Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Rambling Muse about Tires, Metal, Friends, The Doctor and a sore ass!

It has been a busy week or so since my last post...not many pictures, not many adventurous endeavors, but important just the same.

Just some rambling thoughts and revelations!


One of the nice things about being in Kalispell, Montana is the friends and people here. Several months ago - Dustin Martell (Tire Expert Extraordinaire and Race Car Driver) walked over where my truck was parked and calmly stated, I guess we need to be on the look-out for some tires for your truck. Now I am not one to take tires lightly, with the amount of driving I do - Tires are important! So I questioned, you think I am almost due? Being the Les Schwab expert, Dustin reached in his pocket and extracted a tread gauge....not something most of us walk around with...he dutifully checked each tire and proudly exclaimed that I was down to about 1/3 of my tires left!

Me, being budget minded knew that 18 inch truck tires, Michelin 10 ply tires would NOT be something that I relished having to buy.....a couple days ago - Dustin proudly exclaimed - guess what I took in trade today? Somebody wanted new custom wheels and tires for their 2015 truck...and the truck had 18" Michelin 10 ply tires, just like the ones on your truck, my exact size. They will fit your truck perfectly he said! The next day he proudly exclaimed that he had managed to sell the rims that were traded in for just about the trade in he figured he could get me the tires pretty reasonable...

Friday they were installed on my truck - for a VERY REASONABLE PRICE! The tires list for about $245.00 each and I paid just about the price for two and got 4!! So before my fall departure to parts South I have a new pair of shoes for the truck....big nice damn near new Truck Tires!


Fixing my propane heater in the RV has been a long time goal - it has not worked properly since I got the trailer in 2011. I have been using an electric oil filled radiator heater, fine when I have electric, but a little chilly when I am not plugged in someplace....

Although I can be somewhat handy and enjoy making repairs, sometimes my skills encounter problems and it is nice when a friend who has much more mechanical ability is there to bail me out. Keep in mind the heater had been resting peacefully for the past 20 or so years, until I so rudely awakened it and it was not happy!

As I started to remove the heater I quickly realized that the exhaust pipe and airbox had become frozen in place due to some errant remove the heater I had to get somewhat aggressive and I managed to basically destroy the exterior exhaust fitting and pretty much mangled up the airbox as well.

My good friend Jim Flinchbaugh put the heater on the bench and proudly proclaimed that the reason it was not working properly was due to a fan motor with bad bearings, when running it screamed like a hungry two year old! He removed the motor and I went online to search for a replacement...isn't Amazon wonderful? Motor was ordered but the exterior exhaust fitting was no where to be found, it seems they no longer made that part! SHIT! of course Flinchbaugh said bring me the destroyed I went searching in the high weeds where I had pitched it in a hour in his able hands and it was damn near as good as new, actually even better as he added a bug screen to keep any wandering propane induced wasps from making a nest in my heater...know that wasps are attracted to propane (a little known RV Fact!)

Sometimes it is the little things that add comfort to your life...last night while sleeping I awoke to hear the thermostat kick on the heater, it is such a comfort to know that without any further effort on my part - the heater would kick on and keep me from freezing to death...AHH the modern conveniences of our life and quickly realizing the warmth and security such a little thing adds to your life!

So Friday new tires and Saturday was spent installing my repaired heater....

Here is where it goes....

In the able hands of Flinchbaugh...

The re-manufactured Exhaust Fitting!

Fully installed and operational!

The Doctor!

I went to the Doctor on the 27th of August and my blood pressure was very high (My previous medicine had been making me sick so I stopped taking it)...well I got my ass chewed for that little decision...the doctor prescribed new medicine and informed me that I would be punished by having to come back weekly and have my blood pressure checked, which I have done and I am taking my new meds which seem to NOT make me sick....they also gave me an EKG and listened to all the appropriate places. This Tuesday I have to return for a Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) and hopefully that will not show any issues....we shall see!

Upon leaving the other day - I decided to take a picture in the flower beds in front of the office! ( I got my ass chewed again by the landscaper for walking in the flower bed! ) It was a "framing" issue - not easily understood by a landscaper!

So, I plod along, thankful for my friends and the comfort of a thermostat, I'll sleep better knowing there is warmth right around the corner...

I am also Thankful for the firefighters throughout the mountain West who have been putting their lives on the line for our comfort and safety...I am also Thankful for the rain we have had these past few days.

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

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