Hello, my friends.  Welcome back.  It’s great to have you here.

I’d like to apologize for the lack of a blog last weekend but, as you all know, things come up, life goes on and, sometimes, (if you can believe this), some life-events take precedence over Das Nook.  I know, that sounds like sacrilege coming from me, but tis true.  All I managed to accomplish last weekend was to ruin a well-aged knotty pine plank I had coveted for the galley cabinet doors.  Thankfully, there’s enough left to complete the task but, after the events of the camping trip a couple of weekends ago, I’m learning to read the signs and back off when things aren’t going the way they should.  “When things go awry, pop a cold one, light a good cigar and wait for a more opportune time.”  You can quote me on that.  Just more fodder for that epitaph I mentioned a few weeks ago.

And I’d like to thank those of you who took advantage of the coupon offer, (which is still valid), and purchased a copy of The Tenderfoot’s Guide to Family Camping.  Please feel free to offer up any feedback you might have regarding the book, good or bad.  I hope it helps you avoid a lot of the pratfalls experienced by the beginning camper and gives you a laugh or two.

Well, no stellar accomplishments this weekend, Das Nook wise, but a great weekend nonetheless and a few, much anticipated,  advances were made toward the goals I’ve set for the upcoming Spring Fling at the Holler with the Southern Appalachian Tear Jerkers next month.  My reservations are made and I’m raring to go.  Life is grand!

Das Brackets

I finally made the box and the frame unified.  I tried a chunk of rubber between the two, originally, but one hair-raising trip over the pot holes and railroad tracks on an ill directed, GPS guided, trip through downtown Anderson told me that permanence was needed.  Das Nook was bucking up and down, pivoting on the tongue mount like a drunken hula dancer in a tsunami and I wanted to insure nothing like that ever happened again.  Getting a trailer without a tongue back to the shop for repairs is a nightmare I don’t want to have to endure.  There are two, stout, brackets, one on each side, to keep things aligned and solid.

Das Shame

And, the coup de grace, an 80 pound hitchhiker to counterbalance the additional weight of the hot water heater.  Yes, friends and neighbors, that’s a hardened, 80 lb. bag of pure D, Portland cement guaranteed to take up needed space and remind me of my engineering failure for as long as Das Nook endures.  I haven’t road tested her yet, but lifting the tongue is definitely more difficult than it used to be.  We’ll know for sure next weekend.  I will, most likely, lay the bag down and build a wooden top over it to minimize the lost space the addition of the weight brought about.   Thanks for the email and the suggestion about moving the axle back, Pat, but it’s too late for that.  I considered that when the camper was just a metal frame, but dismissed the idea because, I thought, the weight would he evenly distributed the way it was.  I had it nailed until I added the hot water heater.  Now that the wheel wells are formed, moving the axle back would be next to impossible.  I am, however, working on an idea for draining the hot water heater after each outing.  I’ve got a few ideas.  Seeing this picture is certainly going to keep the incentive flowing.

Das Shower

And, in keeping with the “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” theme, the advent of, (drum roll, please……), Das Shower!  I’ll be posting some better pictures to better define how, exactly, this system is going to work once it’s completed but, in general, the two back galley doors will work as shower sides.  Standing within the open doors, my chin barely makes the top of the door and, at the bottom, my ankles are exposed.  Sling a shower curtain and rod across the top on the tops of the doors and you have a really nice, private, shower enclosure.  Lord knows, if the curtain ever fell down when I was performing my personal hygiene regimen, there’d be Sasquatch sightings reported for a 100 mile radius.  I have waterproofed almost everything in the galley, (outdoor speakers, sealed receptacles and switches and, once the cabinet doors are installed, everything within will be fairly watertight.  Of course, good aim with the shower nozzle will be a big help.  The handle holder will be pointing away from the galley.   I’m working on a drainage system for a plastic freight pallet that will slide under the camper when not in use, then slide out as a shower floor when the shower is in use.  I’ll let you know how that turns out. *laughing*

Das Awning

It doesn’t look like much here, but what you’re seeing is the new front window rock guard/awning.  I’ve formed some fiberglass cloth and matting around a 1×2 frame to fit over the window with some space on either side.  I’ll be cutting two pieces of conduit, mounting one on either side on a pivot, (on the inside of the frame), so that when I’m in camp, the awning will hinge up, the conduit supports will fold down and any severe sun will be defused.  Can’t have those hand crafted curtains fading now, can we?  I mean, I invented a whole new spectrum of cuss words just from the finger pricks I took from pulling a needle through that fabric.  A seamstress I’ll never be.  Father would be so proud. *laughing*

Another good note this week was the arrival of my new “entertainment center” for rainy days in Das Nook.  My 7″ TV/DVD player arrived and, frankly, so far, we are very pleased.  It’s got an LCD screen so the picture is very crisp.  It came with a digital antenna for free to air channels and, by golly, it works.  I’ve been told that a better quality antenna will pick up dozens more channels so that may be an option sometime down the road, but for now, it’s nothing more than a last resort on a rainy day.  Besides, I’ve collected so many DVD’s over the last few years that I’ve never sat down long enough to watch that I could watch them, non-stop, for a month or more and still probably not see them all.  I can’t sit still long enough to watch an entire movie…….unless Sandra Bullock’s in it.  Ahhhhhhhh.

Well, as I mentioned, not a whole lot to report this week, but a lot of groundwork was laid for next weekend.  Surprisingly, there’s very little to show for the amount of time I spent out there toiling, but the multitude of “little stuff” I managed to knock out; the,  “not really interesting but necessary,” things were legion.

That’s all for this week, my friends.  I’m sorry we’re a day late this week but I was on a roll last night and decided to work under the lights until the things I was working on were at a good stopping point.  By the time I put everything away and came inside, I almost fell asleep in the shower.  Tune in next week where you’ll hear Brian say: “@&^$*#((&%#$!!!!”  I’m going to wind up getting my mouth washed out with soap yet.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with your anecdotes, suggestions, or just to say hi.

Può essere la vostra pace e felicità anni,” (May peace and happiness be your copilot).

Have a wonderful week.

Brian

And, should you be so inclined, The Tenderfoot’s Guide to Family Camping has been completely revised for 2011 and is now available as an ebook!  Every ebook dealer from Sony’s iPhone store to Amazon and Barnes and Noble are carrying it.  However, we’re offering a 20% discount for all the loyal readers of Brian’s blog through Smashwords.com .  Just add the coupon code CM84R at checkout and you’ll receive the discount.  Picture this:  Wilderness 2011.  You just bought a new tent and figured it’d be a cinch to set up.  You got out of work late and arrived at the campground after dark.  Ominous dark clouds are looming over your campsite.  You unpack your tent only to realize that you haven’t got a clue about how it goes together.  What do you do?  Well, if you had a copy of this informative book on your phone, you could simply thumb through a few chapters and be roasting marshmallows within the hour.  Don’t have a copy?  Well, there’s a lot to be said for sleeping in the car.  Oh, you have bucket seats?   The kids are voicing their displeasure over sleeping in the back seat?   Save yourself the headache.  Order your copy today.

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