June 14th, 2014

Rolling Stone

Rolling More Smoothly

As Lisa's advice, I put the Rolling Stone into the shop two weeks ago for an enhancement: a steering stabilizer. It took the entire two weeks, mostly waiting for the part to arrive (it only took two hours to install once the part showed up on Thursday). We went into Reno yesterday afternoon to collect it, stopped for lunch at the Atlantis, collected the backpack I'd ordered some time ago from Twin City Surplus (not everything they sell is military surplus), and set off for home. (I had a Day Jobbe conference call scheduled for 5 PM, so we couldn't get the rest of our "weekend" shopping done.) I noticed an immediate improvement. Previously, the RV felt like it was dancing all over the road at any speed above 55 MPH. Now, it handles more like the Astro, and that's a good thing.

Lisa got a chance to drive it for the first time since we initially bought it when we took it to dump the waste tank yesterday evening, and agrees that it's a big improvement. Of course, she had the misfortune to drive it with bad tires and worse camber in the front end, so the difference between that and what we have now is substantial.

Open (Fire) House

The North Lyon Fire Protection District, which includes the Fernley Fire Department, held an open house on Friday evening. Lisa (carrying travelswithkuma as usual) and I walked over to have a look.

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Lisa and I spoke with the Chief, who remembers us (we're one of the few people who ever come to their meetings who isn't part of the department), and I'll be sending him pictures of how the local grocery store illegally barricades one of their doors during the late evening hours. It appears that there will be a proposal before the voters to increase the fire department property tax assessment by around $10/year for a typical home in this area, and I for one will be voting for it.

Rack 'Em Up (and Up and Up)

Yesterday evening after returning from the Open House at the Fire Department, we went to Lowe's to see about getting the additional crossbeams for the shelving for the garage. We saw that they had received two more bundles of eight beams each, and while they can be sold individually, Lisa said that she could use sixteen beams. We sought out the manager and explained that we'd bought ten of them earlier in the week because that's all they had, and he agreed that it would be no problem for us to "return" the ten we'd previously bought (without having to actually physically haul them back to the store), then buy 26 of them, sixteen of which we'd collect tonight in addition to those we already have. That let us get the 20% contractor discount, and my 5% Lowe's Card discount still applies, so we ended up saving more than $90 on the heavy-duty (each shelf is rated to hold about 900 kg) shelving beams.

One problem, however: one of the 8-packs was trapped on the top overstock shelf in the store, buried under a bunch of other rack material. While I dealt with the Head Cashier to "return" the ten original beams and pay for the entire lot, the manager had one of the other staff bring a portable lift over to the shelving area.

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We got the rack material home and unloaded with minimal issues. With the small racks and a pallet of boxes moved to the locker, Lisa has almost managed to clear enough space to be able to put the Small Orange Pickup back in the garage. I helped her move one of the pallets on which we'd been temporarily storing boxes out of the garage and onto the pile of pallets outside. We shuffled vehicles so that we could move the Rolling Stone back to its space within range of ground-side power; the RV shop had accidentally left some of the interior lights on while they did a separate repair to the refrigerator in addition to installing the steering stabilizer, and we want to make certain the batteries are fully charged before I head off to the Bay Area for a two-week stint tomorrow.

That was a very productive Friday the 13th for us.