11/14/2009

Hello all, John here, from Downtown Saint Louis…

Back in Saint Louis has been good so far! We are all settled in and I started working at the park again. It is basically one day a week for our site rent, though it is a long day. Lynn will change the hours to “Winter Hours” soon, so it won’t be too many hours of boredom sitting up from with little to do…
Many of the residents are still here and have welcomed us back. Not a whole lot has changed. I will be working on Thursdays, unless we need to swap things around for other commitments.

As Derek said we had a very smooth trip from Texas, and had no problems en-route. When we arrived back, the battery in the Jeep was dead, from the brake buddy. I sort of figured it was getting week, since it was turning over slower than normal. I put my charger on it for 6 hours, and the charger said it was topped up, however, our charger isn’t the best– Actually it is pretty much junk, but I have been holding out replacing it… I really need to find a good 3 stage charger with a 100 amp boost on it. I haven’t decided on one yet, and Derek says I should just wait and see if someone is kind enough to gift us one for Christmas since we tend to never have Christmas Gift Wishes. The one I think I want is the Vector Smart VEC1093A. I have also would like to someday acquire a high amp hr boost box like the Vector Start-it Elite, but I haven’t done enough research to know what’s best yet.

Anyhow, after my dead battery incident I was watching the Jeep battery pretty close, and it just wasn’t coming back. Yesterday I was going to head to the post office and maybe the library to get a card here, it was dead again… So I charged it back up, and the Jeep started. I left it run for a while before I departed, and made the mistake of shutting it off at the gas station across the street. Of course it was noon time and quite busy. I called Derek to come home for lunch so i could get a jump, but as he was waiting for a spot next to me to open, on the of people parked next to me came out and asked me if I needed a jump… Just as easy. I grabbed a couple gyro’s from their deli, and Derek and I had lunch together… Then I went battery shopping.

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Optima Battery Cutaway

First I stopped at Advance, who I knew would test it, the alternator, and starter with their BEAR Tester for free. Well, turns out my only 3 yr old battery was toasted. Looked like an open cell. When I bought the Jeep I thought it strange it had just one battery, and I found out why… It’s a 1000 CCA Spiral Gell Cell, ie. an Optima Battery, but with a Mopar tag on it. Of course, Advance didn’t have that one in stock, and would take 3 days to get it from Kansas City (Which I think is a lie, because I know in both Bloomington and Columbia, I could have gotten them overnight, but whatever…) After 3 other stores, I found an O’Reily that had one in-stock. They were high, but price matched Advance, but it was still a $170.00 adventure for a damned battery. In any case it’s done. I am a little concerned that it only lasted 3 years, even with the DFW heat. That is one reason I was never a big Optima fan, as while at Advance, every one I sold came back as a defect shortly after, at least it has a Free Replacement Warranty, and you can bet I will be replacing it just before it is up!

Derek also mentioned that I would be taking a job with Donahue again. Yes, after 4 years of doing almost nothing, I now I have 2 jobs! This is a good thing, as I hope it will work into a permanent telecommute type position. Basically, Tom needs someone to take care of his regulatory and compliance paperwork, so it is a bit like an off site Safety Director type roll. I will be headed up to Milwaukee next week Wednesday morning to attend a conference, basically a refresher on safety and compliance, and then spend some time in the office going through what I will be tasked with, and meeting some of his new folks. I am sure there will be some challenges, but it will be good to officially be back in the workforce. I don’t expect it to be much over part-time hours, and I will be able to work when I want, so it should be a great compromise. Here’s a nice wintery pic of Downtown…

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Downtown Milwaukee

Today, Derek and I wanted to visit an old greasy spoon we used to like for breakfast, so we went over to Billie’s on South Broadway. Food was good. Then we hit the Soulard Farmers Market. we found some homemade fresh pasta, and some really nice looking sea scallops there. Also grabbed a huge peacock feather for Prince. He loves it…

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Pirate Radio Movie poster-- Guess they missed the release date a little....

After we returned we looked up the time for “Pirate Radio”. We saw it at the Chase Plaza, and it was as good, if not a bit better than I expected. I wouldn’t call it Epic, but certainly worth seeing, especially if your into Music, Freedom of Expression, or Radio… Of course, I was hoping for more technical stuff, but I do realize that about about .0009% of the population are all that actually care about that sort of stuff…

We’re working out plans for our Thanksgiving trips, and hopefully will get to see some of our Saint Louis Friends at Breakfast in the morning at Chris’s, but other than that… I got nothing else…

Have a good evening…

John

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