Palm Trees in southern Florida

Monday, December 19, 2016

LED lights!

Our van has a closet we use as a pantry, the only real problem was it's dark inside. It came with a single bulb at the top that was great when you hung clothes in there but not so much when you have shelves & stuff. The bulb was attached to a switch that activated when the door opened. Then the bulb broke. It was dark.
These LED lights are great!

The LEDs on the top shelf of the pantry 

I had an LED strip light that I'd picked up at Ikea some years back, I moved that from the mini-van to our class B. It worked well! The very top however could use some work.

The Ikea strip light running down the side
I ordered a spool (16') of led lights. These are 12v, cutable and have a sticky back so you can just attach them where they are needed. We can now see the top shelf!

The roll of LED lights
The ends with the clip attached ready to be hooked up 

The LED strip attached to the inside of the cupboard

That was only 12-18 inches of lights used in the pantry... The cupboard above the sink is always dark, if you really 'need' light a flashlight will work but I have all these adhesive led lights left!

I wired them into the existing 12v system and ran them through a common on/off switch,  I ordered micro switches so opening each door will turn the appropriate light on. Nice!

Here are the lights & the connectors I ordered off Amazon. The connectors were listed below the lights & these are a lot easier to use than soldering a wire to each strip as you want to use it.
Package the lights came in


I did have to go & find directions on using the connectors, it was a lot easier when I'd seen how it was supposed to go.

The led strip in the connector (connector still open)

These things work well, easy to install & they don't cost much. If you decide to give this a try be sure and read everything on the Amazon page, it helped me.

Micro switch from Amazon

Monday, December 12, 2016


The other day I was under the van running a 12v wire up front from the house battery fuse box in the back, I was attaching the wire to the van with tie-warps.
This is what I call a tie wrap

Tie-wraps is what I called them in the Coast Guard so that's what they are now. Some people know them as zip ties, plastic wraps, cable ties, hose strap or zap strap.

They are a pretty good way of attaching things that you want secure & quick to put on but not permanently.
Good to hold things in place

I went & grabbed my bag tie warps and noticed I was almost out. Way back I bought a bag of 500 ties, that turned out to be a good thing to do... I use ties all over the place!

My years old (now) empty bag of tie wraps

Yesterday I was in Lowe's looking for something in the electrical section (without luck, I ended up ordering what I needed from Amazon) and noticed I was in the tie-wrap section.
This bag was $25 & worth every penny

I bought another bag of 500, I went with black this time just to change the pace & bought the longer they had in big bags.

I'm probably good on tie wraps for another 10+ years!

Sunday, December 4, 2016


I went to my first civil war battlefield.
Along this drive were monuments to Ohio, Pennsylvania & Texas too. 

Over the years I've 'talked' with many people about the Civil War on the internet. It was there that I first heard it called "The war of northern aggression" & the argument that it was about money. I'd heard that it was about slavery too.
The only thing I know for sure was that more Americans died in it than any other war & it settled the States Rights question.

Chickamauga  is up by the Georgia/Tennessee state line, it's the first established National Battlefield and it's a big place.

The 20 minute movie in the visitors center was well worth the time as was a trip through the museum there. Taking a close look at the cannon on display out front was a help during the rest of the day.

Start here, seriously!
 ID the different cannon, watch the video & see the timeline

For me, the timeline they have running around the walls in the museum was a huge education on that war...
I had many misconceptions on when things happened, that timeline straightened out those misconceptions.

The battlefield is huge. There are markers, placards, statutes & cannon scattered everywhere. "Scattered" is not the best word, they are put up where event actually happened & explain who was there, when they were there & what they did.
Forest or cleared, the way didn't care

Names, dates, times & the number lost

War was hard on the horses

Drive, park, walk & read, walk & read. Read the signs, look at the small map from the visitors center, walk & read. Go back to the car & do it again.

It took us several hours and we just browsed. There were many people on bicycles & that looked like a good way to view the battlefield.

Some states had people on both sides of the conflit

Karen did not expect to get into this, it's not her choice in history....but she did.

It was more than a historic battlefield, it's a park. There were families having picnic's, groups having outings and a kid trying to fly a kite (with his mother's help).

Markers & cannon & signs that explained

Monuments from the states,
this one is from Georgia

This was new to me & interesting

I learned a new bit of history

A very moving place.