Monday, October 1, 2007

Birthday party

Location, Houston, TX

Today, at 2:30 PM is Matthew’s birthday party for his friends. But first, there was church in the morning. I also went to 8:30 Mass then drove several miles west of Houston to a Kroger Grocery store which had much cheaper diesel fuel than the local stations. With my 3 cent discount card I only paid $2.70 per gallon while every other gas station wanted $2.99 per gallon. What gives with that?

Back at the RV I started putting things in order so we can leave on Monday. I dumped the holding tanks, and the big thing was to pump up the tires as I let air out when I am not pulling the trailer to help soften the ride. While putting air into one of the tires, my air compressor quit. Well, not exactly quit, more like a scream. Obviously, the pump broke. What to do now?

I finished all the other chores and we decided to go over to Tim’s house a little early so I could stop at Sears Hardware and see if I could talk them into a trade for my broken air compressor. They actually had the same compressor on the shelf like mine. I took one to the counter but the computer wouldn’t let them make the trade. Sorry!!!

I next stopped at a gas station to use their compressor but it would shut off before I could get much air into the tire. My experience has been that I can’t get the required 80 PSI out of most air pumps at service stations.

We drove to Tim’s house where all the party decorations were done, the games all set out, the ice chests full of drinks, and chairs ready for parents to sit on. I was explaining to Tim my dilemma about the tires and he suggested we go to his local fast lube place where he has lots of work done, as they had a larger air compressor. It sounded good so off we went about 1 hour before the party started. Tim explained our problem to the “boss” and pulled up to the bay as the air compressor was inside. I said I wanted 80 lbs in the rear tires. When I looked around, one of the techs was putting air in the front tires. I told him to stop and let air out until I had 50 lbs. The rear tires were now pumped up when we heard someone under the truck in the pit ask a question. I looked under the truck and this guy had drained my oil and replaced the filter while we were pumping up the rear tires. I went ballistic!!!!!!!!! I had just had an oil change less than 100 miles ago. Not only that, I use DELO 400, and they had just drained it all into their sump. Here we sit, close to party time, no oil in the truck, and it is a Sunday. Where am I going to get oil????

It turns out they stock DELO 400, so 5 minutes later, I have had a complete oil change at no charge. As we left, Tim and I just looked at each other like, “What the heck just happened”?

I now have air in the tires but still have no way of putting air in on the road so we decided to stop at good ol Sears Hardware again and look at some higher priced compressors. They had a larger model which actually was on sale for $119. After looking around, we found a stack of them in an isle with a $95 price tag on them. GREAT! A bargain to boot! Tim carry’s it up to the register where it rings up at $119. We both say, “It’s on sale for $95”. The lady says, “Bring me the sales tag”. Tim’s gets the tag which the lady looks at and says “It’s out of date”. We both say, “Well, not our fault the tag didn’t get removed”. They sold it to me at the sale price and discounted the extra one year warranty to boot. I paid $117 for the compressor. It has separate meters for tank pressure and hose pressure, as well as 2 quick disconnect outlets for hoses, a water drain, and a complete accessory kit with all the fittings, etc. What a deal. I put oil in the compressor and tested it before I left Tim’s house.

Now it was party time as Matthew’s friends, 12 of them, showed up. They played on the trampoline, the cable slide, croquet, and polish golf. Inside there was a sign up list for the Wii. Kids love the Wii!!!

Dessert was homemade sundaes and cupcakes. Each kid got a dish of ice cream and then added whatever toppings they wanted. I think a lot of it went into the trash as their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. Diane had some science experiments for the kids. They made “flubber, silly putty, and gak”. The flubber was a big hit. Each kid got to take a baggy home. There was a piñata which had to be taped up a few times as the first swing took the body off. Eventually, all the kids got to swing at it.

The party was a big hit and didn’t end until after 5 PM. We, the adults took a break after everyone left and then I grilled New York steaks, served with a salad and sourdough bread for dinner.

We played a few hands of “Impulse” before saying our goodbyes and going back to the trailer. It was really hard to say goodbye after 3 intense weeks with the grandkids.

Sorry about the length of this entry.