15 February 2011

The trials and tribulations of Lola

I have been having a recurring issue with Lola the truck over the past couple of months.....I honestly never know if she's gonna start or not when I shut off the engine so my weeks lately have resulted in me not shutting the engine off at all while I'm working.  The problem seems to be one of the wires/cables leading to the starter or starter solenoid.....starter has been replaced.....and a couple of bolts happened to not get replaced and the positive cable was crimped and touching metal.  It's a wonder the truck didn't catch fire on that particular week.  Now there's a ground or loose cable that seems to not be connecting correctly and to get the truck started I have to crawl underneath or reach from the top to start kinda jiggling at wires, crawl back out if I can't find anyone to sit in the drivers seat and repeatedly turn the key while I'm checking said connections. A complete and utter hassle which has resulted in me being wet, cold, and filthy muddy more times than I can stand.  So now I don't shut the truck engine off after each stint in the shop unless it's on a relatively clean surface.

The truck that's causing me all kinds of grief

Handy, dandy latch that unclips to allow the front bumper to be lowered

Bumper in lowered position

The tire that I have to crawl behind in order to reach the starter

Part of the wiring that leads from starter and solenoid

My view from under the truck and behind the left steer tire

Yup, there's the part causing me the problem

Oooh, bent license plate bracket and bumper from where somebody didn't use the tow hooks to pull my truck into the shop when it wouldn't start

A New Adventure

I hate February......always have. It's a cold dreary month that seems to drag on forever much longer than it's 28 (or 29) days.  And it just happens to be my birthday month.  This year I decided to treat myself to an out of state half marathon, go somewhere, make a week of it, explore a little.  However when I did a web search for end of February races, this little gem popped up, the Malta Marathon.  Yes, Malta, the island in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Italy.  Might as well start my passport stamps off in style, right?  A bit of (ok a lot of!) debating with myself and a bit of research and one very maxed out credit card and yes I really am taking a solo international trip to run my very first international race. 

Satellite image borrowed from Wikipedia 

I haven't told many people because quite frankly most are freaked out by the thought of me making this trip alone.  However, this is a safe place to go and one of its main languages is English (the other being Maltese of course).  Have I mentioned my credit card is maxed out, lol.  I will be spending a very limited amount of time in London before flying over to Malta so if anyone is interested in meeting for a coffee let me know and we'll see what can be arranged.  Also if there are any must-sees please leave me a comment :-))).  Oh and any advice about what to take would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!  And traveling advice too please, I haven't flown in 24 (25?) years, wow.

A thank you post

This should have been posted last month but my blogging mojo hasn't been great lately.  A huge thank you to Mike (my dad) for the washer and dryer!  And a giant thanks to James for picking them up for me.  Of course I can't leave out my appreciation to Jackie and Phil because I was able to get a much nicer set than I thought I could get initially.

Go away snow

This winter really isn't much fun anymore. Between recurrring truck problems (let's just say I've spent more time than I care to under the engine) and the snow/ice I'm just plain old ready for winter to be over with.  Part of the reason that I like my route is that I do normally get to avoid the vast majority of winter precipitation but I do believe Mother Nature is taking her revenge on the south this year. 

Here's a bit of Wednesday and Thursday in pictures for your viewing pleasure

Hwy 70, attempting to get to the International dealer

Overpass at Galloway over I40

Returning to terminal, all these trucks are parked for the night in the road, nowhere else to go

Hwy 70 on Thursday, the trucks up ahead are parked

The great white expanse of I40 outside of Little Rock

Let the backups begin

This lovely guy "Elmer" decided to throw his trash out his window while we were sittng in a traffic jam

Snow chains!

The next series of pics are a very good example of why you shouldn't drive right on the bumper of the truck in front of you during inclement weather.  The first one or two mess up and there's absolutely nowhere to go.

View of the underneath of my trailer between the trailer duals, lots of ugly dirty ice

Closing with a pretty shot :-)