The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #72 in AL,MS,LA,TX,NM,AZ,CA,NV,UT,&ID
04/19/02
3134 miles this trip, odometer now 119618, total miles this year 5717.
Meridian, ID Hi Everyone!

First I want to let you know that the mail that Jenny sent to my sister's address finally arrived. My brother-in-law Bill (he is a retired Post Master) pointed out that the delay was not caused by the Postal System and that I was too harsh in my criticism of it. My words got me in trouble again! To become more efficient like the Post Office I have come up with a code, the post office has their Zip code and the Bar code and I have my efficiency code to explain what happened to my mail. DD will stand for Dumb Daughter, IDOM will stand for Inefficient Dumb Old Man is me, VEPE is short for Very Efficient Under Paid Union Postal Employee, and VEMSM is the Very Efficient Mail Sorting Machine.

This is what happened to delay the mail as seen through the eyes of a VEPE. The DD transposed the first two numbers of the zip code 23578 instead of 32578 for Niceville, FL. The IDOM punched 23578 into his GPS program and it went no where, 23578 is not a good zip code. A VEPE at Parksley, VA put the mail in a bag and it was trucked to Norfolk, VA where another VEPE dumped the bag of mail into the VEMSM where the Zip code was read and a bar code was printed on it but because the DD transposed the first two numbers the VEMSM had no bag to put it in for it's next journey. Now the IDOM is asking the retired VEPE (Bill) just where was the mail with a bad zip code waiting for over two weeks, till a VEPE found time to get out a zip code manual and correct the zip code and send it on it's way?

The rally here in the Mobile, AL Fairgrounds went well. Some interesting seminars. For the first time I attended a seminar on genealogy, I needed this as I am back to my genealogy files and coming up with a lot more people to add to my family tree. It must look like one of these Live Oak trees in this area, lots of crooked branches some long some short and some in between. The weather was cool with one rainy day. The meeting rooms on the Fairgrounds were outstanding, the RV sites were OK, the public rest rooms left much to be desired. In the civilized country's that I have visited the lavatories in most restrooms have a mirror on the wall behind the lavatory so you can see your face. The rest room nearest to my coach was actually two rest rooms sharing a common wall in line with the fence. The rest room accessible from outside the fence had showers and two narrow full length mirrors, one in the shower room and one between the middle two of four lavatories it went almost to the ceiling. If it had been mounted horizontally above the lavatories it could have been used by at all four. The restroom accessible from inside the fence had no showers and no mirrors.

When I left Mobile, AL my destination was Converse, LA to bum a meal or two off my Iron Angel Friends Bob and Betty Moore. I had called Betty and told her I was on my way and should get there in late afternoon. She informed me that she had to go to work but Bob (a deputy sheriff) would be home about 5:00 and she would leave the back door unlocked so I could get in the house if I got there before Bob got home. I had slowed down and was looking for the driveway when this unmarked car comes around me with lights flashing and siren on and the driver motions for me to pull over. I follow him into the next driveway and it is my destination, Bob and I arrived at the same time. I call that perfect timing. I backed my little GMC in beside their big diesel rear engine Motorhome, plug into power and we go in the house. I try to call my cousin Rod (the Comish) and Roseanne in Terrel, TX my next destination. I had told Bill to forward the mail that was already a month late to Rod's address and I would pick it up there. I had been trying to call them every day to inform him of the mail and sometimes I get a busy signal so I know they are home. Till Betty reminds me that if the answer machine is giving its message to someone else when my call comes in I will get a busy signal.

We had a nice visit and at noon I headed to Terrel, TX. When I got to the Terrel exit I tried to call them one more time and had to leave a message on the answer machine. "If that mail gets there, return it to sender." It looks like my timing this time was off by about a month. After Rod got the road past his place paved he gave up the County Commissioners job and the last time I talked to Roseanne she told me he was out campaigning to be a County Judge. Now it looks like he is no longer in Texas or he is dead. I wonder when he will run for President of the USA?

When I got out in west Texas a head wind came up and I sucked up behind an eighteen wheeler to let it break the wind for me. It was overcast and there was some lightning up ahead I was hoping it would rain as the windshield was covered with bugs. I had no longer thought it and there was a mist on the windshield but not enough yet to turn the wipers on and get rid of the bugs when the mist stopped. I see some red letters on the bottom of the tailgate ahead of me but I couldn't read it till I got a little closer. It said "Shit happens" the message was short and to the point I was behind a cattle truck and if it did happen I would be the first to know. So as I pulled out and passed him I could see on the side of the trailer it had happened a few times already. Now I'm sure that the mist was not rain at all. Luck was with me and in a few minutes I got the rain and the bugs and the mist were soon off the windshield. My luck was with me when I stretched my fuel supply looking for a Flying J truck stop. When I found it I put 48.5 gallons of fuel in it, I'd say that is cutting it pretty close for two 25 gallon tanks. My luck was with me when I called my Neice Mary Lou and Tom at Melody Ranch near Sonoita, AZ to see if they were home and if they planned any thing for Easter. She informed me the only thing planned was roasting a turkey with all the trimmings for Easter and I was invited. After over eating and a short visit. I headed to my Nephew Mike in Peoria, AZ. Mike was off shopping when I got here and when he showed up he told me I had a propane leak. The last time I showed up here he said the same thing and both times I got the soap suds out and found a very small leak. He has the nose of a drug sniffing dog.

My brother in-law Bob had a Drs, appointment in Phoenix so he and my sister Norma showed up at Mike's and we all headed to Ron & Connie's, Mikes sister for another big meal. After a nice visit I loaded up with another $1,000 worth of free samples of expensive drugs that I have a hard time finding at military Pharmacies (Ron & Connie are both Doctors) I headed west. Because I was behind schedule and the high price of gas I decided to bypass Yuma, AZ & San Diego, CA this time. My first stop was at my Nephew Doug & Di's place in Riverside, CA. Another nice visit and good chow, after spending the night I headed to my cousin Bessie's in West Covina, CA. I had called my cousin Elton in Fountain Valley, CA (brother to the TX Comish) and his wife Ginny informed me they would be out of town for a week.

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a gal in Bellflower, CA telling me that she is married to the son of a long lost cousin of mine. She is getting into genealogy and I had some information she needed. I sent her the info she was looking for and told her I would stop for a visit and pickup the info that she had and I needed. I called her from Bessie's and informed her that I was in town and Me and Bessie would be down to meet Roger & Patricia Jensen and some of their family on Saturday as they are both working. It was a rewarding weekend adventure as we all had a lot to learn about people that had been missing from our lives. A Jensen reunion is being planed for this summer in the Denver, CO area and I hope to be there.

On Sunday Bessie & I went to Long Beach to visit my Niece Michelle, my Nephew Bob and Terry and their two daughters Kathy & Claire. Had a nice visit and ate too much. On Monday Me & My Shadow headed to Meridian, ID a little over 1000 miles and this turned out to be a very interesting adventure. I had just got under way when a good friend TW (Tail Wind) joined me. He stayed with me all the way to Meridian and saved me several gallons of gas, he was so strong that I almost had to ride the brakes going up hill. However he brought along a couple uninvited guests DS (dust storm) and SS (snow storm). DS got real nasty after we got into NV one time the visibility dropped almost to zero (about ten feet) in heavy traffic. I was glad to be out west as I'm sure the outcome would have been different back east. It was the worst dust storm I have ever been in. I kept adjusting my speed to keep the car in front of me in sight with as much space between us as possible. I guess every one did the same as the big pileup I was expecting never happened. Shortly after the air cleared I noticed a double trailer rig on its side blocking both South bound lanes. SS never showed up till we were in UT. I got tired about 8:00 PM and took a nap I woke up at midnight and figured to log some more miles before I lost TW. I hadn't gone very far when SS started, the traffic was very light but soon I was losing visibility. I took the next exit and parked at a closed service station till day break. There were still flurries off & on but the road was OK the temp just above freezing. When the rush hour started I see some cars pulling out on to the Interstate with over 10 inches of snow on them and I could see where the plows had shoved snow off the road. SS stayed with us all the way into ID but here in the Boise area I see snow only at higher elevations and it is disappearing. I will service the old GMC while I am here and expect to change the carb air filter as I'm sure it caught a lot of dust.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow & Gus on the road