Journal of a Gypsy Cowboy

formerly Curt's Fulltime RV Journal

October 2007

October 31, 2007

Wednesday (Halloween)

Got the bus back, but not without some hassles. Most of the warranty work was done. The lavatory wasn't because the replacement was more damaged than the one being replaced. A day-night shade hadn't been ordered. The washer-dryer will be replaced under warranty--scratch that--they're trying to get approval to replace it under warranty. If so we'll come back after Defending Old Fort Parker next weekend for that.

Several other things were fixed, no problem. The customer pay, of course was done, a new ladder installed, a new exhauxt tip, both victims of the trailer when backing up. We know now. We'll run with the ladder up, and I know not to get much angle on the trailer, so we won't hit the exhaust with it. $966 for that lesson.

The broken cabinet door was glued back together. I was surprised at that. Not what Mercedes would do.

When we bought the coach we fell for the pitch for "Diamond Fusion," a glass treatment that was supposed to work like permanent Rain-X, make the glass easier to clean of bugs, and strengthen the glass. Their video shows a BB hitting the glass without damage. it also promised 72 virgins and ten million dollars if I bought a magazine. Scratch the last part.

Didn't work. No, it made the glass HARDER to clean, more streaked, and no improvement in rain. I complained in September. They said everyone was complaining, and they didn't know what was wrong, whether they weren't applyng it properly or it just was crap. But, in 2 days in the shop, on appointment, they didn't touch it. They said they'd redo it this trip.

Nope. The 2 porters who know how to do it were off at a motorcycle show (!?!) Called Tracy this morning when Jessie, the service advisor, said they probably wouldn't get it handled. That would make 4 days without touching it despite appointments. Tracy, the business manager, was out for the day. Called the new GM, Jim Pursley. I'm sorry I didn't record the conversation. If I had I would send it to some trainers I know so they could use it as an example of how to screw up a complaint call. I called on the speaker phone so The Redhead could hear. I'm pretty good at complaining, having had to field complaints for many years. I start off gentle, with a short explanation and a clear description of what I want done. Within 5 minutes, Jim had caused The Redhead to enter the conversation, VERY pissed off. So in 5 minutes he had gone from a customer with a problem to a RED HAIRED customer very pissed off.

Later we talked to him in person, and he did a much better job. Unfortunately he started by replaying the claim. It had already been approved. Once we got through that he asked me if I knew that it came with a bottle of stuff, and we were supposed to re-apply it ONCE A MONTH. I replied that if I had heard anything like that I wouldn't have bought it. I doubt anyone would.

So he said if they redo it, what's to keep me from complaining again in a year. My response was since it had never worked, I would probably be back in a month if it didn't work this time. I reminded him they had received so many complaints they had stopped selling it and still didn't know if it was poor application or a poor product.

He put things off until 2 pm, where he promised either to redo it or give us our money back.

Sometime after 3, while we were talking to Jessie about other work, he went and talked to Jim, who hadn't called, and came back promising a check to be mailed within 2 days.

The only problem now is I have to figure how to clean the residue of this crap off the windshield so it will be normal to clean instead of really hard. I'm capable of applying Rain-X as needed. I was using it in the early 70s on rallies and continued using it until I just ran out of time for such luxuries while working. I should be able to do it now, where I'm only about 3 times as busy as I was when working.

We put off picking up the trailer until tomorrow.

Another problem: State inspection. There's a state inspection place, Jordan 2000, down the street from Ron Hoover. I stopped by to make sure we could get the bus in and out of the parking lot, and that he would do it. He said he could, then changed his mind and said he couldn't because he couldn't get it inside the building.

It should be noted that pre 2007 production diesels are exempt from emissions testing and only need a basic safety inspection, for which the shop still gets $35. This can be done in the parking lot. He claimed that no, he had to check emissions. I left. Jessie promised a call to DPS. Refusing to take a customer during business hours can cost you your state inspection license.

The alternative was a shop in Brookshire on the freeway near the RV park, but the lady at Trailer World informed me that shop was closed for 2 more weeks This means driving the bus to hell, er Texas 6 and Clay Road to the place that Ron Hoover uses--tomorrow.

Went back to the RV Park in Brookshire and made Margaritas.

October 30, 2007


Got the trailer to Trailer Wporld and the coach to Ron Hoover. Methinks the odds of getting all repairs done on time are much better at Trailer World than at Ron Hoover.

When the coach is in the shop, so is our home. We ran errands all morning, Lowe's for new 2" x 10" x24" blocks for leveling and soft ground support. Several of the old ones were broken getting the bus unstuck, and most of them soaked in sewage because of our parking where, unknown to us, sewage would be coming out of the restrooms up the hill. The basement smells of it enough without putting those pieces in there. $13 to replace them.

This is not a good way to spend our time when the coach is in the shop. $70 at Lowe's, $100 at PetSmart, $100+ at Randall's. Not economical.

Back to the bus at 3 PM. No worries about it accidently being finished today. Not much done. If it's done by the weekend I'll be surprised. Waiting for the other shoe to drop and them to tell me that one of the parts they swore was here isn't, and/or the bedroom cabinet door wasn't ordered and will take 3 weeks. Stay tuned.

October 29, 2007


We left the Wal-Mart without incident, had breakfast at a Cracker Barrel with an RV friendly parking lot (after rejecting one without), and drove to Brookshire without any problems, arriving by 3. The damaged door hinge on the trailer gave up the ghost, and the upper hinge and lock are the only things holding it on. Good timing. It goes to the shop tomorrow morning, as does the bus.

We're eager to get the last of the warranty items fixed (and the things we're paying for) so we can head west after the event at Fort Parker November 8-11.

October 28, 2007



When I said the food was better than any Saturday night banquet since Range War 2000, I forgot the Comancheria Days with sit down, brought-to-the-table-by-waitpersons meal. Someone reminded me of it. It was outstanding. Range War did have German food by one of the excellent German restaurants in Fredericksburg. I'm sa real fan of German food.

Back to the match: I started the day by knocking a shotgun off a table for a stage DQ. I've gone 8 years of SASS without ever getting any kind of DQ, other than a large dipped cone, so it was inevitable, just bad timing at an important match. Normally I let my stage times suffer to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen.

It could have been worse. A world champion dropped a loaded gun on stage 10.

Good stages, good posse. Lots of fun. I don't remember anything I could really complain about in 10 stages. By the way, 10 stages is perfect for a 2 day match. 5 stages a day is fun. 6 is overkill, especially considering how many seniors, super-seniors, and Elder Statesmen/Grand Dames shooting.

Guns given away: one per posse--11. One to most valuable posse member (drawing among 11)-12. One for Elvis (everyone who dressed as Elvis both days and Saturday night was eligible for the drawing. Only 7 qualified. Jailhouse Rock/Flaming Star Elvis won)-13. One for Marilyn (only 2 women dressed as Marilyn both days and Saturday night. Huricane with One R won-14. And an engraved, nickel plated Uberti Winchester '66 in .45 Colt was given out in the final drawing--15 total guns given out, if I counted correctly.


Those aren't the only prizes. Lindholm Brothers Spurs and Lone Rider Leather (Jack Houston, my oldest friend in SASS, who DQed me) were notable for several prizes. Lindholm Brothers also donated a nice set of spurs ($350 if I remember correctly) for a raffle for the SASS Scholarahip Fund. As luck would have it, Wimpy, of Lindholm Brothers, won. He donated them back for another raffle to be held at the December Badlands Bar 3 monthly match.

The awards presentation went quickly and was entertaining. Shalako Joe was overall winner. Forgot overall female. Sorry. (Someone will correct me.)

Sunday everything finished before 4. This is an unique event offering a lot for the money, great stages, great entertainment (without the usual long, boring awards presentation). They want the regional next year. I think they should get it.

We had the bus on the road by 6 with considerable help. Apparently a sewer line was leaking under the bus, making it a quagmire. The drive wheels were uphill of that smelly quagmire, but still two guys with a big pickup hooked up a chain and pulled as we backed out. Don't know if we'd have made it without them. Glad they were there. Thanks. Jack Houston moved the trailer to a point where we could back up to it. Hopefully I impressed he onlookers when I backed up to it in one try, even though I couldn't get a straight shot at it because of the crowded RV parking lot.

We tried for one RV park after dark, but neither of us saw an entrance, and once we were past it the nearest place we could have turned around on the narrow road was 17 miles away, so we pressed on and parked in a Wal-Mart that already had RVs parking there. We've been told (by the know-it-alls on the online RV forums) that one shouldn't put the jacks down (didn't) or put the slides out (did--have to in order to use the bedroom and to keep the cats from disappearing into places they shouldn't.) We did buy stuff at the Wal-Mart.

Some more of Posse 4's stars:

Rocky Meadows, 1st place Lady Gunfighter.

Somehow I neglected to get photos of her son, Boulder Meadows, who looks like a future SASS star.

Idaho Sue


If there had been an award for Best Shooting Costume (not involving Elvis), he would have won it

The man, the myth, the SASS Wire legend, Long Jim Hancock

Velvet Glove in the early morning. Yes, there are a lot of photos of Velvet Glove on this website. What's your point?

2nd Lady Gunfighter

October 27, 2007


The Match

Velvet Glove, Ante Ty, and T-Bone Dooley

Ante Ty, from Oregon, shoots 4 purple guns, ceramic coated purple.

Noah Gonatellya, very fast gunfighter

The ever lovely Velvet Glove, who shoots fast and well and makes her superb costumes as well as for customers all over the country.

Good stages, close targets, simple target order. Why can't other clubs get the message. This works.

What's the purpose of a SASS Match?

To test marksmanship.


To show how well the match director can write confusing stages?


The purpose of a SASS Match is to entertain the paying customers, the CONTESTANTS. If you think it's anything else, you should ask someone who understands this to write the stages.

Entertainment was highlighted by Elvis

It should be noted that the costume contest was limited to Elvis and Marilyn impersonators. Above is the worst Elvis impersonator, as Old Elvis as he would have looked if he did a remake of "Jailhouse Rock" at 62. He is accompanied by the ever lovely Redhead.

Yes, that was the worst Elvis wig in the place.

One of the Marilyns at the tailgate party Saturday night. In addition to steaks by Outback Steakhouse--the best SASS banquet food I've encountered since the 2000 Range War, Elvis did a concert that was quite good, and a 1 hour professional fireworks display.

Then there was Old Marilyn (Huricane With One R)

It should be noted that the Elvis winner was Cowtown with his DOG. One more time a dog wins a costume contest. If that doesn't convince you to not take them serious, I give up.

The dog was quite cute. As Cowtown put it, "A chick magnet."

October 26, 2007


Plainsman match. Bad Gene Poole ran it. The first stage had 4 shots at 200 yard targets. Gene used his long range barrel, which he had tested the targets with the previous day. No one else hit all 4.

We shot 3 stages, 2 on stage 9, one on stage 10. The first shooter destroyed the 4 rifle targets on stage 10, making huge dents in them with full charge .45-70 rounds. One almost penetrated. After several shooters, most shooting .45-70, shot them, the targets looked like pictures of the moon's craters.

I had to borrow Omaha John's rifle because The Brisco Kid hadn't sent it with his wife, who was here opening the shop. He won't be here until later. He has my rifle putting a dovetail on the front for a Marbles bead front sight and one on the rear sight for whatever I want to put on. Now that Gene's started a trend with 200 yard targets, I may have to get one of the expensive Smith rear sights with the ladder flip up. On second thought I'm not sure that'll help.

Shot the other side matches—badly. One had the Texas Star for pistols. I like it.

Noted that where we're parked isn't drying out. Not good. Every other place seems to be drying fine.

At the meet and greet I saw Rocky Meadows and said, "I hear you're on my posse."

She corrected me. "No. you're on MY posse."

October 25, 3007


Got the stuff ready for the match.

October 24, 2007


Called Edsel at Trailer World and told him about the damage so he could order the parts. Drove to Bar 3 Ranch. Came in the "Dry Camping" door for us peons not worthy of one of the sites with power (all booked up sometime in 1999 I believe). Found T-Bone and asked where we should park. He told us, and I moved the bus about 10 feet before getting stuck. T-Bone and Bad Gene Poole, along with the help of others, pulled it out using a tractor and a Jeep with a winch. Took an hour or two.

The Redhead "helped" by disappearing in mid project, having margaritas with Omaha John and his wife. I knew she hadn't gone to a casino. I could see the ML.


We're in a spot parked next to the trailer. Might never get out. The wooden blocks put under the jacks went down in the gumbo, stopping somewhere before reaching China. The jacks on the right side are down. The excess slope light came on. We fiddled several times. Still on. Spirit level shows 1.5° down to the right, confirmed by the bedroom door refusing to stay open. Put the slides out and gave up. Only got one receiver to receive satellite signals on the DirecTV. No problems yesterday. Location? Is it the satellite gods punishing me for shooting CAS?

I did note the real reason we got stuck. It was the driver's fault:

George S Pattpn, Jr., driiving the bus

October 23, 2007


Headed toward English for Comin' Atcha. The usual delays in getting moving made us consider reality and stop in Corsicana for the evening. Along the way we came to a bridge with road work. They made it one lane by using large barrels filled with sand. Unfortunately one was about 8 feet from the concrete wall on the left, leaving no room for the bus. Result, damage to the trailer down the right side. It'll have to just get fixed while we're at Ron Hoover with the bus. More of $1.00 Margarita night at Old Mexican Inn.

October 22, 2007


Cleaned up the shop. Vacuumed, used the compressor, swept, and scrubbed the floor. Still has shot on it. More places for it to hide than a jungle. After I think I've gotten everything clean, another regiment of shot rolls out of a different hiding place. Spent or fresh primers occasionally join them, but they're big enough to get caught. Finally ran out of time. Had to go to the VA hospital. The jury is still out. Didn't get back to the bus till nearly 7. Winter arrived at Houston today. 91 yesterday, 55 today, rain, high winds.

October 21, 2007


Went to the "Cowboy Bullseye" at Texas Historical Shootists Society. This is the first club I shot with, so it has a special place in my heart. They have one of the best facilities in Texas, a full frontier town/shooting range on a working ranch. Some of the sets are quite elaborate. All are well maintained by a dedicated membership. They march to the beat of a different drummer. Their targets are small and distant. Quite often the shooting order is difficult. Some years back they were given some big targets. One was used today. I haven't seen the others in a few years.

They had 3 posses. When I started, they would have 100 shooters on a beautiful day like today. Major Ned Prentiss was there. Major Ned always has a spectacularly good, detailed, accurate costume. This was their annual Wild Bunch match, so he was in full 1916 Punitive Expedition uniform complete with vintage 1911 pistol and 1917 revolver and antique holsters. He shot a 97. This is the first time I've seen him shoot smokeless!

One stage, at Fort Finn, required that we shoot the rifle upstairs, then go downstairs to shoot pistol and shotgun. I was wearing big Texas spurs. I took them off.

Another thing about THSS. I can't remember when someone cleaned their monthly match. Someone cleaned Trailhead, their annual match, and they vowed to make it harder. I think I had 2 clean stages and considered it an accomplishment.

Good posse. Always nice people there. Enjoyed the match. Felt a lot less exhausted than last week. The doctor visit Tuesday must've paid off. I would post pictures, but I forgot to take a camera. I took some with the cell phone, but I have no idea how to get them from the phone to the computer.

October 17-20, 2007
Nothing worth recording here. Chores and errands, reloading. We both got haircuts, still much longer than when we were working.

October 16, 2007


Doctor visit. The Redhead got the DirecTV working, but it took most of the day. She gets the credit as she figured out the closely guarded secret that you apparently have to get 95+ on transponders 1 and 2 to download the software. There are 32 transponders. Normally over 90% in a couple of transponders is enough for a good picture.

October 15, 2007


Drove to Brookshire. The rains came. Poured. When we got to the park and set up we had to wait for the rain to stop to get the ML out of the trailer. Replaced the Margarita meetings at Spec's, then got food.

Couldn't set up the DirecTV because the rain degraded the satellite signal too badly. One more night of antenna TV.

October 14, 2007


Shot the team shoot, singlehandedly destroying my team's chances by having 2 misses and one procedural. One miss was a round with a light primer hit on the rifle. Hopefully this is not a sign of another rifle problem.

Very glad to leave Ormsby Ranch. Great event. Great people, but the RV parking leaves a little to be desired. We were parked in what seemed to be a good place at the top of the hill, but after we were settled, we realized that the owner had a high power range next door, and we were downrange within the 170° area. Every time they fired off a shot the dog hid under furniture, The Redhead jumped and screamed, and I hit the deck.

To make us feel even less wanted, someone hung a dead fox on the fence next to the coach, freaking out The Redhead. The Redhead loves all furry forest creatures and mourns their passing. Anyway, it grossed her out.

Got out the goat path v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and went to the KOA in Waco for the night. Still couldn't get DirecTV working, and when we called them, the machine said the wait to speak to a human was infinite, so call back tomorrow. Watched local TV via the antenna. We'll be going to Brookshire for a week for medical stuff tomorrow.

October 13, 2007


Showdown at Ormsby Ranch, the SASS Southwestern Regional

The Saturday Night Party

The party was at a better location than years past, an exposition center in relatively nearby Glen Rose. Of course getting anywhere meant going over the goat path to paved roads. It was easier in the ML than in the bus.

The bar had decent Margaritas at a good price but closed when the awards presentation started. I do better at awards presentations with a Margarita.

As awards presentations went, this one went pretty quickly, which is a good thing. They gave away several guns. It seems to be a Texas thing. Of course I didn't win anything. The Chaparral 1876 in .45-60 went to the wife of the guy reading the numbers. Nothing suspicious there. And it's not like every man in the audience wasn't lusting after the rifle. ;)

Costume Contest Highlights

Hey You

Hey You won the most modestly dressed award, or was it best dressed Soiled Dove? Great outfit!

Colonel Dan

Colonel Dan, all the way from Florida, showed that there is life for your old Mess Dress Uniform after a military career. Just wear a Civil War-era hat with it. The yellow trim indicates a cavalry officer (armor), and the US Army hasn't changed the color of its dress uniforms since then, so that works, too.

Speaking of Colonel Dan, the leader of the Stealth Bullet Shooting Society, this event gave more Clean Match awards than all of the events I've attended this year. This is a good thing. It means the stages were fairly simple, and the targets fit the guidelines in the SASS Handbook. It also means there were a lot of good shooters at the event.

Colonel Dan named the clubs involved the SBSS Headquarters of Texas and made the match director a life member.

Coldstream Guard comes to Texas

Colstream Guard comes to Texas

Not your average SASS costume. I did ask the gentleman his name. My excuse for not remembering it is that my aide neglected to write it down.

The Confederate Contingent at Ormsby Ranch

The Confederate Contingent

Left to right, a sergeant major, General Lee, a colonel in the general staff

At the Match:

Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean came down on Saturday to represent SASS, along with the not-pictured Justice Lilly Kate, Queen of all SASS

Omaha John

Omaha John making smoke. The pink-long-johns clad gentleman is Silver Sam.

I do believe I had more equipment problems than I've had all year, with the catastrophic rifle failures on Friday, and a very rare cap jam on Saturday. But the match itself was great, well organized with good stages, good targets, and great posse marshals.

We heard through Laurie Darling that Justa Hand came through is surgery well. Prayers are out by a lot of people in SASS for this great guy.

October 12, 2007


Showdown at Ormsby Ranch, the SASS Southwestern Regional

Showdown Posse 7 photo

Blew the match. The extractor on the rifle went south, causing 9 misses total. The Frontiersman field is really good here. I'll be last, no doubt. Joe Brisco fixed the rifle this afternoon. With this field I'm not sure I wouldn't have been last anyway. Omaha John was shooting like a different person, about twice as fast as usual. The others were always good. It's Texas. People know how to shoot here.

The Friday night dinner turned out to be hamburgers, chips, and beans. Not very many people there. Had several over for Margaritas afterwards. Out of tequila now, but tomorrow we're going to the awards party. Sunday we're leaving.

Bad Gene Poole helped with our MotoSat network, which had gone to default settings.

October 11, 2007


Showdown at Ormsby Ranch, the SASS Southwestern Regional

Registered. Shot the Plainsman match. Like the new .45-70 rifle. No misses except for a revolver chamber that I'd neglected to put powder in.

Learned that Justa Hand went in for an angiogram and is now scheduled for a bypass--this just after his wife got the stent. Wow! Sure hope he does okay. Really nice people.

Had Omaha John and Patty over for Margaritas.

October 10, 2007


Went to Ormsby Ranch, site of the Southwestern Regional. The last part of getting there was a white knuckle ordeal. It consisted of a goat path paved in sharp rocks, steep climbs and descents, and a low-water crossing with a concrete pad over it that probably wasn't designed for 40,000 lb.

Then we got to the RV park. They had 30 amp power and for a select few, not us. No problem, using the generator costs less than $25 a night (which is what we paid at Corsicana for a nice flat space with 50 amp power, water, and sewer.) We had difficulty finding a level spot, finally using several of our 2 x 8 x 24 wood pads that we got for such situations. Plenty of room, though, at the top of the hill from the other RVs.

The DirecTV unit, which had been giving signs of problems, wouldn't work, no power light, no output. Drove to Burleson to a Best Buy for a new $99 DirecTV/DVR combination, not a TiVo, though, as DirecTV no longer has a deal with them. Called John Polk for advice. Then called DirecTV, where a nice lady said she activated the new unit and deactivated the old one. Did I mention that at Ormsby Ranch both Verizon phones get zero bars. We were almost to Burleson before we got good signals.

Got back to the ranch, and Omaha John invited us to a group dinner in Cleburne. The Redhead accepted enthusiastically, so we got to drive another 40 miles.

Upon returning, I put the DirecTV in.

The unit did everything but download from the satellite. Worked on it with Handlebar Bob's help till late. Gave up.

The old unit wouldn't work here last year. I'm beginning to suspect we're in the Bermuda Triangle of Texas.

October 9, 2007


Got up early and put the trash out where Ray told us to, then waited for the mail. Still got my back dirty putting the ML in the trailer. (See below). Drove to Corsicana to an RV park for the purpose of a dump station, 50 amp power, all the things you get at an RV park plus proximity to Gander Mountain, which has the shot I prefer, got 50 lb. Also got 1000 shotgun wads.

Our red sewer hose, part of the system that uses twist off connections, came apart at one of those connections, causing The Redhead to phone me at Gander Mountain in search of a replacement hose with those ends. We had a spare, so we installed it after using a large hose clamp failed to keep the hose connected to the twist on connector. I don't know if this brand just has a short service life expectancy or if this one was just defective. We had 2 10 ft. and one 5 ft. hose. I'll get a 15 ft. next time we're in Camping World. We've learned, backups and extras for power, water, and sewer, because we might not be close to connections. Power, for example, at Oakwood, required extension (30 amp) cords for both the bus and the trailer. We've been as far as 100 ft. from a water faucet. We now have 2 50 ft. white hoses and a 20 ft. We also have an inline whole-house water filter. The water at Oakwood turned the insert brown in a few minutes. This is in addition to the filter in the coach's system.

Went to dinner at the Old Mexican Inn on the recommendation of the lady at the RV park. Massive crowd at the little, nondescript place. Had to park across the street. But the wait was only 10 minutes. When we sat down I was reading the margarita recipe on their menu, the waitress showed up and said it was dollar Margarita night. They use José Quervo Gold, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau. They were very good, very big. Everything we had was very good. $23! Plus a $10 tip for the excellent waitress, who did a first class job.

October 8, 2007


Final practice day. Since I didn't realize this was a holiday, Columbus Day*, I had mail forwarded here. Thus we'll have to wait until mail comes tomorrow before leaving. Cleaned out the trailer. Vacuumed and swept the floor. Not enough. Must be because I'm a guy. I'll work on it more in Brookshire after the regional.

*Christopher Columbus was either the man who discovered America and got screwed by history because the continent is called America after an obscure mapmaker, or a mass-murdering racist tyrant monster if you oppose having a parade for Columbus Day. Neither side in the controversy mentioned his real contribution, taking syphilis from South America to Europe.

October 6-7, 2007


More practice. Not getting any better, though. Ruby was back, running around on her golf cart. Modern medicine is amazing. Made up some .45-70 rounds. Walked down the hill and tested samples, then made up 50. Neat to be able to do that. Ready for the Plainsman match at the regional now needing only the ability to shoot, which, sadly, is lacking.

October 3-5, 2007


More practicing. Texas Alline (Ruby Henderson), who, along with her husband Justa Hand (Ray), own this place, went to her cardiologist with some complaints. Wound up getting an angiogram and a stent. We found about it when I read it on the SASS Wire. All went well.

The @#$!%! Porter-Cable air compressor blew a seal. The owner's manual described the process for getting warranty service, which was way beyond unreasonable. Drove to Palestine. Wal-Mart and Lowe's had nothing suitable. Lowe's had more Porter-Cable and Bostich with a nail gun included $200. Found the Sears in Palestine. Tiny. But they had Craftsman compressors. Got a 1 hp, 3 gallon unit with a 2-year, take it back to the store for replacement guarantee, $124 including taxes. It's limited to 125 lb. instead of 150, irrelevant except for pumping up the front tires on the coach, which we usually do at Flying J's when fueling anyway. They need 120 lb. Whether a 125 lb. compressor can pump up a 120 lb. bus tire is yet to be seen, but probably close enough.

Friday was my birthday, 62. As they say, if I knew I'd live this long I would have taken better care of myself when I was young. Looking back, though, I'm not sure I had a choice. This means I'm eligible for SS, but they're sneaky. It starts the first full month after your birthday, and the check is the following month, meaning December. Had all those contributions since 1963 been put into a 401K type account, the monthly stipend would have been many times what I'll get. It'll cover the monthly diesel bill if fuel doesn't climb too high.

October 2, 2007


Practiced at the all-plates stage. Falling plates are really good practice. The plate either went down or it didn't.

October 1, 2007


Our parking place at Oakwood
Moved to the Oakwood Outlaws range. Backed into the space on the first try. Give me 10-20 years and I might get the hang of this big rig driving. The plan is to practice and decompress here. The RCBS Turret Press and accessories were waiting for me, necessary to load .45-70 rounds for the Plainsman side match. Bought an H & R .45-70 from Goody at Fort Parker ($175-cheap).

Had to drive to Palestine for cell service in order to talk to MOPH. The VA had denied the prostate cancer claim, saying I had provided no evidence that I had prostate cancer, and they showed no record of my receiving treatment for same at the VA. Needless to say, I'd sent them the records, and I'm TRYING to get an appointment to see a urologist at the VA.

Don Hubbard (MOPH) said, "their mail service is a disaster." He wanted me to send him the records. From now on everything VA related will go through MOPH.