3/15/2010

Hello All John Here.

I thought today was going to turn out quite mundane, but excitement soon set in with the arrival of the Door Lock mechanism I had ordered about a week ago. Shortly after the UPS guys dropped it off, the WiFi company called, and said they would be out today too. And to think I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to do since I ran out of work for Tom, and nothing had arrived yet.

So first, I started to tear into the door. I decided last week to go ahead and order a new door lock mostly because ours was getting ‘Sloppy” and after seeing another fellow winnie owner literally be locked out because the mechanism failed, and even with a key he still had to dismantle the lock from the inside to open the door, I figured if I could find one reasonably (as in not the $350.00 price Winnie wanted, but less than $100.00) I should change it. Add to that our auto lock solenoid was bad again, so I could kill a couple problems at once. The part arrived, it was what I thought to be correct, so I began to strip down the door. After getting the old one out I saw some key differences. One being the Deadbolt was way shorter on the new one, and the other being the trip mechanism was way different. I determined that there was no way to make the new part work unless I scavenged some parts from the old assembly, which this meant I would have to reuse the catch mechanism, which did not look worn, but I would have rather installed the new one. Either way, I made it work. I also replaced the solenoid for the lock, and by some odd coincidence the one I found on Amazon is the actual OEM one that not even Winnie carried any longer. I had a bit of a laugh out of that since the last two I installed both had to be “Ghetto Engineered” to work, which mostly entailed an elaborate “Zip Tie” holding system. This one fit in the door pocket, and screwed right in place. The best part, I found it on Amazon for $3.00. The last one was over $70.00. After getting everything set right, I decided to burn up some of the packaging material that comes with our Seattle Sutton meals. The aluminum faced bubble wrap is awesome insulation, and I have wanted to insulate the door for some time now since it is one of the coldest spots on the camper. I cut several pieces to size, and glued them in with 3M Super Headliner Glue. We will see if it adds insulating properties, but it certainly did “Deaden” the door noise a lot, so I suspect it will help keep the temp in here too. I am still amazed why Winnie didn’t think they should insulate a huge steel hollow door?

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Door Project

Here is a pic of the new lock installed, but sans insulation. I was going to take a pic post-insulating, but it was threatening rain and I wanted to get the job done (Well, I mostly forgot until I had the door trim back on, and wasn’t going to take it off again).

After I got that all wrapped up I ran to get some spare keys made. I found ‘Butch’s Lock and Key’ on Salisbury, cool old time lock shop, and one of the very few businesses that have survived the “Urban Blight” of that area. Nice people, and he even had my goofy Trimark blanks, which no one else seems to even know who Trimark is unless they are an RV dealer…

In other Motor Home News, I got a call back from Eric, the guy who I called a week ago about recovering the couch. He said he is still trying to find the fabric, and wanted some more information on the couch itself. I think he mostly called to feel me out on pricing. I reminded him it would need to get done quickly as I am not sure how much longer we will be here… He said he would get back to me in a day or so. Even if the cost of recovering comes close to the new “Seat Craft” sofa, I think we would be better off having this one recovered. This sofa is a designer series Flexsteel, which to replace with similar today would be about $2300.00. The “Seat Craft” isn’t near the quality, but in the big picture I just can not justify spending more than $1000.00 on a sofa. We will see how this turns out…

Ok, So back to the WiFi. They have the new equipment installed, but the tech was having some trouble at the end getting the router into “Bridge” mode. He after several attempts through AT&T customer service he was quite irritated, and I think burnt out for the day, so he said he would be back in the morning. They did do a pretty decent job installing and removing the old equipment, and ran new wires, etc. Hopefully this will all work out tomorrow, and the park will again have decent WiFi.

About 3:00 the Mail finally showed up here, and I had some work stuff come. I didn’t start on it yet, so I will have lots to do tomorrow. I don’t know what is up with the mail here lately but after we lost our regular girl, it has been REALLY bad. I am contemplating calling the post master to bitch, the new people are Awful. Delivering mail from people who haven’t been here for months that have forwards on file, and it seems to take at least an extra day to get my stuff from Milwaukee. Must be nice to have a federal job…

No real news on Derek’s employment. He has been putting out resume’s left and right, hopefully we will get a hit soon. Tom called today with an interesting offer, that I am strongly considering. He has been interviewing for a second shift dispatcher, and hasn’t really found the right candidate. With the spring surge coming he wants to get someone in place, but, with so many unknowns he is reluctant to hire anyone. He asked if I wanted to fill that spot temporarily while Derek is looking. The positives of it is that Tom is well aware I have no intentions of remaining in that role permanently, or really even long term temporarily. He needs the help now, which would help us out as a bit of a bridge. It would also aide in building the relationship I have with Jason. Tom is also well aware that if Derek needed to go to Timbucktoo, we would be gone immediately. The negative is that Rent at State Fair Park isn’t exactly cheap (now it’s $800.00/month). I am looking at a couple other places that might pan out, so that might not be as big of a negative as I think, but in any case, it is much more than we are paying for here. It is also second shift, which has it’s good points and bad, but I am normally not a second shift sorta guy… and it involves some weekends, though Tom has always been more than flexible in the past, so I am not overly concerned about that. The biggest negative is running up to Milwaukee away from the park here, as I really don’t want to leave Lynn & George hanging heading into the camping season. I am going to think about it for a day or so and get back to him. We really wanted to hang out for the summer in STL, but that is starting to look more and more less likely.

Anyhow, that is about all I have.

Have a good night.

John

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