Archive for April, 2010

2010 Taxes

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Now that you’re finished struggling with your 2009 taxes.  Obama promises to make it easier on everyone next year.  Here is a preliminary release of next year’s new form 1040.


Pots Galore

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Click for Progreso, Texas Forecast

You might think that you had to go to Mexico to get good deals on pottery and other yard paraphernalia. That is not the case.  Various pottery stores and outlets are strewn along the border.

This facility was in the town of Progreso, Texas. Just north of the Mexican border on Hwy 1015, you’ll find a large orange building on the west side of the road.  Inside is crammed with pots of all sizes.


And endless colors and designs.


And shapes.


This bird bath is guaranteed to draw the birds.


The crafts are not limited to pottery.  The assortment of metal decorations is pretty impressive.


If you’re into stuff that won’t blow away, consider one of these concrete picnic tables. Or how about those cement balls.  I guess you could use them as large paper weights.


Now here’s my favorite.  A cement foot.


Maybe not.

Remedy for a Terminally Ill TV

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Click for Weslaco, Texas Forecast

Time comes in the life of people and appliances where they reach a point of reduced function.

The 27-inch TV that has graced the living room of our 5th wheel finally developed a group of horizontal lines that threatened to do nothing but get worse.  I guess that you can’t blame it after bouncing down thousands of miles of the worst roads in the US and Mexico. (Picture is from better days.)


The decision was made to find a suitable replacement.  FYI, that old TV weighs a ton.  I needed help to move it out.

The problem with the new televisions is that they don’t quite fit the same space and are so much lighter.  I elected to try to hang the TV on a swing bracket that would allow the entire TV to sit on the outside of the box and then let it swing in to the box to secure it for travel.

Unlike your standard house, the walls aren’t nearly as solidly constructed.  Mainly to reduce weight.  Therefore, it was necessary to beef up the wall.  To the side wall, I decided to attach a 3/4 inch sheet of “clear board”, which is a solid wood panel.


Note the black box in the upper left hand corner.  That is the rectangular HDTV antenna for receiving local channels.  It is attached to the wall with Velcro. Routed through our Direct TV  receiver, it provides excellent reception.

I coated the back side with nearly a full tube of liquid nails and then held it in place with about 30 nails from a pneumatic nail gun.  There is only one accessible stud behind the wall.  The three black washers and 2-inch self tapping screws secured the board solidly to the stud and wall. I then drilled four holes and secured the outer edges of the board to the wall with toggle bolts.

For a little extra support, I used angle brackets at the bottom and flat brackets at the top.


Next I attached a 2 X 4 to the wall and board with more toggle bolts.


The bracket was mounted to the 2 X 4 and will allow the TV free movement outside of the box for viewing and against the supported wall for travel.


Here’s the new TV being mounted to the bracket.


The finished product worked like a champ.


The TV is a Vizio 32-inch 1080p Full HD, with Dolby digital and Surround Sound.

We have not switched our Direct TV box to the HDTV version yet, therefore, the best result for TV reception and sound quality, surprisingly, comes from our new off-air antenna.