outside of a campground) almost exclusively and doesn't hang around the rallies, yet has a good network of friends.  He is also an avid photographer!

Reason it's just him is his wife passed away after their RV journey started.  Didn't inquire on circumstances or timing, didn't really care to as he would've mentioned if it was important for me to know.

Reason I bring him up, is that everyone has their own story to share, about life, about what they're doing, and what keeps them ticking.  This is one of the things I was thinking about when wrote The Meaning.  I want to create my story.  I will create my story, maybe our story, who knows what life will spring forth.  The story will be part of The Meaning.

One thing he commended me on (li'l ole me) is my decision to pursue this and also the decision to get a diesel RV.

He also reinforced my belief, not that I know his past, but it is what we do today with our life that defines who we are.  Not what will happen in the future, or in the past, it's all about how we're living our lives today.

Solar Install


Of particular note for this one, after looking at his satellite dish setup, was the solar system, which I couldn't even see.  There is a lot which goes into it, and he described in good detail, here are the items which he went with.

  • Large battery storage (he has 8 deep cycle batteries total, 2 banks of 4 linked together)
  • Has 3 large panels on roof (don't recall watts), and can fit 5 more (wow)
  • Make sure panels fit your roof layout, paying attention to access paths
  • Charge Controller, he specifically chose Blue Sky, due to being able to "boost" the amps going into battery during heavy charging (when batteries are depleted)
  • Installed it himself when purchased RV
  • Has a 2000W inverter/charger with pure sine wave to supply 120V power throughout RV when using batteries (I don't have this currently)

All in all, spent 45 minutes talking with this wonderful person.  Everyone I have met so far (knock on wood) is very willing to talk and help and talk some more.  It's very very refreshing!  There is so much more we covered and it's hard not to jot everything down.


Powerful support


Turned off I-10 enroute to camping world, sitting at the stoplight waiting to take my left, looking down and seeing all the little people in their cars (and a sport motorcycle), when all of a sudden my phone rang.  Odd...  But pleasant!

Person on the other end is a wonderfully successful business builder, who wanted to spend time with me (yes me) to help me out (another surprise)!  This is one of the few times where I was quite happy and content and sure of everything in life!

This couple, Mary Lou and Larry, are very successful in couple of businesses.  While very successful in their prior business, it came at a cost of 60 to 80 hour work weeks with no time for pause.  They chose to switch gears, and priorities, and are now very successful in another business, with a totally different lifestyle, where work isn't really work, it's helping ordinary people live their dreams.

We spent over 90 minutes talking about everything, hopes, dreams, their life, and my fledgling life.  They provided me with several insights into how they're able to live the dream, and how everyone can live their own dream.  It is really a very simple formula. The only stumbling blocks are ourselves.

Am still processing what we talked about, but the couple things I can share now are:
  • Listen to everyone, hear their dreams and desires and focus on those, and they'll enable yours
  • All the hurdles we face we put upon ourselves
I used to think, with mostly disdain, that life is all about who you know, and who you step on to get ahead.  While it's helped me sometimes, most of the time it's due to my detriment (think big government).

However, it's because of people like Mary Lou and Larry, and the ideas they represent, that am now swinging my view around.  There are many many other people I will meet in this journey who will exude the same qualities that these two do.  Am only now experiencing the tip of a great iceberg, a wonderful iceberg, that will propel my coming dream to new heights!

Life is not all about who you know, life is what you do with the people you know.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finally, reliable internet!

Phew, what a week it was, and have quite a few choice words to say about the internet connection had in Apache Junction, AZ.  I am sure the locals would disagree with my sentiment, but this is a suburb of the Greater Phoenix area, in that it's part of the same big "cluster" as Phoenix.  While I really enjoyed my week in the area, until the rain hit and temperatures nose dived, the internet provider at the campground, Jabba Communications, left ALOT to be desired in terms of speed, connectivity, and reliability.  While I didn't call their customer service line, out of fear of being sent overseas, didn't seem like it was a problem on my end.  And now it's working fine at the new campground.

Anyways, long story short, never ever ever again.  If am forced to use them again might as well chop off the cajones far as I'm concerned.  Would much rather beebop around to McD's and coffee joints, in freezing weather, than deal with their network again.....
On to happier thoughts now that I got that out of the way!

Left Cottonwood, AZ 11/17/2013 (a Sunday) and took the relatively short trip to Apache Junction, to meet with a new Comrade who was staying at this particular campground, which is part of the Encore system.  While this park is nice and the residents were great, I must say would be hard pressed to stay in this park again, not only because of the internet access problems I had, but that it's a "typical" RV experience, with concrete pads, tall dainty palm trees, and not much else.  It was also a little pricey for what get, but had Passport America so that helped.  Am very happy that was limited to a stay of 7 days at 50% off.

Am sure if the internet was reliable (not necessarily fast) it would've been a far better experience.

So, it was with mixed feelings that I had to leave.  While there met quite a few people, saw a couple arrive (from Michigan I think).  He was 81 and still getting about darn good. Not sure how old his wife was, nor do they typically volunteer that information.  Everyone I met there was excellent, even talked a little bit about our current political system, and seems like everyone is in agreement about how "wonderful" it is.....  No matter political affiliation.

Pulled Pork


While enroute to the Ghost town NorthEast of Apache Junction, saw a sign for a restaurant.  At the time thought it was part of the Ghost town, but apparently it isn't.  The restaurant, Mining Camp Restaurant, was actually quite nice.  They have a lunch/dinner show that is supposedly pretty popular.  Heard them talking about a large number of reservations for that evening.

The one thing which is making me write about this restaurant is the pulled pork sandwich I had.  A little on the pricey side, and it wouldn't have been as good without the sauce on it, but it was really awesome!  Have had better pulled pork on Vashon Island (at a pizza place no less), and even better at AS220 (in Providence, RI).  This was piled quite high with yumminess.  The presentation was quite good.  The fries were also good, for being fries.

Superstition mountain in background


Ghost Town


Entrance (looking from inside
I didn't snap many pictures here as it was a little chilly, I was full and ready for a nap, and there was too much to look at.  Think will be back in the area to take a look around again.  Really wanted to check out Washington Dam, but it was little chilly and getting late.
View of superstition mountain

 This was actually quite interesting.  Took a tour of the mine, or a recreation of parts of it, and was surprised at what the main shaft looked like.  While it was quite comfortable down there this time (not far below the surface, the real mine back then it was over 100 degrees and quite humid.

This was a real working mine town for about 4 or 5 years until they went into the aquifer, pumped all the water to a dam higher up, and then the dam burst after several days of heavy heavy rain.

Overall it is a very interesting place, and as mentioned already, will be back to take a deeper look, in warmer weather.

Main street of mining town

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breakfast Cereal Recipe

I haven't tried this yet, though it's on my short list of things to try and experiment with.  Received the recipe from one of the members from the Firkin Scooter Club, of which I am a member.  Some of them are on a trip to Vietnam right now, lucky stiff's.

This person received it from their Naturopath Doctor.  Have had some people refer to them as quacks, but I never would as they're licensed and all that happy jazz.  Even insurance companies recognize them, not as primary care doctors (in my experience), but as specialists.

Before get to the recipe, here is a quote from person who sent it:
Lots of benefits to this.  I didn't like it at first but after the first couple of weeks I can't go without it. Been eating this now for about 6 mos. - If you have this as your first meal of the day it will stabilize blood sugar until about 3:00 PM even with other meals taken during the day.

I have already seen benefits shown in my lab work.  I am no longer taking a statin :)

Immune Support Breakfast


The modern american diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates, creates havoc with the body's digestive and elimination systems.  By strengthening the body's eliminative function, the functioning of the immune system is greatly enhanced.  The following recipe is not designed to be hypoallergenic and must be modified as needed to suit your personal dietary requirements.

It must be eaten 4-5 times a week for the effects to be noticeable.  People who use it regularly notice an enhanced immune system response and fewer allergic reactions, as well as improved digestion, and often report increased energy and stabilized blood sugars.  [The ND] often observe significantly lower cholesterol, triglyceride, and A1c levels.  High fiber diets have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

  • 4 cups rolled oat grains, organic if available
  • 2 cups oat bran [marked down as 1/2 cup]
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit or fresh fruit each day (optional)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup lecithin granules [marked down as 1/2 cup]
  • 1 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground milk thistle seeds

Seeds can be ground in a blender or coffee grinder, or not.  Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container. For each serving, soak 1/2 - 1 cup dry mixture in rice milk, nut milk, diluted fruit juice or water.  In the winter months, try heating your soaking liquid first for a warm cereal.  This will decrease soaking time.
Cinnamon can help lower blood sugar.

Enjoy!

NOTE:  As always, check with your doctor before making any dietary changes.

On a side note, Nikken has a meal replacement product, Kenzen Vital Balance.  This does similar things, with couple changes here and there, but it also does quite a bit more.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Handlebar issues

Well, now I know why the tire was so easy going on...

Normal
It seems like when they tied down the scooter onto the trailer for the two back to the RV, the left handlebar got bent.

As we unloaded the scooter, he noticed, and I saw also, that the rubber was pulled towards the end of the handlebar.  Thinking nothing of it figured it was ok and let it go.  Even though have tied down the scooter 30-40 times and never, ever, had that happen.

Will be contacting the towing company about it, so hopefully this is resolved.  Noticed it when strapping the bike down for travel, and as can be seen by the pictures, there is a larger than normal gap.

After the tow was complete, tire was repaired, and rode it the first time, it did seem a little off but thought nothing of it until saw it so dramatic.  It looks like the metal has been weakened.




Bottom left measurement
Bottom right measurement



Pending Blog Move

While I don't have a specific place, nor domain, nor anything concrete yet, I feel the need to move this blog to another host.  This will probably take place in next couple weeks and will post a link pointing to new location.

I get the feeling that Google, among other interests, is encroaching on some things that I feel uncomfortable with, not specifically with the blogging software, but other things.  I'm also looking at you NSA, et al.

As such, have found an open source blogging platform and will be finding a host to host it on, which means a new domain name and all that jappy hazz (happy jazz).  This new blog platform uses JavaScript and is very powerful, not in an odirific sense.

Realize some organizations will just take the data and store it forever and ever no matter where it is, but I would like at least the illusion of some type of control.  Am not really a control freak that I know of, I swear!

Scooter tire opportunities

While at first, this was a very troublesome opportunity, it turned out Great in the long run.

On Veteran's day left Cottonwood, AZ and went to Prescott, AZ for a "short" afternoon trip.  This trip was to engorge myself on a free meal, due to Veteran's day, since quite a few restaurants offer free meals to Veteran's.

Took a very nice scenic road, with quite a few twisties, on way to Prescott.  Eventually came up behind someone that led me through the twisties "gracefully", in that couldn't goose the throttle much, if any.  In a way this was somewhat helpful as the turns were sharp, going uphill, and sometimes sun was blaring straight ahead.  While on this road, 89A from Jerome, AZ, saw a place where two people careened off side of the road.  Was serene and glad I was being led through at that moment.  But, just looking at the twisties on the map caused the heart to flutter.  Reached an elevation of 7,023 feet!  Some of the views were amazing!  YAY

Red Robin was my choice.  They're pretty much all the same throughout the country so far, same decor, same food, though different people.  Nothing stuck out about this experience, so had my burger and left, making sure to leave a good tip.

While on the way back had to pull off side of the road to, err, admire the sights a little.  Just after mounting scoot and continuing on, the back end started feeling funky, a feeling have felt before.  So pulled over here and examined it.  Turns out was totally flat.  As this was a parking area of sorts pushed it out of the way.

Had a can of Emergency Slime and tried using it, with limited success.  As was filling the tire with the stuff the compressed gas was just leaking out the puncture area, until rotated tire manually and it plugged the hole.  It did look super gross though and was surprised at how big the hole was.  After the hole was sealed, lowered bike from center stand, and continued on, not for very far.  Felt tire go flat again.  It leaked all air out again 30 seconds later, so managed to get to on-ramp of I-17 and stopped on side of road.

At this moment, am all out of the Emergency Slime and can't think of other options, so set about to call AMA as have Emergency Road service through them.  Didn't have my AMA card with me and couldn't find the phone number on the website, even after logging in and looking at my account.  I have yet to follow up with them but really am not pleased.  DEFINITELY NOT PLEASED.  However, was able to find phone number for the Canadian AMA from Alberta Province, but it routed me to AAA (Automobile Association of America) and they couldn't help me the two times I tried. Did attempt to link to their website, but there is no generic site (tries to give state specific site, which IMHO is super crappy design).

Was attempting to hold off on calling the next people, but had no choice.  Called Good Sam Roadside Assistance (had their card with me. Also, notice on their website there is a number in top right corner, TAKE THAT AMA, #@(*&%@).  Called and was surprised, but not really surprised, that Allstate handles this service for them.  Long story short, was on phone with them for Fifty minutes (yes, 50) and they finally dispatched a truck.  I must say, that without this app, GPS Share, they would have gone to the wrong spot and also I would've had to pay an extra $100 to get dropped off at the campground.  Anyways, got picked up, decent service all said and done, and got back to RV (YAY).

One thing must comment on, is that I talked with a sheriff while waiting for tow truck, and not that they're supposed to be nice as part of their job, I could tell this one particular sheriff was awesome!  He had that good energy about him.  Granted, didn't experience him during a bad time otherwise it would've been different, but this is the type of guy we need in law enforcement all over the country!

Ordered some new tires from American Motorcycle Tire, which had among the best deals.  They carry a highly rated tire, a Metzeler FeelFree, in my size, for a decent price, with free shipping (though had to pay sales tax).  Received it day after they shipped, so thanks to them (and FedEx).

Was expecting worst from the install as have done it before, but this just goes to show how great lubrication is when it works!  Definitely lubricate tire during removal in same manner I show below.

First off, when removing tire from scooter, everything went to plan mostly, but was missing my 24mm socket to remove main nut which holds the wheel on.  Luckily have a 15/16" which is a close fit, but not perfect, though it worked.

Also was missing one of the C-clamps I normally use to break the bead, which really bummed me out.  Remember watching a video of another way to do it and was able to get it to work. While this isn't the original video I saw, it shows the process.  Had to do it once per side.

 The rim itself has seen better days, but it is only cosmetic.  In times prior was not real careful about where I changed the tire.  It got all scratched up from a concrete pad..  ooops.  Can't change the past so always look forward to the future!

 As mentioned, lubrication is key to anything worthwhile, especially so in this case.  My lubrication of choice, only because had it lying around, is Coconut Oil.  Any brand will do but had this stuff when first tried.  Was in a pinch, so to speak, and it worked great, so now it's what I use.  Don't really need to use a lot, a little goes a long way.  People use a variety of other things, from window cleaner (in aerosol can) to soapy water, to coconut oil.

All that has to be done, is take a little glob of it and start rubbing it around, on the tire of course.  When first put the tire on I only do the side shown, all around.  In the picture will see where it's shiny, that's what I do.  Put it on liberally but not so it's dripping off, and repeatedly get more little globs as needed.  Finger heat will melt it as spread it around so don't worry.  Make sure to get it on the little edge too, that helps immensely later on setting the bead.




It's somewhat hard to see in this picture, but was able to slide most of the tire down without using any tools, and only use tools for this section here, so maybe the last 1/5 of the tire.  It really slid on without anything, like a hot knife through butter, was in heaven.

Here is also the last bit of the first side going on.  It really was super easy, thanks to the lubrication.  Reason picked coconut oil is was trying to do this without lubrication the first time, then tried soapy water, and just so happened to try coconut oil as a last resort.  Haven't noticed any rubber degradation yet.

For balancing, I use the cheap version of DynaBeads, BB's.  Dynabeads is supposed to dynamically balance the tire, after get up to about 30 mph, by using tiny spheres (ceramic I think) that go into uneven spots of tires as going down the road.  The cheap version of this is to use regular old BB's, as shot from BB Guns.  I don't endorse shooting them or doing anything with them, just have it for my tires. Slid them into the tire after got the first side on.


Somewhat related to balancing, notice how there is a little orange dot on the tire.  I didn't look this up this time, and always forget, but the dot identifies the heavy (or light) point of the tire.  I chose heavy.  So, in this case, it's generally recommended to put it opposite the tire stem which is what tried to do, or pretty close anyways.

As am working the other side on, I made sure to lubricate both the top and bottom of the tire.  The bottom is in relation to the side which will be forced over the rim, while the top is the side, after tire inflation, that will be pressing against the outside rim.  Just make sure to lubricate everything like last time, allowing coconut oil to melt with finger heat as rubbing it around.  Sounds more decadent than it really is, at least in this application.

My first couple times doing this, when got to this stage, was always fighting with the tire, putting in too much force to get it over the rim.  Figured out the last couple times changed, and it's hard to see, but if push the tire down (that's already on and farthest away from where working), and keep it down, this actually relieves some pressure and makes it much easier.  The section I pushed down is at bottom of the tire, to the left of my knee a little

All ready!
After using the this trick, this last section, which is typically the hardest, just slid over and on.  Was amazing!  Very very happy at this point!

The finished tire ready to be inflated and the bead set!
Strap in place

Typically, when setting the bead, have to make sure no air escapes.  I've typically done this using a tie down strap, so set about to do that this time, as shown.  However, first try and air kept escaping.  Curious, I removed the strap and tried again, and it worked great this time!  Was baffled but very pleased!

Kept inflating, and shortly after I heard the two beads pop right into place.  Went to let air out and take a measurement and was astonished, it took less than 20 pounds of pressure..  All Hail Lubrication!  Never ever ever had it set with that little pressure.

Filled it up and took last reading and then out for a ride!

Overall this tire change process was the easiest yet, no choice words and most everything went smooth as can be, totally surprising.

The first ride, albeit being a little windy, was marvelous, glorious, and felt like was floating on air, it was that good.  It was a little bumpy to start with, but that was due to road surface.  Soon as got to a good road surface it was smooth as glass, literally.  Had good tires before, but this is far and above the best ride.  Well worth the extra couple bucks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Success = Free flowing of energy

While at the Leadership Conference in Vegas, was listening to David Martin, an up and rising leader in Nikken, talk about some of the realizations he has made.

One particular ah-ha moment stuck out for me, when he talked about the mentoring he is receiving from Pat Terry, part of the (in)famous Mac and Pat duo.  They have successfully built, and continue building, a large network of people which spans the globe.  All this from a healthcare professional and retired Air Force colonel.

The piece of advice she gave David, and am paraphrasing this:

"In order to get the cash flow (level) you want, have to define where the excess goes"

He specifically stated that this has to do with the Society Pillar, philanthropy, and how to help others less fortunate.  Of course, we need something to live on and most people would just spend the excess on frilly stuff, or have it sit in a bank for a "rainy day".  This is what was meant about stopping the flow of energy, or the flow of money, in my mind.

To this end,  I really enjoy backing projects on Kickstarter.  It is a passion of mine and have backed over 100 projects this year!  I get something in return, but more importantly, I help make people's dreams a reality.  Most times the projects are well run, but late, and a lot of ones with physical rewards have their stuff made overseas.  The overseas production part doesn't help us in the long term.

There are quite a few projects which do their best to source everything locally, not specifically meaning the U.S., but locally to their own area.  These are the ones I like to back the most.  My long term goal is to increase my funding of these projects, at higher tiers, to help their dream.

After all, everyone should be living their dream, taking calculated risks, and reaping the rewards.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cottonwood, AZ


Left Vegas and headed to a Thousand Trails resort just outside of Cottonwood.  When was in Newport OR, well, just south of Newport, signed up for a membership for this chain of resorts.  For what it is, an RV park, it actually is a really great value!  Typically, with couple exceptions, not packed in like sardines, which is a super great thing.  Granted, still can see neighbor most times but at least don't hear their snoring through the walls (probably not that bad at most parks, but get drift).

The drive itself was about 300 miles, not overly bad for a day.  The drive itself was rather bland as was only on the highway/freeway and didn't have any other stops planned.  This picture is going down a moderate slope on the road and a large lake is visible.  Can't remember where this was, but think it's Lake Mead.  The lake, behind Hoover Dam, is still low as can see the rock discoloration from highpoint of the water.

Drove through Prescott, AZ in search of a station which sold biodisel.  Sadly it didn't exist, but did see a neat little town. Stopped at a supermarket to top the tank off, which was sorely needed.  Put about 40 gallons in.  Need to get fuel gauge fixed.


There was a little wind issues but overall it wasn't too terribly bad.

Jerome, AZ



While in Cottonwood, made a short trip over to Jerome.  Didn't stop and see the sights, but they had a nice quaint little downtown, lots of small mom and pop stores.  It is a higher elevation than cottonwood and sports quite the view!

No idea where I was when took this picture.  There is an old haunted museum and gift shop (surrounded by rusted vehicles, just looks old), and I took a dirt road that forked off.  The road didn't have any guard rails and it was a steep drop if strayed at all.  There was a sign which said that this road went to Prescott, don't think would've followed it.  Had to return as sun was setting, and it starts to get chilly super fast when there's no sunlight.

Will be making another trip back to the museum.  I could tell, from where I was, they had a large, and old, Lister engine.  It looks unique and make a unique sound when running, but it's super efficient due to having a large flywheel to keep momentum going.  These engines are very versatile and many are in use from the time they were first manufactured, often in harsh conditions (think middle of Africa as example).  They're super reliable and very low maintenance, both things I like.  And there's something relaxing about hearing it putter along.


Am not done with Cottonwood, just need to put some things down before it passes from memory.

Four Steps to a better YOU?

These four steps will get rid of the funk.  It all starts with YOU!

http://i.imgur.com/7xsp7hJ.png

Over at reddit, someone was feeling down and out, and user ryans01 posted an awesome response!  I had to "steal" it and post it here.

Change has to start with us first and foremost.  This is what's behind Richard Being More, The Meaning, and many other things I'm doing.  Story is far from over!

Original thread here:  Copied everything mostly verbatim and reformatted.

Ouch. Sounds like you're having a tough time max. That sucks. I've been there, so I kinda know what you're talking about. I've been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It's no bueno. I know. If you don't mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read em if you want, read em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don't let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you're just letting us both down. And you don't HAVE to do that. You don't HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.

(Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them. )

Rule numero uno - There are no more zero days. What's a zero day? A zero day is when you don't do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I'm not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that's not the point. The point I'm trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didn't do anything all fucking day and it's 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you're in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that's what you're used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn't happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That's rule number one. Do not forget.

La deuxieme regle - yeah i learnt french. its a canadian thing. please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU'S. Uh what? 3 me's? That sounds like mumbo jumbo bullshit. News flash, there are three you's homeslice. There's the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 you's are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you've done. And do favours for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like shit today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that's all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me's is you gotta do your future self a favour, just like you would for your best fucking friend (no best friend? you do now. You got 2. It's future and past you). Tired as hell and can't get off reddit/videogames/interwebs? fuck you present self, this one's for future me, i'm gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I'm doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? fuck you present self, this one's for my best friend, the future me. I'm up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it's gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of every.single.thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.

Rule number 3 - don't worry i'm gonna too long didnt' read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. seriously. you physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But lets say you still didn't do it. Now you're giving yourself shit for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being dissapointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? so what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one's for you future homes. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.

Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and its three words. exercise and books. that's it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. when you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). when you exercise you clear your mind. when you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favour. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every fucking thing we've all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read 7 habits of highly successful people. Read "emotional intelligence". Read "From good to great". Read “thinking fast and slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how's them pullups coming?) Reading is the fucking warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.

That’s about it man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favours. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and its impossible to pull off? Your past self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.

I hope I helped a little bit max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.

Have an awesome fucking day ☺

tldr; 1. Nonzero days as much as you can. 2. The three you’s, gratitude and favours. 3. Forgiveness 4. Exercise and books (which is a sneaky way of saying self improvement, both physical, emotional and mental)
Edit: Wow reddit gold? Thanks! No idea what to do with it or whats the deal but many thanks!
Edit2: Someone asked what I meant by "much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days". The long and short of it is a simple truth, but it's tough to TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE. It's this: you become what you think. This doesnt mean if I think of a tree, I'll be oakin' it by august. It means that the WAY you think, the THINGS you think of, and the IDEAS YOU HOLD IN YOUR MIND defines the sum total that is you. You procrastinate all the time and got fear and worry goin on for something? You are becoming a procrastinator. You keep thinking about how much you want to run that 5 k race in the spring and finish a champion? Are ya keeping it in mind all the time? Is it something that is defining your ACTIONS and influencing you DECISIONS? If it is, then you're becoming the champion you're dreaming about. Dreaming about it makes it. Think and it shall be. But do not forget that action is thought's son. Thoughts without actions are nothing. Have faith in whatever it is you've steeled your mind to. Have faith and follow through with action.
Ok, Ryan that's a bunch of nice words n shit, but how does that help me turn slightly nonzero days into hugely nonzero days. Do you believe all these words you just read? Does it makes sense to you that you BECOME WHAT YOU THINK OF? Ask yourself: What do I think of? When you get home and walk in the door. (how quickly did you turn that laptop on? Did turning it on make you closer to your dreams? What would?) At the bus stop. Lunch break. What direction are you focusing your intentions on? If you're like I was a few years ago, the answer was either No direction, or whatever caught my eye at the moment. But no stress, forgive yourself. You know the truth now. And knowing the truth means you can watch your habits, read books on how you think and act, and finally start changing your behaviour. Heres an example: Feeling like bunk cause you had zero days or barely nonzero days? THINK ABOUT WHAT YOURE DOING. and change just a little bit more. in whatever positive direction you are choosing to go.
Edit3: WHOA! This blew up! Major appreciation to Modified_Duck for making this cool ass image: http://i.imgur.com/7xsp7hJ.png





Friday, November 8, 2013

Vegas again...

Prelude

 As was getting ready to leave Pahrump, decided to take a quick tour of the area.  While out and about was (un)fortunate enough to follow a car for a little while.  While following noticed something odd about the car, something which stuck out for me as just saw a logo very very similar to it while in Vegas the last time.  Followed car into parking lot and spoke with the driver.  Hope he didn't think I was trying to stalk him.

44,000 miles!!!
The difference this time is this stood for a political statement.  I neither agree nor disagree with it (avoid politics as a general rule).  While I won't rant too much, I must say that the two party system, in it's current incarnation, is no longer for the people by the people.  It's for the "big guys" by the "big guys", and they forgot about us a long time ago.  It really doesn't matter who the "ruling party" is since the background bureaucracy, and people pulling the strings, doesn't change.  At least IMHO.

Took me some hunting, but if you would like one of these (they do look quite snazzy) can find them at this location.  No affiliation with me but I like this decal for many reasons, as part of the revelation in this post, and also it begs people to ask a question.

While tooling around this time also made another smaller milestone on scooter, still runs like a dream after soo many miles!



Back to regularly scheduled program


This trip to Vegas was more of a pleasure trip than couple days prior.  Really didn't do all that much, other than pick up a Satellite dish setup for HughesNet, the preferred provider of choice for RV'ers.  Only other things did was work, eat, sleep, and s**t, not exactly in that order.
First sight of red rocks

While going to Vegas this time, went through Red Rock Canyon, which was a really nice route.  During this part of the trip was able to snap couple pictures.  This is how the GPS guided me and was actually quite happy.  Sometimes the GPS leaves a lot to be desired in terms of routing.  Unsure if it's because of google maps, a 3rd party provider, or who knows what.  They're not fully intelligent yet but still have made quite a bit of progress.
Little closer but still so far away

While in Vegas had internet through Clear wireless (now part of Sprint).  As have mentioned before, this service is part of the Sprint network, and as such, has very limited coverage.  The great part about it is that it's truly unlimited.  Have downloaded 20-30 GB+ in a month and no hassles whatsoever, not even a nasty email or call!  Will be keeping this service long as possible.  No smoke and mirrors or broken promises like the other major cell carriers.

Stayed at Sam's Town RV Park.  It's a decent park, at a decent price, though nothing really special about it.  Still packed in like sardines, not much room to move around, and all that happy jizz, err, jazz.  It's part of a casino (surprise, surprise) and they had a mediocre buffet.  The buffet was featured on Rachel Ray's TV Show, $40 a Day.  Another website that lists information about the place.  This second website has an app, which I really like.  Only minor thing about the app is that there's a nag screen every time open it up.  The buffet itself I didn't find really impressive, mediocre food at a mediocre price, but it served the purpose.  The wait staff there (to get drinks) actually do a bang up job!  Don't forget to leave them a tip (I prefer to leave cash when possible).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Death Valley Revisited

Had to go back to Pahrump after the Vegas visit.  Upon going back decided needed to take another day to visit the places I missed in Death Valley.  It was awesome but as always, more places appeared that still want to go back and visit.

It was very hard to choose which pictures liked the best, so uploaded most of the ones I took to an album and highlighted some of those here.  My first time taking Panoramic shots, think they turned out fairly well!

Dantes View


This place has an awesome view, marvelous little hikes, and little trails to walk along (if so inclined).  It just so happens I'm a little squeamish about heights, but enjoy the view nonetheless.  Put me on edge of house roof and am walking on egg shells.  About 5 feet away from edge have no problems at all.  It started out this way while walking along the trails to get to the vantage point linked in the sub heading.

Golden Canyon Trail


Spent way too much time here, but it was a great little hike and no regrets.  It did cost me from stopping at The Natural Bridge, but didn't know the Natural Bridge was down the road either.

This is basically a set of trails made in the washouts from the mountains.  Part of the trail I followed used to be a road from when people came out here in their old Model T's, but only passable now by foot, or hoof.

Somewhat related to Model T's.  While riding along the road came upon a small caravan (about 5) of older cars.  One was definitely a Model T, while the others were from that same general time frame.  Was great to see them out there.

Badwater Basin


 Surprisingly in a way, this was located just under my feet while at Dantes View.  On the map, just to the south of this point, the road "bubbles out", and while at the top told myself would get to where it bubbled out.  Well, the road was cloased just after the spring, but would still say achieved my goal.  Strangely enough, the closure sign said closed due to flooding..  It's beginning to look like that's a standard sign for roads in poor repair...  At least in the desert with no visible standing water (except at this spring).

Apparently the spring travels many hundreds of miles through bedrock, picking up all sorts of minerals.  The infomercial sign mentioned that the name stuck after some early travelers couldn't get their mules to drink from it, and called it bad water.

Not much here, just something to see.  Time to move on...

Epilogue


At the end had to cut some of my stops short as wanted to get back to the RV park before it got too late and the before the sun started setting (temperature drops fast).

Will definitely be back in the area to see more wonders of Death Valley.  There is a big 600 foot hole not far from Scotty's castle that is full of color, the Natural Bridge, and many other sights to see.  Life definitely works in mysterious ways at times.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Health Revolution



You may wish to view a video of a Canadian Heart Association at this point. Did you know that the average Canadian lives the last ten years of his/her life in physical suffering?




I personally know of someone that has a relative in the Canadian Healthcare system.  Based on what they have shared, the relative is truly institutionalized (in my view).  As an example, was told that they were planning on enjoying a meal with their relative prior to leaving town.  It so happens that, after they sat down and started eating, neither of them could finish the meal as the food served was not truly edible.  After was done visiting, they left and got a "real meal" someplace else, leaving their portion of the food unfinished.

It breaks my heart to hear about these things since I know that there are solutions to 99.9% of the problems out there, natural solutions to help the amazing human body heal itself.  The solutions are not necessarily Nikken products, but they are equally as natural and organic.  Medicines only address symptoms, they don't address the root cause of the symptom, which is where we truly need to focus.

We have to take health into our own hands, be responsible for ourselves, for our future, for everything we do.  If we hand off responsibility for our health, and other things, to a third party, such as our doctor (which are wonderful and do their best), it might not be in our best interest.  The doctors of today are not taught healthy living.  They are taught about sickness and what to do if we're sick, not what to do for us to lead a healthy life.

If break healthy into two words, it's Heal Thy..  Such as Heal thy self.

I don't know about you, but I AM NOT going to live my life like the video portrays, hence:

http://events.nikken.com/nikkenrevolution/assets/img/head-Tittle.png

This brings me to my reason for visit to Vegas.  Attended a Nikken Leadership Conference. 

EN High 5 Life - BalanceThe highlight of the conference, for me, was listening to Wolfgang Sonnenberg, who achieved the highest level as a Nikken consultant in record time.  Listening to him talk, and share his vision, and passion, is truly rewarding.  His prior life, before seeing the big vision of Nikken, was a lawyer.

During his talks, he promoted a website to help inspire people to follow and live their dreams, whatever they might be.  The dream, and the big vision, is basically this image.  It is to have everything in balance, allowing most people to live a truly happy life.  If at least one of these are out of balance, it throws everything out of balance.

Everyone has their own definition to what these five pillars mean, so it is up to you to determine what a Healthy Mind, Family, Society, Body, and Finance truly mean.

There were numerous other highlights, too numerous to mention, but this was really why I came.  Could make this sound more like an infomercial but that's not the purpose of this blog.

The Health Revolution starts with us taking control of our health, and lives.  No matter what path we choose to accomplish this, it truly starts with us.  It is never too late!