ARIZONA TO ALASKA

DATELINE TAYLORSVILLE, KENTUCKY

By: joealaska, 4:31 PM GMT on April 27, 2014

Yes, I was tired after yesterday. Went to bed early but could not sleep.

I hate moving. And I almost always have done it by myself. I had to clean out the apartment, which was not that bad, but it took time and I wanted my damage deposit back. I still have a bad taste in my mouth after leaving Dutch. That landlord stood me up at the last minute for an inspection of the place. Then after I was gone they sent me a note saying they were keeping my $300 because of some damages and the place being left dirty. I spent three or four days cleaning it, I knew he was coming. But he did not show and it was his word against mine.

So I got that done on Saturday just as Dotmom and Yella came by to help me take a bed back that I was using. That was taken care of. Now Dotmom was going to help me out and drive me over to New Albany, Indiana to pick up the restless and waiting LEGGS. Then I was surprised to hear BIG JOE was going to come along. He normally likes to stay close to the house nowadays. But he had yet to visit LEGGS in person, plus now they would follow me out to Taylorsville and see my new hood.

We got out here with no problems. The girl at the front gate here was a little confused, and I thought there was a last minute problem with the campsite. But that was not the case. So I am now camped among the horses. As I type they are saddling one up in the next campsite over, about 50 feet away. It is all good with the horses, nice to see them riding around. Lots of horse sounds. One guy just drove by and he had a trailer with a few horses. One of them was screaming at the other horses tied up nearby, who all had wide eyes and perked ears. Horse talkin’.

The only problem are the kids around here. I know, I know. This is kid country. I am in THEIR territory. I am in a campsite that is a few hundred feet from a kids play area. It is a state park. I glanced at the rules they have out here, and there is a supposedly a QUIET TIME starting at 10 or 11 PM. Not sure. Normally that is no problem as I tend to stay up a bit later. Not last night. I laid down and had the windows open. Th evening was cooling down, but the RV was still warm from the day. I had my generator running for a while, but turned it off late, around 10. That is when I tried to go to sleep, but the kids were playing still. I figured the noise would stop soon as everyone started getting ready for bed. WRONG Dogface. I mean they were SCREAMING and HOLLERING. I was wondering what kind of parents they had, then it hit me...SMART. Smart parents. Send those screamers off to the playground until they were all screamed out and ready for bed. Then, and only then, should you come back Johnny. I bet it was a lot quieter at the parents campsite than it was at mine. It went on and on, and I just put up with it. It was so bad that I thought CERTAINLY this can’t be a common thing out here. Night #2 approacheth...

It is a nice area, scenic, and right now...quiet.

I took an hour to assemble my new BBQ grill after I was set up at the site. A basic device that was made way to complicated. I bought it because it was cheap and on sale. But this one has a hinged lid, as well as a rack inside that serves a warmer tray.. The warmer moves as you open and close the damn thing. Hell, all I needed was a bucket and a lid.

I left the cats back at the apartment while I brought the RV to Taylorsville. I actually went back to Louisville and picked then up, about 75 extra miles. I put them in cat carriers. I knew it was coming, but you are never really ready. The yowl fest. Fluff does it for a while, then calms down. Dutchie is unreal. It was worse then ever this time. I was timing it, one intense MEOW / YOWL every second One per second. Never stopping. The best way I handle it is mock everything she does. It surprises her, sometimes she loses her concentration. But only for a bit. She is relentless. But I watched her, and as she screamed and cried, she was rolling around on her back and waving her paws staring at me, like she was almost having a good time. Maybe she was just messing with me. I stopped for some food at the local store 8 miles away, then went camping.

The cats immediately hid under the blankets on the bed, but it was quiet. Eventually Fluff was out sniffing around, Dutchie was hiding until after dark. But they were out and checking out the window views. They did not want to go out in any way. Too early for that. Fine.

After I finish this, I move the RV to my permanent location for the next month. This place is full, and they were unable to keep me in the same spot the entire period. One day off. But now I set up for good. The space is one spot over. 50 feet closer to that playground.

The refrigerator is not working, but I believe I know what is wrong and it will be fixed tomorrow, hopefully. Steve and Becky, previous owners, had just bought the RV when Steve passed away. Becky was only able to show me general info regarding the vehicle, a lot based on her knowledge of the RV they owned before this one. So I knew there would be hiccups, no big deal. Frankly the refrigerator may be an easy fix.

Hope to post pics later. Move the RV. Cook out lunch. I got stuff to do.

Buying the tow dolly tomorrow.

Tornado chance the next couple days. A nice breeze just came through...

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DISCONNECT TV

By: joealaska, 2:40 AM GMT on April 24, 2014

Last time we talked I was wasting time driving through and around the massive construction of a 2nd bridge to carry I-65. I bought the tripod (when I asked #1 Installer about WHAT tripod, I asked him if they were all the same - universal? I was told yes. I bought the ONLY tripod this huge place carried and felt good. And I was also feeling good (shortly the courts may ask you to verify this under oath) knowing BEN was an RV owner himself and my installer.

So I drove back to New Albany, Indiana NEXT DAY. Yesterday the guy (BEN) showed up right on time in that 4 hour window. I arrived a bit early and grabbed some fast food. I unpacked some stuff I had stored underneath and put it away in the RV. He showed up 3 hours after I got there. I do admit I learned a lot just sitting there.

Then I see the van approaching...Direct TV. New driver No Ben. The New Guy was stunned when I asked if he knew it was for an RV. He admitted that was a first for him. I told him the back story, and he said I got the wrong tripod.

He called the boss.

All I emphasized when I was being “SOLD” was RV. RV that moves. Tires. You know RV mounting is tough? Are you sure? They did not understand.

There was a flurry of calls. Ben got in the loop. Finally the installer told me if I got a certain antenna from someone out there, they could probably do the job. He also suggested I call a big local RV dealer and see if they had any suggestions.

I called Direct TV and directed them to cancel the “TV”.

Now I am looking into a few streaming deals. All a slave to the telephone tower proximity.

Today I went and registered LEGGS. It went pretty smoothly. I had all the paperwork my story was pretty basic. Guy living in Louisville with an Alaska drivers license buys an RV in Indiana from a guy who just died. YADDA. When I walked up to the lady at Motor Vehicles, waiting in line for over an hour, I told her I felt like I was taking the last few steps of a long journey. I asked her BE GENTLE. She was. I am now licensed and legal.

4 weeks ago I was talking to a dealer about the tow dolly. He was out of them and he was expecting a bunch of them soon. I called him a couple days ago and he was still waiting. Any minute.

It continues.

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GOTTA LAUGH

By: joealaska, 12:55 AM GMT on April 22, 2014

It was overcast most of today and it still got to 80. Already getting too hot.

When I left Dutch last April, I brought a library of photos that I had edited only lightly. 10,000 photos and more. I had to go through them and either delete, or name them and SAVE. It is now over a year, and I just crashed through the halfway mark. 4900 to go. Obviously not a high priority, but I wanted to get it done NOW. I plan on taking a lot of photos shortly. I can do it in my sleep, but it gets OLD real quick. I do it watching TV. But after a half hour, maybe 45 minutes, I gotta quit.

Today I packed up another load of stuff and headed over to New Albany, Indiana. Was meeting Direct TV between noon and 4 PM. The guy pulled up at noon. Young guy, I liked him right away. After I had talked to 4 different people at Direct TV, I stumbled on a rookie who got it done. Young girl who admitted she was new. But she gave me positive answers.

The guy who came by today was Ben. He was just an installer, a subcontractor for Direct TV.

I had predicted with my friends, and I thought I mentioned it here, but maybe not... I bet that the person driving up for the installation would not know an RV was installed until right then. It was the most important fact, the reason everyone had trouble getting the system installed right. But it did not phase BEN. He was an RV owner himself (my first lucky break). But he immediately saw a problem. I was going to have an antenna that was not attached to the vehicle, but on a wire. I have to bring it outside when I camp and aim it toward the southwest. I may need to move it a bit for prime results. But then its set for however long I am there.

This mobile antenna requires a tripod to mount it. Direct TV does not sell those, nor BEN. So he told me where to go nearby to get what I needed, and said I should re-schedule. It would be quick to come back out.

Still. I got something DONE by moving more stuff into LEGGS. LOTIS2 asked me about moving in and whether there was enough room. FIRST, I really do not own many possessions since Alaska.
I will leave a few items in the basement of those KENTUCKYS, stuff I truly will not need. Like desktop knicknacks. Not in an RV. Yes, there is a ton of storage in there. But mainly for smaller items. I can take the iMac and flatscreen TV, but not their boxes. I have a nice fold up table that would be good for outside. Too big for Leggs. So the plan is to use RED ROVER. I can put that table and more in there while traveling.

If it don’t. The hell with it.

UK, I will let the place I am buying the tow-dolly show me how to use it. Having not owned it, have not used it. But in 1982, I took a rental truck and towed WHITE DOVER from Louisville to San Francisco. White Dover was a Toyota Corolla. THAT was a bit more tricky, as it required the extra step of disconnecting the drive train while towing it.

Probably can handle this new version.

I spent an hour in southern Indiana looking for this huge RV supercenter. The new construction of a huge bridge across The Ohio River has really screwed up traffic on both sides. I got off the freeway and saw the RV place right away. Drove right by it on the exit ramp. I could have spit on an RV as I drove by. I had no option but to go a mile further, as most roads were closed. It took almost an hour to get back where I could drive IN. About $70 later I headed home. Everything is scheduled again for tomorrow. BEN says he will be the guy returning.

I saw a new show advertised on Discovery about some guy jumping off Mt. Everest. I THINK it was someone with those plastic bat wings. But we will never know. Looks like it has been cancelled after the Mt. Everest avalanche a couple days ago. It had been advertised for mid-May, “weather permitting.” Like it was going to happen live.

Speaking of new show, I saw FARGO, a new series on FX based on the movie. Billy Bob Thornton stars. It looks pretty good. The spirit of the movie was picked up very well. Only ten shows planned. It is on right after Deadliest Catch, which starts tomorrow (TUES). Watch Deadliest Catch, then turn on FX at 10 PM.

Supposed to rain tonight.

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ONE WEEK TO TAYLORSVILLE

By: joealaska, 1:54 AM GMT on April 20, 2014

A couple weeks ago I bought a dozen eggs. Out of those 12, 4 of them were double yokes. Thought you would like to know.

It took many calls from me to reach someone who could do the fire inspection I needed to register Leggs. There were only two options. After about 24 hours I reached both of them. One guy would go to Leggs over in New Albany. But he said it would be a few days. The other guy is a fireman with Buechel Fire Department. He is working on Easter, and I said FINE. Tomorrow I take the big dog out for another walk. The longest yet. Central metro Louisville, south side. Hikes Point. But it is Easter and I expect OK traffic.

Today I had lunch on The Ohio River with the Kentuckies and Yella. Afterwards, I was off to New Albany, Indiana (HOME OF FUZZY ZOELLER) to visit Leggs. I had a car full of small stuff. My thinking was just get it in a grocery bag with like items. I also took this opportunity (actually it was THE reason I went there today) to check the STANDARD Carbon Monoxide in the RV, as well as the fire extinguisher (I will get a dozen of those). The extinguisher was good. The carbon monoxide detector was batteryless. I took it out of its mount and brought it home with me. I put good batteries in and it fired up.

I just do not want to fail on a technicality and have to drive the big pig back and forth again. The fire guy I talked to asked what I was driving. When I told him, he said I would have no problem. Still, I wanted to check. And it paid off. I tested it after putting batteries in and it made the familiar squeal. The cats ran for cover. I re-tested several times.

Monday I meet the TV installer between 12 and 4 PM. It will take a couple hours when he shows. I am waiting for a doofus to walk up and express surprise I have an RV. After that was the main topic of the entire sales conversation.

Come Tuesday I still need to register HERSELF and that will be the END of the government crap.

A GREAT afternoon and evening here in KY. 80 degrees.

I saw it got below 0 in Barrow, Alaska yesterday. Around 40 in Dutch. I talked to them a few days ago, they are moving out of my old warehouse. Just across the freight yard. Big changes going on.

One week.

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THUNDER OVER LOUISVILLE

By: joealaska, 1:59 AM GMT on April 16, 2014

Monday night 58 degrees in Louisville at 8PM. Some nice showers moving through. In 6 hours we lose 30 degrees, hopefully the LAST gasp of winter. Probably what Iaotter had in Iowa, but here the few flakes of wet snow melt very quickly. There were a couple of snow showers but no accumulation.

Bad night for seeing the Blood Moon. Just like the Northern Lights in Anaktuvuk Pass. If the clouds are blocking the view, it ain’t no view. Oh well, all kinds of pictures floating around today. Three more chances to see another one on the near future.

I saw the 10 day forecast for Dutch a few days ago. Almost every day was high of 39, snow showers. WET SNOW.

Over the weekend Dotmom and I went to Thunder Over Louisville. It is a full day starting as an air show and ending as a fireworks display. It was the 25th year anniversary. First time I ever went to one, and it was pretty impressive.

The show started around 3 PM, Blue Angels scheduled at 3:38. We went down to Cox’s Park on the river. Decent crowd, but no hassle to get to where we wanted to sit. There was a group of RVs there. They were all barbecuing and had their generators humming. I wondered if they even knew about THUNDER? Or cared? Meanwhile, Dot and I were sitting on large driftwood next to the water waiting for planeage. Nothing. Then a glimpse of something that could have been a plane for a couple seconds....but no. We were still a couple miles from downtown, but we had the impression the planes made runs down the river a ways. Certainly there were thousands of others who were sitting near us expecting the same thing.

But having noticed the crowd was not that bad, I suggested to Dot we head into town and see what happens. Mom agrees. “Let’s bounce.” Actually this was our game plan from the start. We did not want to fight the crowds, but we wanted to see some cool planes. The Blue Angels were now barely in view, having just started their gig. We headed west on River Road. Soon we were right where we wanted to be, by The Big Four Railroad Bridge. And we were in an interesting situation where traffic was backed up to a stand still. As Blue Angels roared overhead. PERFECT.

We had good seats! It eventually started moving slowly. Just before where they had blocked the road and were forcing everyone off left, a line of cars were pulled over illegally along the curb. As if they were maybe dropping off someone, but not really. More like watching planes. They were just sitting in their cars which were still running. I pulled in with them. When someone came by and say LEAVE, I would have. Nobody came by.

Then I saw a Chinese family pull in behind me. I saw them PARK, and leave. There were signs everywhere. NO STOPPING OR PARKING DURING THUNDER. I got out of the car and took pictures as I stood there. Police went by in various vehicles, not even a look at us. We stayed until the Angels were done, then we were GONE.

That air show went until well after dark. An F-22 made an appearance. After dark, planes were performing with elaborate lighting, or even fireworks coming off them.

Then at last, fireworks. It was billed as the Largest Fireworks Display in North America. After I watched it, I believed them. But I hate these types of claims. Largest in WHAT terms? Acreage? Most expensive? Most bombs exploded.? I am thinking the last one. No matter. It lasted over 28 minutes, started strong and finished strong. 650,000 people watched from all over the city, but mainly along the river right downtown. I watched the fireworks from my place on TV. I was about 5 miles away, but I could hear the live explosions through my open patio door as I watched the TV.

Someone programmed music to go with it all. They chose to take just a bit of a song, maybe 15 seconds each. 28 minutes long, it was a LOT of songs tied together. And what I liked is they covered just about all genres possible. I even filmed some of it off the TV it was so good.

A few weeks prior there was a big fight downtown on the waterfront. It was unusual, came out of nowhere. So there were fears there would be trouble at THUNDER or other events downtown. Not the case. I heard SIX arrests, 3 alcohol related, nothing else worth discussing. And the crowd dispersed pretty nicely afterward. Many people, but over a large area.

I think it would be worth fighting the crowd over this thing. Would like to show up early and be prepared for a long day of fun. Maybe next year? Who the hell knows where I will be? Death Valley?

Today I took LEGGS into Louisville to get inspected and registered. I had called several agencies to make sure I was ready. I do not want to do a lot of city driving.

Headed out to Dixie Highway on the west side of town. Three lanes of heavy traffic. It all went well getting there. Too well. This was my first time SOLO. Last time Becky’s son came along if I had any questions. He drives a big rig for a living, as well as fire trucks. It was OK, but all the crying and terror screams became annoying.

As soon as I stepped into the place I was in trouble. I told the NICE lady who I interrupted I wanted an inspection and registration. She asked if I had my fire inspection. Never heard of it. She gave me two phone numbers I could call. Both went to voice mail before 1 PM today, have not heard back from either.

Tomorrow AM I fight that battle. Somewhere in the next couple days I feel spending a few more grand.

Watching a Deadliest Catch, next week is the start of nest season. Pretty interesting with the rebuild of Time Bandit covered in detail, as well as a quick coverage of the Time Bandit crew man getting seriously injured handling (SURPRISE) fireworks. I think he lost that hand or at least fingers.

Tired. Done for now. Moving out in 10 days. Fluffer the Cat Gargantua will be moving into her 10th home in 14 years. Just another place to sleep.

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MASTERS WEEKEND

By: joealaska, 5:34 PM GMT on April 11, 2014

UK had a close call for sure. That truck driver did good. A guy I worked with years ago was killed by a wrong way driver. He just pulled out from behind a truck on a multi-lane interstate to pass and another car was right there coming his way. You never know when your time has come. Glad to hear UK is still with us. Personally, I would like to see one of those 70 mph roundabouts over here. Set up a couple cameras and sit back. REALITY TV!

It was a beautiful day in Louisville Thursday. Had to golf, and I did. It has been one year now that I have been in Louisville. I have been trying to play all the golf courses that I used to play MANY years ago. I knocked an odd one off that list today...Shawnee. It is on the far side of the OTHER side of town. Along the Ohio River. Because it was so far away, I usually played other courses closer. It has been at least 20 years. My memories of the course were different than what I saw today. I thought it was a bunch of holes back and forth along each other. WRONG. There are a LOT of trees, many of which I met personally today. The course is bisected by I-64, a major interstate. It crosses as it turns into The New Albany Bridge, a big Ohio River Bridge.

Shortly after I started I saw a group of jets pass by at a low altitude. There is a big show here in town this weekend, Thunder Over Louisville. A big air show downtown over the river Saturday afternoon, then it turns into lotsa fireworks after dark. Obviously these jets were in town early for practice or just a warm up for the locals. They buzzed downtown most of the afternoon, and they were over Shawnee Park constantly. Only after I looked later at a photo I took could I see for sure they were The Blue Angels. Pretty cool to see so close.

The course was OK. But it was hard against The Ohio River, which I found interesting. The back nine holes had obviously been flooded recently, I am sure it was the river overflowing. At one point a tug pushing a dozen barges came by, then pulled into the shore just a hundred feet away. I was so close I saw a few workers hammering at something between a couple of barges. All I know is that I left them behind as I played on.

The high point was #18, where I hit a 30 foot putt for a par.

Yesterday I dealt with New Jersey. I had gotten a piece of mail regarding my not paying toll in New Jersey a month ago. It said I owed them $2.90 for toll, and $50.00 administration fee. Before I got too pissed off I saw that most of the notice I got showed you how to dispute the charge of 50. So I did. They gave me three lines of space, and said to be detailed. I told them to “see attached” and gave them a page and a half. Hope they appreciate the local jargon I used.

Last big hurdle with LEGGS is registration. Now I hear they want to inspect the RV first. OH, and now I see they want signatures notarized on the title. Now that they are already signed. How can anything be done nowadays without notarizing? I have been taking my stuff over to the RV a few times, planning on being fully (not fooly) packed by the 26th.

Will watch a lot of THE MASTERS golf tournament this weekend as I pack up.

SPRING!

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DRIVE WITH THE LEGGS

By: joealaska, 4:49 PM GMT on April 03, 2014

I got Leggs, now I have to learn how to use her.

So yesterday I FINALLY went and drove that big dog. I know that is probably the way most people buy an RV. Pay cash, then a month later test drive it. I only looked at it the one other day a couple months ago, so there were a couple details I had missed. It has a drivers side door! And a screen door in the main side entrance.

The test drive went pretty well. No real incidents to report. Took out a couple mail boxes, big whoop. First I drove around the neighborhood where it had been sitting, New Albany, Indiana. The roads were narrow, and it was just a way to get the feel of driving it. Then we went out onto city streets. I saw three police cars doing routine patrol in the first 10 minutes. It would have been a good story to get a speeding ticket on my first drive, but I backed off. I learned first hand there are still blind spots, even with all the mirrorage and rear view camera. Folks are friendly enough to give you a reminder toot if you start to run them off the road.

Then we hit the freeway. It was all pretty quick. There will be plenty of time to get used to driving. I will be one of those guys holding everyone up and not really caring.

It has been a real battle trying to get internet and TV for Leggs. Unless I am willing to spend a bunch of money, the internet will be operational only when I am in range of cell phone towers. No satellite. That means I will be out of internet range at times. The TV should be good unless I am blocked by mountains or something. I will continue to look for reasonable options.

I even loaded some of my stuff in the RV yesterday, just to get started.

Spring has finally arrived. My door is wide open to the patio, even though it is overcast and rainy. There was thunder and lightening overnight, very early in the morning. More storms coming through late tonight. Today is the 40th anniversary of the tornado that came through Louisville, as well as the killer twister that wiped out Xenia, Ohio near Dayton where I was. Oh yeah, there were hundreds of other tornados that day across the south and midwest, one of the worst outbreaks ever.

Last night I even got a few mosquito bites.

Just over three weeks before I move into Leggs. Spending a lot of money right now for the transition. Still unsure of the exact direction I will head in June. Plenty of time to figure that out. It will be west or northwest at first. Will be talking to other campers at Taylorsville for suggestions.

Last writing I noted Louisville was having their way with Kentucky. Well I guess UK could not take a joke, and in the second half they came on and won the game. It was disappointing for me, but I still like UK and they are the talk of the tourney. Five freshmen starting and they are in the Final Four, and not ready to stop playing just yet. Coach Calipari has been in the Final Four 3 of the last 4 years, winning the whole thing 2 years ago. Still, all I hear is how people do not like his style. What does a guy have to do? Judas Priest!

It is getting pretty dark right now, and thunder is moving in. Rain is starting to pick up. Have to go and enjoy the storm.

Saturday, GO CATS.

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!

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