Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just like old times...

We are once again in Baton Rouge, at the very same ex-big-box-store that served as Red Cross headquarters after Katrina.  The Red Cross has again leased this building, even though the landlord unceremoniously booted them out last year, due to a pending sale of the building, which apparently fell through.  In any case, there is a small contingent of Red Cross folks here, getting the place in shape as a potential relief operation headquarters for Louisiana.  With nerves still raw from last year's hurricane season, they want to be ready to go in case one hits this year.

We're not working on this visit -- we just happen to know half a dozen or so of the folks here, and we stopped by for a social visit, since we had to drive right through Baton Rouge anyway.  The location makes for a good parking spot, and, unlike our last stay here, we were able to get close enough to the building to snag a 20-amp power outlet for the night.  It was not really necessary, though -- things have cooled down considerably since I arrived in Louisiana, and we did not need any air conditioning last night.  We had a nice dinner with our friends at one of the restaurants we frequented last year.

The spreading of the windshield cracks has finally slowed down.  There are now three major cracks radiating out from the corner, and they are between 18" and two feet in length.  The very corner of the glass has "broken off" from the rest of the glass, and is held together only by the plastic laminate and the tinting film.  With the break extending across the corner in this way, the major stress is now relieved, and one can easily see the change in angle from one piece to the next.

After studying the windshield and the cracks, we have made the decision to proceed to Mexico with the window as-is.  Most likely, the two horizontal cracks will continue to spread slowly across the glass, possibly continuing all the way across to the other side.  However, there seems to be little jeopardy of it caving in, given its shape and placement.  Trying to get it replaced in the next week would also be a daunting proposition.

Today's problem involves the leveling system.  One of the sub-miniature, DPDT, momentary-off-momentary toggle switches that operate the actuators crapped out a couple days ago.  Specifically, the return-to-center spring action is now broken.  At the moment, the switch seems to still be working in both directions, although it takes a great deal of finesse to get it centered and stop the actuator where one wants it.  My experience, though, is that once the spring breaks, it is only a matter of time, sometimes very little, before the switch breaks electrically as well.  I need to find and install a replacement.  Radio Shack used to carry these, and I am hoping they may still have some, otherwise we will need to make a pilgrimage to Fry's in Houston.

We are very happy to be back together, and on the road.

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