Saturday, March 31, 2012

News: Tejano Monument. FB. Nazis. Flying? Good Texting. Water. Math. Kangaroo Care. Economic Hitman. Fur. Eiffel Tower.

News: Some New, Some Old:


Texas officials unveil Tejano Monument at state Capitol

Texas officials unveil Tejano Monument"Workers erect a monument at the Texas Capitol to Tejano settlers, Spanish and Mexican explorers who trailblazed what would become the Lone Star State." March 29, 2012.

Houston— "Officials gathered Thursday on the grounds of the Texas Capitol for the unveiling of the state’s Tejano Monument, 11 life-size bronze statues crafted by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa commemorating the contributions of Texas’ Spanish and Mexican settlers.

Gov. Rick Perry, who attended the unveiling, said the monument "reflects a larger truth about the origins of Texas, about the contributions of so many Hispanic citizens to the creation of the state we love."

Q: Where does the word “Tejano” come from?

A: The way the people who have been involved in constructing the monument describe “Tejano” is that it is the direct translation of Texan into Spanish. It is the most popular term of reference by Mexican people in Texas who have long-lasting ties to the land. It’s basically a regional self-reference by people who see themselves as people of the soil, descendants of settlers in this area in the 16, 17, 1800s.

Q: What does it mean to be “Tejano” as opposed to Mexican American?

A: “Tejano” is a regional variant of Mexican American or Mexicano, akin to Californiano and Nuevo Mexicano." More at:,0,1782310.story


Facebook's Death Spiral: It's Inevitable (and Already Starting)

"As Facebook heads toward the public markets, it is already skating on thin ice because of privacy issues. This week, the headlines were about employers asking for job applicants' Facebook passwords. Earlier this year, the concern of the moment was Google's privacy statement changes. If Facebook isn't careful, it could overreach privacy boundaries and alienate customers.
At the same time, the company needs to increase revenue, and the way to do that is by using consumer information to target ads to its users. That business model relies on loyal Facebook users openly sharing private information. They have to trust the company to protect that data. Too many ads -- or worse, overly personal ads -- and Facebook will alienate its loyal users and handicap its revenue stream.
Apathy, Defections Have Already Begun
First your uncle asks to be your friend, then your mom, next thing you know Grandma has a Facebook page and Facebook has become "so 2010." Such is the life cycle of every "cool" thing -- Zubaz, Crocs, and MySpace. They were cool for a while, but when everyone adopted them, they weren't so cool anymore." More at:


Headstone of Hitlers' Parents' Grave Removed

javascript:void(0);"The tombstone marking the grave of Adolf Hitler's parents, a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis, has been removed from an upper Austrian village cemetery at the request of a descendant, and the grave is ready for a new burial, officials said Friday. Leonding itself first assumed cult status for his followers after Hitler visited his parents' grave and the nearby family house following the 1938 annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany.

Anti-extremist groups say neo-Nazis, sometimes coming in groups, placed flowers and Nazi symbols on the grave.  "A lot of flowers and wreaths were deposited there from people who clearly were admirers," he said. "It had to do with the son and not the parents."  Brunner, the mayor, said he was "happy with the decision," to remove the tombstone and Eiter said most Leonding residents also supported it." From:


Safety Talk!

"I was on a Thomson flight last week, and the announcement came we are now going to do the safety feature...yeah we all know how boring these can be, but I do always pay attention....well the IFE screens dropped down and on came this video.... Take a look and Alice & Co and see what you think."

"Well, what a breath of fresh air...this certainly captured the passengers attention, I have never seen so many people glued to a safety video and smiling and laughing...well done Thomson (TUI) you have certainly got this one right"


Park rangers give techno tips to save your life

"Rangers at Utah's Zion National Park say that technology has proven a godsend for some visitors who've gotten into trouble. No, we're not talking GPS systems, but rather, the simple use of cellular telephones. Here's an example:
A Virginia man tried descending a steep in darkness the man stepped off the trail to urinate. He lost his balance and fell onto the switchback below, breaking his leg. Unable to stand, he crawled and reached as high as possible for cell signal to send two brief text messages to his friends who called rangers for help.
This season alone, Zion's rangers have dealt with several hiking and canyoneering incidents with the aid of text messaging. These include canyoneering parties have gotten ropes stuck, were unable to find rappel anchors, and who were under-prepared for the route and conditions.

Why is text messaging some helpful? Voice contact from the canyon floors is often impossible due to the nature of the terrain and noise of flowing water. Though cell service is quite limited to non-existent in the park's terrain of deep, narrow canyons, texting has worked when calls couldn't. Text messaging has helped rangers respond quicker, and often spare themselves unnecessary danger."  From:


 Drinking Water Proven to Help Weight Loss


A new study has found that obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost 5 pounds more after three months. A year later, they also kept more of the weight off.

The dieting technique is well known, but this study may be the first hard evidence that increasing your water intake is a useful weight-loss strategy.

According to Discovery News:

“The reason could be physical. According to some research, water consumption might spark the body to produce more heat, boosting metabolism and burning more calories. Or, drinking more water might simply make people less likely to drink a lot of high-calorie sugar-filled beverages.”    From:


Even this monkey knows: Water is life.


"Life is water. There is no way around it. Drinkable water for Earthlings will be a much bigger problem than the high price of oil you face today.

The cause of your water shortages is simple. There are over six billion water-thirsty humans on planet Earth. Earthlings are using water faster than the Earth's water reservoirs can replenish the supplies. Water tables are falling on every continent as demand for water grows faster due to population growth. Overpumping of water is now widespread in China, India and United States. These three Earthly countries together make nearly half of the world’s grain harvest." Read more about water. 


Beauty of Mathematics

Jake of shared this, I really like it, I hope you do too.


'Kangaroo' Alternative to Incubators for Preemies.

A mother uses the warmth of her body to serve as a human incubator as she cuddle her prematurely born daughter in the Philippines.A mother in the Philippines used the warmth of her body to nurture her prematurely born daughter.

"Kangaroo care has been widely studied. A trial in a Bogota hospital of 746 low birth weight babies randomly assigned to either kangaroo or conventional incubator care found that the kangaroo babies had shorter hospital stays, better growth of head circumference and fewer severe infections ...   Sometimes, the best way to progress isn’t to advance — to step up with more money, more technology, more modernity.  It’s to retreat.

When a mother holds her newborn against her bare skin:

  • The baby's temperature is regulated by the close contact -- in fact, a woman's breasts will change in temperature depending on whether the baby needs more or less warmth.
  • The mother's breathing and heartbeat helps the baby's heart and respiratory rates to stabilize.
  • The mother produces more milk and the baby breastfeeds earlier, gaining more weight.
  • Emotional bonding is encouraged.

Babies who receive kangaroo care also show:

  • Gains in sleep time
  • Decreased crying
  • More successful breastfeeding
  • Improved oxygen saturation levels
  • More regular breathing patterns
  • More rapid weight gain
  • Earlier hospital discharge

A separate study also revealed that when mothers initiated skin-to-skin contact with their newborns 15 to 20 minutes after birth, the infants slept longer and more peacefully, using positions that indicated less stress.  After the contact ended, the effects of the skin-to-skin contact seemed to continue even four hours later, as the babies displayed less stressful body movements after spending several hours in the nursery.

The researchers suggested that the most dangerous and stressful events that occur during the human life cycle take place during the transition from the womb to the real world, therefore mothers who made a point of giving their infants skin-to-skin contact would help their newborn adjust to their new unfamiliar surroundings.   Proof that more money and more technology isn’t always the answer.

Aspects of kangaroo care are now in use even in wealthy countries — most hospitals in the United States, for example, have adopted some kangaroo care practices. But its real impact has been felt in poor countries, where it has saved countless preemies’ lives and helped others to survive with fewer problems." From: and:


Economic Hitman

"John Perkins is a former Economic Hitman and he has written a book called 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman'. John Perkins talks about the role Economic Hitmen have in our society."  A look into how corrupt our world is.

Part 2 of 3:

Part 3 of 3: 


Speaking of Hitmen, see this video:  Warning graphic!

It doesn't matter where the fur comes from, the animals are still cruelly treated.  Who would want a dead animal around their neck, anyway?


On This Day:      Eiffel Tower opens, Mar 31, 1889:

Eiffel Tower

"On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.

In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel's plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world's tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor.

The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to form a single vertical tower. Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels. Elevators ascend the piers on a curve, and Eiffel contracted the Otis Elevator Company of the United States to design the tower's famous glass-cage elevators.

The Eiffel Tower remained the world's tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition's 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world's premier tourist attractions."



It was supposed to rain, but it didn't, but it sure felt like it wanted to. Then I realized that I was wearing a T-shirt containing polyester, and I always feel clammy wearing made-made fabrics. I try to find clothes that are 100% cotton.

Ray and I put up the back trim on the cargo trailer. It was time-consuming as we were careful to line up the screws with the previous holes in the rubber roof and metal of the siding.

Ray was having trouble with a brake on his car, and wanted it fixed before the weekend.  When he finally found someone to do it, we rolled up the tools, and I followed him over there. It was fixed in two hours. This mechanic also works on lawn mowers, so we dropped mine off there, too.  But he can't start on it until Monday.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Do You Want Wild Plants With That? Defeat Cancer. Angiogenesis. Edible Weeds. Recipes. Seward's Folly. Reagan. Drapes.

For "Foodie Friday":

Why Wild Plants Can Protect You From Cancer

"Plants, and most especially, plants growing in harsh, exposed environments out in the wild, produce a bounty of powerful health-protective natural chemical compounds which can provide broad spectrum health benefits against cancer and other chronic human diseases.

Why do plants manufacture compounds (phytochemicals) that uniquely protect against chronic human diseases?

Plants are clearly not producing powerful phytochemicals for the sole purpose of benefitting humans. Plants have no other means to protect themselves except to creatively synthesize and accumulate a sophisticated assortment of natural components in their organs (such as leaves, roots or fruits).

This internal phytochemical cocktail helps the otherwise unprotected plants to endure environmental stress and promote their own survival, or at least improve their chances of passing on their seeds to grow the next year. Phytochemicals offer remarkably sophisticated natural defenses that can help plants to thrive in even hostile locations.

What happens when humans eat these flavonoid-containing plants, like berries?

The phytochemicals naturally moderate the body’s reaction to diseases, stress and allergens. These same phytochemicals interact with target sites in the body to protect against foreign invaders like bacterial cells, damaging rogue enzymes, or free-radical damage. Flavonoids protect the body’s cells from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species, such as those from ultraviolet sunlight rays or pollution exposure. By inducing antioxidant enzymes in your body, the flavonoids help your body to cope with toxins.

Be proactive about fighting cancer with your own diet. Mix and match a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables on the menu each week, and keep an eye out for the wild ones – their rugged survival strategies translate into the most versatile and health beneficial phytochemicals for you."   Full article at:


What You Can Eat to Defeat Cancer

By William W. Li, M.D.
President and Medical Director, The Angiogenesis Foundation

"Dr. Oz and I recently spoke about important new research that is showing that how you select, prepare and consume foods can be a powerful weapon for preventing cancer. The reason for this lies in our capillaries, the thousands of tiny blood vessels present in almost every square millimeter of our bodies.

The growth of new capillary blood vessels is called angiogenesis, a vital process for reproduction and healing. Cancer turns the body against itself by hijacking the angiogenesis process. Just as healthy tissues require oxygen and nutrients, malignant tumors need a blood supply to fuel their growth. But, unlike normal tissues, cancer keeps angiogenesis permanently switched on to ensure that it has a dedicated, uninterrupted blood supply.

Angiogenesis Makes Cancer Dangerous
A major reason cancer is so frustratingly difficult to cure is that by the time it can be detected, it is often very advanced, and like all advanced diseases, much more difficult to treat. In a person with advanced cancer, uncontrolled angiogenesis keeps cancer cells growing and allows them to spread. However, without angiogenesis, cancers can’t grow and become dangerous. This is why the microscopic cancers that form in our bodies all the time are mostly harmless. These cancers aren’t even visible on a standard X-ray or body scan. So, to effectively prevent cancer, angiogenesis needs to be brought under control before the tumor can get a foothold. This is where your everyday diet comes into play." Complete article at:


Benefits of Wild Edible Plants

"There are numerous benefits to eating wild edibles such as:

They are free.

They are genetically stronger than other food.

Longer root systems make most weeds drought-resistant.

Most edible plants and weeds are more nutritious than hybridized store produce.

Eating local wild plants means that the plant fights off the same organisms as your body therefore making them highly beneficial for the immune system.

Wildcrafting (picking your own) wild edibles means you get exercise, vitamin D (sunshine) and being in a natural setting is relaxing." From:


Guide to Common Edible Wild Plants


"It’s often said that the last thing you need to worry about when in a survival situation is what you’re going to eat. The human body is highly resilient, and can go without food for longer than you think. Shelter and water, on the other hand, are pretty much non-negotiable in order to survive.

However, it is possible to familiarize yourself with edible wild plants before you get into a survival situation, in which case you’ll have a good idea of which wild plants you can eat if necessary. In addition, once you learn to identify some of these common edible wild plants, you might be able to add them to your diet while you’re still in the city."  More at:


Preparing Plants You Can Eat

plants you can eat

"Although some plants or plant parts are edible raw, you must cook others to be edible or palatable. "Edible" means that a plant or food will provide you with necessary nutrients, while "palatable" means that it actually is pleasing to eat. Many wild plants are edible but barely palatable. It is a good idea to learn to identify, prepare, and eat wild foods.

Methods used to improve the taste of plant food include soaking, boiling, cooking or leaching. Leaching is done by crushing the food (for example, acorns), placing it in a strainer and pouring boiling water through it or immersing it in running water.

Boil leaves, stems and buds until tender, changing the water, if necessary, to remove any bitterness.

Boil, bake or roast tubers and roots. Drying helps to remove caustic oxalates from some roots like those in the Arum family.

Leach acorns in water, if necessary, to remove the bitterness. Some nuts, such as chestnuts, are good raw but taste better roasted.

You can eat many grains and seeds raw until they mature. When hard or dry, you may have to boil or grind them into meal or flour.

The sap from many trees, such as maples, birches, walnuts and sycamores, contains sugar. You may boil these saps down to a syrup for sweetening. It takes about 35 liters of maple sap to make one liter of maple syrup!" More at:


Edible Weeds

"Why apply chemicals to remove your weeds, when you can harvest them to eat! We wander through a backyard to assemble a salad with a plant expert:"

Edible Wild Plants Defined
"Edible wild plants are wild plants with one or more parts that can be used for food if gathered at the appropriate stage of growth, and properly prepared. Edible wild plants could be weeds growing in urban areas to native plants growing in deep wilderness." More at:


Edible Wild Plants - The Real Organic Food


Environment Wetlands Yard/Meadow/Prairie Eastern woods Western woods
Mountains Desert/Prairie Seashore

The Seasons
Winter Spring Summer Fall

Food type Nuts, Bark, Roots, Leaves Berries/Fruit

More at:


Foraging Foodie, Edible wild plants and Recipes:












"I've collected, used and tweaked many recipes over the years. I want to add preparation pictures for each recipe and I don't have all of these yet so please bear with me." Recipes by ingredient, and Dishes and meals at:


If you can't pick your own wild plants, buy organic or local produce, if possible

"Some pesticides found in commercially-grown produce are also suspected carcinogens. Organic foods are free of these pesticides, and locally grown produce is less likely to have been treated with chemicals to prevent spoilage."


What you need to know about cancer and diet

"Not all health problems are avoidable, but you have more control over your health than you may think. Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths—maybe even the majority—are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. Avoiding cigarettes, minimizing alcohol, and getting regular exercise are a great start to an anti-cancer lifestyle. But to best support your health, you also need to look at your eating habits.

What you eat—and don’t eat—has a powerful effect on your health, including your risk of cancer. Without knowing it, you may be eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you. If you change your diet and behaviors, you can minimize your risk of disease and possibly even stop cancer in its tracks.

Why plant-based foods are cancer-fighting powerhouses

It comes down to this: Plants have less fat, more fiber, and more cancer-fighting nutrients. These three elements work together to support your immune system and help your body fight off cancer.

The best diet for preventing or fighting cancer is a predominantly plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. A plant-based diet means eating mostly foods that come from plants: vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and beans. 

The less processed these foods are—the less they’ve been cooked, peeled, mixed with other ingredients, stripped of their nutrients, or otherwise altered from the way they came out of the ground—the better.

There are many ways to add plant-based foods to your diet. A nice visual reminder is to aim for a plate of food that is filled at least two-thirds with whole grains, vegetables, beans, or fruit. Dairy products, fish, and meat should take up no more than a third of the plate. Keep in mind that you don’t need to go completely vegetarian. Instead, focus on adding “whole” foods, which are foods close to their original form. Just as important, try to minimize or reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Eat an apple instead of drinking a glass of apple juice, for example. Or enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with raisins instead of an oatmeal raisin cookie."  More at:


On This Day:

Seward's Folly, Mar 30, 1867:

"U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."

The czarist government of Russia, which had established a presence in Alaska in the mid-18th century, first approached the United States about selling the territory during the administration of President James Buchanan, but negotiations were stalled by the outbreak of the Civil War. After 1865, Seward, a supporter of territorial expansion, was eager to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, an area roughly one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States. He had some difficulty, however, making the case for the purchase of Alaska before the Senate, which ratified the treaty by a margin of just one vote on April 9, 1867. Six months later, Alaska was formally handed over from Russia to the United States. Despite a slow start in U.S. settlement, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory, and Alaska, rich in natural resources, has contributed to American prosperity ever since."


Reagan is shot, Mar 30, 1981:

"On this day in1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot while leaving the Washington Union Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Reagan's assailant, later identified as 25-year-old John Hinckley Jr., approached the president as he left the hotel after speaking to a union convention, and fired five to six shots from a .22 caliber gun in his direction. The president later recalled in his autobiography that the shots sounded like firecrackers. He turned to the agent next to him and said what the hell is that? One bullet hit Reagan in the chest. Immediately the Secret Service pulled Reagan into a waiting limousine and sped to George Washington University Hospital, where he walked into the emergency room on his own. White House Press Secretary James Brady, a policeman and a Secret Service agent were also injured in the shooting. Each man survived, but Brady sustained severe head injuries that caused permanent disability.

First lady Nancy Reagan arrived at the hospital soon after the shooting and sat by the president's side as he recovered. Reagan was released from the hospital less than two weeks later and quickly returned to his presidential duties.

Reagan recalled the day of the assassination attempt in great detail in his autobiography. He remembered lying on a gurney in the emergency room while medical personnel, much to his disappointment, cut away his brand new pin-striped suit. As he started to lose consciousness, he felt a woman's hand in his. He did not know if it was Nancy or a nurse and in typical Reagan fashion---always ready with a joke---he asked, Who is holding my hand? Does Nancy know about us?

In the years after the shooting, Reagan also recalled an ominous and prophetic visit he had made before the attempt on his life to the same theater in which Abraham Lincoln had been shot. While at the theater Reagan had mused that although presidential security had greatly improved since Lincoln's time, it was still possible for someone who had enough determination to get close enough to a president to shoot him.

The assailant Hinckley, who acted alone, confessed a bizarre reason for the shooting--Hinckley was obsessed with the actress Jodie Foster and claimed he shot the president in order to impress her. Hinckley was arrested, judged not guilty by reason of insanity and placed in a mental hospital, where he remains today."



It wasn't supposed to rain, but it did!  So Ray and I couldn't put the trim back on the cargo trailer.  During a break in the rain, we tried to start the mower with the new air filter, but it still wouldn't stay running!  So we put it in the back of my van to take it to a repair shop.  It was too wet to mow, we just wanted to see, one more time, if we could use it.  On to the next job, the drapes for the trailer, maybe that won't be brushed with Murphy's Law.

I had the measurements of the windows but needed to find out if the fabric that I had bought at the thrift shop would be enough.  We made newspaper templates of each window, moved the coffee table out of the way, and laid them out on the fabric on my living room floor.  We moved them around to different places on the fabric, adding for the pleats and hems.   After finally determining the best way to use the fabric, Ray cut it.  Poor Ray, he never knows what we will be doing next!  Now I just have to find the time to sew them.

The rain shower had brought humidity, so we were glad to work inside in the AC, even though it wasn't a hot day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

RV: Sparks Fly! Sealing Roof. RVer's Internet. Storage. Oven. Fridge. Vent Fan. Fire. Lube. Flashers? Water Tank. Road Cables. Solar Fan. Gloves. Sway Bar. Mice. Vietnam.

For "tRaVersing or RV Day, here are some varied subjects concerning RVs:

From an RV Doc reader:

Q: "I own a 2006 travel trailer. My question is when I plug the power cord into an AC socket with an adapter (15/20-amp) or without the adapter (30 amp), I draw an arc to the terminal spade lugs and over time they have become pitted. Why does this happen? Should I turn off the main trailer breaker before connecting to the power source?" Jim M., (Halifax, NS, Canada)

A: "Ah yes, when sparks fly. Contrary to what you might think, the bright yellow & green sparks you see when unplugging an extension cord or the shore power plug are not electrons zipping around, but rather tiny bits of superheated copper burning in the air. Where does that burning metal come from? Well it comes from the metallic contacts of your extension cord or shore power plug when they're plugged or unplugged under a load. That means that every time you plug and unplug your RV shore power plugs while the pedestal is powered up, you're giving up little bits of metal from your contacts, which eventually shows up a pits in the surface. And this is a slippery slope, since these tiny pits tend to spall off more metal creating even larger pits, and so on. Eventually you'll lose enough metal from your plug contacts that they'll begin to heat up under normal current loads. Not a good thing since they can get hot enough to melt the plastic plugs or even catch on fire.

What to do? Well, ALWAYS turn OFF the circuit breaker on the campsite pedestal before you plug or unplug any shore power or extension cords (The RV Doc's been telling RVers that for years!). After you're securely connected, you can then turn on the pedestal breaker. The bad news is that if your plug contacts are already pitted from years of plugging or unplugging under power, there's really nothing you can do to restore the surface. Sure, you can use a little emery paper to brighten up the copper surface, but deep pitting means that you must replace the power cord. Make sure you get all the connections wired correctly though, as an improperly wired shore power or extension cord can create a dangerous hot-skin condition. So check with the manufacturer or get a certified RV technician to wire on a new shore cord. Nobody wants to be shocked (or worse) from their RV."


How do I Reseal my RV Roof Seams & Sealants?

Question: "I am taking my RV out of storage and plan to inspect the seams and sealants on the RV roof for any damage. Can you tell me what products and methods work best for re-caulking your RV roof and how often the maintenance should be done?"

Answer: "That’s a great question and quite often I see written advice on this topic that is completely wrong.  Let me begin by saying that it is important that you use sealants compatible with the material your RV roof and other products you are sealing are constructed out of.

If you have the RV owners manual it will usually specify intervals that you should inspect and perform routine roof maintenance on your RV. This is extremely important because in many cases the RV warranty can be voided if these inspection and maintenance intervals aren’t followed.

With that said let me tell you a product I personally use to seal and maintain RV roofs. I use Dicor 501 LSW Self-Leveling Sealant. This sealant is used in the RV industry by many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)  and it is a popular choice for aftermarket use. One reason it is so popular is because it is compatible with EPDM and TPO rubber products, galvanized metal, aluminum and fiberglass roofs. So it basically works on all types of RV roofing.

Note: Whenever you are working on your RV roof exercise caution. A fall could result in serious injury or death.

When you inspect the seams and sealants on your RV roof look for cracked or dried out sealants that may be separating and allowing water to get through to the surface of the roof. If during your inspections you identify any potential leaks in the old sealant it will need to be resealed. It’s not that difficult to do. One important step is to see if the water has already damaged the roof surface around the area where it has penetrated the sealant. You can go inside the RV and feel around the area for soft spots or look for signs of water staining. If the roof structure is damaged it will require repairs much more extensive than we are discussing here.

Our goal is to identify potential leaks and seal the area before there is any damage to the roof. If I identify any cracked or separated sealant during an inspection I like to remove some of the old damaged sealant from the area prior to resealing it.  To do this I use a plastic squeegee similar to what is used when you do body work on a vehicle. They can be purchased at any auto parts store. Be extremely careful not to tear the rubber roofing material as you remove any old sealant. When the cracked or dried out sealant is removed from the suspect area and the surface is clean, just use the Dicor 501 LSW or other compatible sealant with a caulking gun to reseal the area.  That’s all there is to it.

If you read an article about resealing your RV roof and it says to get up on the roof with some silicone sealant to reseal a rubber roof the author does not know what they are talking about. Follow the inspection and maintenance intervals in your RV owner’s manual and reseal any potential damage with a sealant compatible with yor RV roofing material and your RV roof will last for many trouble-free years.

If you aren’t comfortable working on the RV roof take it to an authorized repair facility to have the work performed. You should also inspect and reseal all of the other seams and sealants on the exterior of your RVat regular intervals. Consult the RV owner’s manual or your RV dealer for sealants compatible with the surface you are attempting to repair.

Happy Camping, Mark Polk,


Part Time Mobile Internet Connections

"What do you do if you travel only part time, but need to have a reliable Internet connection? Well, you are in luck: there are several options these days for short-term Internet connections.

As fulltime RVers, we have no problem signing a 2 year contract for Internet service from Verizon, but we know many people who only travel part time.  What are their options for mobile Internet service?  A couple years ago, your only option was to rely on Wi-Fi which is very UNreliable!  Now there are several options for short term cellular Internet connections. 

The technology world moves fast, and nothing moves faster than cellular Internet plans, so take the information below as talking points only.  Check with your provider, and/or your contract for the details that apply to you.
Verizon is the focus of much of the information in this article since it is what we use personally, and it is the most popular service among RVers.  There are links at the bottom for information on other providers. Six options mentioned at:


Keep your laptop secure
"Laptop computers are some of the best friends an RVer can have. But laptops, and other computers, are certainly an attraction to thieves. Here are some tips to help keep your computing experience happy and safe."


Don't forget the little storage spaces

"When we load our RVs sometimes we pile things into the cabinets any old way just to get it done. When you are going to RV for an extended period, or have a small unit like a truck camper, storage space is at much more of a premium. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting up RV storage:

Be organized. Spending a little time now to stow your gear in a neat an organized fashion will save headaches down the road.

RV cabinets rarely come with shelves, and in fifth wheels the cabinets can be hugely tall. Quick fix: Add Closet Maid type wire shelving. Hint: make sure you put a lip on it, or mount it slightly tilted toward the wall with shelf liner to keep things from sliding.

One thing I saw years ago - turn your kitchen sink drain into a shelf for rolls of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc. Thin cardboard, tape and scissors are all you need. Span the cardboard across the cross pipe of the drain and extend back to the wall or some other attachment point.

Don't forget plastic bins! Not only are they stackable, they're usually water tight, and can be put anywhere...under the bed, basement compartments, vanity, and so on.

Install cup hooks in a row approximately five inches apart on the ceiling of cabinet then place makeup, cotton balls, medicine, etc. in quart or gallon size plastic bags. Force a hole in the center top of the bag with the hook and then hang bag on hook. The bags are easy to remove and replace and keep small items organized.    Velcro is an RVers best friend!   Don't forget to mount things in your outside compartments. Home centers carry an abundance of little brackets, straps, and shelves to make your outside storage much more user friendly.

With a little time spent early on, your RV adventures can be easier and more carefree!"  By Chris Dougherty, Certified RV Technician


Keep loose items on shelves with bungee cords

"Keep articles on their shelves and from falling out of cabinets when driving rough or curvy roads with this simple fix.
Screw a cup hook or similar hook into the side of each cabinet opening about two to three inches up from the bottom. Stretch and hook a bungee cord between the hooks.
Bungee cords come in all lengths so purchase ones that fit tight when hooked. Adjust the height of the hooks based on the height of the items you are restraining (i.e., higher up for taller items). While in camp remove the bungee cords and then replace them before driving off."


Don't forget to service your range
"The RV kitchen range is a pretty simple device, and usually works when operated. However, without a little maintenance, it can fail, which will leave you up a creek without any supper, and that is not good!" Read more from RV technician Chris Dougherty.

Distribute heat more evenly in your RV oven with a pizza stone

"If you have ever made and cooked pizza you probably cooked the pizza on a ceramic pizza stone in your oven.
You can also use these stones when baking to even out the heat in RV ovens, notoriously uneven in their heat distribution.
Place under cookie sheets when baking cookies and under baking pans when cooking meat loaf, casseroles, pies, cakes, and other one dish recipes.  The stone will spread the heat more evenly under your creation reducing the chance of scorched spots."


RV DoctorFins inside fridge are icing up. Why?
"Dear Gary,
We are new full-timers and have noticed our Norcold refrigerator fins inside the unit are icing up. What causes this or is this normal? Should I ask how to prevent this?" --Casey D., (St. Louis, MO)
Read Gary's response."

No problem!
"Jim had a feeling his refrigerator was not cooling properly. He thought maybe he'd need to make a trip to an RV dealer for service. But then he tried something. And it worked. So, no problem after all."  Learn more.


How to clean your RV's Fantastic vent fan
"The RV Geeks demonstrate how to remove, clean and reinstall a Fantastic vent fan in your RV. The fans are used so often and move so much air that they can get really dirty. Once a year or so it's a good idea to remove and super-clean the vents. Here's a step by step guide to making your Fantastic fans look like new."


RV explodes at gas station.
"Don't let this happen to you!
A 1970-era motorhome exploded at a gas station in Williston, North Dakota last Sunday. One person was critically injured and a small dog may have been lost in the blaze. The motorhome was a total loss." Read more and learn how to help ensure this does not happen to you!


Lubricant for jets good enough for RVs.

"We all know how important it is to keep mechanisms and moving parts well lubricated to keep them operating properly, and to lengthen their useful life. The engineers at Boeing designed and licensed a rust and corrosion shield waterproof lubricant for use in the aviation industry, and now you can use this same lubricant on your RV.
The Boeshield T-9 lubricant is designed to provide long term protection of moving parts. It is designed to penetrate deeply into fasteners and fixtures, displace moisture and stop existing corrosion, dry to a clean waxy film, and lubricate and protect for months. Use it on awning hardware, RV steps, hinges, locks, windows and more." Boeshield T-9 can be found at    Also on eBay.


Using hazard flashers when you're stuck in the really, really slow lane


"In the hill country out West it's not uncommon to find 18-wheelers making the hard climb with 'warning' flashers a'blazin. To most RV folks it just makes sense. After all, crawling up a steep grade and traveling far less than "freeway speed," giving a bit of a warning to the folks coming up from behind is no more than sensible. What about RVers? Is it a good idea?" Read more.


How gross is your fresh water tank?
"RV fresh water tanks can be bacteria heaven. If you leave water in your tank for several months without cleaning it out, you may be conducting an aqua culture experiment. Green yucky stuff can overtake your on-board water system, clogging your pump and exposing you and your family to sickness. Here's how to check your water to make sure it's fresh." Read more.

How to maintain a safe onboard water supply
"There are two kinds of RVers, those who drink raw water right out of the tap and those who don't. If you are one that doesn't, you needn't concern yourself with water borne illnesses. But if you do drink from the tap, the following measures should keep you from picking up bad germs."


Will "rubber bands" stop your RV?

"Will "rubber bands" prevent your RV from crashing?
Those cable barriers in the middle of Interstates and other highways are supposed to stop a vehicle from crossing over into the oncoming lanes. Some people call these barriers "rubber bands." So do they work? You might be surprised."


Solar fan keeps you cool
. . . powered only by the sun
"Now here's a very cool device or should we say a very cool cooling device? This solar-powered fan does not plug in for its power -- the sun does all the work. So on a hot day when the sun is heating you uncomfortably, it can also help keep you cool with this handy accessory. Pick one up for next summer." Read more.


Glove up for RV dumping with nitrile disposable gloves
Jim writes: "I used to empty my sewer tanks bare handed. I didn't like wearing the traditional type dish gloves because they are too bulky and I wasn't crazy about latex gloves because they would easily tear. Last year I discovered nitrile disposable gloves." Read more.


No more white knuckle driving with RSS sway bars
"If you've been around RVs for awhile you have probably heard of the term "sway," even if you don't pull a trailer. It's a common term in the RV industry and it means a side-to-side movement. Sway is normally associated with a travel trailer being towed, but it can take on a whole new meaning for motorhome owners, too. So what to do? A sway bar. Read more. "


Yet another way to keep mice away

"It seems like every week we see another article about how to keep mice and other rodents out of an RV. Here's information about a product that is plant-based, and non-lethal to humans, even pets. If you are still having rodent problems and all other methods have failed, this might be worth a try


On This Day:

U.S. withdraws from Vietnam, Mar 29, 1973:

"Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America's direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam.

In 1961, after two decades of indirect military aid, U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent the first large force of U.S. military personnel to Vietnam to bolster the ineffectual autocratic regime of South Vietnam against the communist North. Three years later, with the South Vietnamese government crumbling, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids on North Vietnam, and Congress authorized the use of U.S. troops. By 1965, North Vietnamese offensives left President Johnson with two choices: escalate U.S. involvement or withdraw. Johnson ordered the former, and troop levels soon jumped to more than 300,000 as U.S. air forces commenced the largest bombing campaign in history.

During the next few years, the extended length of the war, the high number of U.S. casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes, such as the massacre at My Lai, helped turn many in the United States against the Vietnam War. The communists' Tet Offensive of 1968 crushed U.S. hopes of an imminent end to the conflict and galvanized U.S. opposition to the war. In response, Johnson announced in March 1968 that he would not seek reelection, citing what he perceived to be his responsibility in creating a perilous national division over Vietnam. He also authorized the beginning of peace talks.

In the spring of 1969, as protests against the war escalated in the United States, U.S. troop strength in the war-torn country reached its peak at nearly 550,000 men. Richard Nixon, the new U.S. president, began U.S. troop withdrawal and "Vietnamization" of the war effort that year, but he intensified bombing. Large U.S. troop withdrawals continued in the early 1970s as President Nixon expanded air and ground operations into Cambodia and Laos in attempts to block enemy supply routes along Vietnam's borders. This expansion of the war, which accomplished few positive results, led to new waves of protests in the United States and elsewhere.

Finally, in January 1973, representatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam, and the Vietcong signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war, and the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced.

In reality, however, the agreement was little more than a face-saving gesture by the U.S. government. Even before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire, and by early 1974 full-scale war had resumed. At the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000 of their soldiers and civilians had been killed in fighting during the year, making it the most costly of the Vietnam War.

On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces. North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, accepting the surrender of South Vietnam later in the day, remarked, "You have nothing to fear; between Vietnamese there are no victors and no vanquished. Only the Americans have been defeated." The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular foreign war in U.S. history and cost 58,000 American lives. As many as two million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were killed."



Ray took the front and back trim off the cargo trailer to replace the butyl putty tape, and for safety reasons, I stayed while he was up on the ladder.  He cleaned, primed and painted the trim while I went shopping.

After I had been to Lowes and Kroger's, I went farther north to the RV store, but didn't get everything I needed at the last two places.  I forgot to get coffee, and even though I had called ahead, the RV store didn't have the light bulbs I needed for the trailer. 

One thing I bought was a new air filter for the mower, maybe it will start today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Birds & Trees. Tree Bombing. Bahama Oriole. Wetland Birds. Herons. Nightingale. Chicken's Arsenic. Eagle Cam. Vultures. Lyre Bird. Pollination. Eisenhower. Three Mile Island. Cargo Trailer.

For "Winged Wednesday",

Most Birds rely on Trees for their Homes:  Redwoods National and State Parks.

Growing Is Forever from NPCA on Vimeo.


Planting Trees by Air:


Bahama Oriole

Bahama Oriole by D. Belasco

"The Bahama Oriole was recently given full species status by biologists, having previously been regarded as a sub-species of the Greater Antillean Oriole. This taxonomic split brought to light the critical situation faced by this species, since fewer than 300 individuals are thought to exist.

The Bahama Oriole’s preferred breeding sites are tall coconut palms, often planted as part of human settlements. As settlers brought these palms to new communities, the orioles followed closely behind and thrived on this relationship.   Unfortunately, on North Andros Island, where the largest population of Bahama Orioles remains, coconut palms have been nearly wiped out by Lethal Yellowing disease, dramatically reducing suitable nesting sites.  Luckily the disease has not yet crossed to South Andros Island or Mangrove Cay.

Other threats to this species include loss of suitable forest  for non-breeding habitat to small-scale agriculture, and the arrival of Shiny Cowbirds, which parasitize oriole nests.

Possible solutions include working with local communities to begin a cowbird trapping program, programs to educate people about the importance of broadleaf coppice forest, and nest and population monitoring; as well as programs to inoculate palms to help prevent the spread of the disease, and captive breeding of birds for subsequent reintroduction to Abaco."

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!


Wetland Birds Thrive

Wetland Birds Thrive

"While nearly a third of North American bird species are in decline, many birds that depend on wetlands are thriving. Duck breeding populations in 2009 were an estimated 25% above historical averages. Conditions on the breeding grounds have improved since the drought years of the 1980s, but human action has also made a huge difference. You can help by encouraging your elected representatives to protect wetlands. And you can buy a duck stamp every year.  Birders and other frequenters of National Wildlife Refuges purchase a $15 Federal Duck Stamp each year in order to gain free admission to refuges.  Whether you are an artist or an interested citizen, you can participate in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.  The 2011-2012 stamp features these White-fronted Geese.      Play MP3 Download MP3 View Transcript


Little Blue Heron, Light and Dark

Little Blue Heron, Light and Dark

"Two herons, one dark, the other white, feed at the edge of a wooded pond in the South. Both birds are Little Blue Herons. What’s going on here? Well, the white bird is a juvenile. These young herons forage with flocks of Snowy Egrets, which stir up prey. The white immatures mix readily with the white egrets and, by this mimicry, gain a better chance of getting a meal. By arraying the immature Little Blue Heron in white, nature helps the young bird survive the vulnerable early years of its life. The Little Blue Heron is one of Audubon's Top 20 Common Birds in Decline."   Play MP3 Download MP3 View Transcript


The Nightingale

The Nightingale

"From Hans Christian Andersen... Long ago, in an emperor's garden, lived a Nightingale. The emperor ordered the bird to be brought to him, and she was locked in a golden cage. When the emperor received a mechanical Nightingale, the real Nightingale was banished. Years later, the emperor lay dying. At the window appeared the Nightingale, and she sang 'til Death slunk away. The emperor asked her to stay with him, but she knew her song sounded best in the green wood. Still, she visited him often, and sang and sang." Play MP3 Download MP3 View Transcript


Dangers of Arsenic fed to Chickens

Battery Chickens in their

"I first heard about the hazards of factory farming from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whom I got to know through my writing on autism. Kennedy described a tragic situation in a small town called Prairie Grove, tucked in the hilly country of the poultry-packed "Chicken Belt" of Northwest Arkansas. Giant chicken companies had fed their birds arsenic—a growth promoter and intestinal disease treatment—and local farmers had then spread arsenic-laced chicken litter as fertilizer on many of the fields surrounding Prairie Grove.

After visiting the quiet, shady town, I realized how desperate things are there. Arsenic traced to chicken feed has been found in the air filters of local homes. Dozens of cancer cases, including at least 20 in children, have savaged Prairie Grove. Three 14-year-old boys came down with the same extremely rare form of testicular cancer. "  From:


Eagle Cam is Back! Watch Iowa Bald Eagle Eggs Hatching Live   from Wildlife Promise

Bald Eagle Brings Nesting

"Did you join us last year as we watched two Iowa bald eagles care for newly hatched eagle chicks? Thanks to the Raptor Resource Center, the eagle cam we all came to love is back!  Join the National Wildlife Federation family again this year as we watch the eagles hatch and grow!   Update: The eggs are expected to start hatching March 23-24. For more about the process, read this RRC blog.

Feb. 17, 2012: First egg is delivered (watch video)
Feb. 20, 2012: Second egg is delivered (watch video)
Feb 24, 2012: Third egg is delivered (watch video)"  More at:


Watch this eagle swim to get this nutria!  Fascinating!"

"Someone had shot a nutria, and it was floating dead in the water. Watch what this eagle did in an effort to fetch the nutria.  Ever seen an eagle doing a breast-stroke?"

Footage was taken at Mallard Lakes subdivision in Baton Rouge, LA


One of My Favorite Birds is Facing Extinction in Asia.

Old World Vultures

"Several species of vulture on the Indian subcontinent are in extreme danger of extinction. The problem is cattle contaminated with diclofenac. This veterinary drug is lethal to the vultures whose job it is to clean up livestock carcasses in places like India, Pakistan and Nepal.

Three species of Old World vultures are almost entirely extinct thanks to diclofenac poisoning. Unintended consequences beyond the death of millions of vultures include a growing population of feral dogs with the potential to carry rabies, and decomposing animal carcasses dotting the landscape of south Asia.

Conservation efforts are underway, but captive breeding of vultures is an incredibly slow process. Other efforts involve clearing out all supplies of diclofenac.

crime - vultures that can

Vulture safe havens are also being developed. These are locations in the wild where populations of vultures can live in their natural habitat, while protected from exposure to diclofenac-contaminated carcasses. Diclofenac-free carcasses are the main course at the ‘vulture restaurants’ located in vulture safe zones.

Vultures aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But no one can deny the fact that these magnificent birds of prey have their own special place in the ecosystem, and help keep our natural world clean and disease free." By Dr. Becker.     More and video at:


Amazing! Bird sounds from the lyre bird

"David Attenborough presents the amazing lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds - and chainsaws and camera shutters - in this video clip from The Life of Birds. This clever creature is one of the most impressive and funny in nature, with unbelievable sounds to match the beautiful pictures."


The Beauty of Pollination.

"Lovely hummingbirds.   We are all dependent to each other." Taken from TEDTalks


On This Day:

Eisenhower dies, Mar 28, 1969:

"Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States and one of the most highly regarded American generals of World War II, dies in Washington, D.C., at the age of 78.

Born in Denison, Texas, in 1890, Eisenhower graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1915, and after World War I he steadily rose in the peacetime ranks of the U.S. Army. After the U.S. entrance into World War II, he was appointed commanding general of the European theater of operations and oversaw U.S. troops massing in Great Britain. In 1942, Eisenhower, who had never commanded troops in the field, was put in charge of Operation Torch, the Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria.

As supreme commander of a mixed force of Allied nationalities, services, and equipment, Eisenhower designed a system of unified command and rapidly won the respect of his British and Canadian subordinates. From North Africa, he successfully directed the invasions of Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy, and in January 1944 was appointed supreme Allied commander of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northwestern Europe. Although Eisenhower left much of the specific planning for the actual Allied landing in the hands of his capable staff, such as British Field Marshall Montgomery, he served as a brilliant organizer and administrator both before and after the successful invasion.

In November 1952, "Ike" won a resounding victory in the presidential elections and in 1956 was reelected in a landslide. A popular president, he oversaw a period of great economic growth in the United States and deftly navigated the country through increasing Cold War tension on the world stage. In 1961, he retired with his wife, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He died in 1969 and was buried on a family plot in Abilene, Kansas."


Reactor overheats at Three Mile Island, Mar 28, 1979:

"The most serious nuclear accident in United States history takes place at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1979, when one of the reactors overheats. Fortunately, a catastrophic meltdown was averted and there were no deaths or direct injuries from the accident.

The Three Mile Island plant had begun operations just months earlier on December 28, 1978. Very shortly after operations began, problems arose. It was 3:58 a.m. on March 28 when a pump that directed steam to the plant's electric turbines stopped working, causing a water circulation pump to break down. Without the water, the temperature of the reactor rose dramatically and a relief valve opened to stop the pressure from building to dangerous levels. Unfortunately, the valve then would not close.

The plant operators, with no experience in emergencies, made key errors. Another valve was opened to allow water from the nuclear system into a waste tank. But this water ruptured the tank and radioactive water flooded into the reactor. Even worse, an operator shut off the automatic core-cooling system. The result of all these events and mistakes was that radioactive steam poured out of the plant. Additionally, radioactive water had to be released into the Susquehanna River. However, area authorities were not notified of these events until nearly three hours later.

Even when news of the accident was released, it was downplayed. But within days, radiation levels were elevated over a four-county area. Furthermore, the plant's operators were still trying to get the situation under control. Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh directed that pregnant women and small children be evacuated from the area. Finally, on March 31, plant workers were able to address the problems and ended the threat of a meltdown. The area was deemed safe on April 9.

A subsequent investigation and report blamed a combination of human error and faulty design for the accident. In March 1984, the Metropolitan Edison Company pleaded guilty to knowingly using inaccurate test methods at the plant before the incident. The Three Mile Island accident also exposed the lack of an appropriate evacuation plan for the area.  In the years following this accident, there has been an ongoing controversy over whether the increased radiation released at Three Mile Island led to an increase of cancer and infant mortality in the surrounding areas."



Ray and I re-attached the gutter and top trim to the side of the Orange-Glow-Persian- 002 (Small)cargo trailer.  The rubber roof had shrunk, so we had to roll Eternabond tape over the original screw holes.  Each end has had problems, and they took the longest time. 

We had two delays when the neighbor came to show me that her little dog had blood on her paw.  Little 'Puggy' wouldn't let anyone touch it, so it was difficult to see if she had ripped off a toenail, or if it was a cut.  All I could do was spray it with an Novocain anti-bacterial spray.    Then Shay came to borrow my matt-splitter, as Orange Glow had managed to get a big matt on his chest, which wasn't there the previous day.