Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Here is a quick DIY project.  I wanted to add a wire race (hole) to allow a lamp electrical cord to drop through the top of a built in desk.  Rather than route the wire where it was unsightly.

While there are commercially available products, you can custom make your own, to the size you need.  I have to give credit for the idea, or at least how I came to know about this, to my friend Paco.

In most cases I find 1 1/2 inch Black ABS pipe the best diameter.  It will accommodate most sizes of plugs.  You can buy 2 ft lengths in many home improvement, or plumbing stores.  To make one or several you will need a section of pipe, a corresponding sized black ABS coupler, and a small can of Black ABS cement.

Using a chop saw I cut 4 rings out of a single coupler.  One cut is direct center to cut out the "pipe stop" edge inside a coupler.  One coupler or 4 rings will actually make 2 wire race holes.

After you cut the 4 rings.  What ever the desk top material thickness is, add 1 inch to that thickness.  Cut your length of pipe to the combined measurement.  Cement one of the rings to the very end of the pipe.  This will will use up about 3/8th of the 1 inch excess.  Allow the glue to set up.

Once the glue is set up it can be smoothed using a sander, sanding block, or even a file.  Once the ring and end of the pipe is shaped flush, shape any sharp edge to slightly rounded.  Finish off with fine sandpaper.

The sanded area is now dull and perhaps slightly white?  There are several finishing methods that work depending on what you have available.  I personally use the flame of a plumbers torch.  Waving it over the ABS until it turns glossy from the heat.

You could use gloss black spray paint, or perhaps a glossy clear?

Use an appropriate sized hole saw (just a bit larger than the outside diameter of the pipe (NO THE RING).  For 1 1/2 pipe (Outside diameter about 1 7/8) is use a 2 inch hole saw.  The pipe should drop through the hole and the ring prevent it from dropping through.  An additional ring is slipped over the pipe from the underneath side (I don't glue this second one)

By adjusting the ring up a longer piece of pipe, before gluing, you can create vertical raceways between desk and shelves about a computer monitor.  Add "T" if need be.  You can clean up that spaghetti mess of wiring you might have. 

Great for Desktops, Counter Tops, Walls, bulkhead openings for wires in the sides of cabinets, RV Trailers, metal cases, vehicle firewalls, etc.  I have even used these to run a bundle of alarm wires through a drywalled interior wall. In some cases you will want to glue both rings to secure things.  Hit any abrupt cut off edges, that might cut or saw into wiring, with some sandpaper.


Saturday, July 15, 2017


Las Vegas in the middle of summer is easily hitting 110°F daytime temperatures.  For some that is not conducive for enjoying a hot bowl of Chili.  Many reserve that cuisine for chilling winter days.

Not me.  I enjoy Chili year round.  Chili isn't at it's best unless you have cornbread, as a side to accompany it.

On a hot day outside I often drag out the crock-pot to make a batch without heating up the kitchen.  While I am a cast iron connoisseur, I am certainly not firing up some charcoal and Dutch Oven cooking when it is a scorching +110°F outside either.  Thinking about getting the kitchen oven up to 425°F for a batch of cornbread doesn't sound too appealing either.  The heats the whole house up.

This is where vintage Cast Iron meets the modern Counter-top Convection Oven.  The combination works well together and doesn't kick my air conditioner on more than normal.

Now I am sitting back enjoying a bowl of Chili.  Dipping my hot buttered corn sticks in some maple syrup.  What a killer combination.  Both in the cooking technique, as well as the food paring.

Friday, July 14, 2017

LEGRAND PX1002 No USB Power charging

This post assumes you have some knowledge of electronics and soldering.  It does not go into high detail.

Recently my PX1002 stopped charging my USB devices.  It came without warning, and without any visual indication.  After my iPhone went dead, about half through the day, I realized the unit was no longer charging.  The 110VAC outlets continued to work just fine.

I had purchased this at Home Depot a couple years ago.  They no longer stock them.  At least not in the local store I checked.  Thought I would try a cheap fix.

Since all 4 USB outlets did not work, that narrowed the fault down to the little Power/Charger PC Board within the plastic housing.

From the rear of the unit there are six recessed screws.  Remove these and the two halves of the plastic housing easily come apart.

Locate the board and inspect the capacitors.  I found no fuses so capacitors are the next common thing to fail.  The type used should be slightly indented on the top of the capacitor where the X in the aluminum shows.  If one or more are puffed up it is a good indicator they are blown.  There are usually 2 like valued capacitors. and various others.  If either or both of the 2 like ones are blown replace both of them.

The one blown on mine is  C7 which is the same as C8.  Their value is 1000uf 10V .  These are Hi Temp Radial Electrolytic Capacitors.

Depending on where you can find them to purchase they are dirt cheap.  They are in the $1.00 each range.  Though you might pay up to $4.00 each and shipping on top of that.  Try to find a multi-pack with free shipping.

I found a 2 pack on eBay for $3.99 with free shipping. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Camp Granogi Catalina Island Adventure
  • Private charter to our private camp and back 
  • Accommodations for 3 days & 2 nights 
  • Delicious and nutritious meals every day to support high-intensity exploring
  • Access to kayaks, snorkeling gear and a wide range of activities.
  • Daily Yoga & other special tribe offerings.
  • *All Camp Tickets are non-refundable and 100% transferable.    

Camp Granogi is an all inclusive,150 person annual summer retreat hosted in a private cove on Catalina Island. Secluded from the buzzing and beeping of the mainland camp is designed to inspire, recharge and provide personal and professional growth. Camp has everything including land and water sports, workshops, arts & crafts, nightly theme parties, delicious meals and, of course, all of your favorite classic camp activities. Whether you work in a corporate office or run your own business, this retreat will jolt you with excitement, fill you with laughter, push your boundaries, double your friends and even improve your business. Come rediscover your childhood and leave with greater success and happiness.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Article & Photography by: Rick Beach

Today I stumbled into information related to Old Route 66.  Often referred to as the "Mother Road"

Have you ever gotten to a page on the internet you have no idea how it happened?  Suddenly into some obscure website that piques your interest?  Subject related to something you would have never thought to go searching for?  Ah, the pleasures of modern technology.  It allows you to travel the world in micro-seconds.

I have traveled sections of Route 66 over the years.  I know I have been on parts of it across the U.S.  Though at this stage most of my recollection is isolated to some Arizona sections.

On the the subject I really wish to share.  I stumbled into a blog an artist (Willem Bor) created to show his craft of model making.  Oddly he did not live in USA.  But fell in love with the buildings along Old Route 66 during a visit.  Then set off to recreate them in miniature form.

One building in particular is currently still standing and called "Hackberry's General Store".  I have actually been there on numerous occasions, and have done my own photography. 

Check out his blog link below.  I will let you find this very building built in model size, and showing on his blog.  Then you judge how cool these model buildings are.  I also love the history that is provided with each piece. 

Sadly, in researching and going to his Facebook page I believe he is no longer with us since January 2017?  His work and website lives on, at least for now.  We can only hope he is traveling along Route 66 and comparing his work.

See some of his work at the below link:

Sunday, June 4, 2017

VINTAGE TRAILER RALLY - Lake Havasu, Arizona - November 2017

Vintage Trailer Rally
Havasu Round Up
At the Rodeo Grounds
Sara Park
Lake Havasu City AZ 86496
November 2 to November 5, 2017

All vintage trailers welcome. Come join us at the fairgrounds.

Fee's for camping are $10.00 per night.

Meet and greet November 3rd at 6:00Pm in the large metal building just northwest of the arena area. Bring snacks to share, and your own beverages

Dogs are allowed but must be on leash at all times.

There are hiking trails around the immediate area. The City of Lake Havasu is just up the road. As is the lake.  Lots of weekend activities available in the area.  The weather is normally hard to beat this time of year.

This is dry camping on a gravel parking area.  No tables or shade.  So bring your own.  The group has access to the main building to socialize out of any bad weather.  There are showers and toilets in a building next to the main metal building. You have to provide your own towels, soap, etc.

If you can't make the camp out be sure to come out for the day and check out the vintage trailers.

Contact: Cheri Aiken
(360) 595-2611 (Until Mid September)
(928) 505-2730 (After Mid September)
Email: jra@@cnw.com


Wednesday, May 24, 2017


For those of you Backpacking Havasu Falls (Grand Canyon Area of Arizona) sometime in the future.  Grand Canyon Cavern Campgrounds offers an excellent alternative to sleeping in your car at the Hilltop Trail Head parking lot.

I have done the Havasu Falls trip on numerous occasions. More than once some years.  Until this year I have always left Las Vegas and made the drive timed to arrive at the Trail Head right when I want to start hiking.  At times that meant leaving Vegas at 2am.

Traveling in the dark means missing much of the scenery along the way, or fun stops such as Hackberry, Arizona.  Perhaps missing Seligman, Arizona if you are coming in from that direction from the east.  Both are great photo op stops.

The last 60 miles off old route 66, once you start heading north on Indian Rd 18, is a desolate and hazardous stretch of highway at night.  It is not the road to be driving in the dark due to wildlife and open range cattle crossing or standing in the road.

Our Havasu trip planned for mid May 2017 found us debating the early morning departure from Las Vegas.  After recommending the Grand Canyon Cavern Campgrounds on the Backpacking Havasu Falls website so many years we decided to give it a try.  Then judge for ourselves, and pass the info on to you.

The entrance is a few miles east of the RT 66 & IR 18 intersection.  The view from the road side appears as an old run down gas station, and a small cafe.  Some old vehicles staged around the parking lot up by the buildings.  We stopped in the cafe and the friendly staff pointed us to the road/drive, that snaked around the back of the cafe, and up over a small hill.  We almost got nailed by the cops tucked in behind a tree (Old black & white cop car staged along the road).

The campground is about a mile down this road that winds through low growing evergreen trees.  You eventually come to the restaurant first.  This is some distance off the main road RT 66 and not visible from the main road.

Don't expect RV resort accommodations.  Though they do have power pedestals on many sites.  The campground is typical high desert and appears not well kept.  Sites are dirt.  Some have picnic tables, some do not.  There are rough graded roads and ample sites tucked into out of the way places if you want to enjoy some privacy.   We saw no site numbers.  Once you pay you simply have squatters rights to any open place you want to make your camp.  Bathrooms/Showers.....not the best.  But they are centrally located at the front not too far from the restaurant building.

We made reservations at the last minute, the night before.  Mid May there were plenty of sites.  The grounds are large enough I would think you would not have trouble at any time?  You might not get a level site, or one with power, but I think they would be able to accommodate you.

The prices of $32 a night for 2 with a tent and no power requirement seemed very steep for what was offered.  But we had a picnic table and lots of 15ft Pinyon Pine or Ceders that offered wind breaks and some privacy.  The location makes it near ideal.  We didn't have time to check out the Cavern tours.  That might be another story for another day.

We arrived around 6pm and took advantage of the restaurant that looks like it is open until 8pm.  We can both recommend the Pulled Pork/BBQ sandwich.   We washed those down with several ice cold brews and had a very relaxing visit.  It sure beat driving over in the middle of the night tempting fate driving in the dark.  It certainly beat sleeping in the vehicle at the trail head.
We tried to set up minimal gear to head out right at first light.  It was a very cold night for sure.  I believe more so because of the higher altitude.  We survived the cold, and packed gear about 4am to take off.  Several others must have had the same idea because two other groups took off right before us.

The drive up IR 18, the last 60 miles to the trail head, was a pleasant one.  The sun just below the horizon.  Enough light to avoid slamming into black cattle standing on the road,  or wandering Elk.  Both of which could quickly turn a fun trip into a disaster.

We made a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and coffee on the camp stove stove out the back of our vehicle.  With some hearty protein in our systems we started hiking near sunrise.

So our recommendation is to allot the time to make this your stop.  Enjoy the restaurant the night before.  Even come early enough to check out the Caverns.  Then give yourself 1 hour of driving time, plus packing up your camp, to be at the trail head right at sunrise.   You will easily be down the switchbacks all in the shade.

Those leaving after a trip, and after hiking back out, this is also an excellent place to camp over.  Avoid a long drive after hiking out.  If this is your first trip you will not believe how cramped up your legs will get if you hike out, and drive several hours.

Summer time may be different, due to heat.  Camping could become unpleasant?  Be sure to check things out in advance of your date(s).  Plan accordingly.

For more specific detail info on the area, the trip, and preparation visit Backpacking Havasu Falls