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Friday, April 28, 2017

Walkabout With Wheels Blog Reaches 400,000 Pageviews....

Thank you, readers!  This afternoon the 400,000th pageview occurred.  Eric and I are amazed that a North American travel blog, started to keep family and friends informed of our journeys, has been read hundred of thousands of times.

I'll keep writing and posting because the blog helps me remember many details of our post retirement life.  Hopefully, you will check in, from time to time, to see what's going on and/or what currently has our attention.  Thank You!

Here's the updated world map with newly added countries: Lebanon, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Martinique and Maldives.  My ongoing World Geography lesson continues...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Eric Adds an Electrical Outlet in Our Motorhome

Eric excitedly said, "Come here!  Look at what I found!"  I walked into our small kitchen, found three drawers sitting on the floor and a cavernous space beneath our stove.  I asked, "What did you find, a mouse nest?"  "No," Eric said, "look closer..."

There's a whole bunch of wires beneath the stove and no evidence of rodents.  (Our 25 foot camping trailer had frequent four-legged visitors that Eric worked hard to eliminate.)  We haven't found a mouse in the motorhome, but I am always on the look out for an unwanted pest.

There's a lot of wires down
here & a dummy outlet.

(Eric turned off the power
to this section of the

Our 2004 Winnebago Vectra 40AD offered the choice of a dishwasher beneath the stove.  This wiring was put in Vectras to power that option.

Eric wedges himself into
this small space 

After determining that the outlet he found was a dummy, Eric assembled the items needed to add an outlet adjacent to our living room.

I marvel at Eric's skills.
I know nothing about electricity and would have given up on the project after finding an empty, unwired outlet box.

Eric completed the work &
turned on the power.

I can now plug in my lap top
without running the power
cord across our living room.

We are both happy to eliminate a tripping hazard in our small home.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Late Lunch @ Moe's Southwestern Grill in Rotterdam, New York

Eric & I stopped at
Grill for a late

Moe's is on the QSR's Fifty Food Franchises By Sales list.  Late last year Eric and I decided to visit all fifty restaurants listed.  This is the 228th restaurant from that list that Eric and I will be eating at.  Just 22 restaurants to go.

I like the cleverly
named menu items.

I ordered on the Art Vandelay Burrito because it's an alias that George Costanza used on Seinfeld. Eric ordered the Joey Bag of'Donuts Burrito, because it's a slang term for a chubby Italian man, and a Taco.

We have lots of choices to customize our Burritos...  Pork, chicken, ground beef, steak or Tofu, two styles of rice, chopped tomatoes, two types of beans, corn, guacamole, etc.

I love the artwork
created with fresh
fruits & veggies.

Eric & I have the
place to ourselves
at 2:30 pm.

Our Burritos come with
Chips & Salsa.

My Art Vandelay

Lunch was delicious, made with fresh ingredients.  Eric and I will return and try other menu items including Earmuffs and Band Camp.

Changes in Jerry's Rotterdam, New York Neighborhood

This formerly foreclosed
house has been rehabbed
& looks great.

I'm happy to see this house
offered for sale.

Last year it had all the
tell tale signs of

This house needs roof work.

This house has been empty
for at least three years.

I'm glad to see a new roof
is under construction.

I look forward to
seeing this house's
new porch.

I watched this house get 
gutted, re-roofed, re-sided
& get a new sidewalk
last year.

I hope the new owners will make many memories here.

Construction started on
this house in the fall of
2015 & was finished
 in 2016.

This was a big

A hole developed in the
porch roof.

It's an unexpected, probably
unneeded skylight.

This house was
rehabbed last

is now for sale.

Whoever buys it will have
to factor in the cost of
roof repair.

Even though the yard was
always mowed, I thought 
this house could be empty.

My hunch was confirmed 
when I saw all the boarded
up windows & a notice
taped on the door.
 Pursuant to Sections of the Property and Maintenance Code of New York State
dated November 17, 2016

Shockingly, this this house
has an identical notice.

It is not safe to live in.

I see opportunities here.  Hopefully these homes can be saved.

It's springtime and I expect to see more home improvement projects starting soon.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Changes at Draper School in Rotterdam, New York

Last summer Eric told
me that something
was going on at the
old Draper School
near his Mom's house.

Excavation near the
building made Eric
think that an old
oil tank may have
been removed.
Draper High School, built in the early 1900s graduated its last class in 1986 and a series of businesses had operated out of the building since.  A charter school closed in 2008, leaving the school abandoned.

I don't know what will happen, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done....

I didn't realize that articles started appearing in 2015 on re-purposing the building into apartments. Within the last week articles appeared in the Times Union and Daily Gazette about area schools being rehabbed and Draper School is one of several schools listed.

I took this picture on
April 23rd.

Many of the windows have
been replaced & I can see
metal wall supports.

The former classrooms will be reconfigured for apartments. 

Draper Lofts is receiving
financing from State 
Employees Federal
Credit Union.

When completed, Draper Lofts will have over 100 apartments available for tenants.

This work site probably doesn't
have working plumbing, yet.

Windows need replacing
near the old gym.

These windows were bricked
up during a previous

There's so much work to
be done here.

I'm not surprised to read that this is a $15 million dollar project.

This post is probably the
base of a light pole.

The old curbing is rubble.

Some of it is being used
to stabilize the fencing.

Each side of the building
is different.

This one bears the marks of an awning, long gone, and more bricked up windows.

I will return, from time to
time to watch the exterior
work progress.
I look forward to going to the Open House to see the new apartments.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wednesday's Wings Special @ Bricklayers Pub & Pizzeria in Rotterdam, New York

Eric & I arrive at
Pizzeria for their
Wednesday Wing

Chicken Wings are 50 cents each from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and there are different flavors to try.  

Bricklayers has a nice
assortment of beers
at their full bar.

Joe, the owner, tells me that the bricks are from a church in his grandmother's neighborhood. He salvaged the when the building was demolished.

Joe is living his dream....  He enjoys owning a neighborhood pub/pizzeria and making new friends. Eric and I wish Joe all the best with his new venture.

We arrived just after
3:00 pm & it's quiet

Kamri, the bartender,
recommends we try
Sam Adams Cold

She gave a great recommendation.  This white wheat beer is well balanced and satisfying.  It will be easy to find because Sam Adams Beers are available locally.

Eric & I are splitting
Medium, Mild, Hot,
Honey BBQ, Garlic
Parm & Golden
 BBQ flavored wings.

Joe took this pic...

Eric's third hand 
my left hand.

The wings are excellent!  Bricklayers kitchen staff includes a Schenectady County Community College School of Culinary Arts graduate and a SCCC School of Culinary Arts student.  They are showing off their skills and building Bricklayers Pub and Pizzeria's reputation as a great place to eat.

Eric's top two wing flavors are  Golden BBQ, followed by Medium.  My favorite wing flavors are Mild and Honey BBQ.  

The bar got busier as Eric and I enjoyed our Wings and Beer.  Couples sit at tables and make their early dinner choices. 

We thank Kamri for her beer recommendation and ask Joe to thank the Chef before waving goodbye.  

Bricklayers Pub and Pizzeria is a short walk from Jerry's house.  I expect Eric and I will be stopping by often while we are home.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Nicholaus Building Is Now A Pile of Rubble: Schenectady, New York

Those were the days...  The Nicholaus Building stood at the corner of State Street and Erie Boulevard for well over a century.  It was built in the 1800s when the Erie Canal flowed through downtown Schenectady.

Things went terribly wrong last spring.  An adjacent building was removed and cracks opened up ed in the walls and floors of the Nicholaus.  The tenants were hastily evacuated (evicted).  Lanes were closed on State Street and Erie Boulevard.  Supports were installed along the west wall to stabilize the Nicholaus Building, and everyone waited.....

I took this picture

On April 7, 2017, just over a year after being endangered by its neighbors demolition, an inspection showed that the Nicholaus Building was ready to collapse.  The initial demolition took place over night.

This is what I found on
Friday, April 14, 2017.

The view from State

A worker sprays down the debris with water.  I don't know if it's in case of fire, or to keep the Asbestos from drying and going airborne.  This old, outdated insulation material is a cancer causing agent and no one wants this substance in his or her lungs.

There's a lot of bricks
waiting to be removed.

I poked my camera lens
through the chain link
fence to get this
close up shot.

This picture was taken from across Erie Boulevard.

Some of the debris is
covered by tarps.

Erie Boulevard, facing
toward State Street.

The Letters to the Editor Section of The Daily Gazette has numerous postmortems on the demise of the Nicholaus Building.

The many, many lawsuits that have been filed against the City of Schenectady and contractors will work their way through the courts.  Eventually, something will built on this corner and new memories will be made here.

In the meantime, the owners of the former Nicholaus Building filed a second lawsuit against the city.