The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Road Trip #1: Day 2, Malibu, CA (I killed the Buzz)

I woke at 7:11 AM after a decent night's sleep.  That is, after I got myself pointed up hill.  The parking spot is supposed to be level, but either that's not exactly right, or the bed is unlevel, or the cushions are weird, or something, but my body was sensing something not quite level, and I confirmed it with my iPhone.  It has an app called "Carpenter" which displays a very sensitive bubble-level.

Last night was the first test of the "Travasak" bedding system, and it seems to work OK, but it's quite bulky.  I could probably use a smaller size.

In the middle of the night, I thought I had gone suddenly deaf.  The refrigerator stopped buzzing (briefly).  It has been making that awful sound since I have known it (a couple of months).  And now, without any action on my part, it had gone silent.  Sublimely silent!  What the heck is that all about?  I am at once happy and curious, but also sleepy, and sleepy wins.

The buzzing is there when I wake up, but then, suddenly, it goes quiet again.  And so I have come to expect intermittent behavior from a previous constant.  I guess I'm learning, but I'm not sure what!

Another observed oddity, this one positive, is that this morning I did not even think about using the computer (email, news, comics, facebook) while having my coffee.  Instead, I opened the door and went outside into the fresh air and watched the waves.  And I picked up my pen and notebook.

I like the idea of staying an extra day (one full day) in a new place.  It gives me some time to relax and get a feel of the local vibe.

I clean the floor with a tiny whisk brush and sweep the debris onto a small Post-It note slip.  It's good stretching exercise as well as cleaning, and we all know how Virgos love clean.  (They love the fact of clean, but not necessarily the work of cleaning.)  The floor is, of course, very small, so it's not much work.  How small?  That got me curious, so I measured it and it comes to about 27 sq. ft.  which seems like a big number for such a tiny trailer.  That's just floor space, where you can actually put a foot.  The actual enclosed space inside the trailer would be about (14x6=84sq. ft).  It's interesting that my condo is about 15 times the size (1250 sq. ft.) but I don't feel very cramped at all.  Yet.

The space seems a lot bigger when the door is open.

The unused parking spaces here are all groomed with a fresh and orderly raking each day.  A nice touch.

Beethoven plays as I write.
The buzz stops again!
OK, now I'm awake and curious, so I launch an investigation.  I turn battery power off and remain on shore power, figuring it might be the inverter.
Beethoven without the buzz is suddenly more beautiful, but soon the buzz comes back, telling me it's not the inverter.  It's got to be the refrigerator, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.

So I move outside and for the first time deploy my patio tarp to cover the parking spot dirt with a green space which mimics a lawn and gives depth to "My" domain.  I move the tow vehicle to fully open the 7'x15' tarp then park it with left wheels over the edge, keeping it in place.

Next, I deploy a low folding chair.  The color is a lime green which literally Screams against the very different dark green of the tarp, but I let it go.  Somehow I am just too relaxed to care.  The chair decides to test my calm and prefers to stay folded when I prefer to have it unfolded.  It's one of those cheap aluminum frame things, and I know it will soon break anyway, and I have already resolved to replace it with a quality wooden one which sits at a normal height.  Revenge is sweet.  I will not get angry, I will get even.

Eventually I get it to allow me to sit in it, and, fully reclined, soak up the morning sun.  It's barely past 9 AM.

At long last, I am feeling brave enough to attack the awning.  I have put off this chore long enough.  I wanted to see the awning procedure demonstrated one more time before I tackled it, because I remember there was something important that I should NOT do, but exactly what escapes me now.  There are multi-jointed arms and springs and detents and all manner of gizmos to deal with but I ignore them all and simply tie the grab-strap to the rear wheel of the tow vehicle.  Hopefully, I will not drive off and cause great damage to the awning, trailer and my reputation.  I take an iPhone photo of my new patio room outdoors and send it up to facebook.  Only then do I check my email for the first time this morning, even though I have no interest in any of it.

About mid-day the temperature climbs to 82 and I start up the air conditioner for the first time for a nice cool breeze and fix my first meal of the day: some oatmeal (McCann's Irish), with sliced banana, and have a relaxed breakfast on my patio in the shade.  Life is good.

The afternoon evaporated in blissful indolence.

The weather station (brought it from home) goes spastic, showing 131 degrees.  It's probably the corroded contacts, the ones I didn't clean very well when I changed the batteries a few weeks ago.  This will be a good project for later, but right now the weather is Perfect.   There are low lying clouds off shore, waiting for the cool of evening to roll in and blanket everything in a soupy fog.  That would be nice.  Foggy in the morning, foggy at night, sunny in the middle, and my day's a delight!

All around me the RV people putter with their Stuff.  This is the background music of the passing days in an RV park. The neighbors all seem to want to be alone, just like me, and that's surprisingly refreshing.

Gray water tank is half full, so I need to empty or go without a shower in the morning.  Deal with it now, and stay ahead of the curve.  Did I mention that the water outlet in the Airstream is lower than the RV park sewer inlet?  And since water seldom goes uphill except in the Bible (Red Sea parting episode), this is an unpleasant chore.  There should be a pump, or is that just too obvious.  Duh.  Why is this entire camping this so Primitive?  Didn't we send men to the moon?  Yes, they wore diapers, but you get the idea...

I have found it!  The noisy buzz was the refrigerator fan.  It is very quiet from the outside, but the hard mount and hollow cabinet sure do make it a lot worse.  So I disconnect the fuse, and now the sweet sounds of the surf are much more enjoyable.

One improvement of minor note, I have removed the cosmetic valance over a window blind which was installed improperly at the factory so that it interfered with the control rod operation.  The Quality Control manager must have been sick when my unit rolled off the final assembly line.

And, finally, a decorating note:  I cut up some west coast campground maps and scotch-taped them to the ugly white vertical surfaces for a big improvement.  Better color and educational too!

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