The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Tuesday December 31st 2013

‘Mission #3 The Empire (State) Strikes Back 05-01-10 to 11-24-10’ Archives

11-22 to 11-24-2010 Re-entry Back to Florida and the End of Mission #3

Day One Early Monday morning we packed up and started the long trip back home.  With the tank already filled and the car loaded, we started off just before the rain started which I was thankful for.  Our goal was to reach the southern border of WV at a travel plaza in [Read More]

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November.

No, we are not celebrating Guy Fawkes day or watching a rerun of the movie Vendetta.  We are instead celebrating the main reason why we came to New York, the birth of our first grandson.  Little Zachary was born at 4:15 pm November 5th and has become the newest resident [Read More]

Elmira New York’s Most Famous Resident

A visit to Mark Twain's study in Elmira NY. [Read More]

STS 133 Discovery’s Final Rollout

Monday evening I turned on NASA TV and watched Discovery (OV-103) do her very last rollout to Launch Complex 39 A.  As I was watching the rollout, I called some friends still working at Kennedy Space Center to chat.  It was for them, as it was for me, very bittersweet.  [Read More]

Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center

On September 18th, the RV-103 Lecture Series appeared for the open house at the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center in Olean NY.  Earlier, retired astronaut Commander Pamela Melroy had appeared and spoke to the audience about what life was like as an astronaut.  Later [Read More]

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

The RV-103 lecture series visited the elementary schools in Olean NY this week.  The 5th grade curriculum for NY schools has the students learning about space related topics starting that year and talk about an enthusiastic groups of kids!  The kids got to hear a [Read More]

Rainbow over Cuba NY

Took a picture of a nice rainbow over Cuba NY from the RV park. [Read More]

Time Traveling

A couple weekends ago we drove up to see the Genesee Country Village and Museum.  It’s located up in Mumford NY, about an hour’s drive from our campsite. The Genesee Country Village is actually comprised of two villages: an 18th century village and a 19th century [Read More]

Letchworth and Stony Brook State Parks

I am sorry for the long delay in posting to RV-103.  Gypsy and I have been busy enjoying the State of NY and I now finally have some time to sit down and write. We have been doing some hiking in two local state parks, Letchworth and Stony Brook.  I’ve written about [Read More]

100th Post!!! Full Moon Over RV-103

I just realized when I made this post that it is the 100th post of RV-103.  Wow!  I thank you all for following this website and inputing your comments along the way. I also want to thank the USA Educational Department for calling me on this auspicious occasion.  I [Read More]

Where is that Global Warming Al Gore?

We had a weather front come through yesterday and things cooled down.  By the time we were ready to go to bed, I commented to Gypsy that I was cold.  I shut the windows and checked on our weather station that monitors the temps inside and outside RV-103.  It was 36 [Read More]


It’s really ironic if you think about it.  We spent about 4 months in CA and experienced rain and high winds, but not much else.  We have to come to New York for me to experience my very first earthquake! Around 1:52 pm today I was sitting on one end of the couch [Read More]

Commander Merlin Goes on Her First EVA!

The only time that Commander Merlin has ever left RV-103 was in her escape craft/shuttle called PC or Pet Carrier.  It was time for her to experience her first Extra Vehicular Activity or EVA. The crew of RV-103 helped Commander Merlin into her harness and tether with [Read More]

When the Crew Goes AWOL

Recently, Gypsy and I took a short weekend trip out of state to take care of some business.  Since we were going to be gone for about four days, we made arrangements with Gypsy’s son and daughter-in-law to look in on Commander Merlin and RV-103. Upon our return, we found [Read More]

An Interesting Observation About The RV Lifestyle

I have observed something interesting about the RV lifestyle and wonder if any of the other full time RV’ers on the site noticed the same. When we were in CA, I started taking up the chore of doing laundry while Gypsy was working on a contract.  That’s when I first [Read More]

05-13-10 We Aren’t Homeless Anymore!

We got the call today that RV-103 is repaired and ready for pickup.  We drove down to Ballantyne RV & Marine in Victor NY and paid the bill.  After inspecting the work, we prepped RV-103 to depart for our campsite. I never got to meet Jason who had been my main [Read More]

It’s Jail For You My Furry Little Feline!

I decided the crew needed to unwind from all the stresses lately, so I took the crew out to the local bar.  We had a wonderful time at first and maybe drank a bit too much.  I vaguely remember Rocketman was dancing on the table naked wearing deer antlers he had grabbed [Read More]

05-12-10 Progress Report From the Garage

We heard from Jason at Ballantyne RV and Marine today.  RV-103 had lost the “boots” on the back breaks resulting in complete brake failure in the rear brakes.  We also lost an ABS sensor on a rear wheel and since the front brakes had to take all the weight down the [Read More]

05-10-10 Finding the Perfect Campground

One silver lining having RV-103 in the garage is that it gave us time to check out the campsite we were going to stay at.  We drove down to it with the intention of talking with the owners.  Once there, we decided we would drive around the campground first. To be polite, [Read More]

05-09-10 Mother’s Day

Cold and snow today.  We have been used to mid 70’s to high 80’s for the last several weeks driving home from CA and traveling up here.  It is a surprise to see it actually snow on Mother’s Day.  It is supposed to be in the upper 20’s for the next two nights.  I [Read More]

05-08-10 Visiting RV-103

Gypsy’s son and daughter-in-law drove down with us to Ballantyne RV and Marine in Victor NY to check on RV-103 and to retrieve a few items we had forgotten.  I ensured that the refrigerator was still running on propane and did a quick inspection.  Hopefully we will [Read More]

05-07-10 How Do You Stop A 28,000 Pound RV?

We got up the next morning and proceeded on our way.  We had a disagreement with our GPS system.  She wanted us to take on some back roads in PA and we thought we should stay on the Interstate.  We stopped for lunch and went over the maps trying to decide the best [Read More]

05-06-10 Back on the Road

We got up the next morning and resumed our journey.  As we were driving along Interstate 79, we finally saw a black bear.  Unfortunately for the bear, it had been hit by a truck and was lying by the side of the road while the truck driver was explaining what had happened [Read More]

05-05-10 Visiting With My Oldest Daughter

We got up in the morning, unmolested by any bears, and proceeded on our journey.  Our next stop was just outside of Huntington WV at the Foxfire KOA.  My oldest daughter is a junior at Marshall State University and we had stopped for the night to visit. I had told my [Read More]

Flying J Truck Stop Review

During our travels we have found that we prefer to get our fuel at the Flying J truck stops.  Flying J realized that not only do tractor trailers use a lot of fuel, but RV’s.  With that in mind, they have created islands at their truck stops that cater to RV’s only.  [Read More]

05-04-10 Lions, Tigers, and Bears…Oh My!

We started our travels again today and drove all the way through SC and NC, finally stopping in Wytheville VA.  As we were searching for a campsite, we decided we would cash in some of the gazillion KOA points we had accumulated and stay at the Wytheville KOA.  Because of [Read More]

05-02-10 Here At The Rock…

I got a call this morning that really caught me off guard.  It was from the mysterious Dan C. calling from an undisclosed location at KSC inquiring about my geographic status.  On the speaker phone with him were other members of his team and Dan’s current class for that [Read More]

05-02-10 Hardeeville RV Park

We got up early this morning and broke camp.  We traveled all day through Florida and Georgia, stopping in South Carolina.  The only problem we ran into during our trip was the generator.  For some reason the generator runs, but doesn’t kick on the AC power.  I was [Read More]

05-01-10 Jetty Park at Port Canaveral

Our first stop was only a short 3 hour drive to Jetty Park in Port Canaveral.  It is the only “public” campground we usually go to right on the Atlantic Ocean.  We usually stop there when we are heading north in order to visit with family and friends due to the [Read More]

05-01-10 Mission #3 The Empire (State) Strikes Back.

05-01-10 Mission #3 The Empire (State) Strikes Back.

RV-103 is finally restocked and ready for Mission #3  We will be returning to the Empire State of NY for research, recreation, and to await the crew’s birth of their first grandchild. Gypsy has been hard at work provisioning RV-103 with all the needed supplies while I [Read More]

Latest Topics

Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

What can I say, but that it is an end to a major chapter in our lives.  Today I turned over the keys to our great and [Read More]

CollisionTEC: A Review

CollisionTEC: A Review

Towards the end of Mission #2, RV-103 had a mishap with a pole, as detailed here.  Last month, I finally got an [Read More]

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

“Word has leaked out that in its new budget, the Obama administration intends to terminate NASA’s planetary [Read More]

Mismatched Models

Mismatched Models

Most advocates of Human Space Flight programs always model HSF with the airplane model.  Government subsidized at [Read More]

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

First of all my apologies.  I had to take care of some duties at home that prevented me from posting the newest [Read More]