Saturday, June 9, 2012

This and That!

The last two weeks have been very busy in very many ways.  The next two will be equally so, and the finally we will be taking off in the Alfa for a nice trip!

1. Art work:  April was a good month. I'm starting to see sales as valued in gallons of diesel fuel!  April will fill the tank at least twice.

May was a dud, but I did however receive an order for two sculptures, a Gnu and a White Buffalo.  I started them, and will be scrambling to finish and ship them before we leave.  Their sale  should cover much of the diesel fuel for our trip up to Crater Lake.

2. Painting and safety equipment: Although Craig did consider safety equipment, he decided against it.  He finished painting the area he could reach while seated on the walkway, but has now decided to hire someone to do the highest part.  Today he is once again climbing up and down on his 20' ladder and working on the lower part of the walkway itself. 

One painter came by this morning and will be sending us a bid via email.  He gave us two options.  Do it thru the painting company he works for at a higher price, or have him and his son do it on a weekend.  Since the company has insurance and workman's comp coverage, we will choose that option.  What we could save by having them do it on a weekend would be a small drop in our liability bucket if there was an accident!    A second painter is coming to look at the job  Monday.  

An end to this project may be in sight!

3. Toad:  Blue Ox and AirForce One are installed and we have towed the Accent.  We still have issues with just where we will be hooking up when we leave for our trip.  I'm sure once we get used to doing it, finding suitable hook up spots will become second nature.  It's just that everything new is so scary!  Any words of wisdom on this subject will be greatly appreciated!

4. Alfa repairs:  The back corner fiberglass work came out beautifully.  The entire back end has been repainted and we are still waiting for a new light glass and a new SeeYa decal.  The front spoiler looked pretty good too, but unfortunately we re-damaged it going out of the parking lot of the Hitch Shop.  The spoiler is just badly designed! It is way too low.  Scraping it on the ground was not anyone's fault.  Craig was driving as slow as he could.  Some Alfa owners have the spoiler cut off.  For now we will not have it repaired again. 

Since the Alfa is over at the repair shop anyway, we decided to have them  look for the cause of the increasingly annoying "whistle sound" in the cab area we have been hearing when we drive. It has been getting louder.

The report was that the windshield on the driver side has shifted out of the gaskets around it to the degree that it presented a danger of falling out!  EEK!  

That windshield was cracked and was replaced as part of our purchase in September.  We called the dealer, who referred us to the glass installation company, who told us to bring it back and they would fix it.  So we made an appointment for Friday morning and drove the 30 miles up there.  Although we were told it would probably only take a few hours, we decided to tow the Accent.  It was good practice.

It turned out that was a good idea because the glass installer decided to reset both of the front windows.  When finished he told us we could drive it, but we should be very careful of going over bumps because the goo was still soft.  When asked how long it took to cure we were told "two days."  

We knew there are some pretty rough areas on the roads between there and San Jose. We didn't want to damage the seal, but there was no place at the glass company to leave the Alfa for the weekend.  What to do?

The La Mesa dealership where we bought her is a short distance from the glass company.  We first tried to call them, but got only voice mail connections, so we just drove over there, explained our problem, and asked if we could park her there until Monday.  Permission granted.  None of the people we had dealt with last fall were around.  Since we had not had a good rapport with any of them, we were glad!  They said something about being sure we came back on Monday because they had a lot of rigs coming back from a "show". We didn't leave the keys, but will go up there as soon as we are done talking with the painter at the house!

So that's where we are!  Hope all is moving along for the rest of you.


  1. That's a fun way to think of your sales.

  2. I agree with having an insurer contractor, especially for something involving tall ladders. I like your idea of using your sales and figuring how much gas they are worth. I have done that in the past and right now I am calculating that my savings from dumping the Sprint hotspot at $69 a month will buy me a nice mountain bike.

  3. You're absolutely right, hooking up your toad will become second nature. Before long you'll be amazed at how quickly and where you can hook and unhook.

    Until then, look for quiet, level places with lots of room to maneuver. If it's sunny and hot, find shade! When we were leaving the Oakland Hills to start our journey, we hooked up in a church parking lot that was just a few blocks from the freeway. Church parking lots are great spaces. And, I figured we could use all the blessings we could get!

    Once you have your process down, it will take just a few minutes. Then, any wide spot will work.

    Happy travels!

  4. We scout out places to hook up in our car before hooking up our tow and heading out...most of the time we can hook up at the campsite/ park in long spaces but sometimes that's not feasible.

    You were so smart to not take the weekend offer. I get tunnel vision sometimes and think "SAVE MONEY" and I probably wouldn't have thought carefully enough about workman's comp, etc.

  5. It has been my experience with the Blue Ox that you can hook up most anywhere with almost any kind of terrain. It's the unhooking that you have to watch for. Be looking for a spot as near to level as possible. It's easy to do if you're level. If it's on any kind of a hill...good luck! Of course that's from the point of view of only one person doing the job. :)

  6. wow ..what a productive time you are having..way to cross things off the list!!!

  7. I'm sure that hooking up the toad will become second nature soon. Glad you decided to go the route of hiring the work done. Wouldn't want Craig to get hurt! Lots of things getting done!

  8. hooking up the toad will soon be like tying your shoe...

  9. When we first bought our motor home and the tow equipment, we just "knew" we wouldn't remember how to hook it up, so with each step I took an up close picture. And for the first month or so, every time we hooked up or unhooked, I was standing by Joe with the pictures while he did the work.... Now, it's a breeze. I finally threw the pictures away but it makes us laugh when we "remember when....."

  10. One thing for sure - don't try to hook up the toad up at your place haha. I still can't imagine how you get the Big White Thing up and down that road. You'll have it figured out in no time.

  11. As a retired insurance adjuster...I agree about hiring someone who has insurance!

    Hooking up the toad is easy, it just takes a little practice. One thing...MAKE SURE YOU SET THE EMERGENCY BRAKE BEFORE YOU UNHOOK. I had a few claims before we got ours where people didn't and the toad rolled away!

    Glad you got the windshield problem resolved and that it only cost you a little bit of time.

  12. If that windshield still makes nose bring it right back. I had a replacement and it leaked so bad I had to vacuum out the water with a shop vac everytime it rained. I call my insurance company and they said to find a good glass company up here in the mountains. They did a great job of course that ment another new windshield. Never will I every let some one come to the house.

  13. Some times I've learned it's just better to hire someone. Got to hand it to Craig he did a lot on his own, don't think I could have done what he did on the front. Nice way to think of your sculpture profits. Sounds like you have things coming together well for your upcoming trip. Have a Great Week!


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