Sunday, April 30, 2006

The greatest person I ever knew

She was born mid pack of the large Puterbaugh clan in 1907. On her "tippy-toes" she was barely five feet but she was HUGE in my life. Few people knew her given name and the world knew her as "Tiny", but to me she was "mom".

I was blessed with her in her forty-first year, months after she became a grandmother for the first time. My dad died shortly after I turned eleven and my last sibling living as home joined the Army.

She and I because as close as a mom and son could possibly become. She loved and taught me the lessons of life while holding me close yet giving me the room to grow and explore.

She had me nine months a year and I roamed to California every summer to spent time with one of my brothers. I was a grown man before I knew how lonesome and scared she was during those summers. She just knew it was something I needed if I were to become a strong and independent man.

She never learned to drive and there was no way we could have afforded a car anyway. She would walk across town and iron for a lady just to give me a little spending money.

How she managed on our SS check I can only wonder, but I never needed for anything. Every good trait I have I owe to her and the rest, well "sorry mom".

One of the last things my dad said to my mom was "take care of my little man", and that she did. To this day I still call my grown son, "little man". He was two years old when I lost my mom. The void from not knowing this wonderful lady can never be filled.

I love, miss, and appreciate my mom more every day even after over 25 year. I use her teaching every day. So if you see me at a rest area picnic table having a sandwich, I will not be wearing my cap because "boy, your mama taught you better".

Friday, April 28, 2006

Driving the Interstate

These were taken today along I-40

About a 15 mile section is covered with these pretty little flowers.

About the 40 mile marker just east of Ozark, Arkansas

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Trailer Trash

We have our motorhome parked in an older mobilehome park. There are only singlewides and a few long term rv spots. The park is beautiful park and very quiet. The owner lives in the park in a very nice home.

The road circles thru the park with no exit out the back. Only people that enter the park live here. We have speed bumps about every 75 feet that keep the speeds down.

The owner has the grounds mowed and the place always looks great. Our lot has a nice little wooden storage shed just off our concrete front patio.

This shed is where he keeps his lawn mowers and other tools.

This gazebo is beside his house.

Another picture of the tool shed.

and another

The street coming in the park. With lot rent, water & sewer, and electricity the total is about $300 a month. Grocery stores, banks, cleaners and a Wal-Mart Super Center are within walking distance.

Keep your $100

You can use my $100 (proposed gas money rebate) for expanding our use of alternate energy. Why does the government always throw money at a problem instead of seeking a solution?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I love to talk to strangers and I often get the chance when I stop at a rest area. This week I spotted an old ambulance made into an rv. Body style like the one below with sheet metal screwed over the holes where the lights had been.

I walked over and talked to the couple. They were glad to show off the inside. At the back on the drivers side was a rv type commode with a closet opposite it. There was a rv stove and rv fridge. Also had a small house a/c unit. Since there was no shower, it didn't have a hot water heater but it did have a catalytic heater. No bed or chairs. They sit in fold up lawn chairs and used tv trays for a table. Moved those to the side and made a bed on the floor. Really a very nice little camper.

They were from Roswell, NM.

That same day on the way back I talked to nice lady ( I would guess in her late 50's) from Maine traveling in a conversion van. The same color as this one.

I knew it was a camper because it had a small gas grill propane bottle mounted on top the spare tire (tire was mounted on the other side) and a hose running to the inside. She was happy to show the inside. Behind the drivers seat was an Igloo 12 volt cooler, behind that a small cabinet, and cot with storage underneath. On the other wall in the rear was a cabinet holding a two burner stove and a small counter top.

She had been on the road for 4 months. Spent the winter in California. Mostly boondocking.

She said her job was slow in the winter so they were glad to have her draw unemployment and show back in April. This was her third year of vagabonding.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Crazy Dream

Last night I went to bed early (I had to get up at 3:15) while the wife played on the 'puter. I know I was asleep but the dream was very real. I lay there wondering if a was really sleeping or what was happening in my dream was real.

In my dream I was laying there as my soul (for lack of a better word) was trying to exit my body. It would leave from my head as if it were a balloon on a string and loosing air. Zig zagging out and out until my body would quickly snap it back. I was really afraid it would break loose and never come back.

Sounds weird but I can't think the last time a dream frightened me so much.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Flashed by a trucker

It was really the female passenger. I was cruising down I-40 in my dairy truck when another big truck moved to the left lane to pass. We were starting up a slight grade so when it didn't pass right away I just figured the truck was loaded and was having trouble coming around.

When it moved slowly beside me I looked over and saw her. She had her top pulled down and had her boobs shoved against the door window. She was smiling and waving. When I smiled and gave her a "thumbs up" the driver gassed on it and they were gone.

Later when I was walking around my trailer I laughed out loud when I noticed the sign on the back. Maybe she wasn't flashing me but just answering the question:
"Got Milk?"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Little Math

The last post started me to thinking about the cost of my truck. Here is what I came up with.

My tuck is worth about what my tradein was worth so I just figured that part was just a wash. My truck is a 1997 Chevy S-10, three door extended cab, 4 cyclinder, five speed, and a/c. I have owned it 8 years and put 150,000 miles on it. So here are the numbers.

$12,371 total I paid in payments
425 total in personal taxes
256 in license fees
7,200 insurance cost
these costs would acure whether or not I drove
200 tires
55 battery
1,425 general repairs
600 body repairs not turned
625 oil changes
$23,192 total ( I'm sure there were other small things I
can't think of)
$23,192 / 150,000 miles=$.1546
rounded to 15 1/2 cents a mile not counting gas. The repairs will start to add up with so many miles on it.

Gas @$3 a gallon / 28mpg= 10.7 cents per mile at todays prices.

A raise in pay

If you look at my paycheck you would ask; where's the increase. Actually the increase did not come in the form of dollars and cents on my paycheck.

I drive 25 miles round trip to work and that uses about a gallon of gas in my little Chevy pickup. I have been working out of town for three weeks and driving the company car.

As gas nears $3 a gallon that is a $3 a day raise. Now wait a minute, that would be $3 off my take home pay. I think I have to make about $4.30 to receive that $3.

Since I don't work every day of the week I save driving my truck three times a week. $4.30x3=$13.20. Now you say $13.20 is pocket change. That is just gas money. I have saved 75 miles on my truck.

I think the present opinion call for about $.40 a mile (whitch is low). $.40x75=$30.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Keys to Life

Keys are something I can't seem to do without. In my left front pocket is a one key ring with eleven keys:
pick-up ignition
lock for tonneau cover
car ignition
car trunk
PO box
bike lock
shed lock
4 keys ? ( afraid to throw away)

Right front pocket I have two sets, one with 8 keys :
motorhome ignition
motorhome drivers door
motorhome house door deadbolt
motorhome house door
motorhome large storage doors
motorhome small storage doors
2 keys ?

one with 13 keys:
these are keys I use at work

Also in my briefcase I have another set with about 7 or 8 keys I also use at work.

Wouldn't be nice to return to the days when the keys were left in the car and who needed a lock on anything else.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

70mph wind

We all have seen the devastation caused by high winds. Yet, I see things beside the road that has been blow off vehicles. Driving 70mph is the same as standing in 70mph winds.

I see brand new mattresses still in the plastic destroyed by the highway on a nearly weekly basis. Today it was a high end dresser ( all wood ), it too appreared to be new.

Last week a suv had a round patio table tied to the roof rack when one side come loose. When I passed, the driver was trying to retie it after it have flipped off the side and one of the legs had went through the side window. ouch !!

The next time you see a sofa cushion on the side of the road, think about the person that lost it and not has an unusable sofa.

Maybe I should open a used cushion store from my finds. Instead of Hubcap Annies, it could be Roadkill Cushions. Maybe I could branch out and sell "slightly used ice chests".

Saturday, April 15, 2006


The number of hitchhikers I see is on the rise. Most weeks I see several. I few years ago I would go months without seeing one.

When I was a young boy I hitched all the time. My first long hitching was from California to Arkansas when I was 13 years old. I had the money for a bus ticket but I didn't want to spend it. I had been visiting my brother and my mom sent the money for the bus ticket. She had no clue I was hitching home.

I crossed the country every summer after that. In all I hitched between 25,000 and 40,ooo miles before I was 20 years old. Never once did I feel I was in any danger.

Yes, I know, it was a different world back in the 60's. It was very easy to get a ride for everyone.

Today I try to help a hiker when I can (can't offer a ride in my company truck nor will I stop for one when my wife is with me). My wife doesn't like for me to do it, but it's just the way I am.

The last hiker I picked up was an older gent that had been visiting his brother for a week and was heading home. The ride was about 65 miles and we had a great time talking about life. Had I not been meeting my son, I would have driven 35 miles out of my way to take him to his front door.

I guess it is "a different world" today but one thing is still the same. People needing a ride still need a ride.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Eye Candy

Last week I stopped at my usual c-store for coffee. As I approached the cashier the second thing I noticed was a cute, petite, 20ish girl that was very lost.

Coming from Indiana, she was headed to New Orleans. No map and just directions written on a small piece of paper. She was supposed to take I-55 south out of Memphis. She was now 150 miles west and didn't have a clue. After looking at her directions (she had written I-65 instead of I-55).

Apparently she stopped somewhere west of Memphis and asked about highway 65. She was sent further west as 65 goes south out of Little Rock. The problem if that 65 does not connect with I-40 that she was traveling on but off I-30 whitch is off I-40.

So she is now an hour west of Little Rock. After trying to direct her to the easiest way to get to New Orleans she finally desides to buy a map. Talk about "deer in the headlights", this young lady can't read a map. The more I explan the less she understands.

In the end I think she decides to travel all the way back to Memphis to take I-55. Way out of the way but a lot easier route to follow (hope she made it).
So I stop for coffee yesterday and talked to the cashier about the girl and the cashier said she had "prepaid" for $20 of gas and was so confused she drove off without pumping it. I guess she was so lost she couldn't remember how to get back as she never returned.

I said "the second thing I noticed", the "first thing" was the square cut shirt loaded with a "nice rack". I guess men are pigs no matter how old we are.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Attempted Suicide

Today at work I attempted suicide. Well what I really did was cut a 1/2" gash in the vein in my wrist. Luckily the slit is lengthways, had it been crossways it would have cut the vein into. Now you ask, "hey dummy how could you do that?".
I was cutting a plastic seal on my trailer and let the knife slip. I put a bandaid on it and I had to replace it about five hours later. Seems to have the bleeding stopped but if this is my last post. Send money, not flowers.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

$5 Lawnmower

About a month ago I received a lawnmover from "freecycle" that the owner was trashing. He said it ran last year but needed a starter rope. I picked it up and it looked like it had seen better days. I took the spark plug out and it had compression and would turn over so I purchased a new starter rope and a quart of oil for about $5. Cleaned and regapped the spark plug, changed oil, and installed the new starter rope.
After adding fresh gas, prime and it started on the second pull. Ran great after a little carb adjustment. I sharpened the blade and set out about doing something about the worn out wheels. The center of the plastic wheels were wallowed out. New wheels would cost about $16 and since I was just tinkering with this mower for the fun of it, I did not want to spend the money.

After taking off one wheel I realized I could use some conduit to shim the wheel. The size of the bolt holding the wheel was 1/2" and the conduit was 3/4", so I cut a section out longways and it pulled down to 1/2". In two of the wheels the shim tapped in easily and the other two I had to drive then in cutting out a little of the plastic wheel as it went. The end result was shimmed wheels with no more slack than new ones. All in all a very respectable little lawn mower.

Today I took the mower to Hot Springs and gave it to my step-daughter.

"Freecycle" is a great tool to pass along things that still have use but you no longer want. Last year I fixed up several bicycles ( one of my hobbies) off freecycle and gave them on freecycle when someone asked for one.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Short Day

Today I tried to connect with a rver traveling thu Little Rock to pick his brain and check out his internet dish, but it was not to be and I just talked to him on his cell. I am interested in one for my motorhome so I will have "the net" when I retire and hit the road.

Free Web Counters
South Beach Diet Food