Tuesday June 3
day as we were up again at 4 AM closing up the slides and watching the
wind and rain. At least no hail for us last night. Knock on wood
again for us. Weather radio alarms going off every few minutes. This is
like I said before, getting old. But so far we have not been blow away.
The local newscaster said I bet many of you were ready to through your
weather alarm radios out the window. A large dead pine tree and several
branches were blow down in this yard and a few miles away on the main north
and south Interstate 35 was closed just north of us both ways with 2 feet
of water over both lanes. Glad I didn't have to fight the flooded
roads trying to get to downtown Des Moines to my old work location. Let
alone trying to do it in the winter here in Iowa. Late winter was a record
breaker for snow and storms. And it seems to be just contuning on thru
the present month.
to mow lawn in the afternoon and gave up as our host had messed with the
mover controls and we are now no longer doing the lawn care for them anymore.
(Don't ask) Terry is working doing a siding job with his good friend
and remodeling contractor. And would you believe his is almost done with
the buffing and waxing job on our 5er. It is to storm more each day for
the near future so we have to stay on top of things. I need to get
my drivers Lic. renewed and we can get that done on a Thurs. or Fri. in
Vermillion, SD. Might try for that this Friday and make it family
outing. Would like to take the 5er and stay up there as they have a nice
Lions RV park that is free for three days. But the fuel would be a little
much, (Google sez 188 miles) so will drive our 4 cil. Pontiac and maybe
stay in a motel and live it up a bit. After spending so much time
driving the truck and 5er, it is fun to drive our small Pontiac Grand Am.
It is older but drives like a dream and the stering wheel is rock solid
and holds the road great. No rust and looks new. I have never had an auto
this long and with 93 K miles. We only drive it a little in the summer,
and makes for great gas mileage. I remember when at 20 K in my youth
I would trade. Not anymore as this is sort like a old friend.
tonight at last we have a Democratic candidate for president... And now
we can get on with changing the future of this country. We have been
on the wrong track for the last eight years, with questionable elected
leaders who have not been in touch with this country or its people, or
the rest of the world. The entire free world awaits us to bring this country
back into the fold of responsible countries. Pry for all of us to
do the right thing!
Wednesday June 4
many times do I have to post about the weather in Iowa. The farm fields
look like lakes.
tonight they have issued a weather warning for the entire area for the
next few days.
Not for a few hours but for days.
Never heard of that. They have activated the Iowa Homeland Security and
Emergency Center and are staffing it with personal for the next few days.
That has never been done before.
The above picture is of
the Homeland Security and Emergency Center
in Iowa which is located on the secure National Guard Base.
Now later tonight: At
9 PM right now local TV is watching a tornado with a spotter on site, south
of us reporting live. We are not in the direct path but STILL. We in this
state are in shock as just a week ago we had a EF5 tornado wipe out a couple
of towns. We understand with a EF5 event, even if you head to a basement
with 200 plus winds you are not safe anywhere! I always thought
if you could get under cover you would be safe, but that is not the case
have a Radio Shack handheld Weather
Radio CAT NO 12-259 (the link takes you to Radio Shack) which
is great for traveling as it will scan in a travel mode to pick up warnings
while on the road. It beeps with warnings as conditions are broadcast by
the NWS. We could not travel without this unit.
were thinking of heading from Des Moines to Vermillion, SD to get my drivers
lic renewed on Friday (it is the closest county seat in SD to us) (they
are open on Thursday and Friday at this location) and later stay in Sioux
City for the night and go out for a nice meal as it is Terry's birthday
on Thursday. You can send him greetings at email@example.com
if you want.
the radar we are watching go to http://www.kcci.com/wxmap/1007090/detail.html
You can select to any part
of the USA from this site. The local weather person is the President of
the National Meteorological society. A plus for us, as he is the expert
help us cope. And they have invested in the best advanced radar and know
how to use it.
If I hear any more about
hooks and rain wrapped tornadoes and 2" hail I am going
to upload this before we loose sig to the satellite.
10 PM They are having a huge
event south of us and the weather expert sez OH MY GOD this is a not good.
And he has been always restrained in the past.
Thom and Judy in UT enjoy as we wish we were there out of this weather.
Thursday June 5
day another weather event. We did make it through last night with
all our 5er slides slid in. Felt like we were parked in a Walmart
or something. Not that we would do that.
from MSNBC and the NWS...
warned of tornado outbreak
a strongly worded statement Thursday, the weather service warned that parts
of Kansas could see hail bigger than baseballs and "a few strong to violent
forecasting models for Thursday resembled those on June 8, 1974, when 39
tornadoes raked the southern Plains, killing 22. The National Weather Service
on Tuesday took the unusual step of giving advance warning of a possible
tornado outbreak based on the conditions.
out as at high risk were Omaha; Topeka, Kan.; Des Moines, Iowa;
and south-central Minnesota, he said. The region at risk of severe thunderstorms
stretched from northern Texas to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
for some fun... I found this NWS radar site that shows the entire country
and does it in loop mode if you want. This is one unreal view
of national weather radar. Do check this out.
We are not heading
to SD on Friday to get my drivers lic. renewed. Maybe next Friday with
Saturday June 7
day just hanging out in the 5er and watching Hillary conceding to Obama.
felt like crap all day, it might have been the pork ribs Terry did in the
oven last night. Did anyone say heartburn...
now watching the (new movie every Saturday night on Starz) Spider
Man 3 feeling better while reading and posting to the RV forums.
Oh and by the way watching three weather radar's on another browser.
All looking at the big storms, which are going west and north of us so
far. The heat is is turning up, and knock on wood our AC stays churning
out cooler, are this summer as it did so well last year.
this article... We can wish can't we.. From Fortune magazine
Why oil prices will tank
that $4-a-gallon gas (or even higher) is here to stay are dead wrong. Housing's
boom-and-bust cycle tells you why. By Shawn Tully,
editor at large
YORK (Fortune) -- High-flying tech stocks crashed. The roaring housing
market crumbled. And oil, rest assured, will follow the same path down.
everyone agrees. In an echo of our most recent market frenzies, some experts
pronounce that the "world has changed," and that the demand spikes, supply
disruptions, and government bungling we face now will saddle us with a
future of $4, $5 or even $10 a gallon gasoline.
if you stick to basic economics, it's clear that the only question is when
- not if - prices will succumb.
oil bulls are correct in their explanations of why prices have jumped.
It's indisputable that worldwide demand has surged, chiefly driven by strong
growth in China, India and the Middle East. It's also true that most of
the world's reserves are controlled by governments in places like Russia
and Venezuela that mismanage production, thus curtailing supply growth.
rather than forming a permanent new plateau for prices - as the bulls contend
- those forces are causing a classically unstable market that's destined
for a steep fall.
do you think: Is $4-a-gallon case here to stay?
a normal oil market, the cost of producing the last, most expensive barrel
of oil needed to satisfy worldwide demand sets the price for every barrel
the world over. Other auction commodity markets work much the same way.
even if Saudi Arabia produces at $4 a barrel, if the final, multi-millionth
barrel required to heat houses and run cars costs $50, and is produced,
for argument's sake, at a flagging field in West Texas, the world price
is $50. That's what economists call the equilibrium price: It's where the
price that customers are willing to pay meets the production cost, including
a cushion, naturally, for profit or "the cost of capital."
today, the sudden surge in demand and the production bottlenecks have thrown
the market radically out of balance.
exactly the same thing happened in the housing market. And both housing
and oil supply react to a surge in demand with a long lag. In housing,
the lag is caused by restrictive zoning and development laws, especially
in coastal markets like California and Florida.
when the economy roared back in 2002 and 2003, builders couldn't turn out
homes fast enough for buyers armed with those cheap mortgages. As a result,
prices spiked. They no longer bore any relation to the actual cost of buying
and improving land, or constructing and marketing a new house (at some
reasonable profit margin). Instead, frenzied buyers were setting the price.
builders were reaping huge windfall profits, they rushed to buy and develop
land. And sure enough, those new houses were ready just as buyers were
retreating to the sidelines because they could no longer afford to buy
a home. That vast overhang of unsold homes is what's driving down prices
story is much the same with oil, with a twist. A big swath of the market
isn't really paying that $125 a barrel number you hear about seemingly
every hour. In China, India and the Middle East, governments are heavily
subsidizing oil for their consumers and corporations, leading to rampant
over-consumption - and driving up prices even more.
sooner or later the world won't keep paying those prices: Eventually, the
price must fall back to the cost of that last barrel to clear the market.
what does that barrel cost today? According to Stephen Brown, an economist
at the Dallas Federal Reserve, that final barrel costs just $50 to produce.
And when the price is $125, the incentive to pour out more oil, like homebuilders'
incentive to build more two years ago, is irresistible.
takes a while to develop new supplies of oil, but the signs of a surge
are already in place. Shale oil costing around $70 a barrel is now being
produced in the Dakotas. Tar sands are attracting investment in Canada,
also at around $70. New technology could soon minimize the pollution caused
by producing oil from our super-plentiful supplies of coal.
suggests that when there's this much money to be made, new supplies do
get developed," says Brown.
just the supply side of the equation. Demand should start to decline as
well, albeit gradually.
the oil market has under-anticipated the amount of conservation brought
on by high prices," says Brown. Sales of big cars are collapsing; Americans
are cutting down on driving. The airlines are scaling back flights.
learned another important lesson from the housing market: The longer prices
stay stratospheric, the worse the eventual crash - simply because the higher
the prices and bigger the profit margins, the bigger the incentive to over-produce.
even possible that, a few years hence, we could see a sustained period
of plentiful oil supplies and low prices, meaning $50 or below.
scenario occurred following the price explosion in the 1970s and early
1980s. The price spike caused the world to cut back sharply on oil consumption.
By the mid-80s, oil prices had fallen from almost $40 to around $15. They
remained extremely low for two decades.
impossible to predict how the adjustment this time will take shape, just
as it was in housing. There the surge in supply came in places the experts
swore there was "no supply," and wouldn't be any. Builders found a way
to extend vast tracts of homes into California's Inland Empire and Central
Valley, and even build "in-fill" projects near the densely-populated coasts.
earlier bubble is also instructive. In the early 1980s silver prices jumped
from $10 to $50 on the theory that the world was facing a permanent shortage
of silver. Suddenly ads appeared asking homeowners to bring their tea sets
and jewelry to Holiday Inns for a big price. Silver supplies poured from
seemingly nowhere, out of America's cupboards, of all places.
so it will be with oil. We don't know where the new abundance will come
from, from shale, or tar sands or coal or an OPEC desperate to regain market
share. We just know that it will appear. With prices like these, it always
start dreaming of lower fuel prices and about that new RV you have been
Wednesday June 11
in Iowa and the Midwest are now more worried about flood then fuel prices.
Many roads are closed. All bridges in downtown Des Moines are closed and
see this headline. Water is closing in on N-S I-35 and E-W I-80.
What a mess that would be. Now over half of the counties (53 of 99) in
the state have been declared disaster areas. Nine rivers in the state are
at record levels. The statement now is we are looking at not a 100 yaers,
but 500 year type floods. Both COE reservoirs are flowing over their spillways
and now have no control of the water behind the dams. And much more rain
is predicted for tonight.
Rivers in D.M.
to rise higher, faster than expected
Des Moines River is now expected to reach record levels by Saturday night.
The water going over the
Saylorville COE lake spillway and to the right water in the normal outlet
tunnel. About 57 cu.ft per sec. This means the COE lost control. We have
to wonder if this could have been controlled, why they didn't release more
water much earlier to keep the river under control. The other big COE project
in eastern Iowa is in the same condition or worse and will flood Iowa City.
Hindsite is great but this is not a 100 year event but now a 15 year event.
The pic was this AM in the
rain when manhole covers popped in Des Moines.
They got it stopped and
pumped out. The river levees are holding for now.
City crews in Cedar Rapids
IA work to secure manhole covers at the intersection of 3rd St., SE., and
12th Ave., SE., Wednesday morning.
Signs taped to the outside
of 3rd Street Resale in Cedar Rapids show some Iowans still have a sense
of humor despite the flooding Wednesday morning.
large storms are moving in from the west with tornado watches and potential
of 4 or more inches of rain in the river plains above Des Moines. It also
rained this AM with about an inch. We are safe and on very high ground
(about 20 miles north of downtown) right next to the many TV antennas (so
close we can see the guide wires) and they as you know are always built
on the highest ground.
See where we are at right
map ID 98
we sit tight and watch. We were living in the downtown Des Moines
area in 1993 and lost water and some power for many days back then. That
was over 15 years ago, how time flies when your having fun.
At 8:20 PM there are two many tornado WARNINGs to the west of us to even
try to count.
are halfway between Ames and Des Moines right central.
are so tired of running in our 5er slides when we get storm warnings.
have been staying in the 5er if the warning is for only thunderstorms and
winds of 60 mph or less. We are not that dumb that if it is a tornado warning
we get out and move the the house basment. The NWS is good about pinpointing
just where the storms are heading with times and locations where they will
hit. And with great weather radar we know when to take cover. JUST getting
tired of this. But we are so lucky to NOT be one of the many who
have lost their homes to wind or floods.
Update: 9:30 PM
Breaking news: Tornado Hits
Boy Scout Camp; Four Dead in Sioux City and injuring between 30 and 40
The red brown boxes are
flash flood warnings... just what is needed here.
Friday June 13
been up late just devastated by the news of the floods in Iowa. I
lived for 20 years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa working for the telephone
company (in the central office) (I called and the central office for now
is out of danger) all the power and backup batteries are in the basement).
Now to watch and see much of the city destroyed. We now visit the
central part of Iowa in the Des Moines area in the summer, and here too
it is as bad as it gets. But to see this is beyond comprehension. I lived
for a time in a high-rise on the 20th floor building on the river front
that is now an island. (see the red dot)
I love this city and now it is destroyed!
This is a 500 year or better
flood in this area. In the center those used to be bridges. Hospitals are
closing and drinking water is at 25% of normal due to loss of electric
power to much of the city.
unique attribute of Cedar Rapids is that its city hall and county courthouse
are located on Mays Island, an island on the Cedar River running through
the city. Cedar Rapids is one of only two mainland cities to have their
governmental offices on an island (the other being Paris, France).
Rapids is known as the City of Five Seasons; the traditional four seasons
and a "fifth season" is "a time to enjoy" the other four. The symbol of
the five seasons is the Tree of Five Seasons sculpture in downtown Cedar
Rapids. (see the sculputre center left) The name "Five Seasons" and representations
of the sculpture appear in many forms.
year flood in 1993 level was 22.5 ft A 500 year flood est. is 26.5 ft.
the level is 32 ft.
link to the local newspaper
unthinkable rise cripples Cedar Rapids from The Gazette
Now to see what happens as
this continues to develop as a new day starts.
In Des Moines sandbagging
is at a crises pace as the predicted river levels have been revised higher
by the hour.
We pray that Des Moines
can be saved unlike Cedar Rapids which has been lost to the floods.
I sign off tonight with
tears in my eyes.
Saturday June 14
to some friends in Cedar Rapids and all is well for them. Of course a little
more water to shower in would be nice but. After talking to them
I got the felling the impact of what this means to their city had not sunk
in yet. People who were up high and not flooded can look forward to years
to get the area back to life as they knew it. City services, federal services,
higher taxes, water and power issues are just a few of the things to look
forward too. The loss of thousands of jobs and all that brings. The lsit
goes on and on. They are now looking at almost 400 city blocks of
destruction. You don't wake up on Monday morning and say the STORM EVENT
of the good things to come out of this is, long lost friends from many
many years ago, saw the news about Cedar Rapids and thought of me. The
last they knew, I lived in Cedar Rapids. They did a Google search and found
my web sites and emiled to see if I was who they thought it was.
Studied with Dan in Chicago and later lived and worked together out on
the east coast in the DC area. Lost track, and I have been trying
to locate them since. Now that we have connected, have been emailing back
and forth and had a good old fashioned phone call to catch up. We both
worked for many years for phone companies in the states we lived. It warms
the heart to rebond with people who you have shared so much with in the
past, and to see how life has treated them.
you... Linda and Dan O'Donnell for doing that Google search!
Wednesday June 14
this post to share a post I did on an RV forum.
Cleaning and protecting gel coat finish
post: We just cleaned our gel coat on our 5er that had light oxidization
with Meguiar's Mirror Glaze (Cut & Polish Cream) Link to Meguiars
It was recommended by Arnold Motor supply a trusted local source for the
area. It worked well, cleaned the gel coat using a buffer with a terry
cloth pad for best results. Washed and then waxed with also Miguiars paste
had in the past done the sand paper route (800 then 1200 grit then 3M Buffing
Compound and 3m Rubbing Compound (all of which were very expensive) and
then paste waxed. That didn't last a full year (we should of waxed again
in six months) (we stay in AZ in full sun in the winter) so we did the
Meguiar's Mirror Glaze route. The 5er looks great, new oxidization gone
and a nice shine even on the plastic front and rear panels.
for the news...
new week and already mid week. I had dreaded this week as I (Ron) had a
colonoscopy exam scheduled for Tuesday and you know what that is all about.
No food on Monday and then the big flush to clean the system. Not fun,
but I awaited the procedure, since I have it done every five years (the
normal time frame for this exam with a family history of this condition)
as colon cancer took my father many years ago, so it is a must check for
me. I came out clean even without any polyps. (pun unintended) It
takes a bit of worry away from the many we all have these days. Gas, food
and the general escalation of the cost of living in the USA. Seems like
the so called middle class or/and retired people are loosing out and we
are being driven down to accept a lower class of living.
has your 401 K or Mutual funds done latley. I am so glad I was able to
retire and had the choice to take a pension or lump sum. I took the pension
as it was backed by the government. A lump sum had to be invested in stocks
or funds and as we see now might drop in bad times.
sent me this article...
issues global stock and credit crash alert
Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged
crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months
as inflation paralyses the major central banks.
very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah,
the bank's credit strategist.
we in the midwest are seeing these 500 a year or greater floods distroying
crops in the fields by 20% or more (which will increase what we all pay
for food) wonder if this just the start of worse times to come for us,
and even more for the people in many parts of the world who depend on foodstuffs
from us. The price of corn has gone from historic prices of
$2.30 a bushel to now projected at $9 or more. Many years the Iowa
farmer lost money puting a crop in the ground. I grew up on a small farm
and and we were poor. I wish my late father could see the price of corn
today. He and many others who could never understand why their efforts
were not worth more back then. Now 30% of the corn crop or more is sold
to make ethanol (for our gas tanks) and that reduces the amount available
for human and animal consumption. So when that much is redirected for other
than food for us, we have to pay the price. Now if we took the ENTIRE corn
crop it would only reduce the fuel we need from other countries by about
5%. So what does that tell you? Some ethanol plants have stated, just today,
they are shutting down, or not expanding, as the price of corn does
not make them profitable even with the government subsidies.
just today Bush and McCain have changed their long standing views and now
say we should allow expanded oil production in off shore wells on the coasts.
Note: most coastal states have opposed this. Why: Let's us look at
that. It would take 10 years or more to produce any oil and then
only change the price of gas by a FEW cents. AND
the rest of the story... The oil companies already have 68
million acres of off shore areas on our
coasts given to them to drill, and guess what, they have not used any
need to ask why?
why should we give them millions of more off shore leases, when they have
no intention of using what they already have, to provide us with oil from
our own country.
they are content to sit tight selling us high priced fuel to inflate their
may ask why I post about such things on this blog... After all this is
a blog about fulltiming.
alive and experiencing the economic conditions we have to contend with
is also part of this lifestyle.
are all in this together and shareing my views are a part of that.
we are dead ended for the summer so what else am I supposed to post about?
tomatoes are growing but not ready for pictures, it is still June.
a campfire and reflect on how good you have it.
Tuesday July 1
your roving reporter Terry
have settled into a routine, living our daily lives, working a bit, playing
a bit, relaxing a lot; Lots of emphisis on relaxing. Ron and I have
gotten so relaxed that we have failed you our readers by not posting in
a more timely manner. With the enqueries starting to come about our
health and well being it is time to update the posting.
As many of you know Ron and
I are staying in central Iowa for the summer. I get visitation rights
to my shop equipment, Lathes, table saw, shaper, jointer, drill press,
ect. ect. I salvaged a fairly large log segment from the Quartzsite
recycling center last winter and have been splitting small pcs from it
to use in the wood lathe; I think that it might be desert ironwood.
So far I have been making
file handles, other small tool handles for the Quartzsite
Gem and Mineral Club and now have started to turn the spools used for
the wire knitting; I will quit making them when I have a couple of dozen
made, enough to last the Rock Club through the next year. Not showing
a lot if imagination in my wood turning, some day I will have to
try to do wooden pens, but that takes a bit of set up and tooling.
To many other projects this summer for that to happen.
The weather here is
finally starting to stabilize; expecting hot and humid in the next week-
normal weather for Iowa. Thought for a while that we were in a Monsoon
zone, it rained and rained and rained some more. It is depressing
to drive through the country and look into the farm fields and see the
large pot holes filled with water where nothing will be grown this summer.
Even more depressing is to
consider the thousands of families who have lost their homes and lifetimes
of photos, keepsakes and posessions to the flood waters. Many of
these families and individules are the least able to afford this kind of
loss. Lots of older homes, which translated to affordable housing are now
lost or damaged.
Ron and I lived a large part
of our lives in Eastern Iowa in or near Cedar Rapids, and the areas that
flooded have never flooded in our life time, or the the life times of most
of the people who lived there.
We have not yet seen
much of the urban flood damage; The worst of it is in Eastern Iowa, Cedar
Rapids and Iowa City. The levees in Des Moines for the most part
did their intended job and kept the waters back. No consolation for
those who had the levee fail. The waters of the Des Moines River
finally stopped flowing over the emergency spill way this week; Now
the Corp of Engineers will be able to control the water flows through Des
Moines for the time being. Have to hope for no further torrential
The local rock colectors
have been mentioned on the News in the past week; they are excited about
the limestone layers that have been peeled back in the Saylor Lake emergency
flood way. There are going to be a lot of new fossiles exposed by
the flood waters. After the floods of 1993 the fossil collectors
had a grand time with all of the material exposed by that flood; For a
time the gorge dug in the flood way was a minor tourist attraction, it
will be the same this time.
Have finally started
to work fairly steadily for the last 4 weeks; Prior to that I had
the chance to buff out the oxidization on the trailers gel coat exterior,
and to paste wax the exterior. We will have to get the rug shampooer
out one of these afternoons and get the carpets cleaned. Ron and
I are thinking of trading the trailer, and want to get everything in top
shape for the appraisal.
Currently working on
a couple of bath room remodels; both were jobs that required a complete
gutting of the existing bathroom back to the wall studs. Waiting
to get back in after the tile layer on the first job and have a bit more
dry wall work on the second along with a bit of plumbing.
The garden is a weedy mess,
it has been so muddy of late that I have not been unable to run the tiller
through the rows. Looked through the garde a bit last evening and
we will have green beans shortly, then a few radishes and leaf lettuce.
Noticed a few very small green tomatos and a small zuccini along with a
bit of broccoli starting to come on. Lots of goodies from the garden
to anticipate, with the tomatos being the most anticipated; Nothing compares
to a real vine ripened garden tomato for flavor.