"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

taxes done and didn't even get kissed!

We have been getting a lot of our errands crossed off our list. Monday we were up early and drove to Lebanon so I could get a blood test done. I take thyroid medicine and need a new prescription and they need to "check my levels" before writing the new Rx. I cannot have anything to eat or drink before the test so I was starting to have caffeine withdrawal by the time it was over. :-)
We did a drive through breakfast at Burger King on our way to our next appointment to have our taxes figured. :-o
This took over 2 1/2 hours to get our returns done and has to be the very worst thing involved in our mobile, working, lifestyle. We worked in two different states last year that required we file state returns to them plus we were "self employed" for our stints as gate guards. Couple all that with the fact that I cashed out a small 401K, well lets just say we were expecting the worst. We did do our best to prepare for the "hit" but were worried how big a hit it would be.
We were both pleased to find we got a refund with our federal which almost pays what we owe for our state taxes. Our wallets are not quite as empty as we feared. :-)

Next it was Rudee's turn for her doctors appointment. We had time to do another drive through meal, this time at Mc Donalds. We pulled into the medical building parking lot with 10 minutes to spare! :-)

My plan was to work on the cargo trailer on Tuesday. One of the things I needed were some type of jacks on the rear of the trailer to provide support when unloading the bike when the trailer is not connected to the motor home. Without the jacks the tongue of the trailer would fly up into the air as soon as I tried to go up or down the ramp with the bike. They make a spring loaded, adjustable jack used a lot on pop up campers and a lot of cargo trailers have these. The problem is they are just too long and you often have to drop the front jack all the way down to get the back jacks to fold down to the ground. I have been using a hydraulic bottle jack under the center of the rear end as a temporary support and wasn't sure if I would just continue using it or get the fold down ones that you sometimes have to fight with.
Rob Runion came to the rescue though and had a great idea. Most cars these days have a scissor style jack to use when you have a flat tire and I could mount these on the rear. He grabbed the one out of Jany's car when she wasn't looking and did a "test fitting". We figured out that not only was it possible but looked really nice too. Since Jany probably didn't want to donate her jack to the cause I needed to find a couple at a salvage yard, the cheaper the better. :-)
After Rudee's appointment we drove a few miles north to a small yard I knew about from my old insurance appraiser days. The guy at the desk told us to just start looking in the trunks of the cars "out back" and see if we could find what we wanted and if we did they would be $10 apiece. Cool! We walked around their small lot and quickly found two jacks that fit the bill and I gladly paid them the $20 for two jacks that have probably never been used before. Thanks for the idea Rob!

Rudee decided to spend the night at her Mom's house so I dropped her off there and headed back to the motor home. I made it back just before dark with my Chinese take out in hand. :-)

Tuesday I got up and knew I would have a busy morning. I gathered all the tools I thought I would need and headed for the cargo trailer. I unloaded the bike and got the motorcycle chock into position and then drilled the holes through the floor of the trailer. Since the floor is made of plywood panels I had fashioned pieces of 1/4" steel plates to give the chock more support. I positioned the steel plates underneath the trailer floor and, using the wheel chock bolts, fastened it all together. That sucker aint going anywhere!

My next job was to mount the E-track on the floor. E-track is about a 4" wide and 5' long piece of metal designed with slots cut into it allowing you to lock special D-ring attachments. The slots run the entire 5' length of the E-track allowing you to change the position of the tie downs with ease. I attached the rails through the floor and into the steel floor supports on the trailer using large self tapping screws and then added additional wood screws in between those. All in all it is very secure and I can attach as many straps to the bike as I want to. :-)

In a future blog I'll demonstrate how I like to tie my bike down. I tend to use more straps then others I know (I use 6 ratchet straps) but have found this works well and gives me piece of mind that I am not going to open the trailer door and find the bike on its side. :-o
Once I finished installing all the screws for the e-track it was pushing 11:30 and I was supposed to meet Rudee in Plainfield for lunch. I cleaned up my work area and put all my tools away. The weather man said it was supposed to rain later in the evening but right now the skies were blue and the temps were rising so I decided a bike ride was in order! I grabbed Rudee's helmet and headed for Plainfield. Man it felt good to be back on the bike again. I think we made the right decision to keep it! I'll keep you posted.


  1. Wow, good for you getting a refund on your federal taxes! Wish I could figure out how to do that! Glad you've kept the bike!

  2. I guess we gave them a few too many $$ on our quarterly payments but rest assured they got their share no matter how hard it hurt us. :-)

  3. Break even is a good thing. We really got pinched and need to find a real job this fall/winter to make it up and heal the wound.
    Trailer looks real good but you said screwed the E Track, consider carriage bolts and fender washers for a much stronger install. Look forward to our paths crossing down the road, thanks for all your insight.

  4. don't worry Wayne, I attached it good and strong just took a shortcut when writing about it. LOL
    I think I could probably lift the trailer into the air using either the wheel chock or the e-track :-), of course I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for looking out for us. ;-)