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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fill'r Up!

Tracy always lets me know how many Safeway gas discounts that we have and today was the day to use our nine credits before they were gone at the end of this month.

As many have reported, we have had rain all weekend long and I wanted to head out between the downpours.even though I worked in the office yesterday, I still was feeling that I hadn't accomplished much this weekend, so off Iris and I went for the 8-10 mile drive to the Safeway gas station.

We left the house with blue sky's and sunshine and by the time we hit Scottsdale Road and the 101, the sky's were dark and the wind and rain were coming down with a vengeance. I stayed in the far right lane doing between 60-65 and these two big boys passed me like I was sitting still. I would imagine that they are up higher than me and can see better, but I still don't think I would travel at that speed under those conditions.

Got to Safeway and saw two pumps on one side that were wide open. I drove right in and had to back up a few feet to get aligned with the pump. I saw a women in my driver's side mirror shaking her fist at me. When I got out of Iris she said you need to learn how to drive, you almost ran me over. I said I was sorry and asked her if she saw my back up lights. She said she did, so I asked her why she walked behind the motor home while I was backing up? She walked away without saying anything else, hopefully she won't do that again anytime soon.

Iris wasn't as low on fuel as I had thought, so I was only able to take advantage of buying 20 gallons at $2.25 per gallon, saving 90 cents per gallon. Not bad, huh?

But Iris is now completely fueled up and ready for our next adventure in a couple of weeks. So now I have accomplished something and I feel much better, so I can watch golf, have a beer and take a nap...not a bad reward!

Hope your weekend has been great and your week will be even better! Be safe out there and thanks for the visit!

Kevin
Moving faster than I would feel comfortable doing!
Here comes his friend!
Saved $18.82!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Houston

Well I survived the dentist and my wallet is now $740 lighter then when I arrived. It was neat how he created my porcelain crown while I waited, saving me a temporary and having to return to the dentist.

I flew out to Houston today for a client meeting tomorrow. The year has started out with a bang and I am going to be busy over the next few months, but hopefully not too busy to get a few camping trips in.

I am back home tomorrow night and Tracy and I are scheduled to attend Financial Peace University at our church. We have been following Dave Ramsey's financial principals for years and it has made a world of difference for us. It will be nice to finally attend FPU!

Well that is it for now, time to get ready for our client meeting tomorrow. Hope your week is going great and thanks for the visit!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

No Barrett Jackson and off to the Lake!

Last year I had a great time at the Barrett Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, posting lots of great pictures from the event. Last year a friend of mine worked the event and offered me free tickets, this year he is working the event again, but no free tickets.  :-(

I checked out the price of tickets and they started at $25 on Wednesday and went to $45 per person on Saturday, with parking costing $30.  So although I'm not a cheap skate, I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much, so maybe next year.  Besides, I have enjoyed watching the auction the last few nights on TV, including the Batmobile, which went for $4.2M all from the comfort of my very own recliner and beer didn't cost me $12 each. 

Tracy and I had a date day yesterday, which included taking the Tin Can out for a drive to Saguaro Lake and lunch at the lake restaurant. It was such a beautiful day at the lake, we decided to eat our lunch outside on the patio.  Since it was just Tracy and I, they wanted to wedge us into a small table for two up against the wall, with people right up against us on both sides.  I am a friendly guy, but I had no intention of sharing our lunch conversation with two other couples that we didn't know and I'm sure they wouldn't have appreciated it either. 

So I asked if we could sit at a four top and was told that they had to hold those for the bigger groups, which I certainly understand, but there were at least 20 of them open.  Well not to make a scene, I asked if we could move to another table for two, that offered a little more elbow room and they obliged us.  
A Kitty Joined Us For Lunch
Boat Tour Heading Out
Water Was Calm
View From Our Table

Our lunch was only okay, Tracy ordered her turkey sandwich dry with no onions, because she has an onion allergy. Although they served it correctly, they placed a large onion on her plate and then piled her french fries partially on top of it, go figure.

Well by the time we left the restaurant, two of the twenty or so four tops were in use, guess they didn't get the run they expected.  Needless to say, we won't be rushing back to the restaurant at Saguaro Lake again anytime soon. 

As we drove around the lake we saw signs saying that we needed a permit to park and go hiking.  When we asked were to get the permit, they said that we needed to buy one in Fountain Hills prior to getting there, so we weren't able to park and go hiking unfortunately. 

We did see lots of motorcycles on the Bush Highway, and found out this morning when we read Rod Ivers' Blog Retired Rod, that he took a spin up the Bush Highway yesterday as well.  We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and calm water, and it sure beat the freezing weather last weekend.

From there we traveled over to Fountain Hills and enjoyed a walk around the lake as the fountain was blasting off.  It was sure a nice day and I was so happy that we were able to get out and about to enjoy the wonderful sunshine.  I would like to welcome Teri as our 71st follower.  Teri doesn't list a blog of her own, but we sure welcome her aboard. 

The Fountain's History
Blast Off!
I hope your weekend has been great.  I will be traveling to Houston for a few days next week for business, so I hope your week goes well and be safe out there! Thanks for the visit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thawing Out Finally!

Well after six long days, things are starting to thaw out here in Arizona.  In the shade, it is still very cold, but I actually walked to lunch this afternoon and it was very nice.  

I haven't been doing much around the house other than attempting to stay warm and to keep the plants from being wiped out from the cold.  Unfortunately I think I have lost the battle on the plants, so we will get to look at brown and ugly instead of green and beautiful for the next few months.  They are warning people not to cut back the dead stuff until mid February in case we have another cold snap.  

We have a couple RV trips booked for February, one at McDowell Mountain Park and the other back at Cave Creek.  We are hoping that things will warm up by then so that we can do some hiking and exploring in the Tin Can.

I have been working on our generator for the last few days, it has a surging problem under a load, so I replaced the oil, the spark plug and the air filter as well as cleaned the carburetor with Seafoam hoping that would solve the problem, but no luck so far.  

I have gotten some pointers from RV.net and it appears that I might be able to smooth things out by adjusting the Sensitivity Adjustment Screw on the Governor Shaft, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will work so I don't have to take the rig in for repair and pay the big bucks.


I have sure enjoyed reading all of the blog posts regarding the big party over in Quartzsite, looks like the RV Show is going to be great and I can't wait for us take part in those events in the years to come.  

I hope your week is off to a great start and that your travels are safe and enjoyable.  Thanks for the visit and take care!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Freezing!

Well we knew that this weekend was going to be a cold one and we tried to do our best to cover things up, but I'm sure we will lose many of our plants this weekend unfortunately.

We woke up to freezing temperatures and frost on the lawn and vehicles yesterday morning and today was no different.

Tracy was planing to buy me an electric fireplace/heater at Christmas for our motor home, but everyplace was sold out. So Friday I happened to notice them in the Camping World ad for $89.00. So I took nice drive down to Mesa and was surprised to find that they had several left in stock. We can now enjoy a little heat and the ambiance of a fire when it is too cold at the campground to have a real one.

We got a call from Sarah wanting to do a SAM's Club run to fill up her kitchen at school. She also needed to go to Harbor Freight to get some items for a her wood and metal working classes at school. HF is one of my favorite stores to visit, so I was all in. I never thought that I would be visiting HF with Sarah, but you just never know.

So we are off to church, breakfast with friends and football this afternoon. I hope your day is great, thanks for stopping by and if you are in AZ, stay warm!

Our new fireplace, takes the edge off
Frost on the lawn
The Tin Can is cold
Burr, this is Arizona?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hitched!

Well the weather here in Arizona has been getting colder each day and it is supposed to be freezing this weekend.

With that in mind, I decided that I needed to get my projects done today to avoid the discomfort of working with frozen hands.

I mentioned in my prior post that I wanted to install a hitch on the Tin Can for use with our new bike rack. So I rushed home and began the project that supposedly was to take 30 minutes according to the instructions.

All four bolts that I needed to remove from the rear bumper guard were frozen and two would not budge. I used penetrating oil and was finally able to get the two tough ones to break loose.

Two hours later, the hitch was installed, the new bike rack was put together and attached and we were go to go!

So with my project done I will spend the weekend watching football and staying warm, hopefully you are doing the same and thanks for the visit!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breathing Easy!

Well my one hour project to clean and replace the absolutely clogged EGR Valve turned into multiple days as I had to wait for the replacement gasket.  The information that I found on the internet really helped me to get this project done and probably saved a few bucks besides.  

The websites said that the replacement gaskets were hard to come by, so I ordered it through AutoZone based on that information.  Because I am not good at waiting, I decided to call my local Napa on Saturday and although they didn't carry it in the store, they ordered it for me and had it by noon on Monday.  The gasket was cheaper at Napa than at AutoZone and I did not have to pay shipping.  I sent AutoZone an email regarding their slow ordering processes and received a bunch of excuses back, so I know where all my future parts will be ordered. 

So I headed home yesterday and had everything buttoned back up on the Tin Can in anticipation of the moment of truth...turning the key.  I did just that and the Tin Can fired right over, the check engine light was off and I thought I heard the Tin Can breath a sigh of relief, as much as to say, I can finally breath!

I did take a test drive around the block and there seemed to be greater pep and get up and go and the gassy smell that used to come out of the exhaust pipe seemed to be gone.  So at this point, I will say that my endeavor was successful and now I can move on to my next project, which is installing a receiver hit on the Suzuki to enable us to take our bikes out on our next adventure.  

So that is all that is fit to report today, I hope you are all breathing easy as well as you are out and about on your adventures.  Wherever and whatever you are doing, do it safely and enjoy.  Thanks for the visit.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

All Plugged Up!

Although I have had a cold the last few weeks, I am not talking about me this time, but the EGR Valve in our new to us Suzuki Sidekick, fondly referred to as the Tin Can.  As you may remember from our earlier post, the check engine light came on during our very first adventure in our toad, which was a little disheartening.

But as my friend who has the same vehicle warned me, you will always be working on something on it.  So I used the Suzuki Forum to read the codes for free using a paperclip and then researched the code and the fix.  The forum had some great videos that walked me through each of the steps to remove and clean the EGR Valve, which was extremely helpful.  For me, pictures and videos always work best.

The nice thing is that there is plenty of space under the hood of the Suzuki, making it very easy to get to and remove the EGR Valve.  As you can see in the pictures, that black plug is hard carbon buildup from the exhaust, which was not easy to remove.
Lots Of Work Space

EGR Valve All Plugged Up

Manifold Side Plugged Too!

Nice And Clean Again!

Thank goodness for my Dremel and grinding stones, which made the job much easier.  I ordered the replacement gasket from Autozone on New Year's Day and it is not scheduled to arrive from Memphis until Tuesday.  Their shipping cost was over $5 for a $2 gasket, they must be sending it via the Pony Express.  I won't be ordering parts from them again anytime soon.

So I won't know for sure until the gasket arrives and I put everything back together if my repair was successful, but I have to believe that just like my nasal passages where plugged over the holidays and I couldn't breath, the Tin Can should breath much easier now. 

I hope you are breathing easy and enjoying the weekend.  Thanks for the visit and take good care.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back In The Swing Of Things!

Well after a much needed and very enjoyable Christmas and New Year's Holiday, it was time to get back into the swing of things.  Our kids made it back to Oregon safe and sound and celebrated their third wedding anniversary on New Year's Day...hard to believe they have been married for three years already. Congratulations Stephanie and Randy!

Our business was busy between the holidays, it is always nice that I can work from any location as long as I have my iPhone and a WiFi connection, technology is great!

We have been having freeze warnings at night, so we are in the routine of covering up the plants each night, looks kind of funny seeing everyone's old bed sheets out front in the neighborhood.  You can tell alot about people based on their bedsheets :).

Like with the RV Forums that I frequent, I have found great help from members of the Suzuki Forum that I am a part of after the check engine light came on in our toad last week. The forum members sent me links to videos to be able to check the trouble code by using a paperclip and it worked great.  I wish that I could do that with my other cars instead of having to pay between $60-$100 to get a diagnosis.  The paperclip method gave me code 51 which indicates an EGR Valve issue, which appears to be a frequent problem with these vehicles.

So I did more research on the forum and found how to remove and clean the carbon deposits from the EGR Valve which is supposed to fix the problem, looks fairly easy, so I will undertake that challenge this weekend....wish me success. 

I hope your week is going great and that you are staying warm wherever your travels have taken you.  I want to welcome Wandrin Lloyd as our most recent follower. Lloyd has a great blog that I have been following appropriately entitled Wanderin' and according to his latest post, his year is off to a successful start and he is feeling great!     Welcome aboard Lloyd and glad to have you along for the ride.  Thanks for the visit and stay safe out there!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Fun!

Well I hope everyone's New Year's Eve was safe and enjoyable.  We were still camping, so our evening was spent trying to stay warm.

In my recap of our 2012 blogging yesterday, I mentioned that I hoped we would have the opportunity to meet some our followers and fellow bloggers during some of our upcoming adventures. 

Well it didn't take long for that to happen I am happy to report, Ingrid of Live Laugh RV has been a follower of our blog for several months and she left a comment on our blog that she, her husband Al and their Brittany Spaniel Bear where camping at Cave Creek as well and they were in Space 33. 

When I read her comment, I looked out the door of our RV and their space was directly across the street, small world.  We took a hike up to the Clay Mine and when we returned, Ingrid came across the street to introduce herself.  After a very nice conversation, she invited us to drop by their site before we left. 
Space 33 - A Stones Throw Away!
Visiting The Mine!
Tracy had to work on New Year's Eve, so I used the Tin Can (Suzuki Sidekick) to run her back and forth to work until the Check Engine Light came on and I decided to change cars, even though the Tin Can was not running poorly. 

When we got back to camp, we decided to grab a bottle of wine and head over to Ingrid and Al's 5er for a visit and we are glad that we did.  After quick introductions, we settled in and talked about a host of subjects, while enjoying the wine and brownies that Ingrid had just made, they were sure good! 

They have been trying to decide whether they will go full-time in the near future, so it was great for us to hear them talk about their plans.  We sure enjoyed our time with them, appreciate their hospitality and look forward to connecting with them again in the future, safe and enjoyable travels to you guys.

As always, the sunsets were beautiful, unfortunately it was way too cold to stay outside to enjoy them very long.

Nice Sunset!

Well we sure enjoyed our time at Cave Creek Regional Park and can't wait to book our next trip.  But until then, it is time to get back to the work routine and of course to get the Tin Can back up and running.

We want to welcome the following new followers to our little adventure, they are Encourage One AnotherTRISCAIDECAFOBIA, Raquel CrusoƩ and Joe V. Thanks for joining us and welcome aboard. I hope your new year is off to a great start and thanks for stopping by!