Friday, March 12, 2010

Courting the muse

We are at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino (map), just south of Maricopa, Arizona. This is a familiar stop for us.

We left the SKP co-op shortly after the noon checkout time yesterday. First we filled our LPG cylinders -- the co-op has its own filling station and a great price on LP. We had to drag ourselves away from our friends -- we were still chatting away as checkout time rolled around. But two nights there was plenty for us, and I had some work to get done.

More specifically, I had an article to write for Bus Conversions Magazine. Wednesday was actually the deadline for the April issue, and I knew the magazine was short content for the month. They needed the help, so they gave me a couple days grace on the deadline to get something in. This is in addition to the regular monthly column I am now writing on electrical topics.

I did a full-length piece on choosing between 12 and 24 volt house battery systems, slanted mostly to owners of 24 volt coaches (most large tour coaches have 24 volt chassis systems). I formulated the idea in the morning, based on a review of some of the questions I've answered over the years on the bulletin board. But I knew I needed a good chunk of down time -- several hours -- to just sit and bang the piece out from scratch. This casino was just a half hour up the road from where we were, giving me the whole afternoon and evening to write quietly.

I did not finish until late in the evening, after a nice dinner in the buffet. Louise, who normally edits my work, was already in bed, and I took all the photos for the article after dark. It was no surprise, then, that I had a bunch more work to do this morning, after she red-lined the piece from top to bottom, and also suggested that several of the photos needed to be re-done. I'm finally finished, and it's all been sent to the magazine. Two more like this and I'll be eligible for a set of steak knives free jacket.

This is now the fourth full-length feature article I've submitted to the magazine over the years. At some point, I'd like to post them somewhere on our web site, after the magazine's exclusive expires. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow morning I have to teach the Disaster Services Technology - Communications curriculum by web conference to a group of students in Spokane, Washington. We're ruminating now about staying here another night, or moving another half hour north to Wild Horse Pass, just south of the Phoenix metroplex. At this point, we're looking at hanging around the area until Louise's potential Red Cross meeting in Milwaukee, as Phoenix Sky Harbor is actually an ideal place from which to fly.

Our two days at the RV park allowed us to put a good soak on the batteries for the first time since my terminal repair. I'm not getting my hopes up, but we are monitoring them now for a few days to see if we really need to drop three grand on a new set right now. If we do, Phoenix will be the place to do it, as the East Penn distribution center for the southwest is here. Otherwise, I don't know when we will get to pass another one.

Image uploaded by Lynn (Gracie's mom) - I'm here & there and used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. As you probably know blogspot now supports up to 10 additional pages on your blog. The links would appear either on the side or under the heading. I'll look forward to reading your articles. Rich

  2. @Rich: We'll probably use the 10 static pages to reproduce content from our main website,


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