Rojo does it different

This Blog is gonna be different.I am an independent thinker and many of my ideas are not shared by the Pretty people, so be it. You are going to meet some interesting people, see some interesting places and with a bit of luck I will be able to bring a smile to your face ever now and then. Rojo

Sunday, February 28, 2010


To smell the Roses ,while I go to town and get some more supplies. Tomorrow  I will resume with " Out with the old... in with the new" as promised.
Thanks to those who are following the Blog, I am glad you stopped by and I hope you will be back everyday.

And for Jeanie, her favorite, A single Red Carnation

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The memory of the legal size yellow lap top was almost full, only about two blank pages left. :-) It was time to get another yellow legal pad and start making a list of the material that I needed and the material that I had. The Bed, the closet, the floor were all done. The custom made 110 gallon fresh water tank to go under the bed was waiting for me at El Monte Plastic in California. The lift was in, the back doors were off and the new back end was complete.


The back, complete with Jeanie's big window but that was one long step if you went out the back door. That would change when the other truck was under the box. 

 The small non opening windows at both the head and foot of the bed had been replaced with new large vertical slide windows.

 The time was fast approaching that I was going to have to take out the existing cabinets. The fresh water storage tank was in a hidden compartment between the shower and the front of the box on the street side, about a foot from the TINY little sink. I was hooked to city water so I couldn't see a problem with getting the fresh water tank out of my way. There was a problem... it was to big to come out of the door of the compartment. Scratch that idea for now.
The hot water heater was on the curb side at the very front, just opposite of where  I wanted it to be. I wanted it under the future kitchen sink, which is where the water storage tank is.I think I need to check my eyelids for leaks and think this out....... I need to take a shower everyday and in the Texas heat maybe two or three times a day. Not having a shower was not an option.
I plumbed in my new city water connection that came from under the bed ,where the water tank would be. I ran a cold water line along the wall behind the closet and shower pan to just past the toilet and put a tee in the line.I plumbed in a new water line to the toilet from one outlet of the tee and ran a short length of garden hose from the other outlet of the tee to the cold water supply at the hot water heater. Another short section of garden hose from the hot side of the water heater to the shower valve and it was ready for action.I had run the cold water line to the shower when  did the rest of the cold water lines. The shower was ready except for the drain and a shower curtain.  I laid several pieces of nylon string from the closet to the toilet behind the shower pan, just in case I needed to pull some electrical wire through the chase.Stainless steel screws held the shower pan in place. I marked and cut the floor for the drain. The drain looked  professionally done from the shower pan to the underside of the box. OMG from there on it was a nightmare of reducers, elbows, glue, duct tape and garden hose. It worked...  With the temporary shower drain I watered the trees at the gun club. Mom you would have been proud of me if you had seen that piece of engineering ;-)

Tomorrow;  Out with the old ,in with the new. 

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me


Friday, February 26, 2010


 I sat in the Recliner with a yellow pad on my lap,my yellow lap top, and studied the front of the box for many hours. I sketched, measured, drew, tore off the sheet and started over for about a month. I finally got a plan that I thought would work.
  I needed to keep the shower, hot water heater,fresh water tank ,water pump and toilet in place, at the front, until I got the new handicap assessable shower pan in place and hooked up.The toilet was proving to be a problem until one day as I was pondering the situation, it occurred to me that all I needed to do was turn it 45 degrees to face the curb side of the box.YEA for us,it all fit like a glove, on paper.  The full size kitchen sink, the fridge, the toilet, the shower, the closet,, the hospital tray, the bed and just enough room left to walk between the bed and the back wall, all on the road side of the box.

I turned the recliner around  toward the back of the box and put my little yellow lap top to work again. The back was going to be pretty simple. The back doors were going to be removed, the hole would be framed in with a big window and the door that had been where the wheelchair lift now is.
Framing where the back doors of the box had been.It was framed with 2x4 and then covered with 1/2 plywood on both sides.  The outside was finished with white Aluminum siding and the inside with Red Oak paneling. Insulation was standard ole Pink Panther stuff.

 Jeanie wanted big windows at bed height at the back of the box and at the curbside, foot of the bed, so on the days she was not feeling well she could see outside with out feeling like she was in a cave.  WOW  what a view with the door open and the big window, this is beginning to look like a home.

Speaking of a cave, that is what the box sometimes felt like. The previous owner had coated the walls except for the first 30 inches, and ceiling with a charcoal colored indoor outdoor carpet. The first 30 inches was a dark Wainscoting type paneling. That all had to change but first things first. I had to  get it handicap livable so I could go back to California and get Jeanie, and I still had not found the right truck to put the box on.

I broke out my yellow lap top again for diagramming the 12 volt wiring, 110 wiring, and fresh water plumbing. All the fresh water plumbing was a straight shot down the street side wall from the tank under the bed to the hot water heater and pump under the sink, at the front.

I first wanted to build a platform bed  with both storage and Fresh water tank under the frame.  With a few phone calls to Jeanie and a tad of measuring we figured out how high the top of the bed should be so that she could easily transfer from the wheelchair to the bed and back to the wheelchair.
I had enough room for a 110 gallon fresh water storage tank below the pull out storage drawers.

 Two of the drawers were the full width of the Queen Mattress and the third drawer is 1/2 the width because it would hit the Hospital tray support and the closet.

We  found that the shower pan would need to be 3 foot wide and 4 foot long, now all I had to do was design it so that we could roll her shower/potty chair in to the shower.That turned out to be almost the easiest part of the whole thing. I went to an Aluminum fabrication company in Waco,Tx and told them what I wanted. The owner walk to the back and said "like this one". It was what I needed but the drain was in the wrong place. he said it was one they had made a mistake on , the drain was in the wrong place. and I could have it for the cost of the material only. Dang it , I couldnt make the drain work so he custom built one for me.

The shower pan fit exactly between the closet and the wall to the existing bathroom.In time that wall would be removed, the toilet turned 45 degrees and a new wall built between the shower and toilet.  My mom did have one uncreative Son but It wasn't this one. :-)

The inverted V on the front side of the shower pan, allowed me to roll Jeanie's Potty/shower chair in to and out of the shower. The back side has an offset( chase) to allow for the fresh water pipes and electrical wires and  to pass behind the shower pan.

 The existing toilet and shower is just behind that Butt ugly Charcoal carpet / Wainscoting wall.... soon to be gone

Tomorrow:Putting together the Jigsaw puzzle
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me


Thursday, February 25, 2010


As much as I disliked spending more time in central Texas,it appeared to be the best thing to do until I got Jeanie's bottle completed. All of the major parts suppliers I needed were between Dallas/Ft worth and San Antonio. I decided that I would just work the gun clubs in that area.  I based out of Waco and worked. Ft Worth, Dallas, Waco ,Austin and San Antonio  clubs. I still need my mid summer break in Amarillo.That was about all I wanted to handle  because of the set up break down time for the shoots. That schedule gave me plenty of time to work on the "Box"

A little history on Blackie. Blackie had spent his entire life, except for the last 3 years, within the Chicago metro area as a refrigerated delivery truck.  Blackie's home for the 3 years before I bought him had been Clifton,Texas. His owner had grown tired of the project of making a camper out of Blackie. Blackie made 2 trips to Utah and several to the Texas Coast. His owner made ramps  that fit on the back and would drive a Harley, a jeep, and a couple of ATVs inside Blackie, anchor them down, close the doors and away he would go.

When he got wherever he was going he would unload, throw down air mattresses and it was a done deal. He had a shower, toilet, cook top and a tiny sink. He also has a 8,000 watt generator to run the AC if he wanted it. Blackie had 2 electrical outlets, 2 lights, lots of cabinets and about 10 push lights.

 Blackie was the 13th big truck that I had owned and worked pretty well  for my Boar's nest except the floor and air mattress . I had a blazing picture in my mind of me headed to to bathroom in the middle of the night and splitting my foot wide open on the angle iron anchors. Before I gave winnie to the homeless guy, I put a new floor in Blackie then a box springs and mattress, a used lazy boy, built a closet for hanging clothes with two drawers below and replaced a light with a ceiling fan light combination.


Back doors open looking in on right side   Before and after

Below is the left side before and  after.
 The original floor was 1 1/2 inch thick oak floor, I added a 3/4 underlay and vinyl tile.

Next came the Mattress and foundation,ceiling fan,recliner and about 3 days later the closet.

Before and after ceiling fan
And then with the closet, the Boar's nest was complete

 I already had a full size house shower, a toilet,a cook top and tiny sink.

Two burner cook top and TINY sink.

Full size shower across from the toilet. The bathroom had a 24 inch door.

Ima thinking I aint gonna get a 27 inch wide wheelchair in here.

Tomorrow: Building it for Jeanie
I plan on having a great day, I hope you will join me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I was presented the Sugar doll award by Reader Donna it does have some responsibilities to go along with it but I think I can handle them.

First I must pass  it on to 4 other deserving Bloggers, well now that is pretty easy.





 The other thing that I have to do is tell you 10 things about my self.
1.I am devoted to Jeanie, the love of my life, heart, mind, body and soul
2.I do not like Cold weather, rain, or snow.
3.I love to tinker.
4. I will not let myself be stressed by someone elses time schedule.
5. I have not owned a watch since 1976, when I threw it out of the truck window because I was stress about being late.
6. I never cooked a meal in my life until Jeanie and I got together in 2004.
7. I am an excellent cook.
8.I do all of my mechanical work.
9.I can't dance.
10. Today,I have 26 years 7 months and 22 days free of Alcohol, speed and tobacco.


I was Back in Texas after a wonderful 5 days with Jeanie celebrating the New year 2003 on the Colorado River in Parker, AZ. I didn't know if I was cutting a watermelon or Baking a cake. Jeanie and I had decided we wanted to be together and there were a lot of Mountains to climb, dig through or just plain move. It was a given that Blackie had to go, no way to get Jeanie and a 350 pound electric wheelchair in Blackie.

Blackie had been OK for a Boar's nest for me on the road but I certainly couldn't expect Jeanie to live in it.

After considerable thought and mind changing, I decided a conventional truck( long nose) with a condo sleeper was the way to go. In the mean time I could be remolding the "box" that would be the living quarters and be on the look out for a conventional truck to transfer the "box" to. I had Volvo truck in mind because it had a condo sleeper that was 9 foot high and 5 foot deep.

I decided that I would start with  having a wheelchair lift put in what would be the living quarters and then work around that. I wanted the lift where the side entry door was. It turned out to be a good plan because it took me 10 months to find just the right truck.

Maybe I better stop and "splain" something here. Number 1 is I don't buy new vehicles. The only exception to that was in 1985 when I bought two Yugos. One for one of my Daughters and one for my girlfriend for $2500 each cash. Number 2 is no RV manufacturer can or will, build a unit  as good as I can. They don't plan on living in it or repairing it when things eventually wear out.  This was not my first Rodeo at building an RV and it may not be my last.

Wheelchair lift installed. Wow no more using a step ladder to get in and out. I have an elevator just like up town. How do you like that Prevost Motorcoach INC.?

 Now... as some of you already know and some of you may have figured out. I am an opinionated ole cuss.My opinions are  my reality, it doesn't make them right or wrong, it just makes them my reality.... with that said. 

Being a 4th generation Texan, I think Texas weather generally sucks. The only time of the year that makes it tolerable is when the spring flowers bloom, If the hail or a tornado don't take them out. This is the only thing I was looking forward to about being in Texas for another year, while I worked on building what was to become " Jeanie's Bottle"

I know it is not a Desert Bloom but they are pretty.

Tomorrow: I-35 roadrunner
I plan on having a great day, I hope you will join me.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was starting to think that I was about to get this runaway business back under control. Blackie would pull that 10,000 pound trailer at 83 miles per hour up hill and down, while getting 8 MPG. WOW.... double the mileage of winne and about 30 miles an hour faster.

The new trailer was ordered and would be ready to pick up at the factory in about 6 months. I figured I could get it customized to suit my needs in about a month.I would have it ready for the Texas state Trap shoot in July and then I could get the heck out of Texas, I could live with that.

I  was informed that if I was going back on the road that I would be doing it alone. Well now that was a no brainier, stay in the Texas humidity,  heat,  hail, tornadoes ,ice storms, Fire Ants and wind with this lady or travel alone... hellooooo Arizona.

Joking aside, I did have some issues  I needed to work out. I really wanted to go to Redlands, Ca for the Thanksgiving shoot and then back to Arizona  and work some shoots there until the New years shoot at Casa Grande.  I also was working on getting 5 more stores set up at clubs in Texas.

When I mentioned on my SINGLE NOMADS GROUP that I might be coming to California, Jeanie invited me for Thanksgiving dinner with her family.   

She told me that she was in a wheelchair and gave me a crash course in JRA and ask me if I was sure I wanted to come. I said sure and starting to make plans to travel to CA.
 Another no brainier.. head ole Blackie toward California.  wait... I have worked pretty hard at getting those clubs to put in the stores....what to do... what to do.... well what I did was fly to California for Thanksgiving
Getting ready to go to California. My Barber in Florance,Texas is actually the forth or fifth great Grandson of Wyatt Earp.

The first time I saw Jeanie, she was  over by the chairs waiting for me to come  down the stairs at the airport. She looked like an angel I walk up to her, knelt down on one knee and  kissed her.What wheelchair,I didn't see the wheelchair and I still don't unless I am driving it and run over my toes.
It was thanksgiving and where ever we went everything was already decorated for Christmas.

We also had a chaperon, the family was not to sure about this Texas "Gun Runner"   It really was not a bad Idea, Jeanie had some special needs that I might not have been able to handle the way they should be handled.

We had a great thanksgiving and made plans to get together at her Parents home in Parker,AZ for New Years.
Jeanie sent  me these pics of her on Christmas. notice the green Grass and Fake icicles.

Not fair!!!! I have dead grass and real icicles in Texas.

I was as busy as a three legged cat with diarrhea, trying to get the stores set up in the gun clubs before Christmas.Then I  worked a Christmas shoot and fitted all the new Christmas present guns, before I flew to Arizona to meet Jeanie for a late New years. 

On the day that I flew  to Arizona, I rode my Motorcycle to the Barber shop. That was Texas's quota of nice days for the year ;-)  

 Jeanie and I on her Parents front patio before the whirlwind tour.

 Downtown Oatman,AZ


Lake Havasu City,we found a nice quite spot away from the London Bridge.

The wedding chapel at the Desert Bar  near Parker ,AZ
No we didn't.
We had a great  5 days and decided we were going to try to make a go of it.
 Tomorrow: All days in Texas aint bad and moving mountains. 

I plan on having a great day, I hope you will join me.