Saturday, April 28, 2018

Key West Battle Display Fun To See



  I do not have any pics to show. The battle was well attended and it had a USCG ship being attacked by a pirate ship. They used fire hoses instead of canon and sailors all appeared to be wearing bikinis, yes a fine display. A real canon and crew were on the dock and would fire a round with a giant BOOM every so often. I did not understand why biplanes were attacking, but they were fun to watch. I would guess the event lasted an hour.




 It had been a rainy day and the sky cleared about 6 pm just in time for the show. Since it was raining, I had lunch at the Mexican place and then took a two mile walk along the south shore and enjoyed getting wet. It is hot enough to feel good. After that I drove over to the ship and paid ten bucks to take a tour.


  

 




   I had planned to take the city bus over to the square. As I waited a rather fit older man came quickly walking by. He asked were I was going and after I answered he said he could walk slower and I could walk with him. He showed me a fool proof way to walk from the base to Mallory Square and I was able to walk it back at 10 pm at night. He was nice and spoke highly of the need to walk as we get older. A very nice guy indeed. I had over 19K steps on my fit bit when I got back to lodging.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Enjoyed A Parade In Key West

Might Be Global Warming


  I have been inside that building many times. Sure happy it will not be me this time.  I am in Key West and the weather was wonderful today. I watched a fun parade celebrating the succession of the Conch Republic from the USA. I enjoyed the shows at Mallory Square and the cat man and tight rope guys are still performing their acts. Then I took the Ghost tour and it was corny, yet fun and educational. Going inside the Fort at night was worth it.

  It has been a long day as I drove Kathy and her friend to the Miami Airport so they could start their Africa trip and then drove to Key West. 

  Duval Street was typical bands playing in bars and too much booze being drank. It felt kinda odd to be there by myself.  I stayed sober and out of trouble until I tried to walk back onto base and the NAVY guard had a real attitude with me. I have not been yelled at in a long time and was lucky to get my ID back. A few people were following me and then held back as my ordeal unfolded. Then they walked up and went through with ease. They caught up with me and asked which branch of service I was in and we all were retired USAF.  It was odd indeed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Worry Lifted Today



  I had not written about an event that had caused me quite a bit of worry over the last month. 

  While enjoying an adventure with my brother, my phone rang and I answered it. ( key in dreadful music ) A woman asked if I was Tom and had I rented a 2018 Dodge Charger in California. Yes I was that guy and why are you calling? Well you have not responded to mail from the collection agency for the damage and loss of use you caused on the Dodge Charger.

 She explained that since I crashed the car, I was responsible. "What crash? The car drove fine for 76 miles and quit. Your people took my car to a shop and after wasting a lot of my time, gave me a Toyota Camry and then I had to drive to the shop and the mechanics who lowered it from the lift said nothing about a crash or any damage for that matter. We got our things from the car and never saw it again." Well Sir, we will have to investigate your claims. Give us two weeks. 

  At two weeks I called back and they had no update. I called my insurance agent and they were willing to take over this issue for me. I asked to give them more time and they were OK with that.

 At three weeks I called and spoke with the lady again and she said she was still waiting on a judgement for the $ 2600 claim.

 Today I got an email and it says I have been found innocent of the charges and owe them nothing. There was an apology for my concerns over the matter in there also.

 I already have another rental scheduled with them for when we leave here. So I still like the company.

  There are mines in these waters of life. I am sure glad this got solved correctly.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

91 Degrees in Parks Today



  Space X had a successful launch today and we missed it. 

  Kathy noticed the parks were not crowded today and we waited for the day to cool a bit. We got there at four PM and the temp was 91 Degrees and should be back there again tomorrow. EPCOT was not crowded and there was no line at the big ball and Soarin was five minutes as was The Land. So staying inside was the mission until Sunset.

  It has been unpacking, washing and now Kathy is repacking for her Africa trip. She is putting a lot of effort into her project.

 I made reservations to stay a few nights in Key West after dropping her off at the Miami Airport. I do enjoy the keys and really enjoy Key West. It will be hot and muggy down there, so I am packing very light for my mini trip.

 After getting back I should have a new ceiling fan to install. The cheap one in the guest bedroom is so loud it would keep a bear awake. So I ordered a Hunter brand super quiet fan from Amazon.


 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Atlas Launch-Stress Gone as Taxes Filed

Atlas V launch at 7:13 PM
  Yesterday was productive with car oil change and slow air leak in tire fixed. Then diner and a rocket launch shook the Cabana. I jumped up and grabbed a camera and got this pic, the rocket is to the right of the highest smoke. The boosters have jettisoned and are tumbling back to Earth. 

  Then Tax time and it was decided to wait another day to file.




  Today was replenish some grocery's and then file the taxes.  Gosh it is stressful for me.  We paid about $ 7k IN TAXES  for year 2017. Our refund was put against our 2018 tax bill as we always do. That and a few checks for estimated taxes makes it easy, as there is no scramble to find money to pay the tax man.  





  Tomorrow is Fast Passes in Disney. Should be a good day as a storm just passed over our Cabana.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

19 Days, 3194 Miles, Aunt Trip Complete



  We are tired campers now. We did enjoy the great hospitality offered by all kinfolk we visited. The trip was a success and hopefully we will do again in another six years.

  It was 76 degrees on the island when we got here at 6:30 PM. Kathy has been doing laundry non stop and we have all the windows open to air the Cabana out.

  The Sebring convertible served us well and we had no troubles. It used one quart of oil and I suspect most was lost by the valve cover gasket leak I never got fixed.

  Two rockets are scheduled to launch this week, so we can watch from our back yard. We also have fast passes for two days in Disney. The week should fly by and then Kathy will be off to Africa.

  This weekend is file taxes and chill out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sloss Furnace Historic Landmark

1400 degree air injection into bottom of blast furnace
  The weather was great today and three brothers went to a iron production mill that is now a museum.


Top of blast furnace is where Ore, Coke & lime were added 


  This place was built and started production in 1913 and ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until 1970.( EPA shut it down ) A lot of steel started life as iron from a mill like this.



These tanks are air heaters used to make the 1400 degree air


  The heaters were lined with fire brick and then used more fire brick to build a wasp nest like structure inside to absorb and release heat.


 
Eight Corliss steam engines drove air compressors above them to make the 20 psi air for the heater tanks and then blast furnace. They were installed in 1910.

UPdate : Offical site with history and tons of great pics taken in 1974. 
http://www.historic-structures.com/al/birmingham/sloss_furnace.php

Monday, April 9, 2018

In Warm Green Birmingham Alabama



  We truly enjoyed our family visit in Huntsville and think it might make a future year around home.

   After a short yet long time drive due to road construction, we are in a hotel not far from where my oldest brother lives. My older brother will be here tomorrow and the three of us will spend the day together. Hopefully the weather will be as nice as today. We should get to meet the grand kids also. 

  Almost all my family has moved from South Alabama to North Alabama. Cooler Summers and hills seem to be the calling.

 The car is still running fine and about 3/4 quart low of oil after 1750 miles driven. Most oil lost from a leaky valve cover gasket. If all goes well I will pay the $400 to have them replaced.

  Two days here and then Montgomery and then head on back to the Cabana. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Snowy Drive to Huntsville

  Awoke to four inches of snow on the car and wind blowing snow sideways. I went back to sleep. We hit the road at noon and noticed a lot of RV's heading North, think they are a bit early.

  We are at another cousins home and visiting another Aunt. The new home we are in is awesome, ten foot ceilings, hardwood floors, hotsy totsy everything including heated toilet seats. The three car garage and large screen room sure are nice.  Hard to believe it only cost $190K brand new.  It is nice to see all the green here and I think the storm has passed.

  Tomorrow is a day in the Huntsville Space Museum.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Enjoyed the Kids and Detroit



  We enjoyed a day at the Detroit Institute Arts and down town area of Detroit. It is not as scary as it used to be, as the city has torn down a lot of drug houses and burned out buildings and replaced them with high end condos. I do wonder where the people went. As you leave down town you enter what used to be high end homes that had been abandoned and gone to shit. Now it is open grass fields and a few nice homes remain. That was a bold step that is changing the city into a nice place again. They are even tearing down big factory buildings that had fallen into disrepair and havens for crime.





  The next day was spent at Detroit Zoo. It has a very nice penguin facility. It turned out to be a nice sunny day for seeing the animals.


 

  Friday came too quickly and I brushed the snow off the car and started loading suitcases for the next leg of the trip. Tonight we are in Louisville Kentucky just down the road from the giant Ford truck factory. It was news to me that Ford has been building cars and trucks here since 1913.








 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spent Day Inside Ford Museum



  Spent the rainy day inside The Ford Museum. It has been changed a lot since the last time I was here. Less tech and history of inventions and more of human history, better for kids I think. 





  They have not got rid of the big steam engines yet and the largest steam locomotive is still there.  I do like the machine tool display that shows how simple machines were used to make larger more complex machines.



Abby, John, Grace, Kathy and Issy





   We visited more family in Parma Ohio before driving to Detroit area. It was a good short drive. Her family has been very nice and gracious to us on this trip.






  Still a big thunder storm going on and it is only 34 degrees. Seem odd to have a thunder storm when it is this cool outside.