A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, April 21, 2017


The day on the road started out with an extremely unhappy cat.  Beans cried and carried on so much I had to stop three times in the first several miles to console her.  I had not expected this at all for she rode very nicely the day I brought her home. She outdid anything Sinbad had ever done.

After about 45 minutes of trauma she finally settled down enough to take in the view.  To her credit this is something Sinbad wasn't really all that interested in doing and would get down and hide if a big truck rolled by.  Traffic didn't faze her one bit.  Good Beans.
Into the second hour she must have worn herself out as she quietly rode in my lap.

We are eager to project human feelings onto what our pets do and I am no different.  I figured 1. she really loved the run of her new home and didn't want to be taken away from that or 2. she felt she was being taken to a new adoption and a new home.  I doubt they can reason that, but who knows.

Tonight will be her first night in the RV.  Tomorrow morning will be interesting to say the least. 

The Long Journey

Somewhere in Tennessee

This morning Beans and I are leaving for a road trip, to where, we don't know.  
That is the beauty in traveling when time is of no consideration.
I can say we will follow the road less traveled to places yet to be discovered...by us at least.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In Training

We've been working on using the harness and leash.
The first day was the alligator death roll.

This is the third day and we've moved on to the army sniper crawl.

Then stop.

Then more sniper crawling.


Yes!  We can walk.
I don't recall how Sinbad was with the harness and leash early on as it was so long ago.
Probably the same as with Beans.  She's doing good though.

Enough for today.  Time for rest.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Beans and I wish everyone a very nice Easter Sunday.
It has been one week today and
she has far exceeded all I had hoped for in adopting a new cat.
We both are very happy to have each other.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why Beans?

Beans the Cat was the third cartoon character introduced in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes series in 1935.  Unfortunately for Beans he was created at the same time as was Porky the Pig.  Theater goers were more taken by the stuttering porker and in 1936 poor Beans was eventually dropped.

More recently in 2011 Paramount pictures released a film called Rango which won an Oscar as the best animated feature film of the year.  One of the main characters was Beans "La Vaca" Sanchez an intelligent, tough, and quick-witted female desert iguana.  She was just Beans in the movie. 

That name stuck with me but I never thought of using it for any reason as Sinbad was still with me. Jump ahead a few years and I found myself adopting new cat.  Her name was Rainbow Dash. That had to go! The memory of Beans from the movie came up from nowhere in my mind and that's the story as how my Beans got her name.  Rainbow Dash?  Good grief!!!

Sleeping update:  Beans sleeps in bed with me now, right smack dab in the middle!  
"I'll take this spot.  You can have the all the rest of the bed.  I don't see a problem with that, do you?"


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The King has a New Throne

Today I finished the last of the big jobs on the RV upgrades, installing a composting toilet.
No more dumping the black water (sewage) ever again.  Yes!
What a unpleasant task I will never have to do again.  

This is made primarily for boats and can be used in RVs and off grid cabins and the like where no plumbing and septic tank is available.  That center piece with the knob lifts out before you sit.

Inside is a diverter than funnels urine to the front and poo in the back.  
Guys need to sit to use it effectively when peeing.  I've been sitting for years anyway, but I suppose you really didn't want to know that.

Here you can see the one gallon milk jug for #1 and a five gallon bucket for #2 which holds the composting material and the agitation device.  Peat moss, coconut fiber or wood mulch like used for hamster cages is the composting medium.

You turn the handle a bunch of times to fully "churn" the composting material and your deposit.

The composting materials removes all moisture and then simply after a week or so when it gets hard to turn you empty the bucket into a plastic bag and dispose in a trash can.  Now yes, I too thought that not a good thing but diapers and colostomy bags are disposed of in the same manner.  The composting makes the undesirable element much much less offensive as those other two comparisons since it is dried up.  In the first photo you can see a sight window in the front so you can monitor the one gallon bucket.  When getting full just lift out and dump most anywhere.

As for smell, they say it is the combing of #1 and #2 is what makes sewage so awful smelling.  Keeping the two separate eliminates that, or so they say.  I didn't know this.  Occasionally misting a mixture of vinegar and water keeps things nice.  I might add a drop or two of Pinesol into the milk jug every once in awhile.  But they say that that center piece with the knob seals it all off.  Some people attach a house freshener strip on the inside.  Good idea.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blog Changes

Well I did what I could for the time being.  The photo in the header looks like the other but it is different.  I need to get a better photo.  In time I guess I will.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.

I also need to get a picture of Beans and I together for the profile image off to the side.  In time, somewhere, someplace it will happen.

I'll always keep Sinbad at the top of the sidebar photos. (God, I got all sad writing that!  Will I ever get over him?)  The other pictures of him below will slowly be replaced as I get pictures to do so with.

This was hard to do.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beans Update

We are in day three and Beans acts like she's lived here for some time.  She knows all the places to go romping through the house and is into everything.  I have forgotten what it is like to have a youngster around and what a bundle of energy she is, always underfoot giving me her soft little meow.  Interestingly she has little interest in toys.  She absolutely does not like seeing people pass by outside.  I think she is going to be just like Sinbad when it comes to people coming around - swoosh, back into the RV.  I was away for a couple of hours today and when I came home she came running to greet me just like Sinbad always did.  But unlike Sinbad she hasn't slept with me at night.  She sleeps somewhere in the house but comes in my room in the morning.  That will probably change in time, especially when we are living in the RV.

Tomorrow is a rain filled day so I'll be stuck inside doing things.  I plan to change the blog name tomorrow but I assume that will not change anything as far as my reader's subscriptions go.  The title change will only be substituting her name for Sinbad's plus some long overdue visual changes.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Meet Beans

I adopted her today.

 She is a little over one year old.

She's so sweet with a soft high squeaky little meow.

She loves attention and affection.

She is what I needed so very badly.
 We are going to be good for each other and she is going to have a wonderful life.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Weather

The weather has been unkind here for the past few days, keeping me from doing outside projects.  
Yesterday an album I ordered arrived so this gave me a good inside project to do.  All my art I've kept in folders and now with this album I can have them in some sense of order.
 But I ran out of the little photo corners so I will have to go out in this nasty wet cold weather to get some more or just sit here looking at an unfinished project.  I'm going out.
I hope you don't have unkind weather wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Artificial Intelligence and Jobs

I read an article where Stephen Hawking believes 'we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity' and that the 'rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes'.

The article went on to say that 83% of the jobs where people make less than $20 an hour will be subject to automation or replacement.  Between 2.2 and 3.1 million car, bus and truck driving jobs in the U.S. will be eliminated by the advent of self-driving vehicles.

You might be thinking this won't happen for several decades but researchers estimate the scale of threatened jobs will take place over the next 10 to 15 years.  And if you think it won't happen at all, history shows us it already has happened in the past.  For example, in the nineteenth century, highly skilled artisans and craftsman saw their jobs threatened by the rise of mass production technologies. Many skilled workers were replaced by the combination of machines and lower-skilled labor.

In our own lifetime easily programmable tasks - such as switchboard operations, filing, travel booking and manufacturing applications, to name a few - were replaced by new technologies.

Scary stuff.

Friday, March 31, 2017

My New Bucket

It is a little smaller than my old bucket on the left

and saves a lot of room when stored away.

Saving space is important in RV life.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Solar Panels Are Up and Running

Whew!  I am glad this project is completed.
If I had had these solar panels in place the first month of my winter escape 
half of my blog posts would have been about something more interesting.

If that air conditioner was still in place I would have had to install these panels sideways.
This way they will get more sun.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dealing With Amazon Stuffing

Amazon reels off yards of brown paper wadding it all up to fill the voids in their packaging.
To cram it all in it would fill my recycle bin leaving no room for the weekly contributions.
I flattened it all out

then rolled it up into one roll.

Done deal.

How many trees die each day for Amazon?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Off with her head!"

as said the Queen of Hearts to Alice and so I did likewise with the Little House on the Highway. 
I removed the air conditioner from the roof.
(I think that ugly TV antenna is coming off real soon too.  Useless!) 

The reality of it was I probably only used it a handful of times and that was back east when the humidity was so bad that the sweat was just rolling off of me at 9 in the evening as I laid there trying to read my book.  Good grief!  How do those people live in such conditions is beyond me.  Also you have to be plugged in to house current (RV park) or have the generator running to operate the thing.  
So it was simply dead weight up there.

In its place I installed a 3-speed vent fan that blows out and blows in.
This will get much more use and operates on 12 volts from my batteries.

A bonus feature is I now have a skylight in the middle of the living space.  Cool!

Update on the window shade.  I got back to it the next morning finishing up just as if I knew what I was doing all along.  It's installed and works great.

Monday, March 27, 2017


We have all heard of a child being referred to as a "dorky" kid.  If you Google the word "dork" you will find it is someone who has odd interests, and is often silly at times.  A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks.  As it applies to kids the term usually falls upon the youngest child of the family or the only child.  It is believed the word derives from "door key" in reference to latch-key kids - those who came home from school to an empty house because both parents worked and usually wore the house key on a string around their neck.  Well all of that that would be me except for one thing - when I went to school, no one locked their homes.


Sunday, March 26, 2017


When we see Egyptian hieroglyphics it makes you wonder how they could possibly mean anything.

Here is the box the solar panels came in.

Notice the little symbols on it.  Each conveys a message 
not unlike hieroglyphics were to the Egyptians. 

This end up
Do not stack more than two high
Do not get wet
Do not stand on
Needs two to carry

What do you think?

Saturday, March 25, 2017


It was a rainy day so I couldn't do any outside projects.  
But it was a good day to do an inside project 
such as repairing the broken cord in the RV window shade.

The RV shop I bought the repair kit at is going out of business so I got 25% off the price! Cool.

 What a nightmare!  Yeah, it looks pretty straight forward but the instructions were vague and I still had to refer to a few YouTube videos for some guidance.  Still, the instructions nor the videos mentioned any of the things that you might accidentally do or not notice thus forcing you to undo what you just did and do it all over again, after a lot of head scratching.

After several hours I gave up.  I'll take it on again on another day.  At least I am pretty good now at getting the string through all the little holes faster.  I've had lots of practice.
While struggling with this I thought about how much more difficult of a time I would be having if there was a cat helping me.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Well That Day Came!

Oh how many times throughout my life I thought this:

In fact there were several days while in the desert for the winter that I wished I could recall those basic formulas of Algebra.  A fellow camper and I were discussing how we make meals for one person.  I was telling her how all my life I never had a need for all that algebra I took in junior high school until now as I was trying to scale down the portions in recipes to only one serving so as to not have leftovers something both of us agreed we had no room for in our refrigerators.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Bathroom Addition

While in the desert during the winter I watched no TV.  It was wonderful.  I did watch YouTube videos, a lot of them from RV'ers traveling around.  One guy was talking about some modifications he planned to do to his RV, one of which was to remove the passenger seat as he travels alone with his cat and the seat is just taking up space.  I paused the video and stared at my passenger seat dumbfounded.  I've removed things from my RV including a bed over the cab but never even thought of the passenger seat!  It's probably been sat in a half a dozen times in the 9 years I have had the RV.

Wow, look at all that room!

The footwell worked well for some of my books I took along.

 This solved my problem of where to put the kitty litter box.  Before with Sinbad I kept it in the shower.  This trip with no Sinbad the shower was used as my pantry and that worked out great.  I hated to give up my new pantry.  I did some research and discovered they make furniture specifically for a litter box.  Once home I ordered one from Amazon.  Some assembly required and it was a perfect fit and I could use the same holes to bolt it down as was the seat.
That door swings opens up to access the litter box for servicing. 

There was a top piece that fit to those posts sticking up to set a lamp on or whatever.  
I cut that up to fill in the space around the sides to keep things like cat stuff there.

As I was doing this project I felt bad that I hadn't done this long ago so that Sinbad could of used it some.  He was always real good about going into the shower so I guess he was content with that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time for Lunch

I stopped work today for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The Turkey Vulture in front of the house was having pressed squirrel.

Later I saw the squirrel was gone.  Good.  Now I don't have to scrape him up from the street.
Turkey Vultures are nature's janitorial service.  Nice to have around.

Monday, March 20, 2017

They Arrived!

My solar panels arrived today!

That is 200 watts of solar power there.  That plus the wimpy 45 watt panel I already had will supply me and my batteries with all the power I need...I think.  Now if it just wouldn't rain for a couple of days (scheduled sometime next week) I'd be installing them on the roof of the RV.  
The finished job will be shown in a later post.  

On a side note, over the course of the time away you may recall that I felt my deep cycle batteries were done for, especially after I learned their life expectancy is 3 to 5 years.  I've had these for 9 years now which I was embarrassed to write in a post from the desert a few months back.  Well, they got fully charged on the way home and did not have any use since I was not living in the RV but in the house.  They sat at rest it is called, all night long and still read 12.7 volts the next morning!  12.7 volts is a fully charged battery.  A bad battery will start losing voltage within an hour of resting. Wow, that means they are good to go and saves be around $250.  In case you are wondering, these are the same batteries they use in golf carts which are designed to take a lot of discharges and charges.