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Old 09-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #301
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Millicent's first expedition was a roaring success, but one thing did go Horribly Wrong out there at Burning Man.

Having no experience with the Cumming 5.9, I had no sound to compare with when I cranked her up. Sure, it sounded a bit sluggish, but no alarm bell went off in my head.

When we went to start her back up to come home from BM, the starter died completely.
After attempting repairs, and failing, I hitched a ride to Reno for a new starter. Returned the next day in a rental car, slapped the new starter in and... Wow -- so that's how it's supposed to crank!
Very foolish of me. I should have paid attention to the sluggish starter and replaced it to make sure.

My two bus mates got to spend an extra day on the Playa. They didn't mind.
I got to ride to Reno with a close cousin of Cheech and Chong - Up In Smoke -- if you remember that movie. Woooooow, maaaan.

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans."
-John Lennon

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Old 09-06-2007, 09:27 PM   #302
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

welcome back to the default world. Sorry we didn't get to spend more time together. Glad to hear everything except the starter went so well.
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:32 PM   #303
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Thanks, Jason. What a week! I wasn't too worried about the starter, since I knew darned well how it would get handled. It was only a matter of "how angry are my friends going to be over the inconvenience of waiting?" But those folks are my friends for a reason. So it was an OK adventure.

Here is The Big Philosophical Idea:
47.000 people just spent a week in the bleeping Black Rock Desert -- living under conditions of considerable discomfort and hardship. Kind'a like most people lived thousands of years ago. And some people live even today, in some parts of the world. THOSE people lived that way -- when a dry-split fingertip could kill you -- because they had no choice.
To eat, they had to trek up in the surrounding mountains and find and kill a rabbit. Might take a few days.

WE... go out in that effing desert for a week once a year and pretend to live like that... for sport. When the storms blow, we have good wine on ice while we listen to rock'n'roll under 12 Volt flourescent RV lamps.
We are so fortunate. So decadent. So rich. So spoiled.
Gotta love it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:46 AM   #304
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Finally a photo of Millicent at Burning Man.



This is the front of our camp, with a couple of our Kinetic Contraptions -- we had eight total, plus some minor goofy bicycles and whatnot. Our main shade is a 40 foot by 60 foot tarp that we wrapped around Millicent and tied to two other sturdy vehicles.

I wanna go back there. Now.

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Old 09-20-2007, 09:09 PM   #305
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Just a little bit of trivia:


That's Millicent's bus. No, my bus does not own its own bus. That's the bus that belongs to Harold and Millicent from Utah! My bus is on the left, mostly covered by the shade tarp -- which we were in the process of taking down.

Last year at Burning Man, I drove my $250 temporary bus and I was trying to figure out what sort of permanent bus I should buy. I spotted this Utah bus, and the very kind Lady Millicent gave me a "tour". I measured that bus up one side and along the other -- inside and out. Later I met her husband Hal also. Fabulous folks.

My buddy Peter was with me, and we talked about... not only the bus, but what a pretty name Millicent is. (Lady Millicent is very pretty also!) And I decided that if I bought such a bus, I would name the bus Millicent.

A few months later, I bought my Millicent The Bus.

This year at Burning Man, on the day when most folks were returning to "the default world"... what came slowly cruising towards us but... Hal and Millicent in their bus. They had spotted my bus during the event, and wanted to ask questions, but I was not in camp at the time. But they caught me on that last day. They seemed to get a kick out of the entire story.

Hal and Millicent's bus is from the 1980s and has a gasoline engine. Otherwise it is very much like mine. More correctly, mine is like theirs! Lady Millicent most sportingly gave me permission to keep using her name on my bus.

Life is wondermuss!
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:55 PM   #306
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

and no pics of the real lady?....the shame that we can't behold thy muss for the bus.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:13 PM   #307
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Another shot of the two Blue Birds...




reveals...



Alas, only grainy outlines of Yours Truly and the astonishingly beautiful Lady Millicent -- in an unflattering pose to boot. Still, in a sense, our muse for the boos, yes.

Peter! Did you get a closeup??!!!
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:53 AM   #308
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I see your brow has changed! You have any new pictures of your new forehead ready yet? I really enjoy reading your progress.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:30 PM   #309
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Gosh, I finally get around to updating my signature image... and people notice!

But that progress is "old news" now. You'll see it two or three pages back. I haven't done much with Millicent since Burning Man -- except unload and clean. There is more and more Playa Dust in my house, as stuff migrates from the bus back to the house, bringing the dust with it. Please understand, that's NOT a complaint! It is a GOOD thing! Brings back the memories.

Oh, I did drive Millicent to Sacramento last weekend, to participate in a Parade and Harvest Fair. Put "Henry Ford Goes Surfing" inside Millicent by taking the wheels off. Love that tailgate!


Yesterday, I tinkered with the foot feed ("gas pedal") linkage. It was too stiff and didn't open all the way. The cable seems like new, but the linkage on the engine is very worn and wobbly, so that needs rebuilding. Meanwhile, I removed one of the return springs. Yes, I know, there should always be two return springs -- each capable of pulling the linkage back to idle by itself (in case one breaks). But I want to take it around the block on one spring, to see what difference it makes. An other factor with the foot feed mechanism is that it also operates the modulator or kick-down cable to the transmission, so there may be friction in that cable.

Next trip is in eight days -- to the Southern California Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ventura. My travel mates tell me I need get the heaters working. And we need more bunks. But I have three Kinetic Kontraptions that all need major work.

Thanks for the kind words. There should be more progress over the winter. It really needs to get all painted -- so we can start decorating on a blank "canvas".
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:02 PM   #310
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate



Damn that looks good! Nice work.
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