Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exhaust brake working again.

Location, Home, CA

I had been having a problem with the exhaust brake on my truck. I quit working while I was driving in to Primm, NV on my desert trip. I did a little troubleshooting while we were in Death Valley but couldn’t find the problem. My only concern driving without it was coming down the “Grapevine” on I-5 on the way home. I did manage to drive it buy dropping out of overdrive and braking a couple of times.

Yesterday I decided to really take a look at the problem. After checking fuses and tracing lines and hoses, neighbor Paul and I found a disconnected wire which senses when the engine has warmed up and opens the exhaust valve. As soon as I connected the wire the vacuum pump ran like it should. A road test followed and the valve worked as it is supposed to. I have no idea why the problem on the road earlier.

Clyda has been wanting me to make some baskets for her so today I gathered what materials I thought I needed and started. I managed to remember most of the techniques to make this particular basket but it took me much longer than it should have. Of course, it has been quite some time since I actually made a basket. I plan to make a few more tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Working with computers.

Location, Home, CA

I accomplished a few things this week like washing the truck, servicing the Honda generators and cleaning the BBQ grates. I also have been working with the Dell laptop which is still running by the way. I seems slow after using the Acer Netbook which of course has a much faster processor.

I have also been helping friends with their computer which has problems connecting to the internet consistently using a cable modem hookup. Yesterday, I and neighbor Paul checked the cable from the modem to the CPU and replaced it but still no connection.

We brought the CPU back to Paul’s house and ran a virus scan overnight using his DSL line for connection to the internet. Norton didn’t find anything but McAfee did find two dll (dynamic link load) files which were part of a back door trap which could allow someone to enter the computer. We removed the files and re-ran the virus scan and now all is good.

Today we took the computer back and hooked it up. Unfortunately, we still had connection problems. We think the cable signal may be weak as they already replaced the modem. It may be a bad input cable, so it is back to the cable company for help.

Today I had 3 computers running while updates were done and virus scans run. I can usually use one of the 3 while the others update.

Tonight I made dinner which was batter fried halibut with oven fries. I had planned to make the fries for a dinner while I was in Death Valley but decided at the last minute that I couldn’t do fries along with the rest of my planned dinner. So, tonight I did them and they were GOOD!!!

Of course, the secret was using a mandolin to cut the potatoes, cooking them in a convection oven, and seasoning them with a salt grinder. Yummy!! The halibut was also good!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Short post.

Location, Home, CA

Where has the time gone? Almost a week since I last posted.

First, a Craig update. He has done remarkably well after his surgery. He is actually doing more than he should but I think he feels so good that is hard not to do something. He has an appointment tomorrow to have it looked at again.

I, on the other hand have been rather lazy. I did get the RV cleaned up and ready to go again whenever that happens to be. Probably in January.

I still need to wash the truck but am waiting for a warmer day. Ha-ha.

I did get up in the attic this morning and removed some insulation from the vent area above the heater. When we had the house tented back in September, the gas company brought this to my attention as no cold air could get through to the furnace. The vent had been blocked for at least 20 years I would guess.

I also worked on my Dell laptop which has been in a state of partial disassembly since August. I completed the disassembly to a point where I couldn’t see anything else to do so reassembled everything and lo and behold, it worked. I am now wondering if a connector was partially unplugged. Anyway, it took several hours for all the updates, scans, etc to bring everything back as it should be. Time will tell if I have permanently fixed it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home from Death Valley

Location, Home, CA

I arrived home on Monday afternoon from Death Valley after spending Sunday night in Baker, CA behind the Mad Greek Restaurant where I spent the first night of my trip in Oct. This made my trip home on Monday 115 miles shorter but still 300 miles for the day.

Our time in Death Valley was very nice with all but two days in the low 90 degrees and short pants and tee shirts were the dress for the day. We did have those two days of wind early on but everyone closed down their RV’s and stayed inside for the most part. I got a lot of reading done.

We did some 4x4 trips, looked for petroglyphs and rock alignments, and participated in the annual Death Valley 49’er activities. I talked with old friends and met a few new friends.

Our favorite lady at the entrance kiosk is retiring after this season and boy will we miss her. She has bailed us out of many problems in the past and we thank her for that.

Craig had shoulder surgery this morning to clean out some scar tissue from his car accident more than two years ago. The surgery took a little over an hour and was exactly what the doctor expected to find. He will have a period of recovery but should be fine when it is all said and done.