BZZZZZT!

Short Circuit AftermathThe Better Half had a little mishap yesterday when she went to the electrical outlet in the hallway to plug in her camera battery recharging unit. Upon her attempt to plug the little unit in, she was greeted by a shower of sparks, a whiff of ozone and a tripped circuit breaker. I was in the courtyard when I heard her yell for me. I came running to see what happened.

(Clickable) image: Outlet under repair. Note the black mark inside box.

Not knowing what the problem was, I went to the circuit breaker box and attempted to reset the tripped breaker with no load on the outlet. No dice, it wouldn’t reset.

The only recourse was to open the outlet in question with the breaker still off. Once open, I immediately saw the problem - the bare earth ground wire had been looped around the outlet such that it was in close proximity to the screws on the hot side. The wire had actually fused to one of the hot screws and burned it in half, apparently when TBH jostled the outlet plugging her charger in resulting in a dead short hot to ground.

I cut the ground wire away from the hot terminal and prepared the end to be reconnected to the ground terminal away from the hot side. After reassembly, the circuit breaker set correctly and the outlet (and the rest of the several shared outlets) functioned correctly once again.

TBH and I recall having interfaced with the electrical guy that worked on the house as it was being built. We both thought he was a flake at the time. It makes us wonder how many other little time bombs might be lurking in the other wiring around the house.

What’s for Lunch?

Meatball Sandwich

When you’re retired and budget your time to try and enjoy life, sometimes working in the kitchen can be a chore to The Better Half. Now, don’t get me wrong; she enjoys preparing meals, particularly during the weekends when we have a main afternoon dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. On the weekdays, however, a quick salad or sandwich, or some weekend leftovers fill the eating requirement.

Today she prepared Meatball Sandwiches. Since Thursday is our regular grocery shopping day, she put a couple of hoagie sandwich rolls in the cart while we were shopping. When at home later, she broke out some previously frozen meatballs that were extras made at the same time for a weekend dish featuring meatballs and pasta (or something). Add a little cheese, some homemade (also previously leftover) marinara sauce and - voilá - meatball sandwiches! These were tasty. Clickable image.

Asymptotically Approaching the Limit

Parkinson’s Law is an old adage which says something about consuming all the time available to complete a job. Well, a corollary likely applies to consumption of all the space (area) available for RV storage, particularly in our case.

Entering the RV Drive Clearing the Patio

(Clickable) Images above - Entering the RV Drive and Clearing the Patio

Originally, when building the house, we had our contractor construct an area behind the house to park a 24 foot travel trailer with access from the road just west of the house. Eventually, we had the area paved and a wall constructed to define the “RV Drive.” Soon after the wall and concrete were complete, we upgraded to a 32 foot Class A motorhome which fit - more or less - comfortably in the RV Drive space.

Parked - View 1 Parked - View 2

(Clickable) images of Palazzo parked, jacks down, all three slides and the awning out

Now, we have upgraded to a Class A diesel pusher which is just about the shortest in the diesel category at 35 feet nine inches. We have three slide outs and an 18 foot awning, all of which can be deployed in the space available behind the garage. But just barely.

Bedroom Slide and Patio Clearance Departure from the Concrete

(Clickable) images - bedroom slide proximity to patio and Palazzo departing

The forward starboard slide (dining room) is no problem but the aft bedroom slide must be past the patio in order to deploy. The Better Half guides me as I position the RV in this regard.

The port side slide clears the wall on that side by a foot or so when fully extended if the RV is precisely halfway between the patio and the wall. TBH also calls the position out as I’m entering the spot. We have two-way radios available, but she prefers to give hand signals.

All images courtesy of The Better Half.

Train Mural

Train Mural in Progress

We saw this on FecesBook® a couple of days ago, so The Better Half and I went down to the Library in Civic Center yesterday and she took this (clickable) image of the artist putting on some finishing touches to the mural. There is a lot of enthusiasm for this mural and a clamoring for more to be commissioned.

The subject is the Town’s landmark railroad engine, AT&SF No. 761 crossing the colorful desert. The link takes you to a post we made about a new paint job on the iconic static display on Railroad Street, just a few hundred yards from the mural, last November.

Lately, TBH and I have been getting more active in attending events around town, like the team steer roping and our likelihood of going to more events in the coming weeks. There is a “Cowgirl Up” art exhibit at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in town currently and we’re probably going to see that this next week.

Healthcare Status Update

nullIt has been several months since I posted anything about our health status. We have both had issues, mostly minor. The Better Half is just getting over a two-week bout with common cold and sore throat. She is still a little congested and taking some OTC elixir to help with that. She no longer has the sore throat and headache symptoms that have been with her for the past couple of weeks.

Just before the new year, I underwent a routine colonoscopy where five benign polyps were removed. The proctologist that performed the procedure said everything else looked normal and advised me to schedule another routine colonoscopy within five years.

Later this month, I am scheduled for more bladder resection surgery. The urologist was not completely sure that the last small tumor was completely excised, so we will do the fourth or fifth of this procedure in less than a fortnight.

Lastly, and not least, is the discovery by the family doctor that my kidney numbers were low in a routine blood test. I saw a nephrologist yesterday to confirm this and found out that the numbers are indeed in a bad place and may have been caused by several factors; there are a number of OTC pain relievers that can cause kidney problems and the intravenous contrast dye used when I was having CAT scans in the past is a no-no. We will be taking corrective action on these things to see if the kidney numbers start moving in a good direction. I had a blood test today and will repeat the same test in eight weeks.

For all the maladies we have encountered there are several things that all the doctors recommend; lose weight, drink more water, less beer and get more exercise. Starting today, that will be the drill.

Fixed a Design Flaw in the RV

Thermostats

After returning from our second excursion in the Palazzo RV, we noticed a whining sound coming from the rear of the coach long after it had been shut down. I investigated and discovered that an exhaust fan was running in the compartment where the inverter resides. The inverter produces household AC power while the RV is underway, primarily to power the refrigerator.

I did an on-line search for “inverter fan running” and found a forum where my exact problem had been discussed. Many others had experienced the same thing. One forum commenter posted that there was a thermostat monitoring the air temperature in the inverter compartment and it was activating the fan at too low of a temperature, thus resulting in the continuous whine, even after a considerable cool down period.

Another commenter had solved the problem by replacing the fixed thermostat with an adjustable one. He was able to quickly replace the old thermostat with the new one (slide on tab terminals).

I ordered an adjustable snap disc fan control, S.P.S.T., close on temperature rise adjustable in 10° steps from 90° to 130°. In the (clickable) image above, you can see the new device installed with me holding the original one for comparison.

I set the thermostat to activate at 120° which should be adequate for this purpose. Our next trip takes to warm and cool places and I will be interested to see how the new device performs under varying conditions.

Nostalgic Signage

Nostalgic Signage

The Better Half snapped this (clickable) image on our way back into town yesterday. One of the businesses near the south end of town on US 60 recently changed hands and yesterday we noticed the antique signage now on display on their building.

This coming week, TBH and I are planning to take in the annual Cowgirl Up art exhibit at the museum here in town and we just might mosey on down to this revised business afterwards to have a look around. We’ve lived here for several years and have yet to do the Cowgirl Art, so next week might be the time. Sort of like tourists in our own town.

We shopped in the old business a couple of years ago and TBH says that it looked like the new owners have improved things a bit. Maybe we can get a deal on some nostalgic stuff to add to our desert domicile.

« Previous entries