The Adventures of Me & My Shadow # 92 in MD ,VA,NC,SC,GA & FL 11/20/2003

2342 miles this trip. Odometer now 44,115. Miles this year 10,753.

From FL, Hi Everyone!

Most people live and learn, some people just live, and some people don’t even live. I have enjoyed 78 years of life and learned a great many things. Now my memory is getting so bad that I have to keep re-learning a lot of things for the second and third time. I hope to live another five to ten years and it looks like it will be a constant learning adventure. There are some things I can never forget, like the first day in the first grade of school. I remember my mother telling me; "Now Dallas, you be a nice boy and do what is right". Being a nice boy was easy but I had a problem doing what was right. I discovered that right and wrong is not like white and black, it is a gray area. What is right today may be wrong tomorrow, what is right for me may be wrong you.

My mothers words were good advice and I always did what I thought was right, with hind sight I saw I had done many things wrong. I remember one time when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I believe it was at some kind of celebration. There was a big crowd and a girl about my age came up to me and said something. I looked at her but did not understand what she said. She had a hair lip (today it is called a cleft lip), and doctors can restore much of the beauty and improve the voice. She was not very pretty and did not speak very well. I remember tuning and walking away. I soon thought, that was not the right thing to do, she wanted and needed a friend and I had failed her. I decided to try to find her and right a wrong. I never saw her again and to this day it still haunts me.

I have always learned from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. When I look at the world situation today I would say that President Bush has not leaned from his mistakes and he has made a lot of them. The problem in Iracke is a problem for the United Nations, not the USA and in my mind the problem will never be solved. Just like the problem with the Jews and the Palistinians, It has been going on since time began and it will continue to the end of time, it is just a fact of life. Bush sees the oil fields in Iracke and he wants the oil. He is pouring money down a rat hole like there will be no tomorrow and our troops continue to be killed every day. I say, bring the troops home and put them on the borders to prevent people from countries that support terrorists from entering the USA and stop the flow of money to those who keeps killing Americans and will continue to do so till the end of time.

I had an interesting adventure on the way south before I got to Sarasota, FL that could have been a disaster. The people who replaced the refrigeration unit on my refrigerator in CA about a year ago did not properly tighten a fitting on the gas shutoff valve. Something ignited the gas leak, there was a small fire that burned the insulation off some wires and over heated and shorted out the coil on the solenoid shut off valve. The valve closed preventing a disaster.

I checked into a campground and repaired the wiring, a fuse was blown and another one blew when I connected the leads to the gas shutoff valve. It ran OK on AC power so on Saturday I went to a nearby RV Storage and repair shop to get a new coil for the shutoff valve. I should have gone someplace else, I got ripped off. I went in and asked for a shutoff valve coil. It was apparent that he was not going to sell me any parts. His technician that works on refrigerators would be in on Monday to fix it. I should have gone someplace else. The technician showed up on Monday and I see he had a pony tail hair do (this is not a good sign). I have some tools in the refrigeration compartment, He lectured me for having tools in it, he said there should be nothing in it, and it would block the air flow to have those tools in there. After he got done with his lecture, I asked him if what he said was true, if he could explain to me why the refrigerator had worked so efficiently for 10 years and about 200,000 miles with the tools in there. I told him, "all I need is a new coil on the valve". He informed me that he would check out the refrigerator. After checking it out and finding nothing wrong but the coil he informed me that they did not have a new coil but they had a used valve with a good coil on it that he would install and charge me half price because it was used. The refrigerator now works and I learned from another mistake, I should have gone someplace else! The labor was about a dollar a minuet and the price for the used valve would be higher than a new valve, and all I needed was the coil.

Maybe I should have fixed it like I fixed a solenoid on the engine starter on a PBY flying boat when I was a teenager in WW2. It was a centrifugal starter, it had a flywheel that was energized with an electric motor or a hand crank and when the flywheel was turning at a very high rate of speed it was connected to the aircraft engine to crank it. The problem was, both the solenoids used to spin the flywheel and to engage it to the engine were supposed to be energized for only a short time or they would over heat and short it out. With a hard starting engine the crew would hold the switch on too long. We ran out of the supply of solenoids so I decided to see if I could take one apart, fix it and put it back together again. I found a spool of wire that looked like the wire in the solenoid coil and I was able rewind the coil by hand and it worked. To crank the engine by hand a crew member would have to lean out over the water, insert the crank (about 3 foot long) down through a hole in the cowling to the starter. Crank like hell to get the flywheel up to speed then pull the crank out and get away from the engine before the engine was started or he could be blown off the wing. My rebuilt coils were in great demand, no one else would do it.

After about a month the solenoid coils were in stock again. The fighter planes at that time had shotgun starters on them. A crewmember would insert a shell that looked like an over sized shotgun shell into the breach of the starter through a door in the lower engine cowling. The pilot would fire the shell to spin the engine.

I signed up for the month of Nov. when I checked into this Sun & Fun RV Park near Sarasota, FL. The price was a little high and I was told it would be $3 per night higher next month. It’s the fun facilities here (and greed) that justifies the high price. I’m not here to have fun, I just need a place to park and work on my genealogy reports. I have to edit the reports to get rid of the white space, the unnecessary words and duplication so the report will fit in a three ring binder. I was planning to go to Key West for the winter and work on getting my genealogy information printed out and sent to the younger generation . All my work on it would be in vain if I cash in my chips before getting it out to the ones I’m doing it for. I was told that in the month of February I could expect to pay $1,500 to park a RV in Key West. I’m sure I can beat that price at the Navy RV Park there. I’ll move to a military RV Park around here next month and wait for the oranges to get ripe and head for Key West after the GMCeast Club rally in Fort Myers in January. A part of the fun facilities here is a Fitness Room with all kinds of exercise devices. I can’t believe all the people who will drive a gulf cart to the Fitness Room to get on a tread mill and walk for several minutes going nowhere, talk about dumb animals?

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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