Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Left Without a Scanner to Stand On

Preciousssss! Mine’s perpetually coated with dust, but the touchscreen-style controls across the top surface don’t care. They visibly appear only when they are able to be used for what you’re doing. Otherwise, there’s only an entirely blacked out disc, the main power button, and the display, which folds back flat. A door swings up like a drawbridge to seal off the front.

There’s always something disappointingly inevitable when updates to the operating system on a computer wind up leaving some gizmo that you use back in the dust. You know, some kind of clever device that works great until suddenly it is no longer compatible with your computer. For example, printer manufacturers eventually abandon the high road for their “obsoleted” models, though the computer’s operating system itself often takes over for basic printing functions. Sure, they all kick out some new drivers, updated software or firmware for a few years, but eventually, the party’s over. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

The party’s over a lot sooner with scanners, especially when a built-in flatbed scanner is built into an “All-in-One” unit. That abandonment happened early in my case, since my 2010 Canon Pixma MG8120 lost its ability to scan 35mm film (using Canon’s software) a long time ago. An update to High Sierra (MacOS 10.13) clinched the deal, with the scanner part being left for dead by Canon. That’s not the best, since I’ve just loaded up on inkjet cartridges for it – it uses 6 of them at a time – and mechanically, it’s been the most problem-free inkjet printer I’ve had since my HP 500 B&W printer back in the 1980s.

The changes within High Sierra are significant enough to throw a wrench into a lot of third-party software, Canon’s included. But the only market that Canon pays attention to are the Read more…

Gratuitous Gunplay

A marauding pack of gun-totin’ crazies gathered in Yuma, Arizona over the weekend for a three-day competition. It was run by the Yuma Matchmasters, a local club which scores the time for each competitor in each category according to SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) rules. The main match consists of 12 stages, each of which varies slightly around the commonality of having to show proficiency with three very different kind of firearms, one right after the other: dual six-shot single-action revolvers, a carbine rifle, and a shotgun. The arms used can be new, but must conform to being replicas of early designs. This annual match is sold out, with a waiting list.

The garb? It’s required.

The serious competitive nature of firearm timed target or combat competitions pretty much evaporates here because of two requirements. The first is that Read more…

A Punch in the Solar Nexus

My thought diversion for today is an update on the Intrepid’s solar system. I mention it because, it now being January, the sun arcs low enough in the sky to starve the flat-mounted 360-watt roof panels. This is not a surprise to me nor too many other people. Since these panels are trying to recharge some 420 amp-hours of battery capacity while a 12VDC compressor fridge is running for unusually long periods of time in hot weather, this power drain and poor panel aiming tends to prevent the pack from reaching and holding its 14.4V peak for its intended 3-hour span. So, the 200-watt ground panels were deployed everywhere I camped, when practical, and re-aimed throughout the day. In a cloudless sky, this combination can get the pack fully charged by 2 PM. Partly cloudy skies slow or prevent that, obviously. The main culprit is the inability to aim the roof panels toward the sun, but a close second is the unusually long runtime of the Dometic compressor fridge. In a marginal charging situation, it pulls enough power and runs long enough to prevent a full charge, and that can be a battery killer. Combine that with clouds, and you have an undesirable situation, even with the ground panels deployed. These were my thoughts as of last fall, anyway.

None of this is a problem over the winter months in Yuma, since the fridge is off and nothing else is pulling power, either. However badly oriented, the roof panels alone can easily recharge the pack then. Were I to have to keep the camper in service over the winter, some changes would be needed because that fridge would be on. The first impulse was of course to increase panel wattage, but this is not a practical option for me. There’s no more space on the roof for additional panels. While I could theoretically add another 100W ground panel or two to pump 300 or 400 watts through the separate Morningstar 200-watt charge controller (a good way to increase charging in poor sun conditions), my storage rack is maxed out and, as far as space in the truck cab and camper goes, there’s no room at the inn. I’m already panel-heavy. Enough with more panels, already! Important note: Don’t try this at home. Don’t exceed your own controller’s Read more…

The Glock Model 23

 

A Glock Model 23 in .40SW.

A Glock Model 23 in .40S&W. It’s considered to be mid-sized.

Part of my opportunity to evaluate three different pistols, one after the other, while at the Silver Island Mountains near Wendover, Utah included an Austrian-made Glock Model 23, a semi-automatic (self-loading) pistol in the .40 S&W (Smith & Wesson) caliber. (It is common for a given caliber of ammo to include a qualifier after it, since multiple purpose-driven variations often follow which are not interchangeable.) This Glock was a Gen4 (Generation 4) version, which is the latest. Apart from an internal spring change for longer service life, the Gen4 is mechanically similar to previous versions except for some ergonomic improvements. Those include a size-adjustable grip assembly as well as equal adaptability for left-handed people. That may make me yawn, but if I were a lefty, I’d suddenly think it was a very big deal.

Glockoma

Glock, as a brand, is heavily used by military, security agencies, and law enforcement agencies throughout the world, including about 65% of U.S. law enforcement agencies. It initially gained publicity in the 1980s as the infamous “plastic gun” that would surely sail through airport metal detectors and jeopardize the lives of thousands of American citizens, according to the popular press. It garnered lots of attention and sold a lot of newspapers by hyping fear and chaos, but the truth is that the frame itself is polymer, while the barrel, slide, and internals are steel – because they have to be. Glock sidearms have become so popular not because of misleading articles, but because of Read more…

Happy New Year!

Ya gotta love Despair.com and their Demotivators poster series. Perhaps one has to have a certain sense of humor to appreciate them.

On this special day, I look back and… it turned out pretty well, actually. I was able to avoid much of the wearing heat, and got to see some pretty neat stuff! So much so, that I keep thinking that this coming touring season won’t be able to match it. But I have to remind myself that I’ve thought that every year since I first hit the road. And every tour has had its high points, the kind that make it all worth the effort, in spades.

It’s taken me this long to complete putting the Intrepid back together after its visit to the dealer. Reassembling it takes more care than tearing it apart, and I’m not up for tackling challenges these days, so I just do what I can and use the rest of each day absorbing all the information I can. About what? Everything I’ve never been exposed to. A psychologist might say that Read more…

Remounting the Four Wheel Camper

Step 2 of the process: get to the motel.

If you’ve been keeping up with the previous fascinating accounts on this blog, then you’re aware that the Four Wheel Grandby camper in the bed of my F-250 has managed to shift to one side, this being the second time. This one occurred late in the game because I hadn’t had much of a chance to hit rough trails until earlier this year, 2016 having included a minimum of “campsploring”. What’s odd is that both front camper mounts were still tight in spite of the shift, while one the rear showed only a small of loss of tension. That’s not good, since it indicates that, as long as the bed sheetmetal itself is not deforming, the mounting points in the bed are not spread out sideways enough to do any more than hold the camper down.

Whining to Adventure Trailers, my camper dealer, netted an appointment and much brainstorming about ways to end this shifting around, because it’s very unusual. In preparation, I bulked up on aluminum rails that could be mounted to the bed to cage in the camper, plus a bunch of different types of fasteners. That’s an undesirable approach for a couple of reasons, but I figured I’d better show up with a Plan B in case the existing mounting points were already as well-located as they could get in the Ford’s bed. Just in case the rails had to be installed as the solution, Adventure Trailers allotted six hours to get me back out of the shop.

Prescott is a 250-mile, four-hour drive from Wellton,  so showing up at the shop by 8AM would require Read more…

2017 in Review – Part 3

[Same old data warning. You know.]

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

Taos Junction Recreation Site, New Mexico

White Rock, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

NF 445 in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Joe Skeen Campground in El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico

Bar “S” RV Park, Grants New Mexico

Bar “S” RV Park, Grants New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

El Morro National Park, New Mexico

Bighorn Campground, Glenwood New Mexico

Southwest New Mexico

New Name, Same Game

What’s in a name? Since I want to upload a special audio file to this blog, the only way to do that with WordPress.com as my webhost is to change my free “strollingamok.wordpress.com” account into a Personal Pay to Play account that costs $48/year. That also provides other perks of course, one of them being a new domain name of my choice, should I prefer that. Uploading audio files used to be in the free plan, as were plugins. But I guess that came to be viewed as less economically viable than charging money for them. A portion of businesses sometimes take their modus operandi from drug dealers, and the rest of the time from pirates.

I chose “strollingamok.blog” as the new web address. You can probably see that up above, in the web address window of your browser. That address change doesn’t alter anything you have to do to get here, because the old name and old links out there simply redirect all inbound traffic to the new web moniker automagically. Functionally, it makes no difference – except to me. Now I can better clog this Internet Tragedy with even stupider content than I could before, and in greater quantity. What more could one ask?

Introducing: Team Shoestring

Now that some of us will soon be recovering from injuries received over the Christmas dinner table, whether digestive or emotional, I present something which will almost certainly damage your psyche. That is the reassembled promotional website of Team Shoestring. So let me refer you to the diabolical Team Shoestring blog page that currently contains a half-hour audio recording called “The Team Shoestring Updates”. I plan to expand this page over time with a little of the pictorial shenanigans originally depicted on the original Team Shoestring website. I’m undecided as to whether that’s a promise or a threat, so you be the judge. As I do so, more of the topic titles on that page will be changed into active links which lead to their own special pages.

Backstory: Actually, you need this in order to have the anything on that page make any sense at all, particularly the “Team Shoestring Updates” audio recordings. This is a blatantly ridiculous promotional scheme that goes back to Read more…

Merry Christmas!

In the true spirit of the holiday, at least as we practice it here at Rancho Begley…

 

But personally, I have minimal expectations this year, as always.

Post Navigation