In which I make a pen, pick up poop, and sanitize a tank

I was on the phone with E as I approached his house. “Is it the brick one with dark shutters?” I asked. That’s funny because his neighborhood is one of those with fairly strict requirements about how you can decorate. Every house is brick with shutters. “It has a detached garage” said E, who apparently has considerably more discrimination of brick houses than do I. At that point I’d already passed the house. I’d probably have done a better job finding the place if I’d just looked at the numbers on the mailbox rather than talking to him on the phone. I realized this about 4 houses past his street and opted to just reverse back up the street, apparently alarming someone who was another four houses the other side of E’s house. I made it. E would be home soon.

Thor and I went to the back yard so that he could evacuate his bladder and bowels. E’s older son came out and showed me some really cool yo-yo tricks. I sort of been into yo-yos in late elementary school and knew a couple tricks, but nothing like what this kid could do. Apparently yo-yoing, like skateboarding has progressed way beyond where it was when I was a kid. (I really wish that I’d learned to do an Ollie, which the previous links says is “the first trick that most skateboarders learn,” so apparently whatever tricks I knew don’t even count. Here’s a video that you can use to learn to Ollie.)

I also filled Walden’s water tank and added the end of my Star San, a sanitizer left over from my home brewing days. I suppose they probably make some kind of sanitizer especially for campers, but I went with good old Star San. It needs only two minutes of contact time and does not need to be rinsed, a very valuable quality if you’re about to fill the thing you just sanitized with beer.

We had a really nice salmon dinner, which forced the family to eat together. I’m a very good influence on families.

After dinner, I made a pen. That’s right. I made a pen. I turned it on a lathe out of a piece of acrylic. Here’s how it works. (1) Get a piece of wood or acrylic about 3/4″x3/4″x6″, cut it into two pieces (one for the bottom part of the pen and one for the top, they come apart so that you can put the pen inside). (2) Make the pieces round, shaped like, you know, a pen. (3) Polish the thing with about a dozen grades of sand paper ranging from about 160 to 1200 (or was it 12000?) and finish with some kind of polish. (4) Add stuff that makes it be a pen. And, there you have it. Here’s mine:

I made this pen!!!

Thor and I slept in an actual house, in a bed. In the morning, Thor pooped on the floor. His poop contained worms. I tried to figure out which kind of worms they were from pictures on the interwebs. I never really figured it out. Sadly, I failed to get a picture. It was early, and I was inexplicably more concerned in picking up poop than documenting it for your pleasure or for proper identification of parasites. I called my friend’s vet, but there was no opening. After a bit more research, I learned that you can buy some stuff over the counter at the pet store. Like me, the stuff can’t discriminate between hook worms, tape worms, ring worms or whatever the other one is.

I hung out with E and his wife K for a while, got directions to a pet mega store, drain the sanitizer, filled the tank, and hit the road.

I found the pet store and the de-wormer. Since I was doing dog maintenance, and hadn’t paid for any car maintenance in nearly 48 hours, I took Walden in for an oil change. I was very excited that I’d finally be able to get windshield washer fluid filled up. I didn’t know where the filler was. I looked in the shop manual. No help. I looked in the owners manual, and lo! there was the filler under the carpet where my left foot usually rests. I got the filler hose from the guy and filled it up. I was so excited. Then a guy yelled up from the hole in the floor “leak!”

My hopes of squirting liquid on my windshield dashed, I dashed on toward the ocean.

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2 Responses to In which I make a pen, pick up poop, and sanitize a tank

  1. Amy Pfaffman says:

    Can you fix the leak? Seems like an important feature to have in the long term.

  2. Michael says:

    I love the name of your van, Walden, and the simplify, simplify, simplify approach you are taking to your challenges

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