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Friday, November 28, 2008

Finally back in the swing of all things Internet-

Due to changes in the economy my job has undergone some adjustments. Fortunately, they are relatively superficial and don't impact my income. However, every third week sees an assignment which does NOT include ready access to a terminal.

So, I have not been able to keep up on my blog reading or writing while at work. I did not have those odd moments not otherwise occupied to do either. I realize now that a lot of my blog time was done in those odd moments, and I really missed that.

Due to changes in the economy the changes due to the economy will be changed again. I will be able to access a bit more, and at least until the next change to the changes due to the changes in the economy all will be good.

Just in case someone is concerned about "wasted time" at work, the odd moments come largely when the inmates I supervise are asleep. Even while awake they don't occupy all of the time the officers are at work. Odd moments, like I said.

We had a good bit of rain this week. Since I am camping in the parking lot during the day (to avoid trying to drive when I am very sleepy) I got to test my rain preparations. I have a tarp I lay in the bed to aid in protecting the interior of the tent from any wet that gets into the truck bed. That worked fine.

I have another larger tarp that goes over the whole tent and part of the truck cab, strapped down with bungee chords and looking pretty ghetto. Well, maybe sub-urban white-trash ghetto. It also worked well.

Only one problem occurred. I awoke in the midst of the rain and looked out through the bug screen door to see the awning bulging toward the ground. It had accumulated a lot of water. I was able to reach out and push the bulge, forcing the water off of either side and freeing the awning from the threat of collapse.

I set my alarm to awaken me every thirty minutes so that I could take care of this problem during the greater part of the rain. Annoying, but it worked.

After I got up I addressed the problem. Lots of elaborate ideas came to mind, and were rejected. I did not want to add more stuff to what I hauled around with me. Then, inspecting the awning and tent, I saw where I could solve the problem with some cord and two chop sticks.

I found a chop stick in my glove box, but only one. I tied it to the end of a cord and then used that to lock the cord to a loop at the top of the tent door just under the place the awning attaches to the tent. I stretched the cord to the awning support pole and tied it off tight.

The cord lifted the awning enough to cause water to run off in two directions and not accumulate where it had gathered before. Two cords forming a cross support under the awning will probably prevent a similar event. Problem solved.

I found some spare chop sticks in the dining hall at work, and added them to my kit. The cheap throw-away sticks from Chinese restaurants can serve a lot of purposes in camp, I should think. They can be whittled easily, and already have a useful shape. I recommend them highly.

As to bungee cords, I have really taken a liking to the cheap ones available at the Dollar Tree. Yes, they are not particularly heavy duty. However, the way they are made leaves the hook piece free to slide on the cord. This makes them adjustable.

I stretch the cord where I need to use it, and if it is a bit too long I just tie a knot in the cord to push the hook back on the cord and thus stretch it tight when in use.

These things are cheap enough to keep a lot of them with you in your camp kit. They come in packs of six, in several sizes per pack. There are two pack choices at my local store. The range of lengths for the various cords makes the collection versatile and useful.

Well, I am glad I could get back to blogging. I missed it this week, and it took me a while to catch up on my favorite blogs.

Now I need to go air out the tent. It got wet and needs to dry out.

1 comment:

Pam said...

My favorite: sub-urban white-trash ghetto.