Originally posted 12/29/2012
Not that you need to – or should – send me anything, but I’ve added a page (shown just above this) called “Mailing Addresses”. I’m having some more adventures in receiving stuff I’ve ordered from online retailers, and I now know pretty much what shipment methods work with what addresses. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I intimately know what doesn‘t work. The problem’s core is that Quartzsite doesn’t have street mail delivery, which can even affect UPS shipments. The page isn’t that fascinating, so don’t bother reading it if you aren’t going to be mailing me big checks or gold bars anytime soon. Naturally, I will try to keep that page updated commensurate with where I am located over time.
What prompted that new page? I ordered three items, two of which (so far) have bounced here in Quartzsite. I really hate to buy stuff like this, but when it will cover a need, it’s gotta be done. The first is a specialized 12-volt fan. It’s settling into temps of around 35 at night and 60 during the day, which means that the trailer is usually a max of 45 degrees when I get up! That’s a bit nippy. Naturally, I kick the propane Mr. Heater on high, but that still takes quite awhile to change things, especially since all the heat stays at the ceiling while everything else stays as much as 10 degrees colder. So I ordered a small fan that should be perfect for breaking up the stratified air (boosting comfort and probably lowering propane usage a bit). I’ve got more on propane usage below.
The second and third items I ordered are for the bicycle. By riding around in town and on the dirt access roads here, I quickly found that my chickens have come home to roost. Up until I was twenty, I rode my bikes a lot. Started cushy on a middleweight bike and then went to roadracer-type bikes, the ones with a real leather seat that is about as forgiving as an anvil. You do get used to it, though. Anyway, I found since I got here that even a ride of a few miles, particularly off-road, would result not in a sore butt, but in a pronounced numbness in my hands and entertainment center. I already knew that I had some permanent damage from my former escapades, but with the right grips and seat, there is little need to stop riding for regular exercise because those problematic contact points no longer exist, practically speaking. Even though general bike seat design hasn’t budged an inch from the start of the 20th century, there are a few radical, highly ergonomic offerings out there that don’t do the damage that standard ones still do. Until the seat and grips come in, I’m walking around for exercise, but that’s a lot of time in the sun (bad for me), and it’s real easy to get dehydrated down here. It’s more of an endurance contest than it is a cardiac workout. Longer errands demand the truck, which gets costly. But even momentarily hopping on the bike to head down the driveway signals problems, so I’ve parked it for awhile. Once I get the items and use them, I’ll do a post on them, just for entertainment purposes. It can be an indelicate subject, but I’ve always had a thing for ergonomics and design. I can tell you though, the standard bicycle seat is sooo obsolete from a design standpoint. I feel sorry for all those people who love putting in the miles, but don’t know that there are less damaging seats available.
My rate of propane usage has stepped up from the cold temperatures, mainly from the fact that the water heater (which is decently insulated) can no longer hold temps for more than half a day. In comparison, up North in the late summer, it would hold hot water for 2-3 days. Leaving the thing on full time would make it quite a propane hog! The space heater is on more too, but uses less propane than the water heater. I only need to run the space heater in the morning to break the cold, and occasionally well after sunset when the outside temps start to dive. The good news is that a 20# tank generally costs about $12 to fill, and will fire the Mr. Heater for 96 hours on Low, and 48 hours at full throttle. That’s well over week’s use so far at these temps, and it might reach two weeks. The big 30# tank for everything else built into the trailer tends to last three weeks at these temps.