I have been enjoying visiting blogs and decided to start my own, even though I don't know what I am doing or if anyone will even be interested in reading what I have to say. I am a 50 year old management consultant who has been married to the the love of my life for 30 years and have two grown daughters and a son-in-law who we are very proud of. We are blessed to live in Scottsdale Arizona and are enjoying getting out and experiencing it in our RV! Thanks for stopping by our blog and please consider joining us, who knows where we will go...Kevin & Tracy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Solving The World's Problems!

Well actually I haven't solved any problems actually, but I do like to sit out on the patio at night under the stars with our propane table heater to keep me warm.
Nice on a chilly night!

While sitting outside, I can contemplate my day, week and year, while watching for shooting stars, which normally are just planes flying overhead in route to Sky Harbor Airport.

Not as nice as sitting around the campfire with s'mores, but it will do until our next camping trip, which is scheduled over New Year's.

Not much to report for this week so far, just busy at work and trying to recover from all my chores last weekend.

Tracy and I were off to Yoga again tonight, the instructor had us work on Chaturanga in slow motion, because she wanted to make sure our form was correct.  I could have told her that mine wasn't and she really didn't need to have us go through the torture of doing it in slow motion, I just would have admitted it and we could have moved on. :)

I want to welcome Paul Barton as our latest follower.  According to Paul's profile, he lives in Chula Vista California which is close to where I grew up in La Mesa and has one of our favorite spots, the Chula Vista RV Resort.

If you ever get a chance to stay there, do it, you won't be sorry.  Thanks for joining us Paul on our little adventure.  And thanks to all of you for the visit and I hope you are having a great week!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Whirlwind Weekend!

I look forward to long weekends because I can get alot of the chores that have been on the back burner done and this long weekend was no exception.

It started off with a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at my In-Laws and the installation of the new soft top on the Suzuki. 

Then Tracy and I were looking through the Black Friday ads and found a 7.5 foot artificial Christmas tree at Home Depot that was pre-lit for $59.00. I told Tracy that if I happened to get up early I would head down there and see if there were any left.  So at 6:30am my eyes were wide open and I could not get back to sleep, so off to Home Depot I went. When I arrived, there was an employee who was helping to load the trees in people's carts and there were three left.  So I had him load one up for me and I asked him if they had a display, which they didn't.  So I took a chance at an unseen tree and headed home. Below is the tree, we are pretty happy with our $59.00 purchase.
A shot without decorations
Shot with decorations

After my big BF purchase, it was time to put up the outside Christmas lights, since my neighbor Gary had already put his up three days earlier.  Here is a shot of the front of the house with the reindeer that purchased at Big Lots right after getting the tree. 

Once that was done, it was time to wash Tracy and Sarah's cars and change the oil in the Suzuki.

Once the oil was changed, I decided to degrease the engine and detail it.  I always forget to take the before picture, but here is the after, not bad huh?

I finished the day by mowing the lawn and cleaning up the lawn.

Today was housecleaning and wash in-between the college football games because Tracy was out with her Mom to see the three tenors at a dinner show. 

So Sunday will be church and a trip to Sarah's house in Tempe repair a flat tire on her bike so that she is ready for class next week. 

Boy I am tired and that is enough for this weekend, I hope yours was great and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Flipped My Lid!

Well I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, ours was great and we ate way too much as you can see.

Prior to going to my in-laws for a great afternoon of visiting and eating, I decided that I had time to install the soft top that I purchased on eBay for our new to us Suzuki Sidekick. 

So flipping the lid on the Suzuki was not an easy job, I let it sit out in the sun for a few days and that helped to stretch the material a little.  The old soft top was white vinyl and the windows had fogged up and the zipper in the rear window had broken, so it was time for an update.
Old White Vinyl Top
Half Way There
New Top Installed

The new soft top is made of a denim material rather than vinyl and once I got it installed, it looked great.

Well I have about five or six more projects this weekend including getting the Christmas lights and decorations up for this year. So I will sign off for now and I hope your long weekend is great.  Thanks for the visit!

Tracy, Sarah and I

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is here already, the days and weeks have been flying by and Christmas will be here before we know it.

Here are some pictures from the Gaylord National Hotel from my time in Washington DC last week.

Christmas Tree at the Gaylord National

View of the Potomac

View from our room

There are lots of projects on tap this long weekend and I will share those with you as the days progress.

I want to welcome Rod and Loyce Ivers of Retired Rod as our most recent followers.  I have enjoyed following Rod's Blog for many months and I would encourage you to visit his Blog as well.

I want to wish you and yours a very safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday and thanks for the visit.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Visiting Family In Charlottesville!

Meetings were finished in DC so I headed to the airport for a rental car and it was down the road to visit Tracy's brother and family in Virginia.

Tracy had been there since Thursday, having a great time. So I was headed down the road amongst the beautiful fall colors listening to Christmas carols on the radio.

The drive took over two hours, but I didn't care because the surroundings were great and the music got me into the season, even if a bit early.

My reward for the drive was to have a great lunch at one of my BIL's Baja Bean Company restaurants, boy was it good!

We are sadly heading home tomorrow morning, but it was great to spend time with our east coast family, boy are the kids growing up fast!

Hope you are having a great weekend, thanks for the visit and here are some pictures from our visit.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Up On The Hill Today!

I am President of a large Human Resources Association in Phoenix and each year HR leaders from all over the World gather for training and networking.

Part of that process includes a visit to Capitol Hill and to the offices of our respective Senators and Congressmen to talk about HR related issues. Today was that day, and about 300 of us visited the Hill.

The weather was overcast and cold, but thankfully there wasn't any wind or rain like last year.

What was like last year was that none of our State Representatives were available, so we met with their staffers. Surprise!

Below are some pictures of my day, hope yours was great and thanks for the visit!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My MVD Experience!

It was time to head down to the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to register our, new to us, Toad and I have to admit that I was really dreading it.  Yesterday was the observation of the Veteran's Day holiday and the office was closed, so I figured today would be absolutely crazy.  
People Making A Run For The Door!

Even though I had fear and trepidation, I bravely headed down to the MVD Office in Scottsdale, arriving at 8:45am.  The women at the counter, who looked like her best friend had just passed away asked me why I was there.  I thought for two seconds that I should maybe say something witty like I had nothing better to do, or I stopped by to see your smiling face and experience your engaging personality, but I thought better of it and just said I was there to register a car.

I went and took a seat amongst the sea of other people who looked like they would much rather be getting a Colonoscopy than waiting for their number to be called out on the big red board.  

Waiting For My Number To Be Called!

It was fun to see the dads and moms with their young (they really do look very, very young, the older I get) sons and daughters waiting nervously for their driving tests. Some of those parents looked like they had actually had a Colonoscopy and had not yet came out of the anesthesia. Could just be a reaction to their new insurance rates now that they have a 16 year old driver.

Anyway, I sat mesmerized by the flashing numbers and the computer generated voice that appeared to come from the heavens.  I kept looking at my little scrap of paper each time a number was called out and held back shouting out BINGO on a couple of occasions.    

Come On J995!
I had packed my mid morning snack, a thermos of coffee and my lunch, remembering the days of old at the MVD.  My number was J995 and as I watched and listened, I heard I, S, O, A, etc., etc., etc., but no J's.  Could the lady who so warmly greeted me have read my mind and gave me a number that would never be called?  Would I eat through all of my survival supplies and still be here with no dinner to consume?

But then it happened, J989 was called and flashed on the big red board, the tension grew and I held back a scream of excitement.  Then almost immediately following, I heard J990, J991, J992, I couldn't believe it, I was only half way through my box of Krispy Creme Donuts and then it happened, J995...BINGO!

I jumped up, gathering my cooler and supplies and headed to window 18 with a big smile on my face and a "good morning" to the women who appeared to be the twin sister of the greeter at the front door.  As good morning was partially out of my mouth, she said your number?  J995 of course and I held it up in self defense, so that she didn't leap over the desk and choke me into unconsciousness.  

She then said, why are you here?  I learned from my earlier experience with her twin at the front desk to only give her a very brief and precise response, which I did.  She said Title and Driver's License, which she very efficiently ripped from my hands and then she was off to the races.  

Her hands were flying all different directions, she was keying stuff into the computer, stamping papers, running things through her printer, all while talking to her co-worker on the telephone and then she said, that will be $24.68 and your registration is good for 15 months.  Hot dog, no emissions test until February 2014, shiny new AZ License Plates, Registration and Sticker, Title and we were out the door at 9:15am!

Wow, only 30 minutes out of my life and I was free to go.  I didn't even get time to start in on my lunch or play the electronic trivia game next to the big red board, but maybe next time...NOT!
No Time For Trivia!

I want to welcome Joe and Betty of Joe and Betty's Adventures as our most recent followers.  Stop on by and visit their blog to catch up on what they are up to. Welcome aboard you two, it is great to have you along for the ride!

Well I am off to Washington DC for meetings tomorrow and I hope to have some pictures to share with you later this week.  Until then, be safe out there and thanks for the visit.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm Just Odd I Suppose!

I have bought and sold more than twenty-five vehicles in my lifetime and I always made sure that they were clean and presentable.  It probably goes back to my retail days, when merchandising was always critical to making a sale.  In fact, there have been times that I have detailed a vehicle so well in preparation for sale, that I changed my mind and decided to hold on to it.

Well I just must be odd, because the gentlemen that I bought our toad from today did little of nothing to get it ready to sell.  When I drove it earlier in the week, I was surprised with how dirty it was inside and how much personal stuff was still in it.  I figured when we made the deal on the telephone and I told him that I would pick it up this morning at 9:00am that he would make some effort to clean it up and clean it out...I was wrong.

I was very uncomfortable driving the sidekick knowing that the tires were old and sun damaged.  I drove at the speed limit in the slow lane on the 101 and could not believe how aggressive the drivers were.  I have to admit that I am not use to driving the actual speed limit myself, but I don't think that I drive like the crazy people that were out this morning.   

I decided to head straight to Discount Tire to buy a new set of tires.  It appeared that my timing was good and they were not busy.  By the time we decided on which tires to go with, because I wanted something larger than stock, the waiting room filled up and there were five people in front of me.  Two hours later I was heading out and boy did the new tires make all the difference in the ride and in my confidence driving it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning, vacuuming and removing all of the prior owner's person affects.  I was absolutely amazed at the number of gum wrappers and used Kleenex that I found. I don't know if this guy had a sinus condition or what.  I also found a full role of toilet paper in a back storage compartment. I could see where this could be beneficial when you are out in the back country for the day, but I decided to throw it away with all of the other stuff.

Tracy reminded me that I didn't have to do everything today, but I just had to get the dirt and grime out of the vehicle so that I could be comfortable.  I should have done some before pictures, but I think I was too embarrassed that I bought a vehicle that was so dirty.

So I will leave you with an after picture with all of the dirt, grime and personal stuff gone, a set of new tires and a clean interior and exterior.  I still need to replace the soft top, which I will have to order and then detail the engine, before our next outing.  
Making Progress!

So that is it for today.  It is cold and rainy now so I am glad that I am inside, next to the fire with the heating pad on my back watching ASU football.  I hope your day was great and thanks for the visit.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Read The Fine Print!

We will be picking up our new toy this weekend and one thing that I noticed immediately is that it will need tires.  The current tires have a 2005 date code, so I know that it is time for a new set.  

Big O Tires has been advertising Buy 2, Get 2 Free this weekend all over the radio.  So I gave them a call and was told that it was only on select tires, did not include mounting, balancing and road hazard and required an alignment for $69.  

I thought the alignment would not be a bad idea, but my choice of tires were limited to three, which ranged from $129 - $159 each.  The first two were made in China and the Cooper Tire, which was the only one of the three I would consider was $159 each.  The total out the door would be close to $600.

So I called Discount Tire, where I usually do business and they had better tires and their out the door price was around $450, so much for the great Buy 2, Get 2 Free Sale.

It always amazes me when businesses insist on taking advantage of their customers, especially in this world of more educated and cost conscious buyers.  Needless to say, Discount will get my business and I know there won't be any fine print!

Hope your week has been great and that your weekend will even be better.  Take care, thanks for the visit and be careful out there!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Toy!

Well I have been looking for months for a Toad Tow Vehicle to haul behind Iris.  As much as we like relaxing in our camping spot, one of the downsides is not being able to explore our surroundings beyond hiking and biking.  

I have been looking at Trackers/Sidekicks and most are in bad to very bad shape at very high cost.  I happened to find one on Craigslist that the owner was attempting to sell as a package deal with his motor home, but I convinced his to sell it to me separately. 

My New Project!

I drove it last night and although it does not ride like a Cadillac, I have to remember that it is a four wheel drive and weighs less than 3000 pounds.

I can't say that Tracy is trilled with the idea of our new addition to the RV equipment family, but I think once we are out exploring, she will talk to me again. :-)

So more details to follow, I now have another project to keep me busy and I can't wait to get out and about.  Hope you are having a great week, thanks for the visit and don't forget to VOTE!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

Well we woke up this morning in our favorite spot at McDowell Mountain Park. We were surprised that the park was only about a third full, but it may still be too warm for some.

I cooked bacon, eggs and hash browns on the Coleman stove, glad we don't eat like that everyday, and then it was time for a hike to work it off.

We have been enjoying the cool breeze outside this afternoon while reading and catching up.

It will be time for another campfire and s'mores before we know it, this is sure the good life. Hope your weekend is going great and thanks for the visit!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween...Not So Much!

As kids grow up and move out of the house, things change, some of those changes are good, and some, not so much.  Halloween is one of those changes that is not so good in my opinion.  

As a family, we always looked forward to Halloween.  Picking out costumes, carving the pumpkin, attending Trunk R Treat events and taking the kids around the neighborhood to trick or treat.  

Now that our girls have grown up and are doing their own thing, Tracy and I are left to carve the pumpkin and prepare for the big day.  I have to say that our pumpkin does not look as good as the pumpkins that our daughters carved in prior years and I sure miss going house to house in the neighborhood with the girls. 

Looks a little like the Abominable Snowman

Along with our situation changing, our neighborhood is changing as well.  As the girls were growing up, we would typically have 75-100 trick or treaters and each year, that number has been reduced significantly.  

Scarecrows in Place!
Last night we were all set up and ready to go with the pumpkins glowing, the scarecrows all in place and the candy bowl brimming to the top with every type of sweet treat.  Tracy and I were ready to answer the door and hear trick or treat and see all of the cute costumes.  
Pumpkins Glowing!
Very Few Kids To Greet :(
We were prepared, but we only ended up having about 15 kids, which was really disappointing.  At the end of the night, we still had a half a bag of candy sitting in the kitchen and no kids to give it to.  

So after a lackluster night, I asked Tracy to take the candy to work, because I knew that it would start calling to me as soon as I arrived home from work and I certainly don't need those extra calories.  

So we will take down the decorations tonight, throw the wilting pumpkin in the garbage and get ready for our second camping trip of the season this weekend.  That should certainly help to pull us out of our funk for sure.

I hope your Halloween night was safe and happy and thanks for the visit!