Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

The Skipping Record

In between bouts of working on the camper, I was breezing through some YouTube event coverage, and one video of an interview with a demonstrator immediately brought to mind a scene from a Monte Python movie. The first 6 minutes of the 9-minute clip below are of Vladimir Jaffe, a former citizen of the former USSR, speaking with a young idealist about how Socialism is supposed to work. I had to relentlessly pare it down just to get it to its current length, and it’s almost tolerable. Almost, but not quite.

Personally, I can’t think of any socialist country since 1900 where a dictator has not quickly emerged to take and hold power by coercion and/or force, demonstrating that there’s a big difference between idealist theory and human reality, but that’s just me. I also note that the Soviet constitution was supposedly modeled after our own, but they just ignore it in practice. Anyway, the last 3 minutes is the movie scene that the interview brought to mind. You decide – shall we have a “king anointed by a watery tart”, or a workers paradise? Or perhaps something in between?

More New Friends, More Opportunities!

Scum of the Earth Dept:

Now that I’m in the final throes of prepping for departure, there’s no end to the offers of help for anyone on the Internet! The trend seems to try to legitimize the larceny by including links to actual events or legitimate websites. Here are the two latest:

To: Undisclosed recipients:;

“Dear friend,
This is a personal email directed to you. I am Patricia Busking, my fiancée and I won a Jackpot Lottery of $393Million US Dollars in Aug. 25, 2017, and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $1,480,000.00 USD to you as part of our own charity project to improve the lot of 5 unknown lucky individuals all over the world plus 15 close friends and family. If you have received this email then you are one of the lucky recipients and Please contact my legal adviser Barr. Dominic based in United Kingdom with the email below.
Endeavor to provide him your donation cod (Code: BVTUTU883) and your details as requested bellow: Read more…

An Amusing Ad

One of the things that keeps me away from broadcast TV here is all of the ads, all of them awful. Then when they repeat every ten minutes, it becomes an endurance contest. At least the online places that push ads often let you skip them. Well, while researching F-250 front wheel hub servicing, I stumbled upon one that I consider worth not skipping. Now and then, one of these ad firms earn their money. See what you think.

Views of the Carnage

Just a few random shots of the Mighty Furd in the shop. These were taken by my intrepid service writer and texted to me. It’s now 5:15PM, so the thing fought tooth and nail on the front suspension. It’s just being finished up now, all work complete once the road test is done. I think we can all agree at this point that this should be the last post of its kind for awhile, eh?

Read more…

What is Seen, Cannot Be Unseen

No pictures today. They’d be too horrific. This day was spent at the Ford dealership while they dismembered the Mighty Furd’s front suspension. Got there ar 8AM, left at 4PM when it because clear that all of the needed work could not be completed by the time the mechanics end their workday. The suspension will be done and the new shocks are on, but then there’s the alignment and that bad tension pulley for the serpentine belt. They graciously carted me all the way out to Wellton, where I got out only to hear a newish Chevy pickup owner across the street climb into his cab and yell with a grin, “And they told me I should get a Ford!” Hyuk hyuk. Your day will come, my friend. Your day will come.  …Or maybe you’ll trade it in before that day of reckoning and lose your wallet in that manner. In the end, we all pay.

My service writer had approached while I was in the dealer’s waiting room, once again looking like the messenger of doom. “Bad news, huh?” I asked.

“I’m afraid so,” he replied, looking very uncomfortable.

“They found something else?” I offered.

“Oh, no,” he said, “It’s just not going as smoothly as we hoped.”

“So it’s not about money, just time?” I asked.

“That’s right, it’s a time problem.”

“Then enter, friend!” I said, “Have a seat here and relax. I can take anything but finding more parts going bad.”

He explained, “There’s enough rust on the fittings that things have resisted coming apart, even with spraying a lot of Read more…

Tears for Gears

They washed it, and the tires are actually BLACK, not deep grey! The dot inside the cargo box lid is a mini-thermometer so I can monitor interior temps.

Well, among the final prep for departure items on my list is maintenance service that’s due on the Mighty Furd, and I also wanted them to check the front wheel alignment and check the front suspension parts, since the tires have been insistently cupping (wearing in weird and warpy concave patterns). That usually indicates suspension problems, and it’s been going on for a couple of years. The cupping transforms the aggressive Cooper ST/Maxx treads from their normal whine to a sound that closely mimics the harmonics of a blown wheel bearing, just enough to make it unsettling. The maintenance items were to change the coolant (best done every 3 years on this engine), change out the fuel filters (2) along with making sure that the water drain valve isn’t plugged up with sludge, and change the oil and filter. The service writer suggested changing the rear diff oil if not already done, which it has not been, which he said was normally due at 90,000 miles. Naturally, I suspected foul play here to drum up business, but agreed to have that added in. As it turns out, it was due at 100,000 miles and I just reached 105. Missed that one. Total bill when it was all over, $730. I’d suspected $600 going in, not including the diff change, and had braced myself for it. Didn’t stop the hanky from having to come out. The other people in the waiting room understood, but I don’t think the cashier likes to see grown men sobbing into one. She did pat my shoulder and say “There, there, now …Check or credit card?” I suspect she rightfully tagged me as one unlikely to carry that much cash. Ever.

I was in by 7AM and left at about 2:30, the main drag being that you normally don’t want to drop all the coolant out until the motor has cooled down some. I sensed bad news coming when the work was done and the writer was not smiling. He herded me toward where we could sit down. Turns out Read more…

The Billion-Dollar Idea

This is from an interview with the news anchors at WGN in Chicago. I think it’s a fine idea! It’s very short at just 2.6MB, so have at it.

The Ghost Posts of Mayhem

Know what? I just realized that my three-part series on pistols which I’ve groped has not necessarily not shown up on the Strolling Amok homepage on the date that each was actually published. Instead, they’ve gotten buried in the past, according to the date they were first begun as rough drafts. It’s a WordPress thing. That doesn’t affect anyone who has subscribed to this fiasco, since the notification emails always have direct links to the post. For everyone else who just wanders in to the home page, they see nothing new – it’s buried way back in the stack. That’s a tragic loss to all the people who have not subscribed. Yeah. Sure.

So, the most recent post on the mighty Smith & Wesson Model 500 is here, while an earlier post on the Glock Model 23 is here, and last and least, a post on the Ruger 22/45 Mark II is here. If you don’t enjoy things that go bang and throw pellets, don’t bother. Then again, they may prove to be a potent antidote to insomnia. If you do geek out on firearms built for very different purposes, or simply enjoy finding out how one life can be derailed so badly from making a difference in the world, just click on a link!

Wow! The Opportunities Never End!

Throw me a frickin’ BONE here! …Need the info. Can anyone here tell me what I pay you people for? Honestly.

I received this urgent missive just today!


“Thank you very much for your urgent response to to me

“I am Ms. Liza Wong the Head of Accounting Audit Department of HSBC BANK (HSBC)in Malaysia. In my department in the Bank where i work, I discovered a sum of $85.5 Million USD In an account that belongs to one of our foreign deceased customers, a billionaire Business Mogul Late Mr.Moises Saba Masri, a Jew from Mexico who was a victim of a helicopter crash since 2010 which resulting to his death and his family members.

“You can see more information about Saba Masri Mr.Moises unfortunate end accident on the website-link below.
[link deleted to ensure your safety]

“Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come forth for the claim but nobody has done that SINCE 2010. I personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives,Which the Board of Directors are planning to share this funds among them-self. Which i have good heart Read more…

Labor Day

Not clean, but cleaner. On the left is what I started with, and on the right is a relatively clean but not pristine cleaned area.

One task that’s never mentioned with pop-up truck campers is cleaning the flexible fabric walls. That’s probably because there’s no glamor in it. But, it has to be done, and sooner rather than later. Today’s little exercise shows what happens when you don’t or can’t keep up with it. See, weekending with a Four Wheel tends to create minimal soiling issues with the fabric walls, and cleanup is easy using only a rag, water, and perhaps a very mild cleaning agent. A quick once-over does the trick.

In the case of a Four Wheel camper, a lower shroud on the roof closes over the structure below in the same way that a lid sleeves over a box. Thing is, such a large structure is not going to be able to fit the box tightly, or you’d have trouble seating the roof all the way down. The Four Wheel has a gasket along the front edges, but this provides a fit that can only discourage dirt from getting up into the folded polyester fabric. It can’t truly seal and prevent it. Result: protracted travel on dusty dirt roads is going to soil the fabric, and vibration from such roads will tend to grind the dirt into folds of the fabric that contact each other. Most of the soiling my camper shows is from dust collected during travel on such roads. This is unmistakable when you begin a day’s travel with a relatively clean top, and raise it at the end of a day to find it remarkably filthy.

If cleaned on a regular basis, such soiling does not present much of a problem. It’s quite quick and easy to remove with either water, or water and a mild bleach-free dish detergent. Detergent should be avoided if it isn’t required. If you’re on the road for months on end as I am, things get more Read more…

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