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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Camper - New Batteries For Old

The new installation - one goes in the battery box -
the other rests under the bed. I will
install a hold-down strap.
The camper is charging in our driveway. See green cord.
What a nice way to spend Thanksgiving morning. I am thankful for the new batteries for our camper. A camper has a lot of electrical devices that need a lot of power. Campers have at least two batteries - one for the engine up front - and one or more in the back for the coach. That way - when you are camping - you can use the appliances without worrying whether your engine will start and you can drive home. 

My Roadtrek has two coach batteries. The ones I had were 5 years old - they still worked well - but they were getting a little tired. So I decided to replace them. The old batteries were simple lead/acid batteries. I wanted the newer AGM batteries because they have a few neat features. First - they are sealed so there is not worry of them leaking acid or hydrogen gas. Second - they can be stored in any position - there is no worry about acid coming out. Third - they are supposed to last longer. Finally - you can put them anywhere. 

Of course in a perfect world - I would have bought a lithium battery. They are smaller - lighter - but more expensive. Our size would have cost $2000. We have lithium batteries on our bikes. 

Sam's sells Duracell AGM Batteries with 105 amp hours of power for $179 each. I bought two giving us 210 amp hours of power to use. I was tempted to get four because we have plenty of room under the king size bed in the back. 

They were easy to install.  The old batteries are still good - they hold a full charge. I can use them for other jobs - like when the power fails in Tallahassee. 

The batteries can be charged in 3 ways. 1 - you can plug the camper into a wall outlet. 2 - you can turn on the on-board Onan generator. 3 - or the batteries charge from the engine when you are going down the road. 

Here are a few things that use battery power in a camper - light - television - furnace fan - refrigerator - water pump - smoke alarm - gas alarm - carbon monoxide alarm - vacuum cleaner - range hood vent - TV antenna booster - power converter (12 volt to 120 volt). To run the air conditioner and microwave - you still have to use the generator.

The last batteries were still going strong after 5 years - these batteries should last at least that long. They have an 18 month full replacement warranty. They can replaced at any Sam's store. 

These are the old lead/acid batteries.
I used my "crane" to lift them out.
The finished look - one battery under in box -
one battery on top under bed.
They are wired in parallel circuit.

Happiness Is Being Published on Thanksgiving Day

Zings in the Tallahassee Democrat.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dale Freudenberger - Fellow Coal Cracker - Has This Beautiful Old Caddy

Nothing says the 1950s and 1960s like this beautiful old Cadillac. They weighed over 2 tons - and got about 10 MPG. But when you arrived - you really arrived.

The color of Anthracite - this turnpike cruiser would have probably made many trips down the NE Extension to Philly or the Jersey Shore. It might have been purchased at J Keilman Dudley's Cadillac dealership on West Broad Street.

One thing for sure - not too many coal miners or railroad workers in Tamaqua could afford one when I was a kid there.

What a beautiful car - Dale.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tamaqua PA - My Hometown

This video makes my hometown of Tamaqua PA looks so beautiful.

I lived in Tamaqua from 1948 to 2004. I was a teacher near there and taught for 33 years. I met my wife Lulu there - built a home - and raised a family.

Tamaqua was a coal mining and railroading town. There is still plenty of coal there - but not much of a market. Almost everyone in town heats their homes with oil or electricity. burning coal produces about twice as much pollution as oil.

There is not much work there - so I have watched the town dwindle from 12,000 people to 6,000.

People from town travel to NewYork City and Philadelphia for major entertainment. The big cities are about 100 miles away. The nearest major airport is Allentown - about 40 miles away.

My old high school has been torn down - part of it has been turned into a community college. Due to the John Morgan Foundation - any local high school graduate can obtain two free years of education at the community college - which is transferable to all of the Pennsylvania State Colleges.

Housing is plentiful and one can buy a nice home for $30,000 to $40,000.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Life in the Citrus Groves of the Florida Panhandle

Three years ago - we planted 4 tiny fruit trees that we bought at Lowes.  They barely came up to your waist. We have been lucky - they have bore fruit each year so far.

Today Lulu picked one piece of fruit off each tree. The trees are arranged in a square - lemon - orange - grapefruit - tangerine.

The bright yellow lemons are very big - I have a slice in my tea every morning. I am not picky with food details - but lemon in my tea is something I like - so Lulu makes fun of me for it.

Next to the lemon is an orange. The oranges are very sweet.

The giant grapefruit in the back is pink. Again - they are very juicy.

Finally - the tangerines are sweet and plump.

Up north - we could not grow a thing. Down here - everything grows. There is nothing quite like going out in the morning - grabbing the newspaper - then picking a lemon for our tea. It is a simple life - with simple pleasures. Life has loveliness to sell.

Now - on Saturday the Seminole must go down to Hogtown and play the Gators. If the Seminoles lose - it will be our first losing season in 40 years. That is a bitter lemon no one in Tallahassee wants to taste.

Real Seminole Scores First FSU Touchdown

Yesterday we saw a real Seminole score a touchdown at FSU.

Justin Motlow is the first Seminole tribe member to play at FSU.
And now the first to score a touchdown.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Homecoming Game at Florida State - Seminoles 77 - Delaware State 6

Crowning the Homecoming Chief and Princess

It was Homecoming at FSU - and even though Lulu and I were jet lagged from being home - coming form London - we had to go. We wanted to stand behind FSU. While we were gone - a kid died in a hazing incident. The President shut down all the Greek organizations - and it is not good. Yesterday - the "Greeks" boycotted the Homecoming Parade - because they could not drink it up.

Delaware was one of this cupcakes you schedule for Homecoming. They were 1-8 and they came here to collect their check.

FSU was 3-6 with 3 games left. They must win them all or be the first team in 40 year sot have a losing season - and not go to a bowl. FSU won 77-6.

After the game there was a concert on the field - Cole Swindell. We stayed for little of it.

We drove the scooter to the game.  A man outside the stadium gave me 4 FREE tickets on the 50 yard line - 35 rows up from the field. At first - we were walking right in  then I told Lulu to go in - I would sell the other two. I got $20 each for them. The couple sat with us. They rode their new camper from Pensacola.

The game was like playing a high school team. But FSU at 3-6 is not much better. Still the people that came acted like it was a major win. It was Homecoming - although - many of the "Greeks" boycotted the game. The student section was half empty. the stadium holds 80000 but it looked like 40000 showed up. This is what a losing season does to you. Just 4 years ago - FSU was national champ - and had the best college season ever - both yardage and total points scored. Now they play to a half empty stadium on Homecoming.

Cole Swindell concert

The stage was right in front of us

Homecoming band - alumni in red - Note student section on left

More band

The game was played to clear skies - low 70s - we were in shade.

Friday, November 17, 2017

What the heck is Apologia?

Guest post by Lulu

Apologia is a smash hit play playing in London at the moment.  It stars Stockard Channing and our host Joan Varner wanted to see it.  Harry, the ticket fairy, will do anything to keep Joan happy as we love visiting her.  He dutifully went to the box office and got us two seats in the fourth row (which was actually the front row – long story) for Tuesday night’s performance.  He declined going himself as he prefers musicals and was theatre weary after three plays already.

The play is about a career-driven woman (Kristen/Stockard) who fought for all kinds of causes in the sixties but who didn’t fight for custody of her sons when they were 7 and 9 years old.  She is now a famous art book author who has lived in England for the past 20 years.  The play takes place over one evening and the following morning in the kitchen of her house.  Her grown son comes to visit with his girlfriend/fiancĂ©e to introduce them.  She is snarky with the girlfriend who is trying desperately to make a good impression.  The evening descends further and further into dark territory as the guests (which include a neighbor and the brother’s girlfriend) drink more and more wine.  It reminded me of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. 

The play is getting great reviews and in addition to Stockard Channing there are huge stars from the UK.  Joan told me that the Laura Carmichael who played the American girlfriend was the pregnant sister on Downton Abby.  Desmond, who played a neighbor, has been in many British TV shows including Dr. Who.  Joseph Millson played not one, but both sons, and I didn’t even realize it until Joan pointed that out too!  He was so different – sort of like Adam and Stuart Chandler from All My Children. 

Stockard Channing is now 74 years old.  She is a petite thing – much to my surprise as she usually plays very strong women.  I googled her after the play.  The British tabloids were all commenting about her facial plastic surgery.  Who cares I say. She is still a great actress and had so many lines and several monologues. 

One of the best things about London is the ability to buy tickets to a show and walk in the same day.  Tickets are reasonable prices and Harry manages to score great ones.  I’m writing this on the plane home and can’t wait to return London again soon!