Sunday, April 29, 2007

Red Cross training, Stockton, CA

Much to post today. I'm not sure why I did not post while we were in Alameda, since we had internet access at the hotel, but I didn't, so I will report on that stop now.

As I mentioned in my last post, we headed back up to Alameda last Sunday evening, and spent the night outside of Coach Specialties' shop there (map). First thing Monday morning, I checked in with the shop to verify that the lower windshield had arrived (yes) and was intact (also yes), and they pulled us into the shop to get started. They immediately set to work removing trim and prying old adhesive out from around the lower glass, while we anxiously awaited the scheduled arrival of the upper glass that I purchased from fellow Neoplan owner Russ in Nashville (thanks, Russ!).

In the meantime, we rented another car from Enterprise ("We'll pick you up"). Now, we already had a perfectly serviceable car (also from Enterprise, coincidentally), but Enterprise wanted an extra $100 to drop it off "one way" in Alameda (or at OAK). So we returned the first car to SJC Sunday morning, booking this other car for Monday. It was $10 more per day, but that still beat $100 (plus we saved a day's rental between Sunday and Monday).

The upper glass arrived right after lunch, and, even though the carton had some damage, the glass arrived intact. That freed the shop up to start removing the upper glass as well, and, by day's end, the lower was out and the upper hanging on by a thread. We fed and watered the cats and locked them in the back, and loaded the dog, en boite, into the car for the short ride to an Oakland-airport neighborhood hotel (the closest we could find to take pets).

There turned out to be fairly extensive corrosion around both window frames from three years of near-constant water intrusion. Coach Specialties worked the frames for quite a while with grinders, then coated the exposed regions with a special anti-corrosive compound that both removes any remaining corrosion and protects against further damage. By Tuesday afternoon, they had the new upper glass in place and glued, but it was clear the lower would have to wait until Wednesday, which would extend our stay into Thursday at least. We extended both our hotel stay and our car rental by another day.

On Wednesday, the lower glass was reinstalled, and remaining gaps in the sealant (from shims and holidays) on the upper were filled and smoothed. I have to say, they were quite meticulous and thorough with the sealing process, and it appears unlikely there will be any further opportunity for leakage. Thursday morning the final sealing was completed on the lower, and, after reinstalling trim, they took care of various scrapes and chips in the paint job caused by the installation process.

Thursday was also the opening of the Pacific Power Boat Expo at Jack London Square, right across the channel, and, after returning our rental car, we hopped on the #63 bus and headed over to the show, leaving Coach Specialties to their, um, specialty. It was a small show, with a low ratio of trawlers, but we did get to go aboard a few of the boats we have been researching. Sort of a preview to the upcoming TrawlerFest that we will be attending in Poulsbo in June.

When we returned from the show, Odyssey was mostly done (and already backed out of the shop), although it looked like we would need to spend another night so they could buff out the clearcoat in the morning. Just before closing they decided it was dry enough to buff and send us on our way, although we did notice some unpolished overspray an hour after we left in the harsh light of the setting sun.

Knowing we had an early morning training class, we headed straight for Stockton, right in the thick of the afternoon commute. While slogging through Livermore on 580 at a walking pace, I had to keep reminding myself that we would do this one night, but the cars surrounding us did it every day. I would go insane.

After a stop for dinner, we arrived at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds well after dark, with nary a clue as to where we should park among the many rigs still there from the Escapade. While we were idling in a turn-around studying the map and calling people for instructions, one of the security guards drove up to us, and led us to a full-hookup campground area on the far side of the fairgrounds (map). We're still here, after paying our requisite $10-per-night camping fees, and the 50-amp power has come in handy in the 90+ degree heat we had yesterday.

The downside to this spot is that it is .6 of a mile from our classes, where most everyone else is parked, but our new Honda Metropolitan scooter is a perfect fairground-commuter and makes short work of it.

I've been in classes for three solid days, with homework to boot, so this is my first night off. Tomorrow we have an easy morning before we head over to re-certify on the ECRV, followed by a class on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Tuesday we update our CPR and AED certifications, and then we're done. I expect to leave the fairgrounds Wednesday morning, whereupon we will head uphill to cooler climes.

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