September 23, 2016

Kilted to Kick Cancer Update

So, it would appear that I'm in third place in the Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraising contest, behind Team Dragon Leatherworks and Team Ambulance Driver.  While the fundraising totals are lagging behind last year, we're still raising a decent chunk of coin for cancer research.

My totals will go up somewhat after this weekend, however, since tonight is the Kilted to Kick Cancer event at Guardian Brewing Company here in town.  They have generously offered to donate 10% of proceeds for the day to KTKC.  In addition, MT Smoking BBQ will have their food truck on site, and they are donating all tips to KTKC as well.  They both have my gratitude, and if you're in the East Central Indiana area, consider giving them some of your business.  I can attest to the fact that the beers at Guardian are quite wonderful, and MT's smoked brisket is excellent as well.

If you'd like to contribute, you can click this link to the KTKC Donation page, and chip in what you can.  Select Team JBro at checkout.  An added bonus this year, donors can win a prize as well: For every $10 donation, you can get one entry in a drawing for a Dreadnaught Industries AR-15.  Yes, yes... You already have an AR-15 rifle.  So?  Two is one, right?  Just email your donation confirmation email/receipt to and you're entered.  The usual rules about gun purchases will apply (no felony, not a drug user, etc.)

If you're in/around Muncie, come out to Guardian tonight for a pint.  And, if you're a male over the age of 40, get to your doctor and get tested for Prostate Cancer.

Get kilted, get checked!

September 21, 2016

T Minus Something or Another and Counting

I think I'm ready for the trip.

I got the wiring for towing the trailer done on Tuesday, and today I went to the uHaul place and confirmed it was working.  Figured I'd be better off following Ronald Reagan's advice of "Trust but verify".  While I trust the auto repair shop to install it correctly, better to confirm it works today, so if I needed to, I could get it back to them ASAP, rather than be screwed on Saturday when everything is closed.

In addition to the wiring, I've had the oil changed, tires rotated, radiator and transmission both flushed and filled, and replaced the front drive shaft.  The Heep is in good shape for the trip, and should do just fine.

I've got mail forwarding already set up, and that will begin on Friday.  I'll make one last stop to check my PO box and return the key, then I'm done with that.

My current bank is Indiana only, no branches in Colorado, so I set up a new account with a bank in Colorado (national, actually) and just seeded it with $40 for now.  The nice thing is that I got three actual checks and my ATM/debit card the same visit... no waiting 4-6 business days to get the card.  That's really kinda neat, even if I won't need or use it for anything for a couple weeks.  Once the first paycheck from the new job hits, I'll close my account here in Indiana and then I'll be done with that.

Dogs got shots and wellness checks on Monday, along with a flea preventative medicine.  They're good until end of October, when I'll need to reapply the flea stuff, and after that we'll be into the colder winter months, when the fleas go dormant, then I'll be done with that.

Damn near everything I own is packed away in a box, save for an old non-stick skillet that has forgotten the "non" part (I'm not taking it with me), my 4 cup coffee maker, my coffee mug, a plate and a fork and a knife.  Oh, and a few changes of clothes.  Those will get packed on Saturday, and then I'll be done with that.

I'll shut off the cable internet service on Saturday evening, and put the electricity on "hold" until December 14th, when I'll shut that off.  The reasoning here is that it's cheaper for me to pay out the remainder of my lease than to break it early (by a couple hundred dollars), and as long as the apartment is leased to me, I need to keep the electricity service in my name.  I won't have any lights on, won't be running the heater at all, etc.  So my electric bill will be, oh, maybe a dollar a month.  But that's the rules, dumb as they may be.  Once December 14th comes, my lease ends and I can shut off the electricity and I'll be done with that.

I've got a few pieces of furniture that I don't want, and they've been claimed by neighbors so I don't need to worry about those.

Cleaned the apartment fairly well yesterday, and I'll give it a quick wipe down on Saturday evening, then a final vacuum on Sunday morning before the vacuum goes into the dumpster.

All in all, I don't think there's much of anything left to do other than get the uHaul on Saturday, load it up, get a final burger and beer from Scotty's, and sleep.  Hitting the road Sunday morning, roughly 0800, and plan to get just west of Kansas City that day.

C'mon, Sunday.... Get here already!

September 19, 2016

A Weekend Well Spent

Decided to duck up to Auburn, make one last visit with the parents before the move west.  It's nice to be able to do that, and that's about the only thing I'm going to miss about living here.

Drove up Friday afternoon, dodging most of the rush hour traffic around Fort Wayne, and arrived just about the same time Pops was pulling burgers and brats off the grill.  We had a nice dinner with our family friend Al, then headed to the high school for the football game.  My cousin Peter is the head coach, and we like to support his efforts to rebuild the team -- many years ago, they were a regional powerhouse football team, but when the then-coach was caught with his pants down (literally) with another teacher, he was fired and the program collapsed, to the point of having 2 wins total in 4 years.  Once Peter took the reins, there was renewed interest in the program (Peter was a standout linebacker when he attended school there), booster clubs started raising money again, and the team started winning again.  Not a lot, but his second season saw the team rack up 4 wins -- more that year than the previous 5 combined -- and it was a nice step in the right direction.  This year, tragedy struck when two of the boys were killed in a car accident just 2 weeks ago on September 2nd on their way to the game that night.  Understandably, that game was cancelled, as was the game on the 9th, and losing two kids that age was hard on the team.  Peter has been struggling with this tragedy, and we wanted to show support for this reason as well.

Saturday a light rain fell for much of the morning and early afternoon, but it cleared up by 3pm or so.  Ma and I ran some errands, read our books, napped and napped again, then watched some college football.  While you probably couldn't care less about either team, the game between Nebraska and Oregon was quite thrilling to watch.  Nebraska took the lead with just a few minutes left, and managed to hold strong on defense, stopping Oregon and winning the game.  Interestingly, Oregon never kicked a single Point After, instead opting to go for two all five times they scored.  Converting only one of those times, they ended up with 32 points (five TDs, one 2 point conversion), while Nebraska kicked the PAT every time, and made 'em all.  Thus, the 35-32 score.  Had Oregon kicked PATs 4 times, they'd have won the game by a point.  Strange strategy, that.  At any rate, after that game, we had dinner, then retreated to the back porch for some beer drinking by the fire pit, chatting with the neighbors (my parents have really nice neighbors), and general socializing.  Good times.

Woke up Sunday, and had some breakfast, then went out with my cousin Jeff to bust some clays with the shotguns.  I sold him my Mossberg Silver Reserve 12G O/U, as he wants to get into sporting clays, skeet, trap, etc.  It's a fine gun for just that (as well as pheasant or quail hunting), and I could use the extra cash for the trip, so that worked out well.  We joined two of his friends, one of whom was the host -- living out in the sticks has advantages, like being able to shoot clays off the back deck -- and we burned through 200 shotgun shells in short order.  Jeff was finally getting the hang of it towards the end, and even managed to hit a couple two clay throws, one barrel each.  After we finished that, I went to meet my three best high school pals, Jeremy, Josh, and Sara, and we had wings, beers, and talked and laughed.  I'll miss being able to drive an hour or so and see them as well.  Then I headed back to the parent's place, picked up Ma and Pops, and we went to the local watering hole for a bite to eat and watch a bit of the late football game.

Headed back to Muntucky this morning.  Gotta get the dogs to the vet this afternoon for shots, then get back to the packing of the stuff.  I'm going to thin out some of the things I have -- who needs 16 pint glasses, anyway? -- and donate a large portion of stuff to Goodwill.  Less stuff means less stuff to carry to Colorado.

All in all, a good weekend.

September 16, 2016

Neat Video of Climbers

This is neat:

That's at the Monastary, near where I'll be living in Colorado.  Time will tell if my back will let me get back into climbing (I've done the route  the young lady in the video is climbing, years ago), but if nothing else, the scenery is spectacular.

Watch in full screen mode, unless you've got a fear of heights. :-)

September 12, 2016


One extra benefit of moving to Colorado is that I'm going to be able to attend Blogorado!

Ambulance Driver got the approval from the Farm Fam, and I'll be heading down on Friday, 07 October, after work.

This means I won't get there until nearly 10pm on Friday, but that's no big deal.  I'll be driving past DEN, so if anyone is getting into Denver around 5p or later on Friday and needs a ride, let me know.

I'm going to be able to spend time with my tribe again.  First time in a long time since that's happened, and boy howdy will it be good for the soul!

Getting Closer

Two weeks from today I'll be making the last leg of the drive to Colorado.

I can tell it's getting close as my list of "Shit to do before September 25th" is getting whittled away.

Took the Heep into the dealership to get tow package wiring connected.  I had wiring for towing connected before, but it got a short in it somewhere back in '13, and I had it removed as it was jacking up my turn signal.

This afternoon I'm taking the dogs to the vet for yearly checkup and shots.  They aren't technically due until November 1, but I figure I'll do it now so I don't have to rush to find a vet out there.  So, shots, wellness check, and some flea medication.

Going to add the roadside hazard service that my auto insurance offers to my plan, just in case I run into problems on the drive.  It's like AAA, basically.

Tonight I'm going to the Monroe Township Conservation Club monthly meeting to turn in my key to the range.

Yesterday I took a box of things to the local Goodwill to donate.  Still serviceable, but I don't want or need them any more.

Going to spend the rest of the morning packing up some items, getting things organized into boxes.  The trick when you're moving large distances as opposed to across town, is to spend the money at the uHaul place (or Home Depot, or Lowe's, wherever) and buy moving boxes.  It's far easier to load the trailer when the boxes are all the same size.  Yes, you can get free boxes from the liquor store or behind WalMart, but trust me on this.

September 10, 2016

Marlin Repairs

Well, the Marlin Glenfield Model 60 in 22LR that I use for plinking and practice and rabbit slaying...

... The same Marlin Glenfield Model 60 in 22LR that my father got when he was 14 and used for plinking and practice and rabbit slaying...

... Finally needs some repair work.  The recoil spring is kaput, and even when clean and lubricated and using high velocity ammo, it fails to push the action back in place after a shot.

This, being the 21st century of the interwebz, I got on Amazon and ordered one.  Should be here just before I leave for Colorado.

In other shooting news, I got to the range yesterday.  Ran 150 rounds through the Glock, and had fair results.

Sadly, this was probably the last time at the range here.  I've got to turn in my key to the gate on Monday at the club meeting.  I will miss having the range so available and affordable.  For $40/year, you've got two lanes of 7 yard pistol, two lanes of 15 yard pistol, and four lanes each at 25 yards, 50 yards, and 100 yards for rifles.  There's a shotgun trap shooting set up, a 40 yard archery range, and other assorted goodies.  It is a really nice place to shoot, even more so since many times it's empty, save perhaps one other shooter.  Of all the times I've been there, the busiest was when there were 3 folks on the pistol lanes, and 2 others on the 25 yard rifle range.  And that was only one time.

It was nice having it.  I'll probably be getting a membership to an indoor range in Fort Collins, since I can head up the mountains and get on National Forest land and shoot rifles all day long, but I want to get more practice on the pistol, and there are two indoor facilities close to where I'll be living.

September 7, 2016

Going Home

Job offer in Fort Collins came through.

Start date of October 3rd.

I'm going home.

September 6, 2016


Bit of a long shot, but what the heck...

Any of my readers live in the northern Colorado Front Range/Fort Collins area?

I'm moving out there in a few weeks for a new job.  I've been offered a place to stay (old climbing pal of mine and his wife have a guest room), but she's allergic to dogs.  I'm going to be strapped for cash for a few weeks until the first paycheck rolls in, and getting the money together for an apartment with pet deposits, etc., is going to be... well, challenging would be an understatement.

What I'm looking for is someone who'd be willing to foster home the dogs for a couple weeks.  I will provide food, bedding and leashes, etc.  I'd even be able to pay you some money, just not a whole lot up front.  They're both older dogs (11+ years), house broken, pretty well-behaved most of the time (Jake likes to test the limits now and then), and don't have any medical conditions.  Just feed and water them, they'll spend most of the day sleeping.

If anyone knows of such a resource in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, or surrounding areas, let me know.


September 2, 2016

Didn't Need That

Took the Heep in for an oil change, radiator flush and fill, and transmission flush and fill in preparation for the journey west in a few weeks.

Mechanic made mention that the front drive shaft is buggered up and needs replaced, to the tune of about $1000 (parts and labor).

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, this is a shop for whom we do the IT work, and the owner and our owner are business friends (I even get a discount on work done there), and I trust that they wouldn't fleece me for work that doesn't need done.

Damn, the money in my bank account is going faster than I can replace it.  Guess I'm going to be dipping into savings AGAIN.

Time to tighten the budget belt a notch.  Might have to drink cheap beer instead of my preferred craft beer.