September 20th, 2015

SMOF License

Alternator Aftermath

As I pulled into the hotel parking lot last night, a passerby alerted me that my left front headlight is out. I normally carry a spare, but when we last trimmed down the amount of stuff I carry in the back of the minivan, the box with the spare seems to have made its departure. I'm betting that I can get home by dusk tonight, or at least close, and we can deal with the headlight tomorrow.

I did waste sunlight this morning, however, sleeping in a couple of hours because I was completely worn out from yesterday's Alternator Antics. As I feared, I feel like a limp dishrag. Both arms are like overcooked spaghetti. And speaking of cooking, a full day in the late-summer sunshine wasn't that great, either.

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After I get some coffee, I'm getting back on the road, going to Sacramento to visit my sister briefly, then making for home.
SMOF License

Old and New Alternators

I noticed when I got home this evening that I included the caption for a photo that I forgot to include in the story of the Burning Alternator. I've put it into the original story, but here it is by itself.

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Everything seemed to work okay on the trip home, and the charge meter was showing more current than it had been for quite a while. I'm grateful that if this had to fail on the road, it happened where it did and not in the middle of southwestern Oregon on the trip to Worldcon, for example.

Getting home tonight was challenging. There was a bad accident on I-80 between Reno and Fernley, closing the 29-mile direct route between the cities.. Signs warned of the road closure at Truckee. I stopped and checked Nevada DOT's road conditions. It turns out that my first alternative route (NV-445/Pyramid Ln through Spanish Springs, then back south on NV-446 to Wadsworth; 63 miles) was also blocked, so I had to go the even longer way (80 mi) around down I-580 (US-395) to Carson City (hampered by weekend road construction), then east on US-50, then north on US-50A/95A. But I made it.

While we still had some daylight, Lisa and I ran over to O'Reilly and bought a new headlight (and an air filter, which we'll change out when we next take the doghouse cover off to work on the oil filler neck), after which we popped in to Scolari's for groceries. We got home and as twilight was fading, I held screws while Lisa installed the replacement headlight. As I thought, two people could do the job much faster than one, even if one of them (me) just holds tools and parts. Lisa says I make a decent mechanical scrub nurse.