Sunday, January 24, 2016

Are rednecks my salvation?

Today the plan was to practice welding thin steel only that's not how the day unfolded. The day itself was fine - bright, cold and dry. Enthusiasm for welding was non-existent although I did trek into the bushes to find some suitable-looking steel. Hunting around the bushes here can be very fruitful when it comes to finding steel, plastic, old-style glass Coke bottles and abandoned household equipment. Thank the Lord for rednecks and their haphazard way of dumping stuff they no longer want.

Having scoured around the bushes, I realised I need to finish the inside - that's blinds and shower curtains. The existing hillbilly cable compartment does work - it just doesn't look pretty. The plumbing works though I do desperately need to put a hook to hang the bucket. That will have to wait until I can figure out a way of doing it well.

Thus, I headed inside and started putting up blinds. Cutting them with the angle-grinder requires a steady hand - which I developed as I cut more blinds. Needless to say, I'd forgotten where I'd put the brackets for one set of roller blinds and had to have a darned good hunt to find them. In the end, they were in a Walmart bag that contained a few bags of jelly-beans (my weakness).

The roller blinds take some getting used to as they very often need manual winding for the last few inches. Having said that, they're easily cleaned, easily removed and I prefer them to curtains for the bus. Curtains would, of course, have been cheaper. They could have been simply sets of bandanas. I'm sure that since the local football teams are the Gamecocks and Clemson that I could have got Clemson or Gamecocks bandanas for next to nothing in the charity stores.

Closed, the blinds do not look bad. These cost $4.95 in Walmart at the mounts were 97c a pair. Not too bad. The blinds in the galley are just privacy blinds - not light blocking. They can be seen through the window tint as lighter areas. I did get a room darkening roller blind but that was $6.95 so I got that purely for the bedroom.

I'm getting some light-pollution problems on my phone camera at the moment. I think it's because I"m including the light source in my photos - the LED hurricane lantern. Anyway, in the photo you see my cheapo tablet and a very elderly 3 megapixel zoom compact plus my clock. After my Nexus died I figured it just wasn't worth spending a lot on a tablet since they're pretty well disposable. Indeed, I asked somebody how much they would charge to fix it and they wanted as much as my cheapo tablet cost!

Having done the main windows with blinds, there are the bathroom windows that have no kind of privacy whatsoever aside from tint and the other two half bedroom windows. Those windows I will put paper blinds over. I couldn't use paper in the kitchen because of the cooking aparatus. I needed something less likely to flutter in a breeze. The bedroom will get black, room darkening paper blinds. The bathroom will just get white privacy blinds.

I took the International logo off the front of the bus today - the grey paint around it was peeling so I removed the logo and sanded it down. Then I sprayed with the cheap, lighter paint. I'll probably slap some Rustoleum grey on it at some time. That's not a priority right now though. The priority is to get the bus operable as a motorhome which it pretty much is now.

Having done the shower curtains, I'll put separaters in the drawers and put my china in the drawers as well as giving the bus a darned good cleaning. The solar stuff can wait. That's not a priority. The breaker compartment needs to be done soon though. As far as an underbody battery compartment is concerned, I'm not too sure it's really worth bothering with one. It might just be better to charge a dozen or so AA batteries using solar power. Those could be used to power or recharge USB devices. Another thing I'll do is to mount my whiteboard on one of the walls. I have had that whiteboard for a long time and it does come in handy for things occasionally.

The whiteboard has an interesting history. At one time I was going to do face-painting and photography with really good posed photography - not the kind facepainters do. I interviewed three facepainters. One decided she didn't want to spend $3.99 on facepaints from Walmart and lied and kept lying about her facepaint order always going to arrive. Total timewaster. The second facepainter called to arrange an interview then called five minutes before to reschedule and after the third call to request a reschedule, I realised she was a timewaster too and told her that if she found it that hard to attend an interview at a time that she suggested then it was highly unlikely that she would ever turn up to work. She argued and demanded I didn't tell the welfare people she didn't show. I should have told them but quite honestly it would have meant extra work. The final facepainter suddenly announced midway through the interview that she was a lesbian and went on to talk about her girlfriend. That really had no place in the discussion but I glossed over and we agreed to work together. Needless to say that involved buying a whiteboard to write prices etc on. Then she never showed to any sessions. Again a total waster which is pretty much my opinion now of all facepainters. The redundant $6.95 whiteboard has come in very handy in my kitchen though and I expect it will

I thought long and hard about the underbody battery compartment and for the amount of power I'm likely to use, it's not really justified. I was thinking of putting a solar-powered extraction fan in the bedroom. That seems to me to be worthwhile. That'll keep the bedroom cooler in summer. That can pump air out underneath the body.

The less complications I build in, the better to be honest. This is why I'm aiming at simple, cheaper solutions. I've been thinking long and hard over the extraction fan in the kitchen. I know it's needed. I'm not sure whether to have a straight chimney with a cap and no actual fan with the chimney going up through the roof on one of the sides where it won't add to the height of the bus. Another solution would be an actual fan, drawing the air from above the stove and blowing it out through a vent either under the bus or through a vent hole in the aluminum sheet that replaces one of the missing windows. On the whole, as heat rises, it might be better to blow cooking heat and steam down and out. Nobody will notice an extra vent on the side of a bus!

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