Sunday, September 30, 2018


 Cars of ART!            Another Camaro

Elon Musk settles for $20 million with SEC..
Martin Sheen fighting IRS over $5.7 million.
The amounts in the above headlines make me smile.  I am a happy dude.  I can remember my first W-2 form. for the year 1956, my year's income  was $950 and I was turning married turning 18. That was my total income for the year. Many people make more than that a week now.

In comparison about 63 years later, we are facing a bill on our motor home engine 18 times larger than my first year’s wages.  Inflation is something. In 1956 a Coke or Pepsi was a nickel. Using that nickel Pepsi as an example, if I were to buy a Pepsi from a machine, it would be at least 20 times more than in 1956. If you bought beer it was 30 cents a bottle.  I never tasted a pizza until I was 16, a 12” cheese pizza was $1.25, drinks were 15 cents with a tip of a nickel or a dime.
Tell me life ain’t good.  I can’t compare with Musk or Sheen, but compared to where we started, God has blessed us beyond measure.  Of course the repair bill will hurt, but we can pay it. It will be no fun, but in the past few months I have seen much worse in life situations. I have cried at deaths, sympathized with a friend who lost his foot and prayed for friends in the hospital. One friend spent over 3 months in the hospital. There are many more, but compared to those things “WE AIN’T GO NO PROBLEMS.”
Sherry and I have always lived frugally. We were taught to save, not spend. It has worked for us; it does not work for everyone. I have friends here and on the net that no longer get to hold the love of their life, I can still do that. So truly if we had to borrow the money or lose the coach, our problems pale when compared to losing my life’s love.
Nite Shipslog

Saturday, September 29, 2018

This thing called technology

When cars were art!

  1968 Camaro SS

Printers. I still use a printer for a letter or some other reason. I purchased a remote printer a couple months ago and when everything seemed to go crazy I just never got it set up.

I needed to print out the Cummins letter and estimate so I could sign and send it back. I tried to hook the remote up to the laptop.  The laptop ‘operating system’ is so old it was not compatible.

Sherry is trying to keep up with her stuff on the phones, now that I have this computer in operation we might be able to use it.

Technology is wonderful…… but mostly for young people LOL. I was telling Sherry the other day this is getting too much for me. I have said it many times, but am so frustrated at times I get mad at myself. I was in on the ground-floor of the BIG computers. I repaired Honeywell, Burroughs and IBM, but now I am lucky to get a picture off a phone.

Well it really ‘ain’t’ a phone. It is a computer, camera, recorder, movie camera and database. It is many more things but that is above my paygrade too.

I used to take pride in looking over at Sherry and saying, “Do you realize we are the only two people who know where we are right now.”  Back then we had to find a pay phone and make an expensive long distance call. Remember? You tried not to go over 3 minutes.  The operator even came on the line and said something like ‘you have 10 seconds left or ‘Your 3 minutes are up.” If you went past 3 minutes it became real expensive.

Now, with cell phones everyone in the family knows where we are. Not only that, but when I called in our road emergency in the other day, they said, “We will locate you by your phone and send someone out.”

About cell phones, I have always been liberal with our phones, if someone asked to use my phone I handed it to them.  Now I just heard locally a young man asked a passing young college student, “Can I use you phone a minute I need to call mom, mine needs charging.”

Of course the college kid did. During that minute the borrower dumped the phone to his and within an hour had taken money out of the lenders bank account using his CC#.

Imma tell you, technology is out yonder now, for honest and crooked people. Keep your phone close to your chest. Just like playing cards.  LOL

Nite Shipslog

Friday, September 28, 2018

Ever been to the DMV?

 Automobiles of art:  The1954 Mercury


We have dealt with the DMVs in several states in our moving around. Most are like a visit to the dentist without novacain (?).

I once signed Jack Darnell on my insurance card VS my full birth name of Jackie Leon and it took about an act of congress to fix it in NC.

I have driven 20 miles and wasted an hour to get an insignificant paper.

Sister Shirl left us a very nice Honda CRV. It is three years old and like new with 6,240 miles on it. Sherry and I waited over an hour in the right office after driving 10 miles to the wrong office, and being sent back to the correct office.

Part of the above was our fault.

But we had to take that title and registration to Florida to register and title it in our home state.  WE drove thru Atlanta to leave a check. There we found that our refrigerator had died and the MH stunk, terrible. The Maintenance super apologized and would not let us clean out the refer, he felt he should do it. So we left him to it and headed on south to Florida.

Our Florida home is in good shape, we spent the night then to the DMV!

We have never dreaded going to a Florida DMV.Sherry likes them because they let you approve the picture on your license, if you don’t like it they will keep shooting until you do.

The last time, after 11 tries, the nice lady said, “I am sorry sir, but it is hard to make you look 17!” (just kidding!)

 Anyway at the DMV there was no line. Afer explaining the situation to Brandi, she said, “Tell the receptionist you need a VIN check, and when you have it come on back here.”

Juanita smiled and accompanied me to the car and got all the info. Then back to Brandi. “Do you have anything saying you inherited the car?  If you do you will not have to pay taxes.”

“No ma’am, I left it lying on the table, I can drive and get it.”

Smiling, “I don’t think that will be necessary, give me a minute.”  She went to talk to her super.  She returned with a small printed note. “Just sign this saying you declare or swear that you inherited the car and that will suffice.”  

We left happy in less than 15 minutes with title and tag.  I can’t say enough good about Florida’s DMVs.  We have been to three different ones and they all have been just as accommodating and nice.

I can finally seriously say something nice about a government ‘service’ agency.  These people act just like you are paying their salary, and you are.

Anyway, we are back in NC after a 3 day whirlwind 1300 mile trip.  A trip that was fun I might add. We always enjoy being on the road.

Nite Shipslog

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Humanity, life and death

Most folk enjoy life. We do have our problems, but many times we learn some life lesson when the problem is solved or dissolved. In the past few months  I have listed several situations that I was uncomfortable with. A few years ago I sat by my older sister Kat’s bedside and sang to her the best I could, all night as she was easing out of this life.
Just in the recent months I stood by Shirley’s bedside as she took her last breath. Now for both these girls at ages late 70s and early 80s passing over is not unusual. Younger members of our family have said, “Well they lived long interesting lives, it was their time.”
I know a secret these young fold do not know but will learn if they live long enough. When you are 80 and in good health you want live to be 90. At no time in my nearly 80 years have I said, “Well, it is time, I have lived longer than mama or daddy. I have had a long life.  Truth is we that are older, want to get OLDER. Ain’t that the gospel.
Now, the reason for this ‘dark post’.  Wednesday Morning we left for Florida early.  We had no way of knowing that in his apartment Just blocks from our home in Belmont, at age 33, Brandon McGee, Stella’s daddy, had had an accident and was no longer breathing.  
In this case, the shock seems so unreal, 33 is too early to depart this life. He was never officially a member of our family, but we still considered him a grandson-in-law. He was a good worker and carried a smile.
Brandon’s dad found him un responsive later that morning. Now our beautiful Stella no longer will spend weekends with her dad. She was so happy after last weekend. She and Brandon had said they had a wonderful time. Stella’s mama and Brandon were no longer together but they were on a friendly basis. Something we were so proud of and hoping for ‘EVEN MORE.
I follow Sean of he South. His dad departed early and he talks of the pain he and his sister who was about Stella’s age, endured. Remember Stella and Brandon’s family. He had loving parents, he also had a son and daughter besides Stella.
WE finished our business as soon as possible and will leave for NC early in the morning.
Life goes on, and is GOOD most of the time.
Nite Shipslog

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The magic of Old People....

I loved the Nash Metropolitan,, this is one that we owned.

We are in Deltona Florida, we left NC about 4:30 AM and came  via Atlanta. MH was sad, we are beat…..  But tonight’s entry is not about our troubles…..
I actually enjoy sitting down to tell a story. For many years I enjoyed that, especially with children.  Once I lost my hearing I started turning down invitations to events. It was a sad time for me. It was a thrill of mine, strictly a personal thing, to see kids light up, even the grand kids.
I used to ask them what kind of story they wanted to hear. Then I would spin the tale.  They weren’t all prize winners, but the kids thought they were.
I miss that. So I still do tricks for kids. I normally carry several ‘gold dollars’ for kids. My supply of gold dollars is with the coach and I have missed several opportunities. If three kids, I will multiply the one to three so each will get one.
A few years ago our minister was preaching, he is a tee-tottler.  In his sermon he made the statement the only wine he would drink would be if someone turned water to wine.  I can’t always be counted on to be in town so after church he asked if we were going to be in town he would like for me to do the next Sunday mornings service.
I jumped on the chance, one of my best tricks is to turn water to wine. So the next Sunday he had to drink the wine in front of the congregation. After a taste he drank it. I explained it was Kool--aid to the church. But the kids loved it.
As we get older, we cannot do what we used to do. No matter how much some of us OLD people like to say, ‘age is just a number,’ I have learned I cannot lift a sheet of ½” plywood as easily as I could as a young 55 year old man. LOL
But memories are good, and seeing an unruly kid in McDonalds or Walmart calm down when a gold dollar disappears and then appears in their shoe or ear. is fun to me!
We all do magic for grands’. and great grands’, maybe not the sleight of hand type I do, maybe like Rick and Jilda do for the nephews and nieces. As I read your blogs, I see magic you have done for others. We are not the same, but we have so much to offer the kids behind us.  They may be able to tell us about the ‘smart phone’, but we can tell them about life.
Here LIFE is good. We celebrated the youngest Grandson, Luke’s BD. At 22 he is our youngest homeowner in the family. He ( with the help mostly of his dad Mark) is transforming a rundown house (formerly the home of Hell’s Angels) into a beautiful home. With in a year he will own a home worth in excess of 100k. That is from a lot of sacrifice. Naturally grandpa is proud of him, it is something I would do.  I need to get over there and take some pictures.
Life is good.
Nite Shipslog

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This is big ANDY, this is BIG!

 Not on the interstate, that is for sure, but definitely an eye catcher!.

I got the computer back from the computer hospital today.  I am happy with the results, I wish he could have saved more APPS. Grandson Josh notified me he had some ideas up his sleeve if Mr. geek could not get it done.  I knew Josh could do it, he is certified by Microsoft (and besides that is pretty danged sharp!), but I hated to bother him, he and Megan have the sweet Rosemary now and they both work full time.


Oh, by the way (LOL) we got the ‘Tough news’ today.  The parts needed for our ‘Wheelestate’ is $8,000, then the labor runs a little more. I know, I know, I lied about the 12,000 being our cut off.  We sat and discussed it. I am not ready to ‘leave the road’. What the hay? Why not bite the bullet, we can just play like we paid full price for the coach, get it fixed and be happy.


So we returned the call and told Bro. Mike that we would go with it, but we needed to come down and get some more stuff out of the coach. We need to get some meds and vitamins and my Sherry only brought one pair of shoes, you know you ladies, one pair just kills you!

We must check the refrigerator to see what is still living there. Mike said there was a little odor, so we gotta check that out.  This is a  nice place to crash, but although I built it for us many years ago, I am not ready to come back quite yet!

This is a horrific bill, not in my wildest dreams did I ever picture that cost. BUT, but we know living this life style has its dangers.  I told Sherry just count the nights we have been in the motor home and figure what the motel costs would be. LOL


I still maintain we are blessed, we have been and continue to be.  We just told the boys we are REALLY spending their inheritance. To their credit, both offered to help or pay for it.

Anyway, they require some money up front, so we leave in the AM to show up and put up! Then we have an auto that needs to be registered and tagged in Florida, so we will go on down for a day to do that.


No matter the reason, I still enjoy a ride with my girl! She makes any trip fun!


Nite Shipslog

Monday, September 24, 2018


   Our next motor home

If you have a car that is valued at $2000 and the engine blows

Road service tows it. You bum a ride home.

Two hours later you get the call. You hear, " I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that engine is beyond repair, I can put a used engine in the car for $1400 or a new one for $1900!"

Everything is silent.

"Are you still there?" asks the caller.

"Oh yeah, yeah. I am just trying to digest what you just said. Can I call you back in the morning?"

"Of course, I will be here."

Now you sit down and try to make some logical sense out of the situation. What to do?

So that  is much the situation on our Motor home. Our coach sold for $130,000 in 2000. When we saw it the owner was asking $80,000 +/- , we offered $60,000 and got it. The motor home is like your car, it loses value every year. I checked the NADA value of our coach a few weeks ago and it has a big swing value Low is $18,000 the High is $30,000.

Now for our situation. We received the bad news. A valve broke off in #3 cylinder. If fell into the chamber and did a lot of damage. The least required will be pull and rebuild the head. Then replace the sleeve and piston.

Now with the 'wonder' of the internet I found the good and bad things. Similar engine repairs varies from the least of $8,000 and the most of $32,000.  I  thought I could get a new engine for much less than the max.

Options... Pay the cost and enjoy the coach for a few more years,.
................Tow the coach to our back yard where it has been sitting and leave it for an extra bedroom (or my dog house, LOL)
................Tow it home, and slowly do the repairs myself (that would be a hard sell to my sweetheart who thinks I am too old to do anything. BUT I like this idea best of all. I could hire mechanics to help and young backs for the heavy work, I like it the more I think of it!
................Give the coach away to a friend who is a diesel mechanic and he could have a good coach for labor and parts.

All this is speculation, but I like to have a backup plan. The breaking point is right at $12,000 and  we would not have to 'knock off a liquor store' as Rick would put it.  LOL

Paula would suggest making a big planter out of it.  she  did that once with hubby Mel's old well digging rig.

I am open to suggestions. Mike the supervisor at Cummins is supposed to call in the morrow with the real estimate. 

Life is still good, but every good road seems to have a pot hole or two.  It will all work out. It is what it is so we will deal with it.

Nite Shipslog

Or maybe this is our next motor home: