First family road trip of 2014

Posted on 8 February 2014 | No responses

Road trip…

First family road trip of 2014 was cold outside, but nice and cozy inside. We made a little impromptu trip to southwest Washington, and then into northwest Oregon this last week.

If you don’t care about trucks, towing or trailers…Sorry.

Ford F-450 with a Reese 24,000 pound fifth wheel hitch. 36’ fifth wheel weighing in pretty light at only ~12,500 pounds.

As expected, with max towing capacity rated at 24,700 pounds, the truck drove like there was nothing there. Only issue, was stopping 22,500 pounds of steel death on a dime, to avoid the masses of idiot drivers who pull in front of you and stomp on their brakes.

As for diesel, with trailer I was getting about 12.1 miles per gallon. Normally without a trailer, I average around 13.9 to 15 or 16 miles per gallon.

Post trip, I installed an 84 gallon auxiliary / transfer tank in the bed of the truck, giving me 120 gallons of diesel with a maximum range of around 1,700 miles on a single fill up.


Here, we’re making the customary and unfortunate routine investment in the oil industry.

F-450 with Fifth Wheel at gas station
Impressive 4 mile bridge to Astoria, Oregon over the Columbia River estuary.

WA brigde to OR over Columbia river

Cape Disappointment, south of Long Beach, WA — State parks this time of year are nearly empty, but you’d best bring some heat. See next picture.

F-450 with fifth wheel in state park campground

 The parks hose bibs had to bleed all night, made for a mess in the morning. Wind chill was around 4 degrees overnight.

State park water and ice

Apparently you can drive on the beach in Long Beach, WA. Something like 14 miles of drivable beach. Having never done it before, I now understand the appeal. Was a blast taking the family out and driving the beach.

F-450 King Ranch on Beach

Beach in the State park at Cape Disappointment. Of course, this particular night it was 28 degrees with 30 mile an hour winds.

Cape Disappointment WA State park beach



My new F-450 King Ranch, brutally assaulted by a Mazda 6

Posted on 19 November 2013 | Comments Off

A few pics of the truck after it was assaulted by a Mazda that ran a stop sign… :-(

F-450 accident scene at night

Damage isn’t all that bad considering the Mazda is totaled… Point of impact was the passenger side rear wheels. Driver of the Mazda reported she was doing about 45 MPH when she ran the stop sign.

If you had to pick a place to hit that truck, the rear wheels from the side is probably the way to do it.

Ford F-450 rear wheel / axel impact

Next morning at the auto-body shop…

Ford F-450 rear axel twisted after rear wheel impact

Yup, those are suppose to be straight.

Ford F-450 with bed removed after accident

Rear wheels pulled forward and chained so it could be moved.

Ford F-450 King Ranch right read fender being painted

Paint work on fender.

Ford F-450 King Ranch truck bed being painted

Surprised they only replaced the right side of the truck bed.

Ford F-450 fresh from the body shop

Other than some minor adjustments that need to be made, the body shop did some great work.



Childhood memories and a 1985 vintage Transformer JetFire

Posted on 30 September 2013 | Comments Off

Bringing back some of the best memories I had as a child… Playing with JetFire.

Took a bit to remember the specifics, but found him on Ebay back in March of this year in excellent condition with all accessories and the original box for around $370.

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And of course, his new home is on my office desk.

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Blog blast

Posted on 5 September 2013 | 1 response

Rather than sit for a bit and write a large blog entry, I tossed a few posts up here using MarsEdit along with some pictures for context. Blogging isn’t a real priority, but a few of the projects are interesting enough, I thought I’d share a little.

My brother took this picture a few days ago as a small storm stirred up and came across the property.

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Mobile office

Posted on 5 September 2013 | Comments Off

It’s been nearly impossible to balance everything that I have going on lately. Most of the frustration has been the out-of-pocket issue, while driving over the mountains. I was stuck with either dropping a few projects, or bringing the office with me.

The initial setup is a simple 13″ MacBook Pro with an AT&T MiFi permanently mounted in the truck. Pondering the installation of a Cisco ASA.

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30,000 watts running a 40 watt light

Posted on 5 September 2013 | Comments Off

Wired up the generator to its new main panel, and a simple test branch circuit.

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New south gate for neighbors access

Posted on 5 September 2013 | Comments Off

A couple of weeks ago, we graded out and put in a new gate for our south easement.

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30,000 watt generator for off-grid home

Posted on 1 September 2013 | Comments Off

Picked up the new 30kw generator for the house. 250 amp single-phase GE generator running a John Deere 2.4L diesel at 1800 RPM’s.

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Gone Country

Posted on 26 August 2013 | Comments Off

New truck, in its natural habitat.

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Nearly forgot about this: Seuss Technical Writing

Posted on 25 February 2012 | Comments Off

This was written in 1995 by Gene Ziegler

Here’s an easy game to play.
Here’s an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted ’cause the index doesn’t hash,
Then your situation’s hopeless, and your system’s gonna crash!

You can’t say this?
What a shame sir!
We’ll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
‘Cause as sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy’s getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you’ll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!


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