Friday, October 31, 2003


We had a sixty degree shift between the high yesterday, and the high today.

Thursday, October 30, 2003


With this change in the weather, I was shuffling things around to accommodate the cold, and realized: we have five furnaces running!


California was getting all the attention. Colorado made it through the entire summer major-fire-free. That ended today. Suddenly there are big fires all over the front range.

Castle Rock, where we were last weekend. The foothills above Boulder. The mountains in Jefferson County.

Tinder dry, and winds gusting to 70 miles per hour. So far, I think the firefighters are mostly well trained spectators, evacuating residents.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Trip postscript01

There is more.

The mystery box displayed the number 45 when we pushed the button, while we were hooked up to shore power. Later, when we were not hooked up to anything, I pushed the button again. The display showed "LL".

LL What???

Trip postscript

There was one new mystery. We opened the cabinet on the side above the driver's head. There is a box inside. It has wires running in and out of it. It has a button on it. There is a digital display on the box. The display is dark. Until you push the button. Then the display says 45.

45 what?


Took off on another weekend trip. Strictly pleasure. We meant to drive to Utah on Saturday, hike a slot canyon on Sunday, and drive home on Monday. We got a bite on the Bounder though, so we hung around for a while Saturday morning. Our prospective buyers spent an hour in Shamu in the driveway Friday, and spent another hour Saturday morning driving around in it with me, talking.

Sounds like a perfect fit to me. They get to think about it this weekend.

We left the house by noon. The weather has cooled to more seasonal. It is still dry, but they were making snow at the Loveland ski area when we drove past. It was thirty degrees when we stopped at the Dillon Lake overlook for lunch. The sunny sixty-five degrees at Grand Junction felt toasty warm.

Stopped for the night at our Colorado River State Park just west of Grand Junction. At the foot of Colorado National Monument. I like this park. Asphalt and grass. I love to go off in the wilderness exploring, but I’m developing a great affection for home base in a campground that is not dusty. I get to wash it off and not breathe it for a night, before going back out to play in it again the next day.

We never made it to Utah. Well not very far inside Utah anyway. Just to the first exit. We had a leisurely day scouting Highline Lake State Park in Colorado, watching some Broncos, and checking out the put-in and take-out for a gentle Colorado River float we can do in the kayaks. The float starts at the westernmost exit in Colorado, the Loma exit. You can see it from the road. The river and the road split at that point, and you don’t see the river again from I-70. The float is a twenty-six mile meander through a remote high desert canyon. From the easternmost exit in Utah, you can drive down a back road about ten miles to the take-out at Westwater. The take-out happens just before the leisurely meandering float turns into a whitewater nightmare. We mean to come back here next summer with the boats. We want to be sure we recognize the take-out before we float this the first time.

Found a couple pictures of a high desert lake, and some campground fall color.

No clicking mysteries. There was clicking, just no mysteries. Had an uneventful ride down from the high country on the exhaust brake. Made it home in time for some racquetball and Monday night football.

Better spend the next few weekends home cleaning up the yard, and putting it away for the winter. We have a heavy decorating schedule. We’ll need to shift from Halloween, to Fall, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas. We can hang the icicle lights on the eaves now, but not plug them in until later. Good to get the high work done before it gets too cold and snowy. I can’t do anything about Christmas train tracks until the trees are through with all their leaves. The trees will put their leaves on the ground. We’ll put the leaves in the gutter of Roosevelt Street. The City will drive by and suck them up with their new leaf-sucker truck.

It’s all good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Trip postscript

We have not gone off on another trip, but we haven't moved back into the house yet either. We've been sleeping in the driveway every night (in the motorhome in the driveway), to solve the clicking mystery.

We found it! It does have to do with the heating system. We haven't heard it before, because we haven't needed the heater on at night, or there was more background noise. When the furnace needs to ignite, there is a noticeable "click" from the thermostat in the hallway, a heavier "click" in response from the cold air return on the other side of the bedroom, followed by another "click" of recognition from the thermostat. Every time. The sound of the heater fan blowing isn't all that noticeable, so I didn't connect the clicking noise directly to the furnace cycles.

I think there are other clicks involved as well as all this digital electronic stuff communicates with each other, but I haven't sorted them all out yet.

But we have identified the source.

The solution is simple: turn on a fan for background noise; or suck-it-up, get over it, and get used to it. I think it was the mystery keeping me awake more than the actual clicks.

Monday, October 20, 2003


And Halloween at our house, compliments of Matt and Kari.


It was a fifty-mile day. Our first work trip in the new motorhome.

It wasn’t exactly an out-of-town job. In fact, Castle Rock was a poor excuse to go spend the night in the motorhome, but hey, we needed a shakedown cruise in the new rig. So we drove down Sunday morning, set up, watched the Bronco game, hiked Castlewood Canyon State Park, found Monday morning’s job site, had a nice dinner, watched Mars and the Milky Way, and got a good night’s sleep. Almost.

Shakedown cruise. We have a mystery. We discovered the turn signal lights mounted under the side mirrors. No mystery there. We just hadn’t seen them before. Lots of stuff still to discover. The mystery didn’t happen until the wee hours. About the time I had to get up and switch the climate control system from air conditioning to heat, whatever time that was. The air conditioning was great. It was a warm evening. I set the temperature for sixty-five, and it held it there all night. Until it got a lot colder than that outside. It got down into the thirties outside. So at about fifty-five degrees inside, I switched over to heat to get it back up into the sixties. That’s when it started. The noise.

I don’t actually know if it started then. It could be that it was happening before that, and I was just sleeping through it. But after I switched to heat, there was a clicking sound. An intermittent clicking sound. Three clicks. Sometimes four. Then nothing. Nothing for a long time. Long enough to just fall back to sleep, then the clicking again. Three clicks. Sometimes four. Not quite awake enough to react and locate it. Then it was done. Again. Until the next time.

Of course, I spent the rest of the night, in my sleepy stupor, trying to reason out where the clicking sound was coming from. It didn’t start until I made the switch to heat, so it must be related to the furnace. But we’ve used the furnace before and never heard it. And besides, it didn’t coincide with the heater fan switching on and off. We were plugged in for the night. The automatic refrigerator could be clicking between propane and electric, searching for the best mode, but when I looked at it the next morning, it was calmly fixed on propane. The new rig has an air bed. It could be the pump, checking the setting periodically, deciding it was OK, and going back to sleep until it was time to check it again. But I unplugged the air pump, and the noise happened again later. It could be the electric water heater. I inadvertently left that on all night. We’ve never had one of those before. Don’t know what issues they raise, but seems to me now, in the daylight, that any noise it might make probably wouldn’t be in our bedroom. Judy thinks it was the cat fiddling with the latch on his crate. From the inside. I don’t think so.

It was an intermittent noise, like a smoke detector battery going bad, and it makes that periodic little “beep” that can be difficult to locate, because it won’t cooperate and actually beep while you’re searching for the source. But after daylight, the smoke detector did beep. Several times. Enough times for us to locate the offender and disable it until reinforcement batteries arrive. But that didn’t stop our clicks. They quit, but not as a detectable result of anything we did.

They remain. Hidden. Waiting for us to relax. Waiting for us to let down our guard. They will strike again. I can feel it.

Meanwhile, I left the mystery behind to meet up with Ken and Janay the next morning at the new client’s office. We had a good time. We got some work done. I left. Judy and I unhooked from the shore facilities, connected the Jeep back up to the motorhome, and drove back to Louisville.

An uneventful drive. I was going to go play some Monday night challenge when we got home, but some nice people dropped by to look at the old Bounder, so I stayed and visited with them instead. No offer yet.

We’re home to the house, but I don’t want to sleep in the house. I want to solve the mystery. I have to solve the mystery. I’m going to the motorhome.

Saturday, October 18, 2003


Speaking of Rural Colorado, we got the flyer finished, and the mailing list is a work in progress. The first fifty letters went out to Eastern Colorado mid week. The advertisement in the CANPO newsletter won't be out for a couple more weeks. We'll keep making small mailings. Looking forward to some response.


Feeling good about the new Bounder. Now we can do the things that will personalize it and make it ours.

I have a job in Castle Rock next week. It's not exactly Rural Colorado, I can get there in an hour and a half drive, but we decided to drive the big guy and park it there anyway. To practice. We'll leave tomorrow morning and set up in time to point the dish, watch the Bronco game, then head over to a nearby State Park we don't normally get to, and do some birding. Just like when we're on the road.

Then I'll work part of the next day, and drive the motorhome back home in the afternoon. A leisurely pace.

The next weekend, we're going to take a three day weekend, just the two, I mean four, of us, to celebrate. We're considering Bonny Lake in Eastern Colorado, to just go sit by the lake, Sugarite Canyon, in Northern New Mexico to sit and bird, Utah, to hike Little Wild Horse together, or Southern Wyoming, to sit by a Lake up there, then swing by Bill and Marge's. We can't seem to choose. I think weather and the Saturday morning mood will just have to dictate.

Friday, October 17, 2003


Nothing like a move to uncover a piece of the past. Judy when we were dating.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


Fall at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

(Even sea monsters need kisses too.)

Sunday, October 12, 2003


Racquetball update.

I'm involved in a league with mostly A and Open players. I'm set up to get my ass kicked every week for about twelve weeks.

I played a guy today I've never beaten. I played smart. I played patient. He's a counter puncher. That's what he's comfortable doing, so I kept forcing him to the back of the court with soft shots, making him take the first offensive shot from back there. It worked. For him. He kicked my ass.

There was a victory though. We still had a little time left after the three league games, so we played one more. I'd had enough of playing smart, and playing his soft game. He is better at that game than I am, so I just let it all out and played my game. Straight power. No mercy. And it worked. His "touch" game unraveled. It was never close. I beat him at seven.

That last game doesn't go in the books, but we'll both remember it.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Magic moments

Magic moments. Wild things.

An earlier day, I was diverted from my late-night run by the call of the coyote. The coyote's song pulled me from my usual route into the open field. By the light of the moon, I ran the worn dirt paths into the wild. I was alone, running with the creatures of the night. I couldn't get right in the middle of them, but I could run through the dark in their direction, hearing how close I was getting.

Magic moments. Wild things.

Running, this afternoon, I crossed paths with an old guy. An old guy even older than me. He was shirtless also. I was coming back the bicycle path next to the stream. He had just come down the hill from the south, looking a little tired. We exchanged that glance of recognition. He pointed toward the east and asked: Highway 42? I answered yes. He was off on his adventure. He wasn't even sure where he was. He had a long way still to go.

It's all good.


The good news? Judy is not a basketball fan.

The bad news? Grown men with giant wads are still drooling and spitting their way through the playoffs. I admire the athleticism and the strategy. I just can't stomach watching the players turn their own dugout and the field they play on into a quagmire with their own bodily fluids. Guess I'm a radio baseball fan.

And the first hockey game is televised tonight.

When will I regain control of the clicker so I can watch something worthwhile: that being those stupid cable B movies I love so much?