Monday, December 16, 2013

Fail - November Week 2 - Weekend Roundup

I swear I'll write the rest of the Moab trip up... I swear I will.

In the meantime, I keep thinking of things to write and never get them down because they are little bitty things, so I'm going to try this - a end-of-week sum up of "interesting events"* that occurred.

[Edited to Add:
* or not. This failed immediately... I wrote this the second week in November, and here we are, third week in December - still not written. Let's publish it anyway, shall we?]

* * *


After the hillside caught fire 1.5 miles from our house on Wednesday morning (70°F, 20% humidity, but thank goodness, dead still) resulting in a 10 acre blaze, I started listening to the El Dorado Co. public safety scanner online (via iPhone) as "background noise".

It has been interesting listening, to say the least. Nothing like hearing a constant stream of other people's problems, big and small, to put your own life into perspective.

Some of my favorite incidents from this week:
  • RP [reporting party] says there are 8-10 people going back and forth from Appt. #X to a vehicle. Thinks maybe they are making drug transactions. What makes him suspicious is they are all wearing wigs. [must have been very bad wigs for him to tell, unless they were Ronald McDonald wigs?]
  • RP says her daughter was just in a verbal with the renters in the upstairs appt. and they threatened her. RP says she thinks they're dealing in narcotics. [can you say "grudge"?]
  • RP says he went for a walk and found his stolen property on a neighbour's property. ["oops"]
There were also innumerable deer events - deer V car interface, dead deer in the middle of the road, deer injured by the side of the road, etc. The deer are extremely busy this time of year.

There were also mentions of a cow on the shoulder (never did figure out where) and a pair of horses having fun running up and down hw-20.

More sobering were:
  • A small boy wandered off from his house and his distraught mother spent what can only have been a horrendous 20 minutes before he turned up on a neighbouring street.
  • 15 yr old attempted suicide.
  • People banging on other people's doors, screaming in the night. 
  • And a request to transport a 78-year old, unconscious, man from hospice to a residence "to pass".
A glimpse into other people's lives.

Zodi Extreme

Once upon a time I got a Zodi propane shower. It was a wondrous object: all you needed was a bucket of water, a small propane canister, and 4 D batteries and in ten minutes you have a piping hot shower no matter where you were (memories of 2007 - Roo and I were at DVE on our own, trying to do all four days and I have NEVER been so tired in my life. But taking that hot shower in the back of the dark trailer on a 20° night was sheer bliss).

Admittedly, the propane shower didn't get used much. Most of the time you'd be too exhausted after an endurance ride to do more than poke half-heartedly at yourself with a babywipe [or "Babies Wiped", as one iPhone post translated it to] - afterall, you'd be home in 24 hours and could surely remain grubby for that long. It's not like the horse cares.

It also transpired that many times you'd fiddle around and set it up, only to find that the battery pack had stopped working, or the pump was stuck.

Finally during this last trip to Moab, the pump seized up solid and despite prodding and dismantling, it refused to play.

pft and I spent some time at the weekend looking at various pumps online to try and cobble together a bodge and finally concluded, after reading numerous bad reviews, that yes, battery water pumps aren't all they're cracked up to be.

But, by the Magnificence of Amazon, we did find a perfect work around - arm-power. We ordered ourselves a "Zodi Extreme" for Christmas. This may not have the technological advancements of batteries and pumps, but it's so basic it's almost impossible for it to break. You fill it with water, you light the propane underneath it (or you can balance it on your normal stove). When the water is hot, you poke the pump in the top and pump 10-20 times - and voila - a hot shower. No batteries. No pumps. No mechanical thingies to fail.

It's here! Ordered Saturday morning, arrived Monday morning. Not bad.
From Zodi video, it looks like you can build up quite the pressure on it. All that remains is for us to get a trigger-controlled squirter (as seen in the video) and we'll be set.

It's coming with us on our Christmas camping trip and I will report back how successful a device it is.