YOU HAVEN’T MISSED ANYTHING…I’VE BEEN PREOCCUPIED WITH OTHER STUFF
Took a road trip from central Florida last October for final observations on my wrist alterations.
First, as readers of this blog might remember, I had a wrist-replacement procedure at NE Baptist Hospital in Boston. Unfortunately it didn’t work out very well, and several months later I had to have all that hardware removed and a temporary fix put in place. Then I returned after the second surgery healed for the final, and originally unwanted, solution…I had my hand/wrist/arm locus permanently fused. The Carpal bones were joined and two Stanley Pins were inserted at my knuckle area, and extended through the Ulna to about mid-arm. I cannot bend my wrist to wave ‘goodbye’ anymore, so don’t leave. But I can still rotate my wrist to open new doors!
All this has affected the gestures I’ve used in executing my paintings; my right hand has been dominant, but I am adapting. Most of my work has been on more detailed scenics; landscapes and seascapes from my travels in the various RVs in decades past.
I have now sold my Class C Dodge motorhome, and shifted to a smaller shuttle-bus vehicle. The plan is to utilize this vehicle in moving to show locations, and to do more in-studio painting. I can take advantage of a more permanent set-up of easels and an array of works-in-progress….I like to work on many things at the same time. RV living with a rear studio set-up has always had a drawback (pun intended) ; working ‘on the road’ was the main reason I’ve worked in acrylics on hardboard. Space and drying time have been paramount.
Although I still employ that media and base for my paintings, I can go to larger pieces and broader brushwork as a way of living with the new physical restrictions.
The twin sonic booms woke me just before 6 AM today. I quickly turned on the local news to catch the last landing of a space shuttle….the Atlantis slid down through clear skies for a perfect touch-down in the lightening of dawn. I’d observed the lift-off from the distance in Orlando, but I was relegated to watching the tube for the final curtain.
I first visited Cape Canaveral in 1976. That was in the Saturn 5 era, and the plans for the first shuttle were proudly displayed in the visitors center. I have witnessed several lift-offs in the ensuing years. The most dramatic were always the evening and early morning flights. Probably because of the high contrast of all that energy expended against the dark of night, and the easily seen diminishing tracks into space. What a glorious sight. One could not feel anything but overwhelming pride in the accomplishment of our country’s space program and the countless heroes who made it all happen.
What the future holds is at best uncertain. It seems to really come down to money. If we lose our technological edge to other nations, and give up the lead in space exploration, I cannot help but believe it will be a chastened USA. We will not take second place easily. Hopefully, the private sector will continue to make gains in their efforts to perform in a commercial way, what our nation no longer is willing to pay for. But to “boldly go” for profit loses a lot of the meaning for me.
I have been an active RV enthusiast since 1960. My first trip across 5 Provinces of Canada, in a ’55 Chevy, my wife and I sleeping “into” the trunk from the back seat, was my first RV trip. It led to many drawings for vehicles converted to RV use. Ultimately, it led to nearly 37 years of full-time RV living (including the present day).
There were not many Walmarts, then. No Walmart Supercenters. But there was Sam Walton, and as his empire took shape, he espoused that he would never disallow an RVer an overnight parking space. It was good business, if nothing else. RVers are very loyal customers, and reward the stores , buying most of their traveling needs, and making fuel purchases at their gas stations.
I began reading Trailer Life and Motorhome life in the early 70’s. My champion was the owner and publisher Art Rouse. He took a courageous stand that probably cost him his position,ultimately. He insisted that the Trailer Life Campground Directory indicate the locations of federal, state, city and other local camping sites that were NOT associated with private campgrounds and associations. The opposition was angry and spiteful. Many advertisers pulled their listings and display ads. They wanted all the business, not just most of it. That controversy nearly broke the publishing house, and after Art took on an Emeritus position, the new folks in charge (sons!) kow-towed to the CG interests.
Well, fast-forward to the turn of the century, and to 2011. The inheritors of Sam Walton’s realm have evidently decreed that Sam’s promise to RVers no longer matters. ” Those in RV’s must find camping facilities for their rigs for the overnight stay!” seems to be their new mantra.
Campground groups have descended on cities and towns decrying the old Walmart practice as “bad for their business” , and fomented the passing of ordinances and restrictions preventing what is called “OVERNIGHT CAMPING”.
Let’s be clear…most of these are UNCONSTITUTIONAL measures, and are based on supposed state statutes which really do not apply to the situation. But the CG groups have cowed the authorities into actions that boost their bottom line.
Let’s be clear on another point. People living in their RVs are not CAMPING! The RVs have all the amenities of the houses in which most Americans live. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be…Many RVs are much more luxurious! They are self-contained and sanitary vessels, and pose no threat real or imagined. When I first motored south from New England to Florida in the mid-70s, one could check-in with the manager at any supermarket, from Albertson’s to Publix et al, and permission to spend the night in the parking lot was almost always extended. We bought the evening groceries there, and what ever supplies we needed for the next day’s trip. Has this concept completely escaped the consideration of today’s super chains? Or KMart and local markets with big parking lots that stand empty at night?
I know that personally, I reward the merchants who welcome me. I avoid being where I am not welcome. That makes perfect sense, and is self-defensive with all the new NO RVS signs popping up all over. Florida has finally had the full effect upon me. This is the last year I will visit Orlando, in particular. It has become anti-RV, almost entirely. This resort area wants and needs business. But it does not welcome RVs any longer. There were two HUGE campgrounds in Orlando back in years a bit. They’re gone. The KOA land is still for sale. The other is now developed into commercial businesses along Interstate 4. If you WANTED to find a local campground in Orlando, you would have a difficult time. I know of a few not too far away, but all of them could never contain the RVers traveling from all over North America to this area! You can insert the LAS VEGAS area into this context. Once welcoming…now disdaining the business generated by those visiting in their own rigs.
Sam, you had the business sense, and the horse-sense to embrace the budding RV phenomenon. If only your family and assigns had the same foresight!
Reading the post “Repairs 101 Sect. 1 “, who would ever have guessed that my stalling problems were actually caused by a fuel filter that was supposed to be the proper replacement part ?
Somewhere along in the history of this vehicle, something was changed. Probably the type and design of the original carburetor, because the tube sticking out from the photo is a return-to-the-gas tank connection. I had it routed to the steel return line attached to the chassis, and it was just as I remembered it had been on my earlier Dodge Ram van. The carburetor on my RV is not one that has a return feature.
Problem solved! I realized that the engine was calling for way more fuel than was entering the carburetor, since a good volume of gas was going BACKWARDS to the gas tank – in situations such as climbing hills; accelerating to join merging traffic; passing vehicles to quickly get back in line and climbing slow but sustained rises (like the Continental Divide!).
The minute I blocked this return line, and provided the engine with all the petrol it needed to function the way it wanted, my difficulties vanished. I’ve never been bothered since.
You get “T” for trying.
I have been utilizing a Kyocera photovoltaic panel, with a Blue Sky (solar boost) regulator, and golf cart batteries wired in series. It has supplied all my needs, except for the heavy loads that I use most days. The coffee maker, the microwave oven and the toaster oven get a workout that is too much for my set-up. That is when I start the Honda 2000E generator. It is small and QUIET, and has an economy fuel setting for when it is not running heavy loads.
I have a 1400 watt inverter, which is fine for supplying power for the television, tools and other low-draw use. I don’t want to add more batteries and a larger inverter. I try to be frugal with the lights, water pump and other 12v DC equipment. My refrigerator is on propane, as a rule. If I am low on gas, or in the process of changing bottles, I can run the fridge through the inverter….for a short time.
The one change I have been working on this week, is to get more charging from my solar panel. I have only one, presently. It is 2 feet by 5 feet. I have made provisions for its twin on the other side of the roof, and I could add a small third panel as well. To get more out of what I have requires TILTING TOWARD THE SUN! I have now hinged the outer legs, and rigged a raising lever through to my kitchen, so that the panel can be moved to any angle up to 60 degrees, or so.
Ideally, I would have the panel on a rotating base, but the return, vis a vis the difficulty of building and securing that application, are not worth the trouble.
So now, when I park, I need to take into account that the panel is no longer flat on the roof when parked in the daylight. I will choose the optimum sun exposure direction, and raise the panel to get the best rays. My batteries will be so happy!