Sunday, October 7, 2018

A new Beginning: the End

So, yesterdays bright and cheerful entry was followed by an old man power nap. Seems I qualify for these gifts from above. Anyway, I awoke and proceeded to get my lazy ass out of bed and when my feet hit the floor, I gnu, or knew, we had problems. Instead of feeling a slight tingle sensation, I felt the wrath of God go down my right leg. It was worse then by a long shot as to when I had it turned up. No matter where I had it set, it was painful. So, off it went and I began making phone calls. The rep did not answer and my conversation with Logan Regional Hospital was to say the least a joke.....The Dr on call knew nothing and wouldn't call the Dr who did it. Lovely. The rep finally called back and we have determined that one of the leads shoved up my back has shifted somehow. I was told to leave it off and they will let me know what to do and when to do it. SIGH.  My biggest fear returned at this point. Tonight I will have to suffer with the pain again before I fall asleep. Night rolled in and I did my dishes and cleaned up the kitchen and went in to begin my nightly ritual. I am reading a book on the 1899 Klondike gold rush written by a reporter who went to Alaska and lived the rush in person. Anyways, I got into it and read for a few hours then decided I would sleep. Turned the light off and I was gone.... wait.... no pain. I had another pain free night. Sweet! lets hope tonight is the same. 
No picture because I am lazy so just keep reading. My opinion on the Medtronics is I want the permanent one in my back! These past few night of falling asleep pain free have been incredible. My legs remaining still and not thrashing about while I grit my teeth in pain has been a blessing. I can see myself losing the need for vicodin every night and finally sleeping better overall. Now I just wait for a final decision from the insurance company as to if they will put in the permanent unit or make me suffer the rest of my life. To those of you with back pain, I would recommend checking out the Medtronics pain stopper. I know it wont remove all of mine but just removing the pre bed pain and allowing me to fall asleep drug free is well worth it!  

Next night update: So it is 4 am and I am sitting here wide awake. I made it to sleep just fine but around 3 am the pain finally returned. I was woke up by some evil gremlin stabbing my big toe. Not what I wanted. I got up and took a pain pill and have been surfing the web ever since. I need to get the permanent one in my back asap. I believe in this little invention and would tell all of you that suffer from chronic back pain to see if it would work for you. The last 4 nights were so pleasant......... 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A new Beginning, part II

 It's day 3, just after noon here and I thought I would add more to this new adventure. Last night was hell. I felt as if I had a fever and the pain was back in all of its glory. I can't say as to why it was back, it just was. Between shivering and the constant pain, the night was becoming unbearable. I had crawled into bed and had my blankets over me and decided to add more "kick" to the back unit. I jumped it up to almost 5, (I started at 2.8) and laid down. Now I learned a few new things about the unit last night. One is that if I move a certain way, lay down on my back or cough or sneeze I will feel it doing its job. So, I was laying there actually enjoying the constant massage while good and evil battled. Good eventually won and I was finally able to drift off to sleep. Sleep is good because you don't feel a thing. At about 2 am, i awakened for who knows why and decided I was thirsty. Here comes lesson 2. 
I was standing in front of the fridge when I suddenly began to cough like an old truck on a cold morning. Big mistake. For some reason, muscle movement intensifies the shock. Sitting here right now I cannot feel a thing. But, if I cough, I feel the shocks in my legs. Well, the huge ass cough mixed with the setting of 5 almost did some serious damage. The coughing started and the shock wave that hit my feet damn near pulled them out from under me. I was lucky enough to catch myself on the kitchen counter or I would have gone down. Wow. That was not expected. Thats the point where I learned that any forced muscle use would amplify the shock. Coughing, sneezing, pissing and even a good old fart will make me feel the shocks and amplify them. Needless to say the unit got turned down and I went back to sleep. I am back at 2.8 on the scale and everything seems to be going ok. I once thought that this would cure every pain and make life donuts and puppy dogs. My hip is telling me otherwise. I can still feel it, though just not as bad. I had planned on going to Walmart today just to see how it handled walking the aisles. After last night, I am thinking maybe tomorrow will be a better day for this. I do think that if it eliminates the bedtime pain, it will be a success. Some nights are horrible. Even a double shot of codeine doesn't quite help. Originally I had hoped for no pain any more and I could go back to living a normal life. Not gonna happen. I can live with that though. Just losing the pain that comes at bedtime would be a huge win and one I could live with. So, what will tonight bring? I am sore where they cut me open to put the wires in, but its not that bad. I guess we'll all have to wait until tonight to find out. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Possibly, a New Beginning

 Welcome to a blog that will not end tonight. I hope it doesn't end at all. I am going to be reviewing a medical device that is supposed to cut back severe back pain using electricity instead of my usual codeine. The stimulating machine is made by Medtronic. No, they are not paying me. I wish they would though. No one is telling me to do this but I feel the urge to help people suffering from pain. 
 I have had serious back issues since 2011. They would react to the cold in my job and give me hellacious headaches. It cost me my job. As the back pain worsened, more jobs were lost, including my dream job at Amazon. Nights were filled with pain so severe that my leg would move in the whole range of motion it has left, violently. By now, Codeine was all that would remotely help. It took enough of the edge off to allow me to sleep. My Dr, Dr Carlson recommended we look into spinal stimulation to ease the pain. So much is wrong in my spine that any sort of surgery to fix one thing would make another issue worse. After fighting the insurance company, they agreed to allow the trial run. In the trial, my stimulator is left on the outside of my body to see if it is worth a permanent try. So, the one above is the permanent one. If this works, it would be implanted under the skin.
New wires would be run to the spine and it would all be underground. Right now I am covered in tape on my back to keep it all attached to myself. It comes with a remote control that allows you to change the way it works. If an enemy got a hold of this, they could have fun. I am a remote controlled human. But I must say, the Rep turned it up to full power and it really felt cool. It's like a Tens Unit at the chiropractor but a hell of a lot more powerful, and fun! So, lets begin. 
Day 1- The unit has been in myself 12 hours. My back is sore from where I was cut, but other than that its pain free. I walked the grocery store looking for ingredients for dinner tonight and the only thin I felt was the 2 discs that push on my spinal cord. Even that was really nothing. The big test came at bed time. When I lie down, all hell breaks loose from my hips to which ever leg it wants to torture. I feel a shock begin to charge and then it explodes down my leg causing me to kick violently. It fucking hurts. I made it to bed at 10:00 and laid there waiting. Nothing. My neuropathy pain was almost to "0" and nothing like it has been. Why I woke up at 2 I can't say, but its nice. There was no pain. Stay tuned for more.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

When to Draw the Line, for me

Just so you all know, this entry is being written to myself. The last 3.5 years haven't been what I would call good times. To be honest, they have really sucked porpoise peters. Yes that was crude but this is an entry to me. Live with it. So, I have had open heart surgery, sternum plating, removal of the plating, thumb surgery, elbow surgery and I destroyed my leg in a fall. If we step back in time before that, the arthritis in my body has raised all sorts of hell. Breaking my tailbone in 2007 still pains me today. My L-4 and 5 are trash which can  cause pains to shoot down my leg with such force that I kick like a pissed off mule. I have 2 discs in my mid back that are physically compressing my spinal cord, which while standing for any amount of time, hurts like there is no tomorrow. Life really sucks. It hurts to sit. It hurts to stand. It hurts to lay down. I am running out of ways to do anything. As hard as I try and want to be able to do things, my body laughs in my face and says "good luck with that asshole"!
So, where does that leave me? FUBAR comes to mind. I landed myself a fairly decent job here in Salt Lake at the new Amazon warehouse. I had high hopes for working for them and living happily ever after. I started tonight in the sorting department. It was a simple job of removing an order from a tote and placing it in the boxing mail box. Once  persons order had arrived in full, the folks on the other side of the mailbox could package the order and send it to shipping. Simple, easy job. I picked it up super-fast and was doing really well. After 45 minutes, the pains began become quite noticeable. After 2 hours I was wanting to die. At the 6 hour mark, I couldn't take it anymore. It felt like I was being stabbed in my back. I resigned from Amazon tonight. The drive home was miserable because it hurt so bad and because I failed. Some have insinuated that I just don't want to work. Whatever! To be able to live life one has to be able to work. I just can't do it anymore. I can't sit for more than 10 minutes and standing is about the same. 10 minutes go buy and the fire begins in my back. I hate my life. As for drawing the line, tonight was the final straw. I have been told by quite a few people to apply for social security disability. You people win. I am going to go find a lawyer to take the case on and see where I come out. I don't want to but what choices are left? I would love to try and get certified as a coder in web page building. You can work out of your home which would be a good thing. Will it happen? With my luck, we all know the answer. So, the line is drawn and who knows what is going to happen. Jeep on my friends!

Friday, September 7, 2018

An Escape to Idaho

 Welcome to an actual adventure where the fotos are actual fotos of the actual adventure. Say that fast 3 times, I dare you! So, our escape today began up a canyon just north of Portage, Utah. We headed west up the canyon past a few springs till we almost hit the the top of the mountain. A quick right sent us down a side canyon that headed north and took us into Idaho and the Samaria Mountains. Now here is where it got interesting. As we started up this little canyon, we began to see real trees like Quaking Aspen and Pine. For some reason, the mountains west of where I live in Utah are too dry for these big old trees. In one little spot, I swear we saw some old cut down trees from years ago that were easily 5 feet in diameter. They were kinda cool
 As we neared the top, we came to a spot where we could see for miles into the western Malad Valley. I got on Google Earth just to check out where the other road went and found an interesting marker. At the spot where we stopped, there were cows everywhere down this little draw. It had looked as if the road went down that way, but it really didn't. Looking on the Google shot of the area, this little draw is call San Libertas of the Good Samaritan. The view from above suggests something might have been there before but as to what I do not know. I did a quick Google search and found nothing. Now I gotta dig deep I suppose and find the truth. I mean all it says is church in Oneida County Idaho. Who knows?
From there the road went across the top of the mountain and headed down to life in the valley. I often wonder things like who built this road and why. With the exception of the High Uinta mountains, pretty much every range in Utah has hundreds if not thousands of miles of dirt roads that seem to go almost anywhere. I am sure that some are fire roads and of course you have the roads built to service mines and other resources. Whatever the reason, most of these roads offer the driver a chance to escape the big city traffic jams and see some things you might not have known existed. Just do a wee bit of research before you go so you don't end up on a trail that could destroy you and your vehicle. That would make for a shitty day!  Jeep on my friends.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

An Accident Waiting to Happen

 Buenos dias people! Welcome to another off road adventure. This trip took us into Wyoming for the first time ever. OK, the first ghost town trip into Wyoming. Been there lots of times for other things. A visit to the High Uinta Mountains was our first stop on this expedition. We chose to take Hiway 150 from Kamas over the range and into Wyoming so we could visit Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake is a beautiful, natural lake high up in the mountains. Our first stop on this trip was Provo River Falls. As you can see from the foto, the falls are incredibly pretty. This would be a nice place to build a cabin. As the road continued north we finally made it to the top. The view is really grand........ with one exception. I don't have a foto of it but the tree population in the area is a scary sight to see. I would be willing to bet that somewhere between 25% to 35% of the tree population is dead. As you gaze over the forest below, you can't help but see that the area has some sort of issue with the tree population. It is so bad, in my opinion, that I didn't even bother to get my camera out. It is that bad. Fact is, if they get a lightning strike or some careless camper starting a fire, this whole area will disappear. I can't figure out why the Forest Service hasn't had firewood cutters or professional sawyers come in and thin out the dead trees. There are 1000's of them. And like I said, if it catches on fire.... it is gone. 
 We followed 150 north towards Wyoming when I noticed a sign saying gold hill. We turned up the road and were greeted with a sign saying 4x4 only trail. I was excited. It wasn't a difficult trail per say, but due to the rocks on the trail, I went into 4lo to make it easy on the Jeep. What was lacking on the trail was any real type of signage. We followed the trail for about an hour or so then headed back. Our goal was to have been Gold Hill Pass but we never found it. I did look it up on Google Earth when I got home so when I go back, I now know where I need to go. Next on the list for the day was the ghost town of Piedmont Wyoming. Piedmont is my first Wyoming ghost town and a Union Pacific tent town from the transcontinental railroad days. The community was built around 1868 and was a farming as well as a charcoal business that fed the Utah mines. The town prospered until the railroad built a tunnel through the mountain and by doing this took the train and its service out of Piedmont. With no cheap way to ship the charcoal, the business soon went under. By 1940 or so, the town gave up and disappeared. Today there are a few buildings still standing as well as the charcoal kilns.
 As close as it is to I-80, as well as being on every map I saw, the town is in remarkably good state. Time is taking its toll, but there still is some interesting things to see. I would recommend that you visit it in the spring or fall. It was pretty damn hot out there and there isn't a lot of shade. 
 We were just 10 miles or so from our final destination and right on schedule. The last official stop for the day was another historical site, Fort Bridger. FB was built in 1842 by the legendary mountain man Jim Bridger. He built the fort to be a supply house for the pioneers going to Oregon, California and Utah. He owned the fort until the Mormon Church bought him out in 1857. They had it for a year and then burned it to the ground. The US Army was on the march to Utah to wipe out the church so they burned just about everything of any value in an attempt to slow them down. Once the army arrived, they took control over the fort until it was abandoned in the 1890's.  
From then on, it basically wasn't much of anything but a farm town. Sometime between 1920 and 1935, the property became of interest due to its historical past. The ground was bought and the preservation soon began. Today you can visit the past for just $4 per person. This is another spring/fall visit time. It was damn hot there on our visit so plan accordingly. I do have one complaint tho. There were 2 people there for the whole attraction. If you had a question to ask, there was no one to answer it. Kinda sad if you ask me. Another issue was that 90% of the buildings were locked and the windows so dirty that you couldn't see well enough inside to snap a foto.  Yes, I was disappointed. But, its now crossed off the list of things to see. Twas a great day for exploring. A little on the warm side, but that's a lot better than the last one where we got hailed on. Jeep on my friends. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Wild Side of Idaho.....Fluming!


Hi and welcome back. I can honestly say I hate Blogger. I either need a tutorial or a cheat sheet. I have no Idea why but if you add a video, it for some reason centers the text. But if you break into the code and "right" the video, the text goes right too. Anyway, today was kind of unplanned. The original plan got changed at 3am and then an 830am call brought back the need for a plan, but a way shorter plan then the original. Um, OK. Logan Canyon, 3 hours, back home. Didn't happen that way. But, I am not complaining. So, Kirt and I headed up Beaver Creek Canyon with the plan to take it over to Bear Lake and come home. We came down a canyon that was damn near equal to North Beach, St Charles I believe. As we neared the bottom, this huge hill presented itself with a trail to the top to overlook the lake. Old Yellow took the hill without even using the 4x4 system and made it look easy. We took some fotos and video and then went back down. This is the video going back down. We hit the bottom and it was close to lunch time so I decided that we would go north to Montpelier, eat lunch then go over the mountain and come out in Preston. Well, the guilty party decided we needed more time in the hills so we headed north towards Soda Springs. 
 We go to the outskirts and took an odd route into town. We went through the Beverly Hills of Soda Springs. Beautiful Mountain mansions with tons of wooded areas and the Bear River right in the middle. If I had the money.... So, that tour took us into downtown Soda Springs where we headed west out of town. We got out a few miles then took a left turn and headed south again. This was about the time that we lost the perfect 80° temp and it soared to the mid 90's. No problem tho, we turned on the ac and it made the journey a little bit better. Seriously, it still cools you even with no doors or windows. Its like your chest is cool and your back sweats like a mo-fo. It was along this route to Downey that Kirt mentioned how the pioneers of the valley got irrigation water to their fields. The Bear is really low in the valley altitude wise. It flows through a deep canyon so it wouldn't be easy to bring it up to the fields. Well, these dudes were smart. Up river where it doesn't go through a canyon they tunneled through the lava rock for a mile or so and where the tunnel ends is in these fotos.
So the canal is underground till it meets this gorge. They built a bridge for the canal over the river so it could be distributed to the valleys farms. They are damn proud of this engineering feat and invite you to go see it. Now, this is where "fluming" comes in. There is a trail right to where it comes out of the mountain. The water is moving fairly fast and you jump in and let the current carry you to a spot where you can exit. You climb up on top of the canal, there is a walkway, and walk back and do it again. It seems like it would be a blast. I am much to old and worn out to attempt it but if I was younger, I'd be there in a heartbeat. South of where the tunnel exits, the canal crosses the river again. We walked across, its about 80 feet high, with the canal under our feet. There were 4 kids down below using a rope swing to fly out over the water and land mid river. I have a video of these kids on my YouTube page if you care to watch. Hell, Idaho knows how to have fun. If anyone mentions a canal in Utah, It has to be covered or blocked out by a 15 foot electrified razor wire fence. 

The next stop on the tour was out in the middle of a wheat field. As you can see, its the Niter Ice cave. Sometime 1000's of years ago, the area has some active volcanoes. Mother Nature left a hollow lava tube that opens up right in the middle of a field. The state has added some railing to aid in walking into the cave and its pretty damn cool. Literally. If you blink you miss the turn off and you would never know its there. When you get into the cave a ways, there is frost on the walls. We didn't have very good flashlights so we didn't go in very far but it was so nice. What I can't figure out is why the discoverer didn't build their house right next to it. Think about it. Your very own fridge/freezer. The sign does mention that the family did store stuff in there, but the house was a ways away. Anyway, it was kinda interesting. From there it was down to the Oneida Dam on the Bear. We checked it out and decided to head for home at this point. All in all, our 4 hour trip turned into 9 hours but they were 9 good hours. I saw a bunch of new things and saw more trails to explore. Sweet, huh?  Jeep on my friends! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bully's Suck Camel Huevos!

 Hi there and welcome to another post where the fotos really aren't from today. Again, I can do this because this is my blog! Let's do something new, sorta......
6:15am Awakened by my bladder.
6:20am Phone rings. Caller ID says Sam.  Hello? Dad I called the ambulance. I cant walk and I am in Pain. OK I will leave now. Text me when you know where they are taking you. ok
6:35am Hop in yellow Jeep and head south to be with my daughter. Received a text saying she went to a hospital(nameless).
7:45am Arrive at hospital and go into the ER. They send me back to room 9 where no one or no bed is. Nurse says patient went for MRI. Begin to read paper.
8:02am Patient returns to room in a lot of pain. Asks for more pain meds and is finally given some. 
9isham Dr comes in and says the MRI says there is nothing wrong with patient and she will be processed to leave. This begins a long 1 sided conversation where the Dr berates and bullies the patient with questions like "What do we have to do to get you out of here?" After roughly 25 minutes of this, he leaves the room and the patient crying. I then leave the room and call the front desk and ask for the head honcho of "said" hospital. I get a manager on the phone and begin a short conversation on how totally fucking rude their employee is and how someone had better get down here before it gets ugly. Within 5 minutes, Dr appears at doorway and asks if there is a problem. I tell him no conversation will  be had till some management is in the room. Finally a lady shows up and the conversation begins. I proceed to tell him that  Asking a patient what she has to do to get out of there in the tone he did was unacceptable. Then I explained how he is a Dr and we are paying patients. We are there because she is in pain and cannot move her leg at all.
"Well the MRI shows nothing! What do you want me to do?"
You are the Dr... we are paying you to find out. 
Out pop more excuses blah blah blah. Finally I was at the blowup point. 
You are a big mean bully! Do you bully all of the other patients. I mean we all know you did it to Sam on a previous visit. 
"What do you mean?" 
Sam tells the story of her first visit there 6 months ago where he did the same thing to her as well as when he called her PCP and hung up on her as well. 
At this point he apologizes to patient and leaves the room. Now the 2nd manager is in the room and she is able to calm me down. She says we will work this out and there is no way she will be sent home unable to walk. Oh and get this, they called Security on me!
Some time passes and 1st manager comes back whining like a 2 year old about how its so hard to admit someone when the MRI says they are OK. I'm like "does she look ok to you?"  Point taken. she leaves and comes back after a while saying we are admitting you under pain management and your insurance probably wont pay for it. Blah blah blah. By now its probably 10:20 and they send a nurse in to say we are waiting on a room upstairs. About noon, the 1st manager returns and does an inventory or Sam's belongings and finally transports her to room 4#*. Things should be better now...... by the way, we never saw the ER Dr again. 

Our patient is finally getting settled. The nurse comes in and is very polite. They give her more pain meds and life looks better. I go to lunch and come back to the room. A GREAT physical therapist named Joe comes in and does an evaluation on her and shows her some exercises she can do in bed to begin the healing process. He answered all the questions and was awesome. He leaves and a few minutes later in comes another therapist. She is not as nice. Fact of the matter, she was and probably still is a rude bitch! She begins to berate Sam like the ER Dr did. Blah blah blah. Her last sentence out of her mouth was "well, if you don't feel better, we will have to ship you to a group home because you obviously can't take care of yourself".  She then stormed out of the room. Sam turned and looked at me and shook her head. I then told her nice nurse that this type of treatment is unacceptable. You don't tell a patient that unless they get better they are going off to some rehab center. PEOPLE....WE ARE AT A HOSPITAL TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WRONG.... YOUR JOB IS TO DO THAT!!!!!  Just after that spout off, the floor manager came in. Our reputation had followed us. I told her she should have been in there 5 minutes earlier. She apologized and said she would talk with the therapist. Needless to say, we didn't see her again. The floor manager made sure we were ok and even got me a donut. Yes, she was that good. So, a bit of time passes and the floor Dr comes in. She is from Venezuela and was extremely helpful and kind. She said what the plan was and made sure Sam was ok with it and left. The rest of the afternoon was uneventful, thank heavens. I ran into the security guard a few times and chatted with him. I apologized that they had to call him but explained the situation. He was cool. We had dinner and at 6:30pm I checked out. I feel bad not being able to stay the night but without my drugs, it would be an ugly night.  Needless to say, this was an interesting day. We had a couple of Dr Jekyll's and quite a few Mr Hyde's. I just don't understand how a Dr with such shitty bedside manners can keep a job??? Seriously...The ER was dead. No one was there. Yet he tried his damnedest to kick her out the door as fast as he could. I look back on my visit to the Tooele ER and how slammed that Dr was. He didn't try to shove my ass out the door. He made sure I was ok and understood there were some serious cases ahead of me. I knew it and said its great, no problem. Today I learned that if i happen to need a hospital when I am near that certain town.... I'll go on to Salt Lake. Jeep on my friends!   

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fathers Day, extreme style

OK I must make a quick disclaimer. This foto has nothing to do with today. I'll explain in a few. So, a semi-local 4x4 club I am interested in joining did a run on Saturday that piqued my interest. They went to the Paris Ice Caves located north-west of Bear Lake in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. I had never heard of the cave so I thought to myself, I need to go. I talked to Womak and we agreed that it would be a fairly simple Fathers day run. He called at 11 and said lets go. I was thinking it wouldn't be till mid afternoon but hey, more time to explore this new area. We headed over to Logan and proceeded up Logan Canyon to the Franklin Basin turn off. I must explain that there are various ways to get there but he promised this one would be fun. It had rained lightly 30 minutes before we hit the trail so the dust was non existent. I was very happy with this and thought this is gonna be a good day. We followed the road across the basin and went down Hell's Canyon, according to Womak, and then continued by going up the trail to Mink Creek. We passed a really nice Boy Scout camp along the way and began the climb up the mountain. We arrived at the turnoff and I was like, what the hell? German Dugway.... The road was marked travel at your own risk. The road is barely wide enough to fit a Jeep so I knew this was going to get interesting. I put Old Yellow in 4-LO and began crawling up the hill. It was 2.4 miles of some of the gnarliest rock crawling I have done in a long while. I must interject that the sky was looking like the 20% chance of rain was going to be 100 and right quick. I can say I would not do this trail if it was wet. So, seeing what was coming, I pushed the pedal a little bit more so we wouldn't be on it when the storm hit. I really wish I had used the GoPro on this trail. It was quite the adventure. Needless to say we made it to the end and were rewarded with a lot nicer trail. But, Mother Nature was mad she didn't hinder our Dugway trail so she opened up the heavens and all hell broke loose. Seriously....it was a freezing cold rain mixed with some descent sized hail stones. We went from a lovely 75 degrees to like 52 in 2 minutes. Of course, when I read that there was only a 20% chance of rain I figured I wouldn't bother putting on the bikini. Big mistake. Everything became soaked within 30 seconds. Plus, every time one of the hail stones hit you, it really hurt like hell. I understand the name now. Hail=hell. We tried to duck under some of the trees there but that was worthless. We decided what the hell and made a mad dash to get down off the mountain. Now, I had planned on taking a bunch of fotos at the cave but we blew by it with just a quick glance. 25 minutes later we hit pavement in Paris Idaho. We parked under the canopy of the local gas station while we decided what to do. The lady there was really nice and gave us several garbage bags to try and keep us dry. Too late for that! Womak wore his and I covered my camera bag. The interesting thing about this storm was that there was breaks every so often. One break hit while we were there and so we decided to head for home. We made it to Garden City and Womak had me pull into a KOA Campground. He wasn't feeling very good so he decided to rent a cabin and spend the night dry. I was ok with that. I went next door and bought a tarp and covered the Jeep before I went in to dry out. Now, I gotta tell you this. The people we ran into today were so very nice to us. A young man named Collin I believe showed up at the cabin door with a hot pizza for us. He was so awesome. The staff there helped us get settled in and life was ok for the moment. Everyone who knows me knows I have RLS. (look it up)  I can't sleep or function after about 7pm without certain drugs. Womak Passed out on his bed and I twiddled my thumbs dreading the 13 hours ahead. My body turns into a Mr Hyde and life becomes unbearable. Womak woke up at 8:30 and asked if we should make a run for it or stay the night. I have 2 weather radar apps on my phone for situations like this. I told him there would be a break in about an hour and we could make it home. He went and dried his clothes and my shirt and we packed up and split. We made it about 5 minutes before all hell broke loose again. We went like 40mph for about half an hour because I couldn't see out the windshield. The wipers did fine on the outside but the inside was just a wet mess. As we passed Beaver Mountain Ski Resort the break showed up. The rain went down to almost nothing so we sped up and ran for home. It was dry the whole way pretty much. It did start to sprinkle again in Garland, but it was really nothing. Later this morning I get to go clean out Mother Natures war on my Jeep. I did learn something though. Hail stones have dirt in them. My back was covered with this fine dirt from where all the stones hit. Weird huh? So, ya. What a great day for the most part. I have updated my first aid kit and now I need to update what I carry. I think I will now carry a change of clothes and a days worth of the drugs I take. Plus, next time it says 20%, I'll know it really means 100. Jeep on my friends!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Early Morning Musings

 This past week has been one that truly wasn't a very good one. I suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome and when mixed with the damage to my spine, can make make sleeping damn near impossible. I take 3 different drugs to counter the effects of all the problems and when I run out of one, it makes for a very painful night of attempted sleep. This past week was hell. I ran out of one of the pills and needless to say, my night life was ugly. Friday night I got my refill and life went back to as normal as it can get. Knowing I was going to sleep good again, I had my arm twisted into another Jeep trip to Indian Springs. Who could say no to such a great offer? After the last disaster out there,(see the last previous entry) I was more than ready to return and continue the exploration of The Indian Springs area. There are 3 trails that lead to areas away from the main canyon itself. The first was one that took you over the top of the mountain and down to the other side of the range. We did that trail last year on our first visit to the area. Yesterdays trip was to explore the other two roads. First up was the trail that leads south from the main road. We followed it til it got too narrow for Old Yellow and we had to turn around. We found the remains of a mining camp on this trail and of course we had to explore them. Above you can see what is left of some sort of building. 
 I really have no idea what it was but I am guessing that it was a good size cabin. If you look at the 1st foto, you can see some type of work bench under the tree just of of the Jeep. The pile suggests it was a good size cabin and I really wonder if there is a foto of it somewhere of when it was still standing. During our meanderings of the site, we ran across Leonard. His mingling with humans must be zero to barely, because he let us get to within inches of him and he didn't move. He was quite large for a common lizard of Utah and I would guesstimate him to be close to 10 inches long. 
 Leonard was soaking up the sun on the door to the pile of rubble in the foto above. This mess of lumber was the old outhouse for the cabin. It has collapsed like the cabin it served and judging by the debris in the hole in the ground, it has been down a long time. I wonder what could be found by digging out the hole it once covered? Yes that sounds gross but its a known fact that back in those days you dropped just about any type of garbage down the hole. Plus, I have heard of coins being found that more than likely had fallen out of the users pocket. Who knows what you could find in this one?
 What type of blog entry would this be without a foto of my trusted partner. We had to stop in Brigham City for a minor repair on the trip down. I was getting a nasty vibration from the tires so I figured I had better get them balanced before we continued on. Wow, they were not even close to being balanced Our tire technician quickly did the job and from there on out, it was smooth sailing. Old Yellow drives like new again. I like it! Now, back to our story.
Across the road and down in the area that I believe was once a small stream, we encountered the cold house for the cabin. These buildings were your basic refrigerators of the time. They are built into the sides of hills and were the best solution to keeping things cool as possible for the time period. Some even used ice to help lower the temps, but I am 99.673% certain that this one didn't. My reasoning? Ice used to cool this type of cool house has to come from ponds or lakes that completely freeze in the area. At one time, could there have been a pond nearby? Possibly, but I saw no evidence of one in the area. Could I be wrong? Yup I could, but I'm sticking to my no ice theory until I am proven wrong. 
Road 3 went north and appeared to go over the top of that canyon to the other side. I didn't follow it to its end due to the fact I was running out of places to turn around. Backing down steep trails with large drop offs isn't my favorite thing to do. All in all, it was a great trip. We will return again someday and try to get up to a couple of mines we spotted. When that will be is unknown. Its time to move down the range and see what other cool things we can find. Jeep on my friends! 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hall Guy, part II

 Welcome to the first real Jeep trip of 2018! The day began with me driving over to Logan to get my  stitches removed from my leg. It had been 14 days and they were ready to come out. The whole process took all of 3 minutes and I was free to go home. I stopped by Womak's place on the way home and we decided it was a great day to return to Indian Springs. We got on the road at about noon and headed south to the Simpson Mountains. This time I did choose the correct road up to the canyon where the springs are located and we soon arrived at the desert oasis. The metal cabin above is a leftover from the areas mining period.
 With this year being a lot dryer than last year, I didn't expect to see a lot of water, but the spring area was nice and wet. The road through here is a bloody, muddy mess which makes it all the more enjoyable. We scouted around and found 2 of the mines that are in the area. 
 The first one was basically a hole in the side of the mountain. Womak went in and found it to be quite small. Total depth was around 15 feet and that was it. Bummer! I was hoping for something better. We then decided to head over and check out mine number 2 when disaster struck. Me, being the graceful swan that I am, tripped over an ancient barb-wire fence. I landed in a sticker bush and thought to myself that I am turning into a real klutz. 
 I picked myself up and started walking back towards the Jeep when I felt moisture running down my leg. I looked down and my new stitch free scar was now gushing forth with a whole lot of blood. Needless to say I was not happy with my life at that moment. We were miles from the nearest paved road, let alone a place that could fix me up and that kinda sucked. We broke out the good old first aid kid and tried to stop the bleeding the best we could. The fix lasted all of 10 minutes before I bled thru the bandages on my leg. We arrived at the bottom of the mountain and pulled over to try something new. We took an old surgical towel and put it over the soaked bandages and then since we had no way to keep it there, Womak cut one of his sleeves off of his shirt and tied it around my leg, kinda like a tourniquet. This seemed to satisfy the blood gods and we headed out to the nearest place for repairs: Tooele. 
 An hour later we arrived at the only place open in Tooele, the hospital. We picked the perfect time, NOT! The wait to get in to be seen was over an hour. The place has 9 ER rooms and they were all occupied. They finally got me in and stuck me on a gurney in the hallway. From that point on, I was known as "Hallway Guy". There were 2 Dr's working in there and since I wasn't bleeding anymore my priority status was low on their list. The Dr finally came over and looked at it and agreed it did need to be stitched, again. He got his trusty needle out and numbed up the area and said he'd be right back. Well, about 1 minute later an ambulance arrived with a cardiac case and my priority dropped again. After about an hour, he returned with his suture kit and cleaned it up and started in with the first stitch. My leg was awake. It wasn't super painful, but its not something I would want to do again. He got a funny look on his face and went and got another needle of numbing juice and shot me up again. He wandered off to work on other patients and about 25 minutes later returned to finish what he started. I told him there were stitches inside that might be ripped also and he looked and agreed they were. He ignored that and finished sewing up the gash. He said a nurse would be back to put a bandage on it and sign me out.  
The foto above shows my new and improved stitches before she came and covered it with a bandage. Of course it took another 15 minutes for that to happen, but eventually she showed up. I signed my life away and was told to have a great evening. By now it was like almost 9 so we headed out towards home. Such a lovely day.....  Needless to say, I will be returning to Indian Springs to continue our quest to visit all the mines in the area. As for the title of today's post, this wasn't the first time I have been on a gurney in an ER in the hallway. I really thought it was funny and to be honest, it's really cool sitting there where you can hear and see everything that is going on. Not that I want to do it again, but it wasn't too bad, really. All in all, it was a great day. We now know where 2 of the mines are so we will have to return to explore it all some more. Sounds like a plan to me. Jeep on my friends! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Week of Fixes

 Good day, afternoon, or evening and welcome to another boring blog by me. Today marks the first real time this year that the Jeep has been driven and not felt like it was totally falling apart. I am serious on that. The damn thing did actually self destruct, but more on that in a bit. The Jeep, after a few long arguments and faxes with the corporation was delivered to Heritage Motors here in town for some much needed warranty work. I bought Old Yellow when Jeep was offering lifetime power-train warranties. The problem is that they expect you to do certain things to maintain this benefit. Lucky for me I do read the fine print and I do save receipts. So after a two day battle I won and the Jeep got to go in and get new oil pan gaskets and a new front main seal. Plus, I supplied the new oil and filter so it got changed on their dime. The Jeep went in at 8am and was done by 1pm. No more oil leaks, I hope. So, that ended round one. I will give kudos to Heritage Motors for their help in all this and their fine service. I am a happy camper. 
 Round 2 arrived on Friday when the Jeep was slowly driven to K&N Automotive. And I mean slowly. The ball joints were toast and as one last act of defiance, the bastards shook the front end so bad it snapped the bracket that held the steering stabilizer. It was so bad, some dude in a truck got behind me and flashed his lights till I pulled over. He yells out his window saying did I know my front wheels were wobbling out of control??? Duh! Not like the steering wheel was sitting still. So, I limped it to K&N and had Nate slap in some new Teraflex ball joints as well as new front bearings. The problem showed it ugliness between 41 and 50 mph. The job was also done quickly and I drove out of there trying not to get a ticket while I checked to see if the problem was cured. Max speed limit between them and my house is 40 so I couldn't quite check it 100%. I will say this tho, the steering was nice and tight and it went strait down the road. Nate does great work and I highly recommend his shop also. 
Round 3 was a personal battle of sorts. I stuck in a hi capacity all aluminum radiator from Mishimoto a few years ago and it went bad. Not a real problem, lifetime warranty. Well, #2 went bad a month ago and I was not pleased. It had only been in just over a year. I called and bitched and they admitted the quality hadn't been good and they were awaiting the v2 or version 2 to arrive. Supposedly this is an improved radiator and the problem will go away. Lets hope so. I started it Friday night and finished it Saturday morning. It looks the same but there was one noted difference; one of the bolt hole did not line up. Lucky for me it was one of the bolts that holds the A/C condenser. I got 3 of them in and said good enough. I did an initial fill Saturday night and topped it off today. I then took it out on a long 80 mile drive to see if it was going to hold itself together. And, so far, it has. The wheel has a minute vibration now but I am betting it has to do with wheel balance. The temp gauge held steady and no signs of any leaks. Knock on wood! The sun was out and it was just the perfect day. I folded back to top over the front seats and life was good. Of course I just read it might rain so I may be running out later to fold it back into place. Now, its time to plan a good trip out to some long lost mine and get back to doing what I love! Jeep on my friends! 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

It Just Ain't the Same Anymore........

Years and years ago, going to a concert was pretty much the highlite of that given time period. I can say that now, it's more......take it or leave it. Tonight was my final, don't hold me to it, concert. Judas Priest at Vivint Arena was something I really looked forward to, but it just didn't do it for me. Why, you ask? Lets go over the pros and cons. First and foremost is the arena. The acoustics there really truly suck giant aardvark balls. The 2 opening acts put their amps to 11 and thought all the noise was cool. It wasn't. It all sounded like a blur.....you know, like when you throw a bunch of shit into a blender and it mixes it and removes any recognizable individual unit. The opening acts sounded just like that. The Priest on the other hand were not at 11 and you could hear every element in their set. Only issue was the voice. The sound of his voice was having the turn it to 11 issue. To me, the tone of it was set at a flat setting. I know this is hard to explain but it just didn't work. Next in the cons is 60 year old head bangers head banging. There was one guy who was banging away and the dumb shit had to hold onto the railing so he didn't fall over. I was waiting for him to go over, but he disappointed me and stayed upright. Another con, band members. Judas Priest is known for their dual lead guitars, K K Downing and Glen Tipton. So, K K retired, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner. No complaints here, he is an extremely talented guitarist. Just before this tour, Glen announced he would't be touring due to advanced Parkinson's disease. They replaced him with Andy Sneap. Needless to say, when you are missing your top guns, your sound isn't going to be the same. Glen and Richie made a good team. Tonight, it was basically Richie doing maybe 90% of all the lead work. It really sounded good, but it was missing Glen. Last but not least, I'm thinking that I am too damn old. In my younger years, concerts were a huge party. I don't party anymore, and to be honest, I couldn't afford to if I still did. I mean, who in the hell pays $11.00 for a single beer? Really???? I watched the people around me come and go with beer. Whoever owns the beer stands is making big time bucks. I am one who cannot justify $11 for a drink. It's crazy! So, I am certain that I will not attend anymore concerts at an arena. As for the pros.... I really can't think of any. Tonight was fun for the most part, but lets face it... I am not 18 anymore. But, I could be tempted to head over to Wendover for a show there. It's not that big and the sound has always been great. So I guess I can't say never...... On a different note, I did order my new ball joints for my Jeep. They are coming out of Denver so hopefully within the next 2 weeks Old Yellow will be up and running again. Lord knows I need to get out and explore. Jeep on my friends!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

We Made It !!!!!


Way back in the good old days, November of 2008 to be exact, I began writing this blog for reasons I don't even remember. It has damn near been 10 years and I finally made it to the 10,000 visitor mark yesterday. I know that really isn't a lot of visits, but to me, it's kinda cool! So, I just wanna say thanks to all of you who read this. I am hoping for more entries this summer and will start writing again when the Just Empty Every Pocket (jeep) gets repaired.  Stay tuned and Jeep on my friends!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

What the Hell is Going On?

 Welcome to April 2018. I have not even enjoyed a day out in the Jeep yet. Why you ask? Well, due to a funding shortfall, the Jeep sat thru January, February and most of March. Well, that and the damn battery took a dump. So, funding returned, it got a new battery, and then the shit really hit the fan. Old Yellow has had a wee bit of death wobble for the past few years. Twas never much, just a tiny bit of shaking between 42-50 MPH. So, to my surprise on the first trip out on a, for lack of a better phrase, test drive, I was shocked when it felt as if the steering wheel was going to come off in my hands. I took it in to Jim and Dave's and we discovered that the cheap-ass ball joints that have plastic in them had gone south for time and all eternity. In their infinite wisdom, Jeep ball joints have gone from all metal to metal/plastic ball joints. Lovely! So now, I have to purchase new ones and have them installed. The bad thing about it is that unless you buy a decent aftermarket brand, you will get another filled with plastic. The choices start at $199 and go up to $250 for the set of 4. To add insult to injury, while we had it in the air, I noticed that the mighty p.o.s. 3.8 mini-van motor was leaking like sieve. I thought no big deal, I have the lifetime power train warranty so it will be fixed for free. It just so happens that the 5 year inspection was due so I took it to the dealership. They noticed the leaks too and went to order all the parts and Jeep sent back a note saying it was not under warranty due to the fact I had not done the first 5 year inspection. Wrong! I had done it and had all the paperwork to prove it. Long story short, after the back and forth calls between me and Jeep, I faxed in my copies and supposedly, the warranty was reinstated. We shall see. This past week has been so busy with crap I haven't had time to go back and find out for sure that it was reinstated. Since we all know that bad things come in 3's, it shouldn't be a surprise that we found number 3 while on the hoist. My 14 month old radiator took a shit and was leaking again from the same spot the last replacement was leaking. Knowing the procedure, I took the fotos and sent in all the paperwork. I will say that Mishimoto is quick and helpful but it seems that they have had quite a few of the Wrangler radiators fail in the same spot. Their return letter was yes, my return was approved but I would have to wait on the new re-designed Jeep model. Again, long story short, I do have the new version sitting in my front room waiting to be installed. What pisses me off the most about this Jeep is the fact that while it will go anywhere I point it, it seems to have a lot of shitty parts that are prone to fail. I put 125,000 on my 95 wrangler and the only bad part I had with it was a jumped timing chain that cost me $600 to fix. Hell, even the brakes were still good after all those miles..........
 My next hope was/is above in the foto. I inherited 80 1884 O Morgan silver dollars from my grandfather. They are uncirculated and quite pretty. He was given these when he retired from his job the 2nd time. According to my mother, the Las Vegas office brought these to his retirement party. If you walk in to a coin shop, you can get on the average $32 per coin. But, if you have them graded, the value can go thru the roof. These coins are not from the preferred mints of Carson City or San Francisco, ours came out of the mint in New Orleans. We sent 8 in to be graded and ended up getting 1 ungraded due to surface contamination, 1 ms63, 4 ms64 and 2 ms65. On today's market, we took $256 worth of coins and made them worth $700. You are probably thinking that was awesome. It really wasn't. The fees to grade the coins totaled approximately $300 so actual profit is $400, or basically $50 a coin. It really is a gamble on grading. You have to more than double the value of your coin to make any money. Why you ask? Let me show you. If you have a $32 street value coin, and it costs you $35 to get it graded, you are in the hole $3 dollars. The coin would have to be graded to an amount over $67 to break even. The ms63 coin I have is worth only $65 so I lost $2 on the deal. lucky for me, I only had one of them. I did fairly well on the other 6 coins, but not enough to send in more coins. I am thinking of selling them in groups of 7 or 8 for $55 a coin and let someone else gamble on their value. Who knows? I only know I need to unload them so the Yellow Jeep will run again. One word to you, if you ever get a rare coin, DO NOT try to clean or polish it. That will destroy any value in the coin. Like I said, I had one end up in that category. I have no idea what they found on it. The only thing I can think of is that when my grandfather was showing them to his friends that night, someone had something on their hands when they touched it. Since that night, they have been in the coin wraps until I took them out to inspect them for grading. Who knows? If you are interested in buying some, hit me up and we'll talk. Jeep on my friends! 


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mindless Meanderings

So, here it is, 2018 and February and this is my first entry. I can explain. The truth is that I ain't done nothing exciting. Well, let me rephrase that. As par for the course, I have already been in the Emergency Room. Shocking, isn't it? It appears, tho I did fail the test, that I was nailed by this years flu bug. I had gone in to see what the hell was going on and the Dr put me on an antibiotic and all was supposed to go well. It didn't. Went back in 2 days later and I was sent over to the hospital because my blood oxygen level was like 80. Its either ironically funny or extremely sad when the nurse there knows your name. OK so the foto above is my first Ford.
She escorted me to my usual room there, its a cardiac room and the diagnosis began. They ask you a million questions and begin to insert various objects into your body. For example, she stuck in a butterfly needle into my left hand in preparation for an IV. Then, instead of taking blood work thru that hole already in my body, the phlebotomist proceeded to poke another hole in my right arm. My right arm also had the blood pressure cup on it as well as the oximeter. So, with all this going on, my ability to entertain myself with games on my phone became impossible. I will admit this tho, they have done some upgrades over there and the tv actually had a bunch of channels and a clear picture. Than heavens for that. Above we have my 74 Ford, which was my favorite!

The Dr finally made his way into the room and proceeded to tell me that as sick as I was, I would most likely be spending the night. I was thinking he was right. I have never coughed so much or so hard even when I had pneumonia. And of course with my sternum still in 2 pieces, it hurt like hell. It was early afternoon and I hadn't eaten lunch yet so I asked aloud if it was possible to eat. The guy in my room at this time was taking a chest xray and he said he would ask. The xray was taken and he left. Not 5 minutes later, he came back in carrying a lunch tray with a diet Dr Pepper. This guy is my hero. I know a lot of you out there are thinking OMG he had to eat hospital food. Little secret.... our hospitals food is awesome. People actually go to lunch and dinner there. It really is that good, and inexpensive too. Above we have my 2004 Ranger. 

So, as time is passing and tests are being done, I am sitting in my room eating lunch and watching tv. The Dr keeps sticking his head in saying they are working on getting me a room for the night. His biggest concern which he told me at the end of my visit was that something was going on with my heart. He discussed the results with my insurance company and they both agreed that my heart was fine and that there really was no reason to spend the night. But, I was to be sent home on oxygen. I was ok with this decision. I have spent the night there before and I was glad it wasn't going to happen. Trying to sleep in a hospital bed sucks, at least for me. I was glad I didn't have to do it. So, I get sent home with an oxygen tank that is good for 3 hours. The company affiliated with the tank is a genuine piece of shit and we will leave it with that. They brought me a machine and for the next week it and me were best friends. Its now been 3 weeks and I am finally feeling better. Everyone said this years flu was nasty and deadly and I have to agree with them. As I said, I've had pneumonia a few times but this flu.... It is nasty! Last but not least is my 2005 F-150. Sweet riding vehicle.  Jeep on my friends!