Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A few more pics

  Just a few trip pics tonight. We stayed at another resort so we could do the hikes we wanted inside Denali Park. Then it was a nice drive back home. The Nikon D 7200 is behaving for now.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Enjoyed Midnite Sun In Fairbanks

  Kathy the vacation planner decided Solstice would be more fun farther North. She also knew I would not be going there in August as I would be in Idaho trying to see the eclipse. So reservations were made after weather checked ok.

  We left the low clouds and rain behind and had a nice low traffic 360 mile drive to the hotel. Since it was chilly and raining when we left, I did not pack any shorts. That was a mistake as the temp was 84 degrees when we got there.  It stayed very warm until after 1 AM. We enjoyed bright Sunshine at midnite and enjoyed an early morning walk in the daylight.

  The next day was a long walk around the farm where Sandhill Crane's come to hang out in late Summer. There were a few there, but it is way early to see the hundreds that come in August. After that, we took the tour of the Fountainhead Auto Museum. It has about 78 running cars from 1878 to 1942. I love that place. Then we ate and went back to Pioneer Park in the daytime.

  My trusty yet heavy Nikon D-7200 started to fail that day. It had a charged battery and I have never removed the lens since I got the body. Yet when I went to take a pic of a bird, it appeared the mirror was half way up. I pressed the shutter release and growl...click...growl...click and then camera powered off. It would not power back up, so I removed the battery for a few minutes and put it back in. The camera powered up and took pictures, but the same thing happened four more times that day.

  These photos were all taken with that camera and it has been used several more days without incident. I am concerned though since I will be taking it on a once in a lifetime ( for me anyway ) trip to Easter Island in the Fall. I may have to get a new body and if so, it will be a D-3300 or D-3400. They weigh a lot less and have the same resolution which is important for making metal prints to hang on the wall.

  I do like these Yukon riverboats as they could float in just a few feet of water. There is also one in Whitehorse Canada. 

  These boats burned firewood which was supplied by villages along the river, so most of it was Spruce.

  She looks like a paint job and TLC is in order soon.

Monday, June 19, 2017

First Poppy Bloomed

  It is looking a bit like Summer up here. People have planted flowers since the fear of frost is gone. Our poppies had their first flower bloom this morning. 

    The weather has been nice today with low broken clouds and sometimes drizzle. Low 60's and high 50's is great for lawn mowing and I did that chore for the second time this year. That long burst of Sunny days sure made it grow. Not a lot going on.

Another Poppy soon to bloom

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tested My Solar Viewer

   This is a pic of the Sun through my new Solar Viewer. Nikon D-7200 300mm set to infinity manual, but camera left on auto.

  I had ordered them ahead of time so I could check them out and also have them on hand when I get ready for my trip to Idaho to view the Total Eclipse of the Sun in August.

  They are shade 14 welders glass bonded into a cardboard holder/shade.  It adds a green tint, but most gold plated lens do. I did not like the sharp edges of cardboard, so I went around it with clear postal packing tape. Now it feels great and quick to bleed me will not get a paper cut. 

  Still using my phone as our internet source and it works great unless I take a call. Not many people call me anymore, text seems to be more popular.

  I took my paper hole puncher to the range yesterday. My friend Pete joined me as a spotter and technical assistant.  There was a minor problem with the scope mount and now it is on tight with ' Lock-Tite.'  At the range, Pete kept it tight and I was able to put 20 rounds inside the 1-inch square at 100 yards sitting and using a padded block for forearm support, after all adjustments were done. It was a fun two hours on a clear Sunny day and we both enjoyed the view of the Alaska Range in the distance. 

  Now I will have to go back and sight it in again, but I enjoy doing it. This gun has such light recoil I rest my nose on the charging handle. The Match barrel is heavy and I think that is why it has no recoil. Very fun to shoot.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Housing Costs 2016

  I keep track of all spending and housing is our largest bill. Slowly but surely the cost is going up. Insurance is the big culprit and it always goes up. So when all costs are added, water, electricity, gas, taxes, trash, insurance, yard care and repairs, we spent 25,197.32 last year. It comes out to $ 2099.88 a month. That is for both houses Alaska and Florida. 

  Today was an intense 3 hour walk on the coastal trail. It was a great day for it, Sunny and 65 degrees. The trail is below the road most of the time and very quiet except for bird tweets. This is my preferred walking path due to the views and few people. We only saw three bikes and no walkers today. 

  It was too late to go to the range after the walk, so it is the agenda tomorrow. Two hours at the range and then a short walk to enjoy another Sunny cool day.

 Still daylight at 11:32 PM

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Setup My New Wireless Printer

  I just noticed tonight that my last post was messed up and I can't correct it. It appears I made a mistake with the trailer pic and it links everything afterward.

 Today was Sunny and nice for a trip to Costco for passport photos and a few other items. Our home printer had failed and I cold not make it work anymore, so a nifty wireless HP 6958 Office Jet printer came home with us.

 Setup took a short time and Kathy is happy to be able to print from her Ipad and I can print from my laptop. I asked about refills and it is $ 10 for the black. It basically costs the price of the printer for a new color set. We only need to print forms etc, so black is the color we use most.

 I slept most of the day as phone calls kept waking me up last night. I will be turning off the ringer tonight. These were on our land line we have kept. It is handy and some old friends only have that number to contact us. However, most calls are from poll takers, wrong numbers etc.

 The weather forecast looks nice for the next five days so some walks will happen.

 The yard is starting to green up a bit and I may have to mow it on one of these Sunny days. I have not been in the mood for yard work with all the mosquitoes looking for blood out there. 

19 hours and 18 minutes of daylight today.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Recon For Future Cabin Stay

  Today wifey decided I need to do Cardio Exercise again. So like last Summer, we drove to Eklutna Lake and started our hike. Most of it is four wheeler road and other than up and down, easy walking. Then we got to the hike part, rocks, roots, etc. It is 7 miles round trip. But I wanted to know if my water and firewood trailer would be able to make the trip. I saw now problems.  

  She has made a reservation and be it rain or snow or sun, we will spend two nights on the lake. The view above is from the front porch of the cabin. No one was there so we checked it out. Not as nice as Barber, but has wood bunks and table and wood stove. The view is awesome.

  This was also a test of a pair of hiking boots I had used but could not remember if I liked or not. I now think they will be lawn mowing boots.

The city drinking water reservoir is might low this year 

  So that walk kicked my butt. Now we are home and had dinner and watched some Hollywood awards show on TV. The kitty is happy and the home is warm. Life is pretty good today.

  It is still twilight at midnight. Th magic of Summer in Alaska.

The Absorbing Cycle RV Refrigerator

Thanks to Norcold for drawing
  I was asked how an RV fridge works by a friend and this drawing always helps, so I put it here for anyone wondering how heat makes thing cold. Someday I may do a post on an office building chiller, it is mind blowing simple, yet magical.

  Been enjoying movies again since I got the phone back in service. They ported my old carrier phone number over to my phone today. I checked and my dumb phone no longer has service, so I have it powered off for now. I will have to move a few needed numbers over to the free phone someday. It is an LG Zone 3 and not much bigger than my dumb phone and it fits in my short pants phone pocket.

  I decided to get an M-4 rifle for target shooting and did not want to pay a lot, so I found one on Alaska List ( kinda like Craigs List. ) Kathy was not too happy with me making a deal over text and meeting someone in a grocery store parking lot with cash for an unknown gun. We rode together and with another text, a guy I had never seen, got out with a brand new M-4 and allowed me to inspect it. I gave him the $370 and he counted it and said thank you. We each got back in our cars and left. I have bought many guns this way, but it was a first for Kathy. She was so suspicious.

  I like my mini 14, but for 100-yard fun, it is hard to beat a Stoner AR 15 M-4. My scope is ordered and should be here next week. Looking forward to sighting it in and hanging with Pete.

  Anchorage is looking like Spring now. Lilacs smelling nice and flowers blooming. My yard is still brown, hope it stays that way a while longer. It has been a lot of light rain and mosquitos are out en masse. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cool Web Site To Check Out

  Been watching dandelions grow. With low clouds and drizzle, it has been low key around the home. We had friends over for lunch and enjoyed hearing about their two-month vacation. It gave us new ideas of places to see and things to do.

  Other than that, I have been watching movies on the internet and spent two days trying to get the $ 19 - free prepaid phones set up on a single account. I have failed so far but opened a can of worms I should have left alone. I was on phone with Verizon tech assist for six hours one night, then told to go to local store for photo ID to access account. ( should have known to stop. ) The next day was three hours in the store and my phone that worked was turned into a phone that would not. So after that, I spent eight hours on phone with tech support. They were sorry that I had such an issue, but to return to the store and see the manager. That brings me to ten AM at the local store. Yes, my phone does not work, they confirmed it. So a new sim card was installed and it still would not work. Their tech spent three hours on phone with Verizon tech support and I had to identify myself several times. After another type sim card was installed, the phone works. I have to pay $ 85 a month instead of $ 80 for unlimited data and calls in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This is something I am willing to live with. There was more to this story, but best not said online. I still can't log into my account, but I am sure they will fix that when they want my money. 
  This did stress me out, but I am happy again. The phone was purchased ( actually free ) to test for signal in the Cabana and places we travel. Yes, Verizon has coverage everywhere we traveled. The next battle will be getting rid of our old carrier and switching to Verizon. We need phones that work on the island this Winter.

  This is a great site to view places most people will never see. Somehow they gained access to restricted places with a 360-degree camera and placed the fantastic pictures online. Use buttons to look around. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Survived Wifey's Hike To Cabin

  Still alive after Kathy's fun trip into nature. She had booked a National Forrest Cabin about six months ago, that is required to stay in one. It is the only easy to walk into cabin they have and was built for that reason. It is called Barber Cabin and is named after a man who had it built for less physical people to enjoy nature.

  I asked a park ranger and found that most people use a cart or something to bring out their firewood and water, etc. I got this Gorilla Wagon from Home Depot for $ 80 and it was worth every penny. It has air inflated big tires and can carry hundreds of pounds easy. The pic above is on the way out and I had made a stop to reattach my load. The trail is good and those tires were great on the deep pea gravel spots.

A  Six-mile day hike kept us active and added cardio exercise to the trip

  There is no electronic communication and no people come by as the cabin is about a mile off the main trail. A very quiet cold peaceful place to get away for a few days. The mornings were in the high teens and it would warm up to about fifty before the Sunset behind the steep mountain and it would quickly cool off again. All the days were Sunny and clear while we were on our mini vacation.

  The cabin has four wood beds and a table for four to eat and a counter to prepare/cook food if you bring a camp stove. There is an iron wood burning stove to heat the cabin if you bring your own wood. The forest service no longer provides wood and anything that will burn within a half mile has been used already. I took one of those bundles of campfire wood from the grocery store. I also had a case of bottled water. Our food was bread and PB after cold food ran out. There was cheese and crackers and chocolate for snacks.  We had three backpack dehydrated meals also, just in the event we had to stay longer.

The Falls hike

  It was a most enjoyable way to get exercise and enjoy nature. Parking is limited as this is a trailhead for many hikes. The cabin is a three-mile two-hour cardio walk. The trail goes up for 1.5 miles and is level kinda for 1/4 mile and then downhill to the lake, which is 550 feet higher than the parking lot. It is nicer to do in the early morning cool air.

  All pics with Moto G4 phone. No way I was packing in a heavy camera.