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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Gunsmoke ShopTrading Post in Rotterdam, New York

Eric and I have been away for nearly a year.  We notice changes when we return.  Stores close, new businesses enter the area.  One of these changes is down the road from Rotterdam Square Mall.  A small strip mall has been built at the site of the former Main Florist.

I'm curious about
Gunsmoke Trading Post.

Is this a convenience store?

If this is a convenience store,
it's a very nice convenience

I was so wrong.  This is a sporting goods store.  A Daily Gazette article describes the store as "judgement free."  Men, women, novices and experts are treated the same.  Everyone is welcome to browse here.  I asked if I could take pictures and was allowed to,

Experts are on staff to provide gun safety training.  

The stuffed animals are

Gunsmoke Trading Post
has a nice selection of
rifles & shot guns.

Keep your weapons secure
in a gun safe.


Compound bows are
for sale here.

Practice your bow skills
before heading out
to hunt.

Gunsmoke Trading Post reminds me of Cabela's shooting and archery departments.  In addition to the store's wide selection of firearms and compound bows there's ample 
sporting gear for the sportsman and sportswoman to purchase.

Dinner at Schenectady County Community College's School of Culinary Arts

Eric and I started going to dinners prepared by students of Schenectady County Community College's School of Culinary for nine years.  We enjoy eating dinner in a setting run by Culinary Arts students. Diners are greeted by a student maitre d', seated by a student server, enjoy dinner prepared by students and each week we have a different student server.  Our three course meals with a corking fee for the wine we bring plus tip is $45.00.

Eric outside the
Casola Dining Room.

This dining room opened in October 2007.

The display case hold the school's
accreditation, listing of guest
chefs, a plaque honoring Professor
Strianese, & numerous awards.

A group gathers, waiting
for the doors to open.

Artwork in the dining room
changes throughout the year.

Eric & I are seated in
a quiet corner.

Eric chose Menage a Trois
Red Wine to accompany
our dinner.

Tonight we are exploring Southeastern American food.  "Florribbean" cuisine is the meld of Native American, French, Spanish and African American foods.  Seafood, legumes, rice and fruit are commonly used ingredients in tonight's dishes.

Marlee is our server tonight.  She is attentive to our needs.

My appetizer choice is
Ceviche Scallops with
Florribbean Vegetable

Eric's selection is Alligator
Beignets: Alligator Meat Fritters
served with spicy Peach Sauce.

My entree is Pecan Crusted
Chicken with Brandy Peach
Sauce served with Hoppin' John
& Okra & Corn Maque Choux.

Eric's entree is Pan-Seared Grouper
with Fruit Salsa served with
Hoppin' John & Okra & 
Corn Maque Choux.

The Dessert Cart: Eclairs,
Lemon Cream Tarts, Raspberry
Cream Horns, Chocolate
Layer Cake & Banana Pudding

Eric & I chose the Chocolate
Layer Cake for dessert.

It pairs wonderfully with
our red wine.

Then, we lingered over

We enjoy exploring new foods and spending our evening with students who are learning 
how a restaurant works.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Impatiently Waiting for Wolff's Biergarten to Open on Erie Boulevard in Schenectady, New York

While driving on Erie Boulevard, I noticed activity at the former KEM Cleaners.  There were trucks in the parking lot and workmen bustling about.

This new business is located on the section of Erie Boulevard that has been reconstructed with pedestrian walkways, turning lanes and designated parking.  The former six lane section of road is now easier for pedestrians and traffic to navigate.

I expect to see more businesses located on this stretch of road.

Garage doors were

Workers are busy inside
the building.

KEM Cleaners will be
reopening as Wolff's

This is an exciting addition to Schenectady's beverage and food choices.  Wolff's features German beers and some American craft beers.  I'm looking forward to German foods.

When we drove past tonight,
we saw the business' lit sign.

I'm excited!

Forgetting One Step Causes a BIG Problem

takes us places where the
motorhome can't go.

It is our tow vehicle.  We have hitched and unhitched our standard transmission Jeep to our motorhome hundreds of times.

We found out that skipping one step can cause a BIG problem.  We hitched the Jeep behind the motorhome and started off for a New York Escapee Chapter 41 Rally in Davenport, New York. While driving the motorhome with the Jeep in tow on a local highway, a car pulled next to us.  The driver honked as the passenger waved frantically at us.  When a passing vehicle is honking and waving frantically, it is never a good sign.

Eric pulled to the side of the highway.  We got out of the motorhome and walked around it and the Jeep.  When Eric checked the Jeep, he noticed that the transfer case was engaged in "high", and not in neutral as our towing instructions state.  Eric put the transfer case into neutral and we continued to drive.

Eric stopped at the next rest stop and tried to start the Jeep.  CLICK CLICK CLICK.... the starter wasn't engaging.  I checked for Jeep dealerships on our route to the campground.

I found Royal Chrysler, Dodge,
Jeep & Ram Dealership
in Oneonta.

We unhitched the Jeep & left
 it  for diagnosis & repair.

The service manager did a quick test and said the starter may be bad but they would have to check it out to be sure.

Paul called Eric two
hours later...

He said it was WAY WAY worse than a starter. Towing our Jeep in first gear at 55 miles per hour was a bad thing to do.  Duh!

Inspection of the engine
showed there was a hole
in the bottom of the engine
where a rod punctured
the casing.
With the tranny in gear they
could not rotate the rear wheels.
The engine was totally seized up.

Paul called Chrysler and found out that the 2012 Jeep short block was on back order.  He called a third party that buys up new engines and later sells them to those in need.  A brand new 2012 Jeep engine is available and will be shipped.  THIS engine was lower priced than the short block but is a complete engine!   With a lifetime warranty!   Exactly the same engine.  Apparently they bought them from Chrysler in bulk for re-selling and still had some left.

Replacing the engine will take less time than pulling our engine apart to replace the damaged parts.  It will also cost less in labor.  Our Jeep sits at the dealership until the new engine arrives.

Then, the next step is
 to pull the engine.

Eric called our insurance company and asked if they cover the damage we did to the Jeep's engine. Amazingly, insurance does cover this.  The adjuster said it was a common occurrence.  Our mistake in not putting the transfer case in neutral has happened before. Eric was delighted to find out that this unexpected expense would be covered.

We waited for the engine to be shipped and repairs completed.  Paul called us when the work was done.

Our Fun-Mobile is ready to be
picked up.

Eric takes care of the bill
while I take pictures.

Jeep parts are available

Let's take a look under
the hood.

I think I see the bright
shiny engine beneath
the hoses.

The Jeep runs perfectly.  We are happy to have it back.  Now, how do we remember to put the transfer case in neutral before we tow?  One more item to include on the "Button Up List" that we use to make sure everything is done before we move each time.  A lot of the items on that list were added after something went wrong while driving.  This item was the most expensive one to add.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Visit with Aunt Betty and Teese at Holiday at the Atrium in Glenville, New York

 Eric and I went to Holiday at the Atrium to visit Aunt Betty.  Her daughter, Teese, is visiting from England.  Eric and I hadn't seen Teese in several years.  We had a lot of catching up to do.

It was time for pictures...

Teese & I made an
Aunt Betty sandwich.

Then, Eric joined
Aunt Betty & me.

We had a wonderful visit with Aunt Betty and Teese.  There was lots of storytelling and laughter.  Safe travels, Teese!   Aunt Betty, we'll be back soon.  Love you!