Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

A Bikearound Day

Originally posted 11/15/2012

Last night I watched How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, one of the half-dozen musicals in existence that I feel is worth watching. I admit, being made in 1967, it bristles with sexist stereotyping. In it, all men are executives or clerks, and all women are either secretaries or gold-diggers. It certainly wasn’t crafted to reflect the realities of even that time mind you, but I don’t think it would have been made in ’77, and certainly not ’87! It was designed to parody its era, and the marked shift in popular culture since that time would make a later release date change its intended emphasis. But even viewed today, as a lampoon of Big Business and with its the over-the-top character portrayals, it sparkles with energy and fun.

On waking up today, I was surprised to see a heavily overcast sky. As of late last night, weather.com had predicted a sunny sky with clouds moving in at about noon. So, I checked accuweather.com, and they seemed to be more reality-based: overcast this morning, but largely clearing by noon. As of 3:30PM, they’re both partially right. It stayed overcast all day without any hint of a break. No surprise that the solar panels are still actively charging the house batteries, but voltage is up, and it simply means that the batteries won’t be nicely “finished off” with a true completed charge routine. Fine in the short run, but you wouldn’t want two straight weeks of it.

I decided to head for the lone pharmacy in town, a tiny back-end to the only medical clinic in town. I wanted to price out two meds that my doctor had given me before leaving home. They both kinda do the same thing, and can be combined if needed. Turns out that one is available in generic form for $24/month, while the other is still patented and goes for $150/month. Sobering, isn’t it? It figures that I’m on the high-buck one now. It’ll take time to switch over and see how the cheapie does on its own, but it’s certainly worth trying. Some folks head down to Yuma and cross the border to get their meds much cheaper, and some order from Canada over the Internet. It should be no secret that pharma companies are allowed to stick it to us to pay for their considerable development and legal costs, plus whatever profit they want. As I understand it, other countries do not allow this, so we’re the only ones picking up the tab. No need to write out my feelings about that issue here. Not too tough to discern.

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On the way back, I turned into an R/C model airplane field where one guy was buzzing one of this planes around. A visiting RVer who claimed not to have flown much this year, he was pretty good and somehow had a knack for making R/C flying watchable. I normally bore quickly from it, but not this time. Like R/C car racing, it’s something you do for fun, not something you watch for entertainment.

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He had a scale Spitfire there as well. I greatly prefer the scale, realistic planes to the high-performance stunters. I’ve never taken up R/C flying because I’m only interested in scale models, and I’ve seen so many glitch unexpectedly and crash into bits that I wouldn’t be able to take that kind of loss. Just can’t do it.

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He claimed that if I got here by 8 or 9AM any day of the week, I’d see all the worktables filled with planes. Most everyone leaves by late morning to avoid the wind of mid-day. I’ll have to try that.
These are big planes, often with a 5′-6′ wingspan, and for a camper to be able to pack them in is an extraordinary feat.

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He told me of an R/C car track a short distance away, and I managed to find that, too. Nobody there, but it was a pretty decent off-road (dirt) track. Made me think of the ancient R/C racing truck that I have packed away in a storage space near my home base. There were no power outlets anywhere, so I have the feeling that it’s intended for gas cars instead of electrics. It’s possible to recharge electrics on such tracks, but you have to have a big deep-cycle battery, and you don’t get all that many recharges out of it. Some folks pop open the hoods of their (real) cars and run the engine a bit to recharge off its battery – that’s what we did in the early days – but well, I’ll cruise past on a Saturday and see if anyone’s there.

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From there, I once again went past the Quartzsite Garden Club’s display of two Air Force F-4 Phantoms (full-scale), and noticed that they seem to have dropping hooks on the back just like Navy planes have for landing on aircraft carriers. What’s up with that?

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At any rate, I headed for home and saw something I’d never seen before: a semi with a flat tire. They just never seem to get them, quite possibly because the drivers have a set routine they have to go through before they can get on the road with them each day.

I had my own odd little tire issue as I returned. My bikes tires needed air and I had added some at a local filling station as soon as I got into town. If you let them get too low, the inner tube will creep around and eventually damage the valve stem that goes through the wheel rim. Since it was all sidewalks ahead, I made ’em nice and firm for low resistance, and it was mighty fast and easy going – until the last leg of the journey. I’d gone for some 10(!) miles, and the last mile is in the campground along the remains of Old Yuma Road. I can tell ya, it was brutally rough because it’s nothing but dust and embedded stones. I should have let some air out, but I didn’t want to do that without an air gauge… like the one back in the truck. By the time I returned to the trailer, my hands were numb and so were my nether regions! I was banging over things I couldn’t even see, because the jolts were violent enough to make your eyes dance in your head. Stubbornness is its own punishment. I’ll let air out next time, you betcha.

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