Sunset

Sunset

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW

I did not track our financial spending or mileage drove this year as we pretty much stayed in one spot all summer before going to Tennessee to work at Amazon. After crisscross America and Canada the last two years it was nice to just sit back, relax and spend time with family before hitting the road for the next two years. We set new milestones, checked somethings off our bucket list, while adding more to the growing list. We had RV and car issues that we did not expect. We then topped it off with another successful peak job at Amazon.

This year we hit a pretty large milestone of 1,500 days Full-Timing. We can't believe that four plus years have gone by so fast. There is so much we have seen & done and there is still so much more we want to do. We are thankful for our health as we have not had an major issues that would keep us from living this dream.

This blog, WOW... not in my wildest dream I thought that I would get this many views. I started this BLOG so my family & friends would have a way to follow along with us on our journey. Never did I imagine in 2012 I would have people from all 50 US States and 64 Countries interested in our stories.

For being on the road only three weeks after we arrived in Ohio, we have seen our fair number our tour buses and custom paint jobs.




It was nice to be around family this summer, but when you sit in one spot the bucket list grows longer and not much gets crossed off. A big one for me did get crossed off, to be a season ticket hold for a baseball team. Even though it was only a minor league team it still counts. The Akron RubberDucks AA Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, The best part of it all was the team hosted the All Star game and won the league title. How lucky can I get.

We added more baseball stadiums, State Capitol Building and National Parks to our list. Our new totals now stand at 41 US State, 5 Canadian Provenances, 65 different baseball stadiums, 19 State Capitol Buildings and 117 National Parks.

We toured two chocolate factories in one week and much, much more, if you want to see every where we went this year please read old post from 2016 (For our whole journey start from day one in 2012). 

Like so many times when something goes wrong, everything goes wrong. One of the most important things I did when we started Full-Timing was have an expense account for RV and car issues. The hard part is trying to keep money in the account. This year alone we had the RV roof resealed & coated, replaced our toilet, three tires, front headlight that burned out and the front glass that cracked from a rock hitting it. The car was just as bad, we had to replace the cooling/ heating unit as it rusted on the inside, the turn single unit as the handle never turned off after making a turn, new battery and two tires, one blew out on Hiromi when she was on the highway.  

I started my YouTube channel this year, but it's been a rough start. I played around with it for the past few years posting a few slide show and videos. I started Life-in-RV season 1 in late June. In the first three months I released only five videos then we arrived in Tennessee for our commitment to Amazon. There was just no time to do everything I wanted (working the night shift and 50 hours weeks) so I had to prioritize and pushed the channel to the back burner. With the New Year season 2 will start back up in January.  I hope to be able to put the time needed to grow the channel (currently only have 13 subscribers) while trying to make good videos. When we do something big and exciting I'll try and do a video at the same time then post the link at the end of the blog post. This way after you read it you can watch it too. If you have not already seen our previous videos, please click on the YouTube link in the side panel. Let me know what you thing and if you like them please subscribe.  

Finances is a touchy topic for me. I learned the importance of finances at a young age that you can't just want something and hope that someone will give it to you. Putting in the long hours, sweat, tears, sacrifice and away from family to earning the money to pay for the things I want makes it that much rewarding when I finally got it. That is the reason you will NEVER see a "donations button" or have a "support us funds" on my blog or YouTube channel like so many others. Don't get me wrong, if that is how they want to pay for their journey that is their prerogative, it just not my way.

When October rolled around it was time to stop having fun and get serious for the next three months. I probably blogged about Amazon enough lately so just read the post below. However, when all we work is 12 weeks a year its nice to know that the next nine months we'll have extra money in our pocket and see that our hard work paid off so we can enjoy the next adventurers in our journey.

2016 was great and 2017 is going to be another awesome year, as we discover a new way of living where travel, adventure and home are one in the same. We have plans to stay out West with a surprise vacation, as long as everything goes right. When the time comes I'll share it, but we don't want to jinks it. If not, there is always plan B. I will track our spending and miles in 2017 to see the cost for staying out West (ie campground, groceries/ eat out, RV/car gas ...etc).We'll continue to check items off our bucket list, while forging unforgettable memories that will last us a lifetime.

Live your dream, travel safe and hopefully see you on the road. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

CAMPERFORCE AMAZON MURFREESBORO, TN : FINAL

CAMPERFORCE AMAZON MURFREESBORO, TN : FINAL

77,76.75 ...... 3,2,1, ZERO! It's official our commitment to Amazon is completed. After working 77 days and close to 500 hours with sub teen temperatures the last few weeks it's time to pack up and get back on the road were we belong. We'll be heading West for warmer weather to sit pool side in the desert. Before that, we have a few stops planed along the way to AZ and can't wait to share them with you. Before all the fun starts I have to put an end to this chapter at Amazon, I have one last post about our CamperForce experience in Murfreesboro, TN.

In the previous posts I talked about CamperForce, now I'm going to talk about the behind the scenes good stuff. Holiday gifts were giving out to workers for showing up to work on time, dress up days, games and just doing your job. In the pass years we never got anything, but this year we racked it up. For dressing up in all black on Black Friday and wearing Amazon T-Shirt on Cyber Monday we won three $25 Amazon gift card. Our last week during "power hour" (a race to see who does the best) Hiromi finished in the top 10 and got a $10 Amazon gift card (not pictured below). Every week we got a hand full of raffle tickets for just showing up to work on time and doing our job at a high rate with no errors were we must have got over 150 raffle tickets for prize drawings at the end of the peak season. Unfortunately, the drawing was on Dec 22 and our last day of working was Dec 21 (released on Dec 23).We also found a lot hide and seek cards for ICQA, but since peek started management passed out raffle tickets instead. The hide and seek will return in January after we leave. What am I going to do with all these cards? Finally, the funnest way I ever made free money... playing Rock - Paper - Scissors. On our night shift in ICQA there was a tournament, out of about 30 people I finished tied for third and won a $15 American Express prepaid card. The only down side is that I had to spend the money on the card by 1 Jan 17 or I lose $2 every month. We used it to eat out before we left TN. Another incentive for doing your job well is Boro Bucks. Surrounded around your rate and quality is were you can cash them in to get free Amazon Swag. For some reason we have not been getting our Boro Bucks in our account. I have talked to some people and they told me they are working on it... I understand the Boro Buck from paper to electronic might take time to transfer as someone has to enter the data, but the weekly Bucks??? should be automatically by now! On the last day we still did not have any Boro bucks in our account. All we wanted was a BNA3 T-shirt... HOOK A BROTHER UP! This was the only year we did not have CampeForce "farewell meeting", it was canceled and never rescheduled.


We spend the $15 prepaid card at Lemongrass . Lemongrass was recommenced by fellow CamperForce in the weekly newsletter. It's been a while since we ate sushi, it was pretty good.

My Teriyaki Chicken and Sashimi 
 Hiromi's Teriyaki Chicken and Sushi

Just a quick look at how hard I worked this peak, check out my gloves.
                     
                          New                                                             After 12 weeks

One of my personal goals I set out at the start of this job was to lose some unwanted weight. I knew by working in a warehouse and walking all day I could lose weight, I just did not know how much? My goal was to lose 13 LBS and get in the 150s. I started at 172 LBS with 23% body fat. I now weigh 159 LBS with 20% body fat. I did it! I feel great for being a mid 40 something. Time to set a new goal... Now comes the hard part, keeping the weight off!

                              Before                                                               After
     

Another thing I did was grow my "AMAZON BEARD". For the last six weeks I did not shave (just trimmed). Hiromi hates it so it gotz to go, but the goatee .. is staying. I've been growing it for 15 months. Maybe after two years (1 Sep 2017) I'll cut it, we'll see. Maybe make it a YouTube video, What do you think?

                       Before                                                               After
  

Now that this chapter as a CamperForce has come to and end, it's time to start a new chapter. Where will our journey take us next?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

CAMPERFORCE AMAZON MURFREESBORO, TN UPDATE

CAMPERFORCE AMAZON MURFREESBORO, TN UPDATE


I have been away from this BLOG for a while, but all for a valid reason. I have been putting in 50 hour weeks at Amazon so we can make our spending money for our summer fun so I have exciting things to BLOG about. With the little time off we do get we did do some sightseeing and I promise when my commitment to Amazon is fulfilled I will BLOG and YouTube about it. 

We just completed our 9th week at Amazon with only three weeks left in the peek season, there is no better time then the present to fill you in on our experiences at this Fulfillment Center (FC).

Murfreesboro FC is by far 100% better than my experience in Haslet. TX last year. I have heard that Haslet FC is under new management this season so things might be better this season, I don' know? This season I'm assigned to ICQA and found this assignment to my liking. If you can count to 100 this job is for you. Past seasons I was hitting weekly goals of 100%-110% in stow and receiving, this year I'm exceeding that with weekly goals of 120%-140%.  To explain it most simply as I can; I count the storage bins to make sure all the product are in the correct bin physically as it show virtually in the computer system. If there is an error I pull an alert to have someone fix it. That is all I do for 10 hours a night.... Oh, and I walk and walk and walk A LOT.  As you could image, warehouse work puts a strain on your body. There has been a few fellow CamperForce who have quite. I would come home and see their RV, when I wake up they are gone. The first 2-3 weeks are the toughest, after that my body was use to it. I have even seen a physical improvement in where I have lost 10 lbs and on the verge of hitting 159 lbs for the first time since I retired six years ago.  

The job might feel tedious, but I keep telling myself why I'm here and fight though the night. Some days are better than others, but I keep looking at the big picture knowing at the end of the storm there is a rainbow that all my efforts now will make summer 2017 fun. 

This season CamperForce got a pay increase with the night shift making $12 a hour. Along with the free campsite we're able to pocket every penny we both make this peek. The campsite we are at is nice and quite, away from everything making it easier for us to stay home and not go out to spend a lot money. Our neighbors on both sides of us work days, when we come home they are getting up and we leave before they return. Always my favorite part are the stories and friendships bonded with fellow campers at the campground and workplace. There is a Wal Mart and Military Base Commissary close by where we get our groceries. There are only two downside to the campground we are at 1) Trash. There is no dumpsters, we have to take our trash to the recycle center on our way to work. If you work days this might be difficult as the hours they are open are the hours you work. Closed on Saturdays, but open for a few hours on Sundays. 2) Internet. It works for our everyday use. We are unable to get TV reception and rely on the internet for entertainment. The slow internet bandwidth will not allow me to connect to download or stream TV/Movies. I can view YouTube videos with a little buffering. Facebook/browser games work with no problem. I have not even tried my steam account games, maybe too much bandwidth.

As of right now, it dose not look like we will return to Amazon CamperForce next season as we will be out West for the next two years and the only Amazon CamperForce openings are East. If they open CamperForce out West I would definitely sign up for my 4th year.   


Saturday, October 8, 2016

AMAZON: MURFREESBORO, TN

AMAZON: MURFREESBORO, TN

We have arrived. We are staying at Tennessee Hills Campground. As the names suggests there is a long windy dirt hill road to get to the campground. Once we got there it's a nice open area and quite. Perfect for us as we will be working nights. A few downsides there is no trash dumpers. We have to drop our trash off at a wast deposit. The hours they are open is the time we are sleeping. Looks like we will have to load up a large garbage bag and drop off once a week, like most "NORMAL" people do in their homes. WI-FI is usable for emails, web searching and posting this blog (fingers crossed) at such a slow speed we'll see how long it takes to load videos to YouTube. No streaming or downloading. For TV we get only a few channels. For us working nights this will be the best place to stay. We are here to work the next 9 weeks so anytime we can get quite during the day to sleep is great. We will not watch TV or use internet (unless it's a off day), being far away it will make us to eat out of our RV and not drive to eat out or spend money shopping. Best of all we were told by the campground owners that it does not snow, something we were worried about being in TN.

First day of orientation and I thought we where going to be late. The car would not start and our neighbor came out to give us a jump, but we could not find the battery under the hood. (We have an HHR). After a quick view of the manual the battery is in the trunk, but can jump the battery from under the hood. The positive was easy to find, but the negative.... other campers started to come out and one called his wife to come back to give us a ride. When we returned I was able to read the manual and watch YouTube video to get the battery jumped. Then, we were off to Wal Mart body shop to get a new battery. Hiromi stayed in the car as we left the car running in case it would not start again. Once I got the battery it came with free install, but we were seventh in line. The body shop cashier took the battery outside to our car and installed it himself. At first he was heading to the hood of the car until I told him the battery was in the trunk. He was a bit surprised, but after I took the spare tire, jack and plastic wall he completed the job in a few minutes.


Murfreesboro Amazon orientation is different from the other place we have worked. Day 0 was only a five hour day covering leadership, safety, loss produce, HR, creating login and unfinished paper work. Other places safety school is completed in the same day after lunch, but at Murfreesbro safety school is held on your first day of work.  Another thing that is different in other places the first week is a 20 hour week 4 days 5 hr shift. Here it's day 1 10 hr safety school (that seems to be to long as I taught the class last year and I was completed around 2 hours) Day 2&3 5 hr shift and day 4 10 hr shift. I'm not complaining about the hours I like it, we get an extra 10 hours on the first week. We are here to work as many hours as we can to make as much money as we can. I know from my past years, work as many hours as I can at the start of the season, because at the end I don't want to be there any longer than I have to. My wrist and hand have failed me in the past with injuries. Good news is this year we are ICQA, basic quality insurance. Checking the bend for the correct count of items and making the bins neat for easier access to product. OH, and add note... CamperForce gets a raise this year from $10.25 to $11.50 an hour. Since we are working nights we get $.50 extra and making $12 an hour ($18 hr overtime). I sure need it as we start this season in the hole (new car battery). I'll need my first day and half just to break even.

After we work a few weeks I will post an update and anything in the area that we do on our off time.

Monday, September 26, 2016

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 19, 20, 21 & PLAYOFFS

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 19, 20, 21 & PLAYOFFS


I'm starting to sound like a broken record ... I have fallen behind in my post and to catch up I've decided not to write about every games, instead to talk about the series as a whole. 

Akron is on the road all week and no home games for week 19.

Week's total: 0 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 0 autographs
Games: 0 day  0 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-0

Akron's total: 48 games, 145 balls (63 give-a-way), 140 autographs, 4 bat, 11 SGA,
Games: 10 day  38 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 30-18

2016 baseball season total: 65 games, 177 balls (68 give-a-way), 225 autographs, 11 bats


22-28 Aug

Ducks won all 5 games on the road last week and are in 2nd place eyeing a playoff berth. Game 6 was postponed by rain until 2 Sep to complete the game in Akron.

The best team in the League arrive for a three game series. This is the series I'm worried about. Two players on the team have 35 and 37 homeruns and are both League MVP candidates.  Time to bitedown and see if we are for real.

Game 1
Got 8 balls at BP and gave all 8 away. Got 3 Reading autographs. Ducks won 5-2.

Game 2
Brought 4 balls from home and gave them away. Got 1 Reading autograph. Ducks won 4-1.

Game 3
Ducks won 4-3.

Richmond (Giants) comes into Canal Park for a four game series.

Game 1
During BP Richmond Angel Villalona broke his bat. All his teammates where ohhh'ing. You're not suppose to brake at bat in BP, that mean you swung at a bat pitch. Needless to Angel was made. I tried to talk to him to get the bat but he was not talking to anyone. The coach Hector Borg who threw BP I asked him for the bat. He said after he plays and jokes about it in the club house. I have faith he would come through. When Hector came out for the start of the game he had the bat in hand and gave it to me. When I looked at the name on the bat my heart skipped a beat as is was an Albert Puljos module bat. I would also get 2 ball from BP and 6 Richmond autographs. Ducks lost 4-7.

Game 2
Saw something new on the field. In the 2nd inning the Ducks had 9 batter come to the plate scoring 4 runs on only 1 hit. Got 2 Richmond Autographs. Ducks won 9-3.

Game 3
Bobblehaed give away night of Miss Lippy from the movie Billy Madison. Hiromi can to the game with me so I got two bobbleheads. No BP. However, I brought 6 balls and gave them all away. Got 3 Duck Autographs. I though instead of just having balls #299 and #300 I would get them signed by the player who threw them to me. A little added bonus to the collection. Ducks lost 3-13. I needed one of the Ducks mascots auto for the team set, she missed the card ... just a bit outside.


Game 4
Brought 6 balls to the game and gave them all away. I caught a screaming line drive foul ball off the the of Richmond's Darren Ford. The weird part was he bats right handed and he pulled the ball to the third base dugout. Usually the ball would go over the first base dugout. After the game I would go to Richmond dugout and ask for the broken game used broken bat.... and GOT IT from Chris Shaw. All the kids were saying, "give me the bat". I said, "Chris can I have your bat please". When I got the bat I said, "Thank you". My mom raised me right, What's wrong with today's youth? Ducks won 8-2


Week 20 Haul


Week's total: 7 games, 11 balls (24 give-a-way), 15 autographs, 2 Bats, 2 SGA
Games: 0 day  7 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 5-2

Akron's total: 55 games, 156 balls (87 give-a-way), 155 autographs, 6 bat, 13 SGA,
Games: 10 day  45 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 35-20

2016 baseball season total: 72 games, 188 balls (92 give-a-way), 240 autographs, 13 bats

Ducks are on the road fro the first half of the week until they return for the final weekend of the season. The Ducks end the season the way it stared by hosting Bowie Baysox. This will be a five games series as the first game will be a completed from a game stopped due to rain. The season comes down to the final week, if the Ducks win four games they are in the playoffs. If they win all five and Altoona loses 3 of it's last 4 Ducks win the Division.

2-5 Sep
Game 1
There was a lot of roster moves for the Ducks. Need to pull of these card to get signed. Brought 6 balls and gave them all away. Got 2 Bowie autographs. Ducks won 7-4. After the game I ask Henry Urrutia for his broken bat and got, Another former major leaguer bat.

Game 2
Because the game is a double header MiLB rule has these as a 7 inning game. Ducks won 6-3.

Game 3
Last bobblehead giveaway and Hiromi came with me to get two of former Cav and the late John "Hot Rod" Williams. Brought 4 balls and gave them all away. Got 6 Ducks autographs. Ducks won 4-3.

Game 4
Brought 2 balls gave them all away. Got 4 Ducks autographs. Duck won 5-3 and took the first place in the division. Ducks are in the playoff.

Game 5
If the Ducks win they win the Division and home field in the first round playoffs. Brought 2 balls and gave them all away. Ducks won 8-6 winning the Western Division title.

Week 21 Haul


Week's total: 5 games, 0 balls (14 give-a-way), 12 autographs, 1 Bat, 2 SGA
Games: 0 day  5 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 5-0

Akron's total: 60 games, 156 balls (101 give-a-way), 167 autographs, 7 bat, 15 SGA,


Games: 10 day  50 night  2 doubleheader   Home record: 40-20

2016 baseball season total: 77 games, 188 balls (106 give-a-way), 252 autographs, 14 bats

EASTERN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

7-11 Sep

Western Division Champs Akron RubberDucsk will face 2nd place Altoona Curve in the best of 5 series. Game 1 and 2 were in Altoona and the teams split the series 1-1. Ducks are back on their home field where they have a winning record.

Game 3
Got 5 balls at BP gave them all away. Got 4 Duck autographs. Ducks won 9-4.

Game 4
Got 3 balls at BP before the rain came that would suspend Game 4 one more night. Return for game 4 (part 2) the next day and Hiromi came with me, I got 2 balls at BP. Hiromi got her first ever baseball, one down 332 to go. 

I got two more balls and gave 5 balls away (three from the rain out yesterday), but we kept Hiromi's. I got 1 Duck autograph of Yan Gomes. Hiromi was able to get a good picture of it too.

This was one of the best games I have ever watched. Both teams knotted at 0-0 and each pitching staff giving up only one hit through 9. We would go into the 10th inning and Eric Haase would play hero with a walk-off single scoring Mike Papi from second base. Clinching the series and sending the Ducks into the Eastern League Championship game. Let the partying begin

An usher threw me a champagne cork from the field,

EASTERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES


13-18 Sep

Trenton Thunder (Yankees) won the Eastern Division and will play games 1 and 2 in Akron. First team to win 3 games are the Eastern League Champs. There are two former Indians Prospect who got traded to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. I just hope they don't pitch good against us. I would hate to see us lose the title by good pitching from former RubberDucks.

Game 1
Went to BP early and got 8 balls, gave them all away. Got 2 Trenton autographs. Eric Haase was the hero once again with a grand slam in the fifth to put the Ducks in front and win 6-3.

Game 2
Got 4 balls at BP and gave them all way. Ducks won 4-2 and take a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series. Now they head to Trent for three game, all the Ducks have to do is win only one game and they clinch.

Final game of the 2016 season in Canal Park. It's been a great ride watching the Ducks play. My first year ever as a season ticket holder and I could not have asked for anything better. My first All Star and Playoff games in the stands. I set a goal of giving away 100 baseball and accomplished that. I have never got a bat in my life (until this years spring training) and I would add 14 to my collection.

However the Ducks finish this season it was worth ever penny. Do or die, Ducks Fly Together.

Akron went to Trenton and sweep the series and are now 5 times Eastern League Champs.


No more baseball post... until spring training. See ya next year.

Playoff Haul


Week's total: 4 games, 22 balls (22 give-a-way), 7 autographs 
Games: 0 day  4 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 4-0

Akron's total: 64 games, 178 balls (123 give-a-way), 174 autographs, 7 bat, 15 SGA,
Games: 10 day  54 night  2 doubleheader   Home record: 44-20

2016 baseball season total: 81 games, 210 balls (128 give-a-way), 259 autographs, 14 bats


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DAYTON,OH AVIATION HISTORY & DEVILS BATHTUB

DAYTON,OH AVIATION HISTORY & DEVILS BATHTUB


16-18 AUG

As you can see by the date, I have been working on this post (along with a few other) for a pretty long time. I was afraid this might happen. With about a month remaining in the summer (when I first started this post) we were busy with task that need to be completed so we could leave by mid-late September. It's now September, and we're still busy getting thing in order. The RV stuff is almost done, it's the little things left in OH that I need to get done because we will not be returning until 2019 or later.

With no baseball games this week we took a three day trip to Dayton, OH in the RV. We have not done any traveling all summer and I was itching to get back on the road. Of course we wanted something close, but still far enough away to use the RV. Besides, after the maintenance we want to see how the RV would drive. Good news it drove good. However, when I did a tire check (first week of September) and took the wheel covers off I noticed that the lettering in the tire was coming off and looking like the tire was wearing thin. Something else to add to the TOP of the list before we leave. 

Anyways, back to our trip... I killed two birds with one stone making this my first blog with post and Youtube videos. You can read a little and then watch video to complete the adventure. 

First stop was the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. We saw the Wright Brothers video and 1902 model plane. While I was talking to National Park Ranger, Hiromi noticed a stuff bear and it was free IF we completed getting seven stamps from what we called the Aviation Scavenger Hunt. Just by the look on her face I knew we had to go on this hunt. Bad news, the ranger said there were no more in stock and that when we completed the stamps that the bear would be mailed to us. Two things, One we are RV'ers and spending another day in Dayton would not be a problem and second we have a mailing address. SPOILER ALERT: we stayed in Dayton an extra day....  If you want to see the full story of our trip to Dayton,OH CLICK HERE. to see the video.




Meet Mr. Flyer

After our stay in Dayton, Hiromi asked why are we going South? This is the wrong way!  I had one more surprise visit up my sleeve. We were on the back country roads with no rest stops. We hit the last big size town before sunset and spent the night at Wal Mart before taking the last hour drive to the surprise... Hocking State Park in Logan, OH. Nice little hike were we saw waterfalls, Devil's Bathtub and Old Man's Cave.  CLICK HERE is see the rest of the story,






Tire Update:
Last RV maintenance (finger crossed) of the year. We need two tires, one pictured above and the other was the spare had a nail in it. While we were here we got an oil change too. The thing I like most about  C & B body shop in Louisville, OH is the is right. Because our Class C RV is on a Ford Chassis they charge us for a Ford truck, not like the large RV change store we all love to hate. Two tires $325 and oil change $25. The oil changes I had done in the past in the RV giant stores cost over $100 and the price for one tire was the same as I paid for two. I will never do Chassis maintenance again at a RV shop. If you are in ever in Louisville, OH this is the place to go C&B Body Shop. 
(FYI: not getting paid to advertise just a place where I got good service at a good price and want other to know about). 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

1-7 Aug
Akron is on the road all week and no home games for week 17.


Week's total: 0 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 0 autographs
Games: 0 day  0 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-0

Akron's total: 43 games, 142 balls (63 give-a-way), 134 autographs, 2 bat, 9 SGA,
Games: 9 day  34 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 26-18

2016 baseball season total: 60 games, 174 balls (68 give-a-way), 219 autographs, 9 bats

9-14 Aug

Since the All Star break Akron is 6-18 and has falling out of the playoff race. They start the week at 56-59 and 7 games out. The Ducks look and play like a Freshman on the varsity team. With only five weeks remaining in the season, this is a do or die time to start making a run or they will not make the playoffs. Both first and second place teams are playing each other this week. All the Ducks have to do is win and let them two teams beat up on each other and we can sneak back into the hunt.

Game 1: Still busy doing lots of stuff during the day to get ready for our road trip next week. I arrived just as the players were taking the field. At the end of the first inning Ducks pitcher DJ Brown covered first and received the toss from Nellie Rodriguez for the final out of the inning. As DJ returned to the dugout I was the only fan standing asking for the ball and he threw it to me. I'm honing in on another BallHawk milestone. I now stand at 298 baseball and by the end of the week I will be over 300 baseball retrieved. I'm hoping for #300 to be special and no "Easter Eggs" (find a ball just laying on the ground).

The player I called the spark plug of the team was sent down from Columbus to make room on their roster for a player sent down from the Majors. When Eric Stamets plays the Ducks do pretty good. Case in point in the first inning he climbed the ladder to snag a ball from falling into Left Field. Then, he started a rally with a double. I like to see all players get promoted, but I'm glade he's back even if it's only for a short time.

Akron jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first four inning. In the seventh I saw lighting in the sky and I started to the gate to get home before the storm came. Akron would hold on and win 6-2.


Game 2: Still busy around the RV, no BP or autographs. When I arrived to the ballpark it started to rain. The field was covered and the USA vs Australia basketball Olympic game was being show on the scoreboard. After a 1:33 hour rain delay the game was on. I'm glade I stayed, officially the attendance 3,090 but it looked to be half that (come on the 50/50 total was only $48... 3,000+ people ...NO WAY). After the Ducks starter Julian Merryweather struck out the side in the first inning catcher Danial Salters threw me the ball when returning to the dugout (#299). After watching the first inning with the Ducks at bat I knew it was going to be good game. I have not seen ever batter run down the first base line after hitting the ball hard in months. Take away the 6th inning where Merryweather gave up 2 hits (after I got home they changed a hit to error. I thought it was an error when I saw the play) and 2 runs he threw a gem. Unfortunately, he would only go 8 inning and the game was tied 2-2. I moved to the first base stands as there was fewer fans sitting. As the Ducks took the field in the 7th the last out ball was laying in the outfield and Jordan Smith threw the ball in the stands. I chased it down for my BallHawk Milestone #300. With runners on first and second Jeremy Lucas would have the game winning hit that would break the tie and the Ducks walkoff in the ninth. The play looked like Bill Buckner's 1986 World Series game 6 play, except the ball was hit to the third baseman.

After the game I stood next to the Hartford dugout and when Noel Cuevas was heading to the clubhouse I asked for his broken bat, and I got it. That makes my 10th bat this year.

Game 3: As a Duck fan it was a hard game to watch, but as a baseball fan it was a showcase on how to play small ball and win a baseball game. Hartford is the affiliate of the Rockies and in the National League is know for small ball. Yard Goats bunted, stole bases and scored runner with out the ball leaving the infield.  Ducks lost 4-6, but won the series. I know they can't win every game, but winning the remaining series will put them in good conditions to hopefully make a playoff puch.


Game 4: This was the biggest day for me as a baseball fan. Today would mark the first time for me to be on the field of play with player. First, I got to be on the field to watch Akron's BP. We arrive three hours before the game where as a season ticket hold I used my loyalty point to see BP on the field. Even Hiromi was allowed on the field with me. We stood on track behind the batting cage. Akron was using the pitching machine for BP to hit balls at 90 MPH and Jordan Smith broke his bat. When his round of BP was finished he came to me and thanked us for coming out and gave me his broken bat.

When BP was finished, manager Dave Wallace came over to thank us for coming out too and asked, "How we liked it?". Two weeks ago was Dave Wallace bobblehead give-a-way and I asked if he would sign the bobblehead and he did.


Dark clouds started to roll in and Portland did not get to have BP on the field. Second, I used my first pitch ticket to throw out the first pitch before the game. In front of 7,674 fans (68 from our campground) I threw a strike right down the middle of the plate to Jermey Lucas.

video

In the 5th inning Hiromi and I where on the scoreboard for Kay's Kiss Cam.


 Akron put a hurting on Portland scoring 18 runs on 20 hits. Every started got at least one hit. The top players was Todd Hankins who went 4-5 with 2 HR's (one was a grand slam) 6 RBI's. Nellie Rodriguez was a close second going 2-5 with a HR and 5 RBI's. This was by far the best game they played since the All Star break. I think I have to go to Ducks BP on the field and throw out the first pitch everyday now. I just hope they still have pop in the bat for the remaining two games this weekend.

Game 5:Brown's bobblehead give-a-way of two different players Kevin Mack vs Earnest Byner. Fan have to vote and they got only one bobblehead ticket when they entered the stadium. Good think I had Hiromi come with me. We were able to get one of each. The nice thing is that these bobbleheads are limited to 500 each instead of 1,000 like all the other bobblehead nights. Tonight is also Bradly Zimmer bobblehead give-a-way at Mahoning Valley Scrapper game (about 30 minutes from Akron). I think lot of people would be going to Scrappers game instead.


The rain came and would not stop, at least we got our bobbleheads. We saw a break in the clouds and took off for the gate to head home. When we got home we saw that the game was postponed. Doubleheader tomorrow with first game moved up to 1:05pm start vice 2:05pm with game two to follow. Hiromi will not be going to the games tomorrow. She did two games back-to-back and I thank her for helping me out. Before the rain came too hard I got Eric Stamets to autograph his 2016 Ducks team set I now have all the player (that are on the roster now) only need two coaches, one mascot and the super fan insert (I have not seen him at a game the last two weeks). I have only eight players who are in Columbus to left to complete the set. I hope they are still with the team next year so I can get them to sign at spring training in AZ.

Game 6: It has not rained in three weeks and now it rains six days straight. The last two days the rain has effected the games. Today's doubleheader was looking to be a wash with a four hour rain delay. I guess the two team decided to play only one game instead of two. Portland has a 15 hour bus ride back home and that might had something in the decision.

Jordan Smith had a 2-run homer and the duck won 3-0.

This week of baseball is one I will not forget in long time. I got to see BP on the field, throw out my first ever first pitch, I set a milestone with my 300th baseball and got not one, but two broken bats in one week.

The Ducks looked like the Ducks of old going 4-1 this week. They now stand at 60-60 and only 3 games back of the playoffs.



Week 18 Haul


Week's total: 5 games, 3 balls (0 give-a-way), 6 autographs. 2 Bats
Games: 1 day  4 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 4-1

Akron's total: 48 games, 145 balls (63 give-a-way), 140 autographs, 4 bat, 11 SGA,
Games: 10 day  38 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 30-19

2016 baseball season total: 65 games, 177 balls (68 give-a-way), 225 autographs, 11 bats






Sunday, August 21, 2016

RV & CAR MAINTENANCE WEEK

 RV & CAR MAINTENANCE WEEK



When something goes wrong or needs to be done it usually comes all at once. I held off to get maintenance done since we are not moving this summer and when I finally took the RV in the list grew from stuff we need to get done while adding stuff we wanted. First I had to buy the Ford headlight from a Ford dealer. The RV shop said it could take up to two weeks to arrive, while I got it from the dealer the next day. Next I had the roof resealed and coated. They said there was no cracks in the sealing so they just cocked over the old sealing. It looks like crap and missed the whole section by the ladder. At least it won't leak if it snows when we are in Tennessee this Peak Season at Amazon. Hiromi kept saying she wanted a new toilet. So I got her a new toilet. It's a little bigger then the old one. The flush is by foot where our old one was by handle. The weird thing is we still reach for the handle after we flush by foot. We got hit by a rock (or something) as a semi passed us on the highway and the window cracked. The shop estimated $1,500 so I called my insurance to help cover the coast. After taking the RV to a body shop it only coast $225.00. The RV shop prices are jacked to high. Over all I paid way more for all the maintenance and upgrades than I wanted, Hiromi said that what I get since I waited to do everything all at once.




I did some DIY on our steps. Rreally easy except for the old hook springs were rusted, but the the mat came off with ease.



                                 BEFORE                                                      AFTER                 


There still are a few more thing we want to upgrade to the inside of the RV that we will DIY. We want to pull up the carpet and lay tile, remove our day/night shades in the bedroom & put up curtains and our dinning cushions are getting warn and need replaced.  We still have lots of work to do in the five or so weeks we have left in Ohio before we hit the road. I hoping to video record the carpet and bedroom upgrades to have a DIY on Youtube.


It took a few day to set up the car maintenance appointment, I wanted to make sure everything with the RV was done first. The turn single would not turn off after I made a turn, the AC / heater would only work on high and not the lower levels and front turn single light burned out. There must be a leak somewhere in the front of the car as they found rust in my vents that prevents the AC/ heater to work correctly. They told me I was lucky to have it working at all. I thought that I could DIY on the headlight bulb, sounds pretty easy right? Not anymore these days. The bulb is located under the wheel wall. I took out the screws but then there are plastic bolts with no way of coming off unless I broke them off, then the wheel wall would be flapping when I would drive. The body shop did the turn light bulb for free.

Both the RV and car should now be in perfect working order (knock on wood) and should have nothing to fear. It's good that we got all the work done while we are located in one spot then have to have something go wrong when we are on the road. Time to go back to work at Amazon so we can replace our emergency funds.

We still have to find time to do spring cleaning in our outside storage and lose some weight that we are carrying. We will be on the road for the next three years and there is no better time to clean now when we are at home so we can put stuff in my parents attic. Also, we want to spent a couple days on a local road trip to give the RV a road test to make sure it's running smoothly after being parked all summer before we hit the road again next month.

I know it's been a while since my last Youtube video, but I still need to do voice over for the cooking episodes. I can't talk Hiromi into doing them with me, I guess I'll have to do it myself. Keep your eyes open for new post I have in the works. Just to give you a taste of what videos I'm working on, Cooking with Life-in-RV, RV tour, American Sushi, What is there to do in Canton, OH? and of course where ever we go on our local trip.






Sunday, August 14, 2016

FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME & FAMILY YARD SALE

FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME & FAMILY YARD SALE

The last three weeks have been non stop. There seems not to be enough time in the day to get everything done. We wake up and are busy all day, before I knew it three weeks have flown by. We had two straight days of RV maintenance, followed by one day of car maintenance. A week of Akron RubberDuck baseball, football Hall of Fame game, family yard sale, Youtube editing and that's just the tip of the iceberg. To keep the post somewhat in order and understandable I broken them up by topics and I'm working on four different posts all at once.

Our family has had tickets to the Football Hal of Fame game before I was even born. Living in the Football Hall of Fame State, I grew up loving football. Growing up I always looked forward to the start of the football season, I would see the first game of the year. Now that I'm on the road anytime we are in Ohio in August there is always a ticket with my name on it.

You know I'm getting old when 6 of the 8 players getting inducted into the Hall of Fame I watched growing up. For the first time EVER, the game was canceled after fans have already entered the stadium. There was issues with the paint that was used on the field. Most of the newly inducted Hall of Famers came out on to the field as there name was announced, just like they would have if the game was going to be played. Fave was in shorts and no Hall of Fame gold jacket. I would rate the game a big fat ZERO and a black eye to the Hall of Fame and the NFL. Right now I want to boycott this years NFL season, but who knows how long I can hold out when the baseball season comes to an end? The best part of the whole game was meeting my nieces KaraLynn (17) and Mei (20) for the first time.


Here is where I would have sat to see the game from Row E 50 yard line. Can't get much better than that.

When the Hall of Fame weekend comes rolling around, so does my Aunt's yard sale. It seems to get bigger every year. This is her 43rd year of having the yard sale and this year there are 18 different families who have brought stuff to sale.