Tag Archives: Tim Olsen (GLCC)

2015/09/20 (N) On To CCO

I woke up at 7:30 AM but lay in bed until almost 8 AM.  It got down to 50 degrees F outside last night and was cool enough in the bus for really good sleeping under several layers of sheets and thin blankets.  Linda was still sound asleep so I slipped into my sweats and walked over to the meeting room for coffee and conversation.  I skipped breakfast as I prefer not to eat before I have to drive the bus for any length of time.  I would normally skip the coffee too but we did not plan to leave until noon, so I figured I had time to process it.

Linda eventually got up, got dressed, and joined the other women in the kitchen for conversation.  Tim Olsen and Karl Crigger had not seen our remodeling project yet so we headed to the bus.  Tim was particularly interested in what we had done in terms of furniture and we had a nice chat.  All around us the other rally participants were in various stages of preparing for departure and both Tim and Karl took their leave to attend to their own departure routines.

Linda managed to get other people to take various pieces of chapter-owned food-related equipment and supplies with them so we did have to take them home, store them, and possibly have to get them to someone later.  She started preparing the inside of our coach for departure while I installed the hitch back into the receiver on the bus.  Most of the rally attendees had left by 11AM or were getting ready to pull out so we decided we would go too.

I fired up the bus engine and then disconnected and stowed the shore power cord while the engine warmed up and the chassis aired up.  The site directly behind us on the other side of the road was empty, and it would be a much easier departure from there than from our site, so I backed the coach up while Linda served as spotter.  Kathy came over so Linda showed her our interior remodeling project while I pulled the car around behind the bus and connected it to the hitch.  Linda caught up with me and helped finish preparing the car for towing while I opened the air valve for the auxiliary brake system on the car.  She checked that all of the bays were closed and locked, said “so long” to several folks, and got on board.

We were ready to pull out when Dan stopped by to say “thanks” for a great rally and then Mike stopped by to wish us safe travels.  There are quite a few people in GLCC that we have never met, but most of the ones we have crossed paths with are genuinely nice people.  Many of us in the GLCC chapter are also members of an independent organization named Converted Coach Owners, AKA “CCO.”  Linda and I joined CCO in August 2014 but have never made it to a rally.  The annual Halloween Rally will be in Centreville, MI the weekend of October 17th.  Our bus should be usable then and we are seriously considering trying to attend.

I pulled the tag axle up and pulled out at 11:30 AM, driving around the back side of the activities building to get to the exit.  This route is open with easy, wide turns.  The more direct route has narrow roads with sharp turns, large trees close to the road, and low branches; not a big rig friendly route.  A lot of large motorhomes and 5th Wheel trailers use Elkhart Campground and I do not understand why the trees along this route are not trimmed up adequately.  We have encountered the same thing, however, at other RV parks.  I get the feeling that many people who own/operate RV parks have never owned/used an RV or at least never driven a large one through their own campground.

We discussed several different route options that might avoid construction delays but ended up taking CR-4 back west to SR-19 north into Michigan and picked up US-12 east.  The road construction between Sturgis and White Pigeon that delayed me for 20 minutes on Tuesday was finished and we rolled right through that stretch.  We stayed on US-12 to Coldwater, got onto I-69 north, and took it to the southeast corner of Lansing where we exited onto I-96 east.  We encountered our only road construction backup approaching the US-127 interchange at the southeast corner of the Lansing area.  We were through that soon enough and on our final stretch home.  We left I-96 at exit 133 and headed east on M-59.  The last few miles were the worst.  Hacker Road is as bad at the moment as we have ever seen it, more pothole than road, with deep, frequent ones at that, but we took it slow and made it home without breaking anything (as far as I know).

Linda made big salads for dinner which we enjoyed with a glass of Moscato.  She relaxed playing online games while I set up my computer and then checked into the SLAARC information net.  We watched the repeat of the last episode of Sherlock from last season and then went to bed.


2015/06/06 (S) GLAMARAMA 2015 (Day 4)

Today was the last day of the 2015 GLAMARAMA rally.  It started at 7 AM with a pancake breakfast that ran until 9 AM.  For the third year the rally organizers hired Chris’s Cakes to provide the pancakes.  They had three long propane fueled griddles with sliding depositors.  The operator stopped the depositors and used a lever to release the batter for six pancakes at a time and then moved it to the next position and did the same thing until the griddle was full.  All of the pancakes had to be flipped by hand but the operators (cooks) were fast and generally accurate.  They would occasionally flip three of them into the air at once and someone would try to catch them on their plate.

Linda and both had coffee.  She had to work registration from 8 – 10 AM and left to go do that.  I was hungry so I had three pancakes even though they probably contained eggs and/or milk products.  I should have saved the calories; neither the pancakes nor the syrup had any flavor.  Zero, zip, nada, nothing; no taste.  I cannot remember the last time I had food that was that bland.  But Scott, Mark, and I settled into an in-depth bus conversation that lasted until after 9 AM and the coffee was OK.

Linda and I met up back at the coach a little after 10 AM.  I got a call from Gaye a Young letting me know we had a meeting with FMCA Executive Director Jerry Yeatts at 2:30 PM.  Linda and I went back to the Coach Supply Direct booth and talked to Josh some more about fabrics.  He confirmed that the Flexsteel 529 captain’s chair had a skirt around the base and that we could do a 2-tone fabric on the Flexsteel 591 captain’s chairs.  We got the set of Lambright fabric samples from him along with the MCD shade material samples, and took them back to our coach to study in situ.

Although we liked the Bonkers Havana fabric we had previously selected, we ultimately selected two different ones.  The Lone Wolf Brass was similar to the Bonkers Havana but lighter and much less green.  Until we saw them together we did not realize the Bonkers Havana was green at all.  The Legacy Borpeaux was a deep maroon, a color that appears in the Lone Wolf Brass and Bonkers Havana weaves.  We will use the Lone Wolf Brass as the main fabric for the 591 chairs with the Borpeaux as the inset for the lower back and center aft seat panels.  The 529 chairs will be all Borpeaux as the design of the chair does not lend itself to a 2-tone approach and we wanted some variety in the fabrics as long as they coordinated well.

The selection of materials for the MCD night shade was limited to six choices with one of them being black and another one white.  Of the other four there was one we liked (B33).  It was a bone (bisque, biscuit, etc.) color with a subtle but nice pattern.  We wanted this opaque material to be light, but not “white,” so it would reflect artificial interior light when it was pulled down.  The day shade is only available as a black fine-mesh screen.  It is designed to block sunlight during the day but allow you to see out without anyone outside being able to see in.

With our selections made we went back to see Josh and return his sample materials.  We keep feeling like we are close to placing an order but Josh needs to work up his pricing and get us the line drawings of the chairs.  For our part we need to determine the dimensions of the cushions for the sofa and talk to A–1 Upholstery and get their estimate of how many yards of material we need so Josh can order all of the fabric at one time.

We went for our first walk around the Fairgrounds for this rally, although Linda has been walking every evening with Vicki Lintner.  We were back at Building A at 12:30 PM.  Linda had signed up for the Ladies Tea, which started at 1 PM so she headed over to the Home and Arts Building and I went back to our coach.

Frank Griswold drove down and bought a day pass.  He and Sandy had planned to come to the rally in their Prevost H3-45 Vantare conversion but were unable to attend due to family issues.  Jim and Lydia Marin decided to leave and go visit their children and Tim Olsen decided to depart right behind them and get home before the rain got his newly acquired, and freshly washed, Royale Coach Prevost XL dirty.  When you have inside storage for your bus you have the option of being concerned about such things.

I was eating a sandwich for lunch, had Jasper on my lap, and was working on this blog post when Pat Lintner knocked on the door around 2 PM.  He had purchased 18″ LED replacement lights for one of the ceiling fixtures in their Prevost bus conversion and wanted help wiring it.  I took my voltmeter over to his coach to check the wiring.  All we needed to do was identify the +12VDC and DC ground wires and while it seemed obvious how the fixture should be wired I was getting some odd readings on my meter.  I did not want to rush and clip any wires until I was confident that I understood how the fixture was wired, and I had a meeting at 2:30 PM, so I told Pat I would be back before diner to finish the job.

I met with Gaye Young (FMCA national education committee chair) and Jerry Yeatts (FMCA executive director) for about 30 minutes to discuss the current status of the national education committee and its work.  I then participated in a roundtable discussion with FMCA national secretary Vicki Ferrari and six other chapter secretaries.  It was a very informative session that lasted for 90 minutes.

I had a chance to think about the fixture wiring while walking to and from my meetings, so after the chapter secretaries roundtable ended I went back to Pat’s coach, identified the +12VDC and DC ground wires, verified the voltage, clipped the supply wires, and got the LED bulbs installed in the ceiling fixture.  I was done in time to walk back to my coach, which was not far from Pat’s, drop off my volt meter and iPad, and walk over to Building A for the Volunteer Dinner where Linda was waiting for me at the front door.

We went in and were greeted by Charlie Adcock, FMCA National President, who addressed Linda as Mrs. Bruce, and then by Jane Roush, who addressed Linda as Fay, all of which she found slightly amusing.  I suggested that she had an identity crisis but she assured me she liked it that way.  Dinner was green beans in butter with bacon, mashed potatoes (milk and butter), beef tips in gravy, and dinner rolls.  There was no salad so we had dinner rolls with margarine for dinner.  Mostly we go to these events to sociable and visible but it would be nice if a bit more consideration was given to having food available for people who have gluten issues or do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy for whatever reason.  Green beans, properly prepared, are actually very tasty without butter and bacon.

We returned to our coach for a while and finished the leftover seitan stroganoff so we at least had something other than bread for dinner.  We walked back to Building A, which we are parked behind one end of, for the evening entertainment.  Sarah Ghetto performed at the first GLAMARAMA in September 2013 and was popular with the crowd so they invited her back.  She was born blind and with a cleft pallet.  The pallet was corrected surgically and she is an attractive and talented 31 year old woman with a college degree in music education and a voice that does justice to the Ann Murray covers and other songs she performs.  She owns her own motorhome and travels with her parents from her home base in Norman, Oklahoma about five months of the year.  Her dad sets up the lights and sound, MC’s the show, and plays guitar and/or sings on a few numbers, but dad makes it clear that Sarah is the star and keeps the spotlight on her.

FMCA is an International organization with members from Canada and Mexico in addition to the U.S.A. and yet they insist on hiring performers who pay tribute to the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and sing God Bless America and other nationalist songs.  The Great Lakes Area (GLAMA) in particular includes all of Ontario and our Great Lakes Converted Coaches chapter includes members from the entire area (IN, MI, OH, and Ontario).  Our Canadian friends seem to take all of the religious-patriot nonsense in stride, but we find it inconsiderate at best and offensive at worst.  Still, we enjoyed Sarah’s concert, most of which was not this kind of stuff.  The Marlin’s also did some of this kind of music but most of their show was just great renditions of oldies.

We all walked the short distance back to our coaches after the concert and stood around in conversational groupings.  To our surprise Mark Lovegreen had pulled out.  He was headed to a relative’s farm outside Topeka, Kansas and wanted to get started with the trip.  Linda and Vicki went for a walk, as they have every evening, and returned as the daylight was fading.  They took down the American and Canadian Flags for the last time and folded them properly.

As darkness fell so did the temperature and once again it was just Scott and I having a conversation.  This time it was mostly about holding tanks.  By 10 PM we were getting a bit chilled and finally returned to our respective coaches for the night.  I had some fresh fruit for desert and then went to bed and wrote for a little while before turning off the lights.  At rallies our days usually start early, are filled with things to do, and run well into the evening.  By the end of four or five days of that everyone is tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.