Posted on August 16th, 2016 by Brenda.B
Out with the old and in with the new. That’s how the saying goes.
For us it was just a matter of preference. You see, when we built the Bott Lott all we had available was a standard fire ring. A small old car rim that was the standard campfire ring for the campground and that just wasn’t what we wanted. Sure we tried to dress it up with rocks around the outside but it was still too small for our taste. We would prefer to have a nice, large fire pit. In this case, size does matter ;)
To be able to stack a bunch of wood in there and just let it go for hours is great! No…I will not start singing, “Let It Go” here. I will not do that to you.
So David started his search. At first we thought, why not just get a tractor tire rim? That would be big enough. And let’s face it, the campground that we have our seasonal site at is in the middle of all these farmer’s fields. So finding one shouldn’t be an issue. But then the wheels kept turning in David’s head. See what I did there…wheels turning :) Ha!
He scoured the web and found this really awesome company, Earth Stones, Inc, that recycles granite from countertops and such and makes rounded blocks out of them, for giant fire pits. Perfect!
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Recycled granite fire pit it was. After all, we like to be different and we loved the fact that it is all recycled material and the people at Earth Stones, Inc really take the time to match granite pieces alike and make sure everything lines up and builds out properly before it ships out.
Once our order arrived, all 1000lbs of it, our first order of the day was to spread all the stones out and figure out which ones we wanted on the top ring. The owner, John, had already marked a couple layers he thought we might like for a top….and he was spot on.
Once we picked out our top layer, David got hard to work at leveling the area. This is the most important step that should not be skipped nor rushed. Of course, leave it to David to borrow a laser level and two 4-foot levels. Just to be sure everything, at every angle, is level. Once you start laying your stones, if you are unlevel in any way, it will be all that more pronounced when you build up and up and up.
Once he was happy with the leveling of the area, it was time to get to work of stacking the blocks. However, it’s not a good idea to just stack them all willy-nilly. There must be an order. Colors need to be considered. And yes, making sure that every block is level front to back and side-to-side is important. I say this because as a reminder, this is all recycled material. So one color may be a little thicker than another, some may fall a little differently so that their edges won’t line up just right. It’s not the manufacturers fault, it’s just the way natural stones can be and when you start mixing and matching colors, variations will apply. They are rough-cut, rough edges. The only polished parts are the tops. And that is the real beauty of these. Not every fire pit is going to look the same. They are all unique and different. That’s what we love about it.
Once David had everything stacked the way we both agreed upon, colors matching, spacing considered and such, it was time to take it all down.
Yup…he spent this whole time constructing the fire pit, only to take it all apart again.
But there’s a method to his madness. One of the things that the company, Earth Stones Inc, includes in this fire pit “kit” is some high heat silicone. Think about it for a second. What do people naturally do when they are around a fire pit?
Sing? Make S’Mores? Cook hot dogs? Tell jokes?
Well…yes, but one of the things that comes naturally to people is they lean back and put their feet up on the edge of the fire pit. Hopefully not melting his or her shoes at the same time like someone who will remain nameless. (Mike)
This is very common and with this being a granite fire pit with the tops of all the blocks polished to a nice gleaming shine, they can slip and move very easily. Yes, each block weighs around 6lbs but you put your feet up to rest and it’s very easy to move them. You certainly don’t want your blocks falling into the fire and you certainly don’t want to deal with rebuilding your layers if they happen to shift.
So the solution…high heat silicone. A little dab will do ya. No need to glob it on. We were able to secure all the layers with the one container of silicone, with some to spare.
So time to deconstruct what David just built. We very carefully and methodically took the blocks off, one by one, layer by layer. Laying them out all around us in a pattern. So every layer that we constructed in the beginning was the same layer that we put back, in the same order. Dabbing a little bit of the silicone on every block, every end, so that the next layer would adhere to that previous layer. Making sure that the silicone would tack up. Which was also important because if you moved too fast, the block would slip around when you pushed down on it. Then giving it a full 24 hours to completely cure and secure.
All these little things we learned along the way of building our fire pit. All these little tips that hopefully will help any of you if you care to build your own.
We’re very happy with how this fire pit turned out. I feel that David did a wonderful job on building it (I was just the helper) and picking out the colors and such. Even thinking so far ahead that he put a line of black blocks in the middle of the circle. A great stand out design.
Now everyone that comes to our Bott Lott loves the fire pit and we’ve had some wonderful memories. Watching movies and concerts on our big movie screen with a great fire, enjoying a cocktail with friends or just sitting around it telling stories. The spacing between the blocks really gives the fire a lot of breathing room and airflow. Once a fire is lit, it just goes…and goes…and goes.
A big Thank You to John and the guys at Earth Stone because they were so helpful with the questions we had etc. BTW…If you like what you see here and you think a recycled granite fire pit might be a good addition to your property (which in my humble opinion it totally would be), just mention that you found out about them here on this blog or mention the “Bott Lott’ and you will receive a $25.00 discount on your order. Thanks again John for this opportunity for our OOBies!
We have not received any compensation for this. We just like to highlight a great company that really has some great customer service and is trying to truly do good by recycling what they can into some really beautiful products. John liked our post and thought he would offer the discount to our readers. (Darn it, we paid full price! :))
Posted on August 8th, 2016 by David.B
It’s time to announce our 2nd Annual “OOBerfest” in Quartzsite! Last year turned out great and we had such a good time that we surely wanted to try it again! (CLICK HERE to see post from last OOBerfest) So below is who, what, & where as it stands now so you can make plans to attend and become an “OOBie” if not already one from last year. For as you may know, we love our OOBies! Don’t worry, the induction ceremony is painless. (for the most part.)
Like last year, we will start right before the first weekend the Big Show opens. So here is the quick info on it…ALL ARE WELCOME NO MATTER WHAT YOU DRIVE….
When: Jan 19-22, 2017
Where: Quartzsite, AZ – Plomosa Road – End of BLM camping area.
(Here is the exact location we will be —> Google Maps of our location – CLICK (with GPS info.)
Why: Just for Kicks and to meet others.
Bring: Firewood, Full Water Tank, Empty Gray and Black Tanks, Generator, scorpion bite kit (kidding), stories and anything else that may add to the experience.
CUT OFF DATE: January 1st, 2017 (We need to know how many by this point so to save space best we can.)
More information on the 34th Annual RV Show can be found HERE.
Here is a video made from last year’s OOBerfest during Pot Luck dinner…
Thursday, January 19th – Arrival Day
* Arrive when you can today. Yippee! (Brenda and I will be arriving on the 17th to try to block off desert space. Special thanks again to Dave for helping last year.)
* We will try to arrange the coaches and RV’s, facing inwards along two lines. As you arrive and turn off into the desert, just look for our logo (8×10 paper signs) to make your way back to our group area and see one of us, or other volunteers (hint), for where you should park.
* 5:00PM – OOB Attendees Introductions and meet your hosts David and Brenda and ask the questions you may have for us.
* 7:00PM – Bonfire where you again can meet other OOB attendees and learn what the RV show is like and what to expect. Also tips and tricks on how to conserve RV resources in the desert. Please bring in some firewood to help out with our fires or we will be kind of cold.
Friday, January 20th
* 9:00AM – Coffee & Donuts chat at the campfire area. Grab your favorite mug filled with your coffee, tea or liquor of choice and join us for a donut and chat with fellow RV’ers.
* 11:00AM – Currently Open Time Slot
* 1:00PM – Tech Talks – Have questions, we may have an answer or at least an opinion. After all, RV’ers help RV’ers so come join in on the questions and also help with the answers around the fire ring.
* 3:00PM – Currently Open Time Slot
* 5:00PM – Currently Open Time Slot
* 7:00PM – Movie Night! Come join us for a movie under the stars. (Movie yet to be determined.) If weather does not cooperate, we will do this Saturday.
* Bonfire!!! (Again, please bring wood to help out.)
Saturday, January 21st
* The Big RV Show opens. If you have never attended the show before, be prepared for a crazy time of people, food, and of course products of all sorts. From full motor coaches to replacement valve stems, you will find it at Quartzsite. Drive into town and make a day of it. Of course, feel free to go along with other OOB members that you have met to team up and car pool.
* 5:00PM – Pot Luck Dinner. Bring a dish to add to the table. (which reminds me, bring tables.) No idea what we may end up with, but that’s the fun of a pot luck. So grab your drink, plate, utensils, and chair and eat up. (We ask that food be placed at least by 4:50PM)
* 7:00PM – Bonfire CampJam with Special Guests Scott and Thomas… Notes from Neptune!
Sunday, January 22nd
* The RV Show continues and so does your shopping. :)
* This is also departure day, if you so choose, as we have nothing planned other than a campfire. We do know most will stay till Monday for who really wants to leave after a day of shopping. :)
* Bonfire!!! For anyone still around or that is not too tired from all that shopping.
ATTENTION FIRST TIMERS TO QUARTZSITE:
Ok, a quick few things. First…What you bring into the desert, you will bring out. Leave no footprint. When you arrive, you will need to check in with the BLM Host right when you turn on to Plomosa road. (No charge) Then you will head further down to road to find us.
You will be in the desert and will have NO HOOKUPS! Therefore you will need to be sure to have a full water tank and empty black and gray tanks. You should also have fuel for your generator. If you do not have a generator or enough solar panels to run your coach, this really is not for you as you will need power as well as heat. So conserving is the key, so bring and use paper plates, plasticware, and cups. Things that do not require washing! We will go over some tricks as to how you can conserve the first evening.
There is a service in town called the “Pit Stop” where they will empty your tanks and fill your water with good water. They can also fill your propane tanks.
Even though there is a SMALL grocery store in town, it is not cheap. So bring in any food you will want. There are also a few restaurants.
For trash there is a local dump right down the road as you go into town with limited hours. Best thing is to use larger garbage bags and when needed, drop it off on the way into town.
Other than that GOOD LUCK! :)
Ok OOBies….We are working on this year T-Shirt design that you will be able to order at cost from Cafepress when it is ready. We will send out the link to purchase to the email list when available.
If you are not already on our Quartzsite email list, see below, or we missed you and you want to join us, PLEASE let us know by using our contact us page to be added to our list or leave a comment below. January 1st, 2017 is the cut off date as we need to know how many by that point so we can save space. Thanks!
39 Currently On Our List (Please be sure you are on it. Last Updated 8/21 2:29PM ET)
Posted on July 26th, 2016 by David.B
Anyway, some time back I happened to accidentally stumble on a way to quickly, and with some fun, clean the little AC disc vent intake air filters. You know, the little round ones that you may have in your RV.
I was using the handheld Dyson with the small motor head and was using it to vacuum off the collected dust from the vent. All good right? Nope. While I started my first swipe of the disc, it was sucked into the motor head, whipped around and shot out. Sounds bad right? Nope again. To my joyful amazement, the disc was totally clean. I mean, like one second and it was clean. Naw, could not be right…could it? Of course I then took another disc and this time actually dropped it into the motor head, not that Dyson of course would recommend it, and sure enough, out popped a clean air filter disc. POOF!
Now I can not say it will work for all filter discs, but I can say it does for ours. So as we say, mileage may very and we are not responsible if something goes wrong. But if it does go right and you get a hoot out of it like I did, then let me say now that “Your Welcome” for the fun. ;)
Ok, ok, what good is talking about this when of course I had to make a video for you. So lets just jump to that. Let’s just say I had a little fun. :) Enjoy
If you give it a try…record and post the video and add it to the comments below. ;)
Posted on July 23rd, 2016 by David.B
Our friends over at Technomadia reported quickly, as they usually do, about information they received on how Verizon is looking to again drop users that have UDP’s. But unless you are a extreme user, 100Gig+ so it seems, then it seems you will be OK. But for those that use it for all TV, Music, and Movies, then you just may be in that 100+ data use area. (It can add up very quickly when streaming.)
So I do not need to repeat the information provided, I will say if you are not aware of Technomadia, you should be. They are the best source when it comes to data on the road and have a dedicated site just for it… https://www.rvmobileinternet.com.
Here is what they reported … CLICK HERE
It is good to know there is a way to extend your contract another year while keeping your UDP. We used the method provided by Technomadia and was able to extend our contract. Please note however, to find out how to do this, you do need to subscribe to their RV Mobile Internet site and it may be well worth doing so if you at all rely on data on the road. IMHO, it is also good that they did not make method public as then Verizon may be flooded with calls and close down the loophole. So please do not ask me how to do it. :)
But Dave, you are a techie guy we turn to!?!?!? Ya, Ya, but it is not what I do for a living and while I am happy to help with items like Making A Better Connection and other RV related items, they do mobile data all the time and have the connections in the industry to get information fast. And this IS what they do. Seeing we are both techie RV’er people, we became virtual friends having even met them once on the road in Quartzsite. Here is a video flight I did when we met for the first time showcasing their vintage bus. Enjoy.
Posted on July 11th, 2016 by David.B
Ok, now this post, video, was not to be made. I was told not to publish it a year ago. But hey, time has passed and it “must be” ok to post it now right? I guess we will find out. At least if you never end up seeing another post from me you will know why.
Anyway, the video below was made about a year ago when we were testing for an idea of something to do during our first Quartzsite meet-and-greet. (Now called “OBBerfest” thanks to those that attended.) This was a test video so I could try to see how best to edit multi takes of the same song over and over and use different pieces each time and be able to sync them.
So, why was I told not to post it? Well, it is us being stilly. I mean, really silly. It is a video that was done as a test on a warm afternoon in Hoover Alabama while our friend was in surgery. In that way, it was another way to try to keep our minds off said surgery. This is also the time that Brenda ended up hurting her foot that kept her off her feet for a few days. (Happened during this shoot. Opps….Rocks!) BTW…No grapes were hurt in the making of this video. And by that I mean is that no wine was involved. So it is just pure 100% us. It is a weird video. It is a silly video. It’s an “Us” video.
So why post it now? Well I happened to watch it the other day and it made me smile a number of times. It was something at the time I really needed. It just made me think how lucky I am to have someone that would do something so silly with me. It looked like we had a great time and brought back good feelings. I then thought hey, what a better way to show my love for her then to release an embarrassing silly video right after our 22nd wedding anniversary. There actually is more to this video in what it means to me. So in that I will just say… Thanks my love for the last ten “hard” years of my life. You are the reason I am.
So my love, happy 22 years.
Posted on July 9th, 2016 by David.B
Inside a 2016 Tiffin Allegro Bus 45OP there is something special going on. So here is something newsworthy about CoachProxy that we wanted to share with you.
As you may recall, we announced CoachProxy sometime back and we are currently in the beta test phase of the release. The beta program is going very well and Michael did something you may not have expected this soon. We think this is really cool and wanted to share it.
No better way really to show this other than a video. So, here you go…
Now Voice Control is really just a fun thing and is for the advanced users, but it does show what we are able to do with CoachProxy in a Tiffin motorhome. Michael just had to get away from the normal development and do something fun….I guess he succeed. :) (This would require a CoachProxy, Amazon Echo, and full time Internet.)