Journey DL, Old Diary

Ahh, the Sweet Sound of Tires on Pavement


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First I thought I’d share the image my daughter sent me.   She does know how much I love Bullies, and who wouldn’t love such a lovely English Bulldog face?

And to that sweet dear and her hubby — I say, a happy anniversary to you both.  22 yrs of marriage!  You guys are terrific — you’re 22 years behind us. 🙂  Keep up the good work!

The weather’s been nice so Journey got some exercise today.  We didn’t go quite as far as we usually do on a winter’s day exercise.  No particular reason for the shorter trip other than simply our state of mind, but it was a great day for a drive.

It’s a lovely sound, it is.  That Hmmmmmmmmm…. of tires on the pavement.  Between all the roadtrips I’ve taken in cars and the few years when I drove semi there is something magical about that serenade to my ears.  Almost as soothing as the sound of my wife purring away in her sleep next to me.  Almost romantic in a male sort of way.

But, alas, road destruction season has started here. So the Hmmmmmmm….. of tires on pavement was more like mmmmmm, thump, mmmmmm, thump,mmmmmm, thump,mmmmmm, thump,….. as we rolled over asphalt patches on the shoulder of the road.   Our route South to the state line on I-94 had mild construction delays. But by the time we fueled up, turned around and made our way back there was a 4 mile backup Southbound.  Looks like a good route NOT to take this summer.  Or at least not during the middle of the day.  And in Journey we’re more likely to be heading towards Chicago early or late.

It’s funny, but at the moment diesel fuel was cheaper in IL than in WI.  That rarely happens and seeing as we were going for a drive anyway — we fueled up in Wadsworth IL.  I’m still learning how our fuel gauge reads.  We haven’t put that many tankfuls of fuel into her and today we were just a bit off the 1/2 tank mark and put in 53.5 gallons — into a 90 gallon tank.  So, I guess the gauge favors the top half of the tank just a bit.  I’m sure this summer we’ll get chances to detect better where the 1/4 tank mark is.  We’ve been getting about 8 mpg on Journey  if we don’t factor in the generator hours. If I compensate for generator hours run the number goes a little higher — closer to 9 mpg.  But we haven’t done all that much driving yet.

TV Modifications

Once we returned to Cudahy we brought  Journey over to the house so we could plug her in and charge up the batteries.  While we had her here, and with a nice warm day (46º today) I had time to work on the final bits of the TV modifications.  The remaining wires were connected, I hooked up the antenna, scanned for channels and voila — everything worked as it should and it’s wonderful.  With the digital-analog converter we could only watch one station at a time on either or both tv’s.  Now we can tune the two TV’s independently.  We can also change the bedroom channels without getting out of bed and walking into the lounge with a remote in hand.  The respective TV’s each respond to the TV remote rather than the converter box.  Success! Great picture.  Nice sound.  Easy operation.  Michael did us proud with the new mounts and the TV’s are just what we wanted — big enough for each location without being too large.

Winegard Signal Strength Amplifier

I tore out the old antenna signal amplifier and started to replace it with a newer Winegard Signal Strength Meter & Signal Amplifier.  I’ve had this $70.00 component in my desk drawer through the winter but I’m glad to get it working.  Slight snags kept me from button the installation up this evening though.

The new component needs a larger hole in the RV mounting plate that covers up the wires for the entertainment system.  That plate is 1/16″ steel and the hole needed to be 1/2″ wider and 1 3/4″ long — and guess what.  Peter-with-no-tools hadn’t the foggiest idea how to get that opening made larger.  Quick conversation with my son-in-law Michael and had a great idea:  call Kent the Blacksmith.  Yes, I said BLACKSMITH!  Milwaukee Blacksmith.

milwaukee blacksmith

I’ve known Kent a few years now.  I shot his wife Shannon when I was still working.  He’s a hard worker and quite the craftsman in a nearly disappearing field.  Quite the guy.

Michael thought Kent could cut the hole I needed with his plasma torch.  I had not idea the best way to do it, but Kent took care of my in two shakes of a lamb’s tail and I was out of there.  A few passes with file and emery cloth, two holes drilled and the modified mounting plate is just about ready to go back in tomorrow.

English: A Jo-Ann Store in Henderson.

A Jo-Ann Store (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As long as I had that panel out, and it’s been taken in and out a few times over the years, I decided to replace the naugahyde material covering the plate.  The fit is tight and every time that plate comes out it picks up some nicks and color transfer from the metal shelving and wooden cabinetry.  So, stop off at Home Depot for some different mounting screws, and some spray adhesive.  Stop at Jo-Ann fabrics for some fabric — I found almost the same pale   champagne shade.  And back home.  In the morning I’ll glue the fabric to the plate, remount the amplifier to the plate and insert the completed assembly into Journey.

English: Logo for The Home Depot. Category:Bra...

Logo for The Home Depot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow I’ll replug the charger and continue on my pre-departure maintenance checklist.  I also want to investigate the underside of the sofa and see whether it might be possible to remove just the upper cushions for reupholstering without removing the entire base.  If that were possible I would really prefer to continue using the existing sofa, and just get it recovered with a more bare-leg friendly fabric.  I’ll see how lucky I might be.

The shelves Michael made for us are installed — but I need to set the spacing a little more carefully.  I put them in to make sure they fit, but didn’t take the time to adjust all the shelf brackets for the sized items we keep in our pantry.

All in all things are shaping up nicely.  I have one headache I need to sort out — but at the moment I’m not sure exactly what the problem is so explaining it now would be overly complicated.  When I know the exact problem I’ll share the solution and do so in an understandable way (I hope).

That’s it for today.  Have a happy Easter y’all……

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