Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Continuing from the last blog, my fears of Sweet Pea not starting that day were fulfilled. When I went out after writing the last sentence, I tried turning her on, and guess what, you’ll never guess, no, really, it’s totally unexpected…the stupid thing didn’t turn on again!!!!  
Yeah, I had a freak-out moment. A really good one. An absolutely necessary one. I couldn’t even deal with looking at her I was so infuriated, so I stomped up the stairs to the apartment that I’m house-sitting, sat down at the kitchen table, and stared at a white wall.  Coincidentally my best friend from Tucson, Arizona called me then. There are only a handful of people whom, if calling me while I was in the state I was, would hear my voice in real time rather than voicemail, and Emily’s one of them.
So I answered and got to complain about my obnoxious little project and how Sweet Pea continues to fail me, and by time Emily and I hung up, I was over my fit. 
Next I called Osmudo, explained that, “Hey, I just paid you 250 bucks, and this kitten is still not purring!” and he gently explained that it would be no problem for me to bring it in and leave it at the shop so he could go over a couple other things.
“I am out of money!” I protested.
“Yes, yes, it’s okay. No worry. Just bring and we look at.” he replied.
Ugh, I could not deal with a AAA truck ride at that moment. It would have to wait.
“Fine, I will be there tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes. Tomorrow good. See you in morning.”

Next morning, Friday the 30th I call AAA once again, around 9 am. The same guy shows up, knows me by name now, but does a double take because since last week I’ve painted the cab pea green.  But, really, there are no other giant rusting RV’s on this street so who else’s could it be? By noon I have dropped her off at Osmudo’s shop, and gone through the circuit of bicycle, BART, bicycle back to my temporary home.  While at the shop, I hovered over the guts under the hood and tried to make sense of it all. Osmundo’s helper, Ricky, isolated a possible problem: that my battery had shifted around while I was driving and was leaking its charge due to touching a large piece of metal.  Ricky secured the battery in its proper place and connected it to an external rapid charger. Leery of just assuming the problem had been fixed, and desperate to not have to go through this scenario once more, I asked the guys if they could hold her at the shop for a couple days, try to turn her on each morning, and just make sure that she will actually start. The triple AAA guy was super nice, but I wasn’t interested in having another thirty minute drive through Oakland, Berkeley, and El Cerrito with him the next day.

New Years comes and goes, so does Monday, the 2nd, and Tuesday, the 3rd, and this morning, the 4th I find myself back on bicycle-BART-bicycle towards the shop to collect her. Yesterday, Osmundo informed me all is well, and that the only thing going on was the battery situation Ricky had fixed. I picked her up today, cruised back through town to park her and begin some of these projects that need attention.
After that I rented a ZipCar and sped to Urban Ore in Berkeley, where I was able to find some interesting cabinetry with which I made the shell of my compostable toilet.  I wasn’t able to finish today though, because I still need a toilet seat, a handsaw, and a large piece of wood for the top where the seat will rest. I also need to pick up sawdust or woodchips, and I’m hoping to find those at one of the woodworking shops that flank Urban Ore.  Tomorrow I’m returning there for more wood anyways, as well as for a door for the bathroom, so maybe I can sweet talk a woodshop into donating a bag or two of dusty chips.

Tomorrow I’m aiming to complete my toilet and door projects.  If there is time, I’d also like to continue working on the “Sweet Pea” banner I started today too.  No more “Big Ugly”!!!.  In cursive, I sketched out her name with dark blue paint, and perhaps tomorrow I can trick it out with gold and other colors. Once I can find my stinkin’ camera cord, I will attach the pictures. 

Update on water situation: Maybe there’s a leak in the water tank? Today I tried to fiddling with it again, initially turning on the engine, switching a couple buttons back and forth, then turning off the engine, starting the generator and doing the same.  I opened the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, but only heard that same gurgling noise. Odd…I have a hard time believing 38 gallons of water could sneakily leak out without me noticing…there must be something else I’m missing.

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