Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Reminder of Interruption

sample image from Despair, Inc.

Sample image from Despair, Inc.

This just to remind the three of you that Strolling Amok will have no new posts for awhile, and as of now, I will not be able to respond to comments, either. If you have subscribed to Strolling Amok, you’ll be the first to know when you can once again resume wasting your life away reading inane and pointless drivel.

By the way, the above poster is meant to be sarcastic, but I take its message seriously. There’s far too much cultural emphasis today toward “unless you can excel at what you do, don’t bother even trying”. I’m for people doing things that they enjoy, regardless of the level of accomplishment reached. Should you do what you enjoy for the sake of getting the approval of others, then you’re bound for disappointment. If you’re in it because it pleases you in the doing, then you have a lot of enjoyment ahead of you. Go for it.

Shock and Awe – The Green Mamba Jet Car

I'm not sure, either...

I’m not sure, either…

Last weekend, my son and his family made their annual trek to Rockford Speedway in Illinois for a special event. I wasn’t there of course, but I was in spirit. I introduced this event to them when they were young’uns, and I suspect that it will become a tradition as long as a certain one of the feature events hangs in there long enough. Rockford Speedway is a quarter-mile banked oval track, and the “Miller Lite Night of Thrills” featured Doug Rose and the Green Mamba Jet Car, monster trucks, a school bus figure-8, hornets (4-cylinder shitbox oval racing), and “Spec Drags”.

Spec Drags were earlier referred to as Spectacular Drags, and before that, Spectator Drags. Anyone in the stands is eligible to run what they brung, be it a 10-year-old Honda Civic, a full-on 1978 Dodge Charger, a pickup truck complete with bed toolbox, or your grandmother’s Buick. That last one did not go well; Read more…

Days on the Monon Rail Trail

The monon Rail Trail is the Interstate of bike trails.

The Monon Rail Trail is the Interstate of bike trails.

One delight of being stuck in Indianapolis is the Monon Trail, an arrow-straight paved recreational trail running 20 miles, from downtown Indy to the northern suburb of Carmel. As was pointed out to me, that’s pronounced CAR-mel, not that snooty car-MEL, as in California. This post is a composite of three days involving the Monon and/or Carmel. See, the oppressive heat and humidity finally tempered, and I took the Evelo Aurora out for a brief 6-mile spin one day, just to gauge my butt’s condition, or lack of. One of the trailheads is just a mile from where I’m staying, and the main connector involved has a broad shoulder. Low and behold, I could feel the seat by the end of the ride.

Heading south toward the city.

Heading south toward the city.

That particular ride took me south, and there are stopping pull-offs to view the scenery. This was on Read more…

State of the Intrepid – Options & Standards

The built-in propane stove is pretty handy, and a flush-mount model is also available.

The built-in propane stove is pretty handy, and a flush-mount model is also available.

Options are always an individual thing, and some equipment has been made standard since I ordered my Grandby. The standard two-burner gas cooking range works well, and its diminutive size does not compromise cookware that can be used on it. Only if you use two huge pots at a time or need more than 10K BTUs per burner will you need to go a’campin’ with an outside stove.

Yup, it's filthy. I use a screen in the drain to put less food waste into the tank, and to slow clogging of the line out.

Yup, it’s filthy. I use a screen in the drain to put less food waste into the tank, and to slow clogging of the line out.

The deep stainless steel sink is a mix of blessing and curse. To the good, it’s stainless, and cleans up easily. Its Whale faucet has good controls as well as a spout which can be twisted side-to-side and adjusted from spray to steady stream. This adjustability to task decreases water usage quite a bit – nearly halving it, in fact. And the water pump supplying it has quite a wallop, if you need it. The water pump in my unit was Read more…

State of the Intrepid – Camper Bed Mounts

Camper mounts may be the least glamorous part of any truck camper, but are functionally the most important.

Camper mounts may be the least glamorous part of any truck camper, but are functionally the most important.

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is a saying that also applies to truck camper mounts. The camper does not wedge tightly into the truck bed, but has plenty of clearance. It’s then effectively strapped down tight to the flat bed surface. In the case of Four Wheel campers, the goal is to keep it pulled fully forward so that slamming on the brakes affects nothing, and keep it centered and otherwise down tight so it can’t shift around. Fortunately for me, the Mighty Furd is wearing a Line-X urethane bed coating that has a rough surface which helps friction. The camper is pretty easy to slip-n-slide on painted metal, but mine took three guys and an incline to coax it to move when it had to be reset in the bed. I recommend any such urethane spray, or a much less expensive full-width rubber mat on the floor only. Plastic bed liners should not be used.

I had some early problems with the camper shifting in the bed, with damage to one Read more…

Please Stay Tuned for This Message From Our Sponsor

Demotivational image courtesy Despair, Inc.

Demotivational image courtesy Despair, Inc.

Normally, Strolling Amok is about thoughts, places, adventures and misadventures. Nothing profound – just goofin’ around. You may have noticed the recent veer toward hardware, recycled posts, and ill-considered considerations. Sorry to say, that trend will continue for awhile. As a matter of fact, the rest of this year is pretty well shot, as far as “camping the USA” articles go.

I finally got in to have a heart surgeon evaluate some new-fangled movin’ pitchers on DVD, and in trade for the next three months of my life, I’ll receive an operational circulatory system, pretty much. The proper time is right now, I’m told, not next year when delay damage would negate the benefits. All it will take is some guy on my chest with a roofing crowbar, some Gor-Tex shoelaces, and a Read more…

State of the Intrepid – Floor Plan

Could'a used a wider lens on this - which I don''t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

Could’a used a wider lens on this – which I don”t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

[This post is a look at the Four Wheel Grandby’s basic features which inherently come along with the front dinette floor plan. Several more posts about other of the Grandby’s aspects will follow. Caution: neat/clean freaks may experience some degree of trauma due to the graphic nature of the photographs used throughout this series, which were taken after some 5 months on the road. The camper is in active camping condition, not display condition. You have been warned.]

In general, the Grandby itself has worked out very well, without regrets. The front dinette model can sleep four adults, the second pair sleeping on a platform created by stowing the dinette table between the two side benches. Of necessity, the seat foam is markedly stiffer, and coin-tossing for sleeping location may be advised. Obviously, I didn’t select my floor plan for that capability, and I wouldn’t expect the head count after a long 4-person weekend camp out to be the same returning as it was departing. Whoever sleeps on this lower platform is likely to be stepped on when Read more…

A Secret Blog Post!

More Constitution

This is just for those of you who don’t subscribe to this blog and instead just come by now and then to see what’s new. The latest post is actually here, but you don’t see it on the top of the home page because this blog software posts in order of entry start date, not published date. Begin an entry a year ago, and that’s where it is in the final stack. I forgot that, so click on the link above if you want to check out the latest.

State of the Intrepid – The Mighty Furd

O Mighty Furd, may I never have to push thee!

O Mighty Furd, may I never have to push thee!

The Intrepid is my “rig”, consisting of a pickup truck with a low-profile camper in the bed. The base vehicle – the foundation – has a large influence on how happy or unhappy the owner is with the entirety, since a mismatch can quickly veer things toward the unhappy side. Road handling can get scary, parts and systems can wear quickly and/or fail, or the camper in the bed can start to come apart from stress. Since this is a review of the Intrepid instead of just the Grandby camper alone, I think it pays to include Read more…

Change of Pace

A walking path.

A walking path.

I’m temporarily in Columbus, Ohio as a diversion while I wait for the wheels of medical assessment to turn, but here are a few shots of a walking path very close to where I’ve been staying in Indianapolis. As with every other place in the country, the weather has been markedly warmer than usual. In practical terms, you’re out of the hot sun while you’re along this path, but on a hot and humid day, the air is so still and humid that the heat you produce by walking will make you grateful for the invention of air conditioning by the time you get home. In cooler mornings, the path is a rewarding retreat.

A little farther along.

A little farther along.

This path goes along the shoreline of a small lake, so now and then the Read more…

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