Sunday, March 21, 2010

1.21 Jigawatts!!!!

I have enough power in this monster to operate a flux capacitor. I'd love to warp back to 1985 to see the birth of Troy and drive him off the showroom floor. But that could have grave consequences for the space-time continnuum. The photo above and left shows the flux capacitor and the warp regulator. This runs through the undercarriage to the fuel rods. U-235 is for sissys and can barely power a Delorean. I'm running on UB 12550! Woot Woot! I'm going back to terminate Michael J. Fox at birth so I can replace him and star in Teen Wolf. Better start growing my beard right now.
"oh God, I don't know how they found me Marty, but they found me."
"Who found you Doc."
"It's the Lybians!"
Some of you may remember this most classic of cinematic scenes and you will also recall that 'the Lybians' are driving a late 1970's Volkswagen Vanagon with the roof cut out to accomodate a terrorist with a shoulder launched RPG. So bitchin'. I may add a gun turret to Max in the future.

we have water

The plumbing is in. It goes through the floor and onto the ground just like I like it. No gray water hassle. I toyed with the idea of throwing a T-junction on the pipe and adding a ghetto urinal. I guess I don't have space for both a urinal and a sink. But I guess the sink could act as a urinal. Or the urinal could act as a sink. Maybe, just maybe, I have both a urinal and a sink.....or did I just blow my own mind?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We have fire.

I got all the cabinets in and the counter top. here are some various photos. The drawer was actually easier than I thought it would be. Nice and smooth. the propane was a pain.
I ended up with 5 fittings between the stove and the rubber fuel line. The guy at Lowes tried to tell me some old wives tale about using soapy water to check for leaks. Pfft. Whatever dude. I told him "yeah man, I've been using the Farmer's almanac as a reference quite a bit and actually my shakra is aligned today so I won't be needing any 'soapy water'. What a sucker.

Got her fired up right at the end of the day. Blasting both burners and the space heater at the same time. After I installed the stove I glanced at the installation directions. They've got all this garbage in there about minimum this, and minimum that. Come on guys, do you really think you need 8 inches between the backwall and the burner? I got 3 and some change. I'm tired of 'the man' telling me what to do. Hopefully hooking up the plumbing tomorrow and then electric I reckon. I still have to build the cabinet in the back but the woodworking novelty has worn off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Got Wood?

Wait till the fire marshall gets a gander inside this bad boy. I have finally built my dream home. It's like living inside a tree. More wood than you can shake a stick at.

I got a bunch of stuff done today despite the most miserable conditions outside that I have ever seen. Drizzling rain that has not let up. The water table is actually above ground level. The backyard is a mudpit. I walked back and forth from the van to the basement in excess of 50 times through grass covered peanut butter. The river is flood stage. People's homes are flooding and further proof of our state of emergency: The flock of seagulls I saw in the Lowes parking lot.

Good thing it's not decent climbing weather cause my finger tip is ruined. It doesn't look bad in the picture and of course it's no big deal for normal life but for climbing it's a death sentence.

So I got the cabinet in above the counter top. That turned out pretty nice. I was toying with the idea of putting doors on all the little cubbies but I felt like I was goind door crazy. It's OK to just throw stuff up there and it would probably get annoying to have to open a little door everytime you want your toothbrush. I like it open like this.

This will be a great spot for toiletries, paper towels, you could even stuff a jacket in there for quick access. Whatever, I like it.

This is my prototype cabinet door. It's pretty good. I got a catch on it so it will stay closed. It's hard to tell but the shelves inside the cabinet are tiered so that you can see all the food on each shelf. This one door took half a day to fit. I watched some videos on youtube about cabinet building. This one guy is like the cabinet champion of the world or something. Seriously, they have competitions. Anyway, he says:

"Everyone can cut to within 3/10ths of a millimeter. It takes talent to remember where you were 1/1oth of a millimeter off so that you can correct for it later."

Yeah, so I followed his instructions...Pfffffff. Yeah right. Dude, I have a jigsaw and a circular saw not some fancy table saw. I eyeball this stuff. That's talent bro.

The downside of trying to get it within 1/8th of an inch instead of .3 mm is that it never fits. The door will rub somewhere or not close at all. The drilled holes for the handle will be off if you eyeball it. So it's best to go slow and measure twice, even if it means walking through the peanut butter soup again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

split tip

Went climbing today for a bit. Tried the project and redpointed to the roof as usual. The conditions were a bit shmarmy so I kind of wrecked my skin. No chance of sending today with the 90% humidity. So I tried another route called Live and Let Live 5.12b. I kind of froze up then had to try real hard to stay on. I tried a little too hard and fully split my tip. It's a deep one. So I'm off the project for at least two days. Looks like I'll be getting some van stuff done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back in the Wagon

Rainy day in Fayetteville. Most of mega proj 3 was probably dry but I'm in redpoint mode on that rig. Redpointed the 13b bit to the roof twice yesterday and stuck the crux move twice on link. Second time I fell throwing my heel to the lip. Had I stuck that I just would have had to hold on for the 13a headwall. Good chance I coulda done it. Getting close though. I'm figuring the whole route is 13b to a 10 move v9 to 13a. What's that equal? 14a/b? I'd like to think b, it is for sure a whole step harder than Proper Soul so who knows. The redpoint crux pocket is usually the only hold that's wet and it's not the hardest move but it's the hardest move you gotta do pumped as the bejeesus, and you have to do a deep lock off until you're kinda pulling out. Bam, off the rig.

So I installed a good portion of Max's guts. Got all the cabinetry framed out for the most part. Still have to get the shelves in and stain a few bits but the majority is in.

I also built a little mock kitchen so I could see how deep the stove and sink go. I wanted to make sure that the cabinet dividers underneath wouldn't interfere. As a bonus I now have a template to trace for cutting the countertop. Only one shot on that cut, want to do it right the first time. I like how the kitchen setup is turning out. It'll look nice with the custom faux granite counter.

I was also able to manage a bit more work underneath and got the basic layout for the cabinets. It'll be three 15 inch cabinets with a single shelf. Lots of storage in this one.

About midday Mike Cole came to pick up Troy. It was bittersweet for sure. I'm glad to have found him a good home and I could tell from Mike's excitement that Troy is in good hands. Mike works for Caterpillar, the heavy equipment company. He says he can use the lift at work to work on the rig and check this out.....He can paint the rig for free if, and here's the catch, he paints it forklift yellow! So Troy is going to get a makeover and he will finally get the color he deserves. Bright yellow for the bad ass piece of machinery that he is. Go on with it Troy. You're going to look like a bad man. Here's Mike turning the key on his new rig. Good luck Mike, Troy's got your back now.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Haven't done much on the van for a while. The weather cleared up and I had a three day climbing clinic with some Greeks. They taught me what to call Lilah in Greek: skilos. Plus I've shifted my focus to 'mega proj 3' in the cirque. Got pretty close to sticking the crux yesterday. I think it's not too far off if the weather holds. It never ceases to amaze me how this stuff comes together. It took me at least 3 days to climb the 13b bit to the crux roof. When I redpointed that the first time I was completely pumped and barely clipped the anchor. I've linked it about 6 times since then and yesterday it felt like a warm-up, which is how it has to feel if you're going to recover enough before the crux roof. I fumbled my foot sequence a bit on the crux intro moves which may have contributed to the failure. I still almost stuck it. Pretty soon though....I hope. Of course, there is a good chance that even if I make it through the roof I'll fall on the headwall which is about 13a by itself. I love projects, climbing, vans, whatever.

In other news I'm pretty sure I sold the Westy. Goodbye Troy. We certainly shared the best years of our lives together. Troy and I seem to share a similar lifepath. Those years were a time when we both supported each other in extended roadtrips. Driving back and forth from California to Oregon to Utah, to West Virginia, many times. Now it's time to reel it in a bit. We'll both be taking shorter trips now as we've gotten a bit aged. Fortunately, climbing is in Troy's blood as it is in mine. The new owner is a climber and will be taking him to the two best climbing areas in the country: the New and the Red. Godspeed Troy. We will meet again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bed's in.

Just like dad said, "think about how long things will take you then multiply by pi." It took me about 2 full days to create this monstrosity of a bed. If space wasn't an issue it would be easy but when you're working to try to save inches it's difficult. I used 2x2's across the top for 17" clearance. Large tupperware bins are 17" high. The van is 5' 8" wide. If we were short we would have a standard sideways bed. It's angled to accomodate my extra 2 inches. I may add a small vertical cabinet in the back rear corner. I like the way the angled bed turned out though. It has character. It also makes it easier to sit on the edge and prepare meals on the countertop that isn't in yet.

Although the van is 10 inches shorter on living space than the old Westy I mangaged to only lose 3 inches on the wide part of the bed and I actually gained 3 on the narrow side. The box structure near the door is for the heater. I may add a door to that. Then there will be a 15 inch door that will have a 2 foot deep cabinet. Next to that will be the custom dog cave.

Cabinets go in next. The battery isolator showed up today. So did the 'water pump' which I was lead to believe was a 'water pump'. It turned out to be a manual hand pump with a 3 inch handle on it. It would take an hour to fill a bottle so I gotta return that one. I found a sweet deal on a combo package and ordered a new faucet and inline water pump.
Those little cabinets will be under the mattress so you'll have to pull back the bedding to access them. I'm going to have propane and water hoses running through them as well. Good for long term storage stuff like extra blankets.