Rvgolfer's Blog

Looking at life through an oversized steering wheel

Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ Category

Light Fire with Fire

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I was peacefully camped in my Prowler near the St. Croix River in a Minnesota state park, when a group of young Chinese students approached my campfire.
“We are camping near you, and can’t get our campfire to stay lit. Can you help us?”
They had piled a stack of damp wood on top of some crumpled newspaper, which burnt away without starting the wood.
I had a sack of easy-start instant-light briquets (which come saturated with starter fluid) in the storage locker in my trailer, so gave them a few with instructions to pile them together under their logs. The briquets soon resulted in a merry blaze for the youngsters to roast their marshmallows, hot dogs, etc.
So if you’re RVing and need a way to get your fire going, invest in a bag of these things. They seem to last for years, and since you aren’t using them to cook over, the fumes shouldn’t be a problem.i

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Written by rvgolfer

June 15, 2013 at 3:57 am

Posted in camping, Minnesota, rving

Free at last, free at last

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Except I’m sitting in the Honda dealership in my Vikings jacket while they make some minor repairs to my 2000 CR-V. My contract ended last week, and I have a few loose ends to tie up around Minneapolis before I head for a warmer clime. I might get connected with another tech writing contract in the near future, but I doubt it: there are just too many bodies and too few openings.
So, the rattling from under the Honda bothered me, and I brought it in to the dealer first thing this morning. It turns out it was a loose heat shield. But it was time for an oil change, and the oil sensor was leaking, so with one thing and another it’ll probably run around $200.
If I’m going to head out to Calif. in it, though, it pays to have it in good shape. The van will have to wait its turn for travel until next year, doggone it.
I suppose I could take in my golf clubs for awhile. They’ve been rattling around in the Honda for a couple of months, without being used as implements of destruction. I’d better put them away before they get covered with leaves or–even worse–snow.
As for the Vikings? Brett Favre seems to have energized them. They needed a sparkplug like him.

Written by rvgolfer

November 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

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I´ve always known I´d shoot my age someday, but I always thought that meant I´d live to 135. Today, however, I´ve accomplished it. I just didn´t know it would be on 9 holes.
We played the Platinum nine at Emerald Greens near Hastings, Minn. It wasn´t raining for the first Tuesday in two weeks, but the elements made up for it with wind. In that flat Minnesota farmland, where the only thing slowing it down is a barbed wire fence, the wind kicked up dust, fuss, and anything else. Even the birds were walking. My playing partner, Texan Ron, drawled “This isn’t the worst it can do.”
Platinum is the toughest and longest of the four nines at EG, with one hole at 632 yards from the blues. From the whites, the hole at 576 yards played hard, and then the fact I kept hitting it sideways really didn´t help. I don´t know whether I was lifting my head or setting up too far away or what, but I hit far too many shots off the toe.
After my drive on the big kahuna, I was right on the OB line, so whacked it toward the fairway. Grass slowed that shot down, and when I took my next shot–sure enough, away it went OB. Damn.
About the only thing that made the day any fun at all was my putting. If I could start my play on the greens, I´d have a great day. I sank 8 footers, 10 footers, even one long, twisty 30 footer; then on 9 I chipped, bounced off the flagstick with backspin that drove it right into the hole. (Of course, the swing before that I´d completely whiffed.)
So, swing thought for next week is: Keep your head still, stupid.
Thoughts about RVing with the gas price crunch: I’ve dreamed for years about retiring, then going on the road in a trailer or motorhome, playing golf at different places, visiting friends and families, seeing new places. Now, though, when they talk $6 a gallon gas, it gets a little trickier.

The chart at left shows how much it costs to drive 10,000 miles at different mpg and the new horrendous prices. Get 12 mpg, and with gas $3.89, it costs $3,241.67; at $5.99, almost $5,000. If you could travel at 20mpg, those same 10,000 miles would be a little less than $3,000. At that price, if your pension is $1,000 a month, one quarter of your income would be spent on fuel alone. So perhaps a little less travel will be called for.
Remember when you were a kid and left food on your plate, your mom would scold “Eat it. Don’t you know children in India and China are starving?”

Well, we should have left those vittles on the plate: those children didn’t starve. Instead, they grew up, and now they all want to drive one of their new status symbols. Which drives our gas price up.

Unfortunately, I cleaned my plate. So I’m looking at smaller trailers and smaller tow vehicles. The Casita 17′ seems like an option, since it’s got a 6’3″ height, and that’s exactly how tall I am.
Stay tuned.

Written by rvgolfer

May 22, 2008 at 1:40 pm

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Soddenly this summer

Today is the third Tuesday I’ve hit the links at Emerald Greens. The first was a little cold (we’ve had four days over 70 this year, when normal has 16 days by mid-May), the second was total rain from start to finish, and today promises to be wet as well.
The Postal Service league I’m in doesn’t let a little thing like rain (or sleet, or dark of night) stay them from their appointed round. Lightning, maybe.
So last week I bundled up in my yellow and black rain jacket, hoisted my red and white umbrella, and away I went. I probably looked like a lanky bumblebee huddling under a psychedelic mushroom, but I stayed somewhat dry.
It was, “Put the umbrella down, hit the ball, pick the umbrella up.” For some it was in a driving rain, in others a steady drizzle.
I was surprised to cut my stroke total down by 9 from the first week in the league. New course, new 9, rainy day, but the putts began to drop, and my countenance, at least, became sunny.
I have added a set of rain pants to my attire. I bought these at a local workman’s supply house named Kaplan’s, along with a pair of $11.99 Dickies jeans. Or should I call them denim trousers? I know denim is a derivative of serge de Nîmes (coarse cloth made in Nimes, France).
At any rate, I am ready for the fall (of rain). If it stopped, I would be very pleased.

Written by rvgolfer

May 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Posted in golf, Minnesota

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Airboarding the Eelpout

Wikipedia defines waterboarding as “a form of torture that consists of immobilizing a person on his or her back, with the head inclined downward, and pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. Through forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences the process of drowning in a controlled environment and is made to believe that death is imminent.”
Every year in February (this year beginning Feb. 15), during the International Eelpout Festival in Walker, Minn., fishermen and women will practice the technique of airboarding.
That is, they will drag unwary or unlucky fish to the surface and throw them onto the ice until they can be weighed en masse. The choicest of those fish will end up hanging from racks near the festival tents during the festivities, gasping for oxygen for minutes if not hours before they die. Take a look at the photos at www.eelpoutfestival.com to see.
I don’t believe it’s torture, any more than the Justice Department believes it’s torture when they subject a person to waterboarding. After all, festival-goers are trying to win prizes for the most fish, or the greatest weight or something, and they’re just eelpout, after all. While the Justice Department is just trying to capture the most terrorists, or the greatest terrorist or something, and they’re just Muslims.
It isn’t that the eelpout, or burbot, is valuable. Even though, again according to Wikipedia, the burbot’s liver–which is six times the size of the average freshwater fish’s– is also 3-4 times more potent in vitamin D, and 4 – 10 times more potent in vitamin A than ‘good grades’ of cod liver oil.”
Apparently it’s such an ugly fish it deserves to die by slow strangulation, hanging, gasping its life away. Because for these critters, death IS imminent.

Written by rvgolfer

February 15, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Posted in fishing, Minnesota

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RV Show is over, Golf Show coming!

The Minneapolis St. Paul RV show was held at the Convention Center in frigid Minneapolis from 2/8-2/10, with vehicles from $1500-$450,000 on display. I attended Friday night and videotaped various units and some interviews, then did some rough edits on Saturday, following up with another session Sunday to try and fill in necessary information.
All of this footage I plan to assemble into at least one show for Minneapolis Telecommunications Network, and I’ll probably break that down into a number of shorts to plug into the ‘net.
In the next few weeks I will get together with some of the vendors to add extra information.
Meanwhile, I’m going to try and get permission to videotape the Minneapolis Golf Show starting 2/22. This will allow me to interview some of the pros and course managers from a wide variety of venues, both in the Twin Cities and outstate as well. Plus, perhaps I’ll get a chance to play with some of the new equipment.
Again, I’ll put together a show for MTN and some shorts for the ‘net.
Keep an eye here.

Written by rvgolfer

February 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm

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Fall Golf

I get disgusted with Blogger at times: this is another time I’ve written something, then when I preview it everything disappears. Ridiculous.
Inver Wood was great. Not much wind, nor many leaves.
For a state that was mostly sanded flat by 2-mile-high glaciers during the last ice age, Minnesota still has a few ups and downs. Inver Wood enjoys some of them, from its tee at #1 to that same hole’s raised green, doglegged left from a valley.
Lightning must be ferocious in this locale, if the number of warnings against it is any indication. The rain hut on #5 was more the size of a cattle shed, with two rows of seats. At the far end was a soft drink machine and “Restrooms”, which consisted of one portapotty.
It’s a very pretty course, however, and not expensive at $31.50 for 9 and half a cart. With all the hills, and my bad knees, I’m glad we took one.
It’s only a few minutes from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, so if you’re in town on business and have a little time, you can get there for a quick round.

Written by rvgolfer

October 15, 2007 at 8:37 pm