Archive for November, 2008

Holiday Rambler Blowout

November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Bob.

We are hoping that the issues we have with Holiday Rambler will go away.  Unfortunately they persist.  The blowout yesterday of the inside, rear, passenger side Goodyear 275/80R22.5 tire, with only 6,631 miles on it, is another bump on this road.  The leak in the water line leading to the bathroom toilet is still, after four attempts at repair, a real headache and possible killer.  We are concerned that the leak will lead to mold in the Floriday Sunshine.  We have already had one near death and destruction event when the motor shut down without warning and I lost the power steering in the middle of a left turn into Lazydays, with a truck bearing down on us, in Tampla, Florida.  The list is much longer than this but these are the highlights.

Coach net did a passeable job of finding a repair shop, but the one they found had only a tire that was a near equivalent.  I called a wholesaler in Florence, S.C. who gave me two numbers in Manning, S.C., exit 115 on Route 95 in S.C.  Taylor Made Tires and Towing had two used Michelin 275/80R22.5 tires and I arranged to have them come out.  Mackenzie, the lead man on the truck did a yeoman’s job replacing the tire.  They are heavy, extremely hard to get off and then on the rim, and then fill with air.  But Mackenzie, aided by Dan his assistant, “Taylor Made” it look easy.  Five hours later we rolled back into the rain and fog and night fall and promptly turned around and made for the closest Wal-Mart.

We decided to head to Tampa and visit once again with the ladies and gentlemen at Lazydays.  This will not be an easy visit, but I hope productive.

Pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving Day in North Carolina

November 28, 2008

It was a great day.  We spent the day in costumes

It was a great day. We spent the day in costumes


Cathy and Bob, Tribal Leaders

Cathy and Bob, Tribal Leaders


This was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.  We had an Iroquois Prayer, homemade cranberry sauce, deep fried and oven cooked birds, potatoes, brocoli and carrots cooked in foil with a ton of butter, and stuffing cooked separately and scrumptious.

It was a grand time.  Some mid-afternoon singing of grass and folk tunes and lullaby’s.

Cathy made the best darn mashed potatoes I’ve ever had and oh by the way, Cathy orgainzed this entire family gathering and it took a enormous amount of time.  She provided bedding, kitchen stuff and food, all organic for both the Pilgrims and Indians.


Jennifer, Jeff and Ingrid and the Tribal Counsel Jury

Jennifer, Jeff and Ingrid and the Tribal Counsel Jury

Jennifer and Jeff and Ingrid flew all the way from LA to join us in North Carolina.  Jeff is an expert chef and helped Paul with the Deep Fried Turkey, and he made the scrumptious cranberry sauce and a day earlier a Green Pasta.  He also did the carrots and brocoli, also out this world.

Jeff got the best hat award. 

That’s Luke about to clobber someone.

Cathy and I had a chance to visit with Jennifer and Ingrid for the first time since spring.  Jenn is the busiest person I’ve ever scene.  She had some time to relax and led a lullaby for Ingrid mid afternoon.  We had to work hard to keep her and Cathy away from the gravy.  (Inside job: top secret recipe.) 


Paul, Michelle, Maggie, Jake, Marli and Luke Johnson, Iroquois

Paul, Michelle, Maggie, Jake, Marli and Luke Johnson, Iroquois

The Indians were friendly on this Day of Thanksgiving, although they looked pretty tough in this picture.

Paul brought the deep fry kit for one Turkey and it worked like a dream  It was delicious.  This process has some risks.  The oil gets up to over 300 degree’s and putting the ambient temperature turkey in the oil requires a gentle touch so it doesn’t explode and spill the oil.  But with Jeff’s help he got it done.

Michelle is not only a good cook she is also a baker of the highest order.  And a stuffing guru.

Looks like Jake has some mayhem on his mind.

More to come, some more pictures and video.

The Lady In The Red Blazer

November 25, 2008

Son Paul

Son Paul

The family is having a grand time here.  The campground has many things to do and my grand-kids are finding them pretty quickly.  Right now they are out on low-ride trikes, pedal powered, checking out the campgrounds.  Son Paul is thinking about taking them to a movie in Conway, which is 26 miles south.  Cathy and I just returned from the local IGA in Tabor City picking up stuff for the feast on Thursday.

A sad thing happened while I was waiting in the car for Cathy at the post office.  A lady who was 55 to 60 drove up, got out of her car, and came over to mine, and of course Ruby began barking “alarm, alarm, get away from my car” but the lady did not heed the alarm.  So I was forced to put up the windows in a rush, and jump out of the car.  After greetings she said: “Are you from around Tabor City?”  I knew what was coming next.  Next she says: “My mother…”, at which point I began to interrupt her but thought better of it since I really, or is it rally, don’t know the local mores.  She continued: “is in the Unit and I wondered if you could give me two or three dollars for gasoline so I can go see her.”  I declined and explained why.  It was the second time this week.  She then drove to the other side of the parking lot, and I lost sight of her, and her red Chevrolet SUV Blazer.  I suppose one conclusion is: if you want or need to ask for money for gasoline, don’t drive an SUV.

Last Wednesday at Exit 105 on Route 95, I was filling the diesel tank on the motor home when a 65 year old, very thin, but rugged man approached with a gasoline container in his hand.  He was looking for money but I can not remember the reason he gave.  I was engaged in a conversation with another person, a lady from Canada driving a motor home, when he interrupted us.  I gave him $5.00, two more than he asked for.  I wish I knew why.

I think it is good to give one on one, but I’ve become very defensive and it takes an act of will to listen to what the person says.  I think the next time I’ll ask what their situation is, so I can make a more informed decision.  Right now I wish I’d found out more about the lady in the red Blazer.

Thanksgiving Trip Day 1

November 25, 2008




The Yogi Bear’s Camp Resort in Tabor City is the number one Yogi in the US and everything about it supports the award.  We are loving it.


We are eating together.  This morning all the grand-kids showed up at the motor home with all the fixings for pancakes.  So in they came and the pancakes were good.  We’re fishing, bike riding, playing basketball, walking, riding in the woods, playing ladder ball, chasing dogs and freezing.  The nights are int he 20’s believe it or not.  It’s a record tying and record breaking cold spell.  But today was nice, up to 62.  We had to refill the propane tank to be sure we would have heat through the night.

Paul set up the turkey frier today and spent a few moments with Rick Coleman who has experience deep frying birds.  It will take only an hour to cook, and another hour to cool down.  We are getting excited about the meal.  Jeff, Michelle and Maggie headed to the organic store in Wilmington and Cathy and I shopped in Whitesville for food and bow’s and arrow’s and guns for Thursday’s dress up.  I’m still not sure where we will be eating, but we will be eating.

Tabor City and Whitesville, N.C. Thanksgiving Gathering

November 23, 2008

Everyone is here.  Paul and Michelle and Maggie, Jake, Marli and Luke arrived early, around 5:30 P.M. after a 10.5 hour drive from Dennisville, N.J.  Jennifer and Jeff and daughter Ingrid arrived around 7:00 P.M. after a 10.5 hour trip from Los Angeles.  Funny – Paul comes 570 miles and Jenn comes 3500 miles in the same amount of time.  America, and the world today, is simply great. 

I’ve begun to blog in order to get into the modern communciation stream.  Airplanes are a communication device.  A kind of transformer or teleporter.  It takes a bit longer than Spok and the Enterprise but it gets you physically from place to another.

No matter, we are all here.  Michelle brought a huge pot of chilli and we enjoyed the first family dinner in quite a long while.  Paul put together a fire after unloading the firewood that Luke stacked as it flew off the trailer.  Paul brought bikes for his family and Jenn’s, so we will be able to ride together.  I strolled over to Paul and Michelle’s cabin earlier this morning to see about getting some eggs over lightly.  Michelle is now a farmer of sorts with twenty laying hens.  We have 4 dozen eggs for the week and they are delicious.

We have three options for Thanksgiving dinner: outside the cabins in good weather; in inclement weather we can move to the motor home or to the club house here at Yogi Bears in Tabor City, The Number One Yogi Bear Camp in the United States.  I’m sure Rick, Jenny and Jesse and Joey are all very proud of this designation and they deserve it.  Its the tail end of November and weather is a bit cold, setting records actuallly, but today it’s warming up and this camp is a nice place to stay a while.  They are very accomodating and they have mentioned the club as an option.  We might have to ride in the hay wagon and parade around the camp, which everyone agreed to last night.  I’d love to be pick some with Jesse during dinner.

Off to ride.


Thanksgiving Meal Between Pilgrims and Indians Recreated by Our Family Johnsons

November 20, 2008

I am excited as all get out over this coming Thanksgiving.  Cathy and I landed in Tabor City, NC today and we are setting up the campground for the rest of the family, who are planning to arrive on Saturday.


Every one of us will be decked out as Pilgrims or Indians and we will be cooking outside.  It will be a blast.


I can taste the deep fried turkey already.


I posted more information at Vineland Gazette.


We’ll be posting video so please subscribe and comment.

Have you ever thought of re-creating the original thanksgiving meal?


Thanksgiving 2008 A Happy Time For The Johnson’s

November 19, 2008

Cathy and I and Ruby are in Ashland, Va., headed to the Yogi Bear Campground in Tabor City, NC where we are gathering with our immediate family – my daughter Jennifer along with her husband Jeff and daughter Ingrid, who are flying in from LA via Charlotte – and son Paul along with his wife Michelle and four children: Maggie, Jacob, Marli and Luke, who are driving down from Dennisville, NJ.


It’s going to be a grand time.  We are dressing in Pilgrim or Indian costumes and dinner will be a recreation of the Original thanksgiving.  We’ll be posting video as we get closer and everyone gathers.



Lion in the White House – A Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Aida D. Donald

November 16, 2008


What a great smile and what a smart, energetic man who became President when Willion McKinley was assasinated.  The picture comes from a post by David C. Hanes and is located here.   There is a very good slide presentation on Roosevelt.  The slide presentation will load a file to your computer if you wish.

Donalds book is an easy read and well worth buying (I get no money from Amazon or autors) for your library.  Roosevelt governed in the early twentieth century and there are parallel’s to the times and the leadership we have had with George Bush, and much more important, the leadership we will have from President Elect Barack Obama.  The video of his first Saturday broadcast is here:  Link to Weekly Speech of the President.

He is quoted day in and day out for his famous “speak softly and carry a big stick” quote.

The complet e-document is available on Docstoc at this location.  Download it if you like.

A list of books I’m working on are on the page Books I’m Summarizing for your convenience

Bob Johnson


Coffee Prevents … Diabetes and other scary stuff.

November 4, 2008

I received this article from a posting by Jeff at PT’s Coffee.  He may not remember me, but we spent some time together in Guatemala several years ago.  The article is located here on WEBMD.  Thanks Jeff.

I’m a coffee roaster by trade and I’m always happy to read of new studies about coffee’s contribution to our lives.  KMO started in the mid 1990’s and followed by a couple of years my first coffee venture, Coffee Time.

Welcome to my personal Blog

November 3, 2008

Well I’m totally surprised that my name was available since it is the most common name in the United States.  More to come in a few days. 

I am discussing in About why I am doing this and what it is all about.

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