Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beauty and the Beast

I woke up alive.

In spite of it all. Fever, pain, a grumpy RV beast... yet a beautiful day poked me in the face and reminded me... you are ALIVE!

Like my dog wants to mark his presence on planet earth by tinkling on special spots, I want to mark my glorious triumph of awakening to another day in paradise with a special beatific reminder that life is good.

We set out on foot and paw with poop baggy and camera.

Sometimes nature, a rare steady hand and the erratic camera all conspire together to produce something magnificent that I can treasure and share.

Another day...

I will tell you about the RV breaking down this past week (again) in hot humid heat (still no air conditioning) at the gas station blocking their pumps. I sure was popular in a strange sort of way. I think they thought after spending $74.99 on gas, I was just going to camp awhile.

Oh shoot, I will just spill the beans now... not leave you with a cliff hanger afterall. Here's the rest of the story in more or less short order form.

Eventually I was towed out of there, then overnighted in an industrial area by a very busy highway, prominently parked in front of a repair facility that had promised to "deal with me" in the morning.

A quick repair turned into a mystery with  the morning and afternoon mechanics, the manager, interested parties, bored bystanders, a few tow truck drivers, scratching their heads and tearing the engine apart trying to figure out why the RV refused to start in spite of the new starter they sold me.

It was like a game as each new mechanic showed up to tackle this mystery.

I kept reminding them I had driven 160 miles down horrible roads that were bumpier than an old washboard so perhaps something had jiggled, wiggled and giggled its way loose. I also entertained them with some of the maintenance and repairs. Batteries new last year, both starter and house battery. Engine wouldn't start on either one. New serpentine belt rerouted to avoid the broken AC compressor (soon to be repaired also) was only a few weeks old. Alternator was putting out power just fine according to my dials. Since this wasn't an RV place, I explained about the trickle charger I installed and what it was doing as well as the inverter/converter that charges the batteries when I am parked and plugged in or running the generator.

If anything, they seemed impressed I knew a tiny bit about how this monster works.

Or doesn't work.

About the time I was ready to pass right out from the heat... again... they discovered I didn't need a new starter, I needed a new heavy duty grounding wire. The old one was corroded. They had been systematically checking all the wires snaking around the engine when the new starter refused to crank. With a new ground wire, the engine roared to life.

Big sighs of relief, hand clapping, cheering and slaps on the back. The beast was revived and ALIVE.

I kept the new starter (already installed) and tossed the old one (which presumably still works) in the toy box in back of the rig. It sure is ugly looking rather ancient and well worn like maybe it does deserve to be retired. They sort of offered to un-install the new starter (at no charge for installing or uninstalling) but when I decided to just keep it (for good luck!) they decided to only charge me for that and not the hours and hours they spent solving the mystery.

Sometimes you just meet downright decent folks. Phew!

Below is my old starter, might be the original 1993 version what with all that rust and chunks of metal missing.

Beauty and the beast.

Life is goof.



  1. I think your choice to keep the new one installed was and very good choice indeed. Good Luck

  2. What a wonderful experience for you and for your mechanics! Interesting it was just the grounding wire. May their kindness to you be rewarded. I always appreciate a good ending.

    Your photo is lovely.


Life is goof!