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Old 03-05-2021, 01:17 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
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Year: 1999
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2nd Life

Hello Everyone!
My name is John Taylor Arndt.
I am converting a 1999 Bluebird TC/2000 in Raleigh, North Carolina that I'm sure some people have seen as I've posted my starting conversion videos. This is how I want my 2nd life to start.
I call it my second life because I actually almost died on February 21st 2020 I was on my Motorcycle (Tu250x) and a Van hit me (they didn't see me?) as they pulled out of a gas station. I had 5 Lacerations in my Brain both forearms broken and my Right Femur broke in 2 places. I didnt have a memory for 5 weeks. I was in the hospital for 71 days. So I feel rather Lucky and now I just want to see the world.

Here is a link to my YouTube Channel if you want to see.
https://youtube.com/c/JohnTaylorArndt1
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:44 AM   #2
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Welcome! I'm glad you're here...in all the senses of that word. That's a pretty paint job and a nice looking bus. I'll have to look up your YT channel...thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Taylor Arndt View Post
Hello Everyone!
My name is John Taylor Arndt.
I am converting a 1999 Bluebird TC/2000 in Raleigh, North Carolina that I'm sure some people have seen as I've posted my starting conversion videos. This is how I want my 2nd life to start.
I call it my second life because I actually almost died on February 21st 2020 I was on my Motorcycle (Tu250x) and a Van hit me (they didn't see me?) as they pulled out of a gas station. I had 5 Lacerations in my Brain both forearms broken and my Right Femur broke in 2 places. I didnt have a memory for 5 weeks. I was in the hospital for 71 days. So I feel rather Lucky and now I just want to see the world.
You need a lottery ticket, not a bus. Wow. Glad you survived. Unlucky it happened, but very lucky you survived. I rather think they didn't see you because they didn't look. Five years in a tractor-trailer has taught me that most 'drivers' are doing anything but. If you can picture it being done in a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, or even a bedroom, I've seen it done at 65 mph in a car.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:57 PM   #4
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welcome from the NC beach.
you are always welcome to ask for advice/ help here.
i am only 2 hours away if you need help.
in my military town i always say bike riders are crazy but riding a bike in raleigh traffic?
they are used to running the interstate and dont think to slow down when they are not.
glad you are ok and i understand my riders friends rage of other vehicles because i have seen it to many times.
so bike to bus. or bus to haul your bike?
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:30 PM   #5
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Welcome from New Jersey.

I watched some of the videos of your tear out. I did the same thing last summer. Getting seats out requires some help. On my bus a lot of the nuts were frozen to the bolts and my 1/2" impact gun easily sheared those off. Looks like you saw the same thing.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:10 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Bus to haul a bike with a side car for my dog to ride in! And when I get to the more harder things I'll hit you up @jolly rodger
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:13 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ole yeller I just got a angle grinder finally so if will be the next video for a full removal
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:56 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Oh yeah I was aware of the stupidity of random drivers since I watched a lot of dashcam channels. I will be way more cautious from now on tho @cheese_wagon
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:57 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I will be putting a old map design over the bus later so that as I go to a area I will find a good sticker or have someone pait the most descriptive area animal/ plant or thing @rossvtaylor
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:01 PM   #10
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Oh yeah I was aware of the stupidity of random drivers since I watched a lot of dashcam channels. I will be way more cautious from now on tho @cheese_wagon
You can also hit me up about cool places to travel, I've not been everywhere, but I've been all over the lower 48 and seen a lot. The only thing I've not seen is the Badlands in UT, something I really wanted to see, but health isssues cut my trucking career got short.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:04 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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You can also hit me up about cool places to travel, I've not been everywhere, but I've been all over the lower 48 and seen a lot. The only thing I've not seen is the Badlands in UT, something I really wanted to see, but health isssues cut my trucking career got short.
Oh I will definitely do that when I am planning out my map guides
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:46 PM   #12
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(*Googles "TU250x".*)
Ooooo... classic style thumper -- nice!

I was on a preposterously customized Lambretta 125 when a car made the classic left turn directly in front of me -- when I was 18, which makes it Half A Century Ago.
He "did not see me", yes -- because he had instead seen a place to buy cigarettes, so he automatically obeyed his addiction and turned the steering wheel to the left.
As I understood it from the police report, he considered his need for cigarettes to be a valid reason to suddenly turn left into oncoming traffic (me).
He never so much as sent me a get-well card in the hospital.
And I have limped ever since.

In spite of this, I believe there may be a slight hope that life is worth the trouble in the long run for most of us.

So, welcome back among the living, John, and welcome aboard this silly bus ride!
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:41 PM   #13
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Rear ended by a semi at 31yo, chronic pain ever since (33 years) and 5 years ago two artificial discs in my neck. I hope your injuries are not chronic and you live long and happy.

As a school bus driver, I see all sorts of crazy drivers. The make up in the mirror, the Mario Andretti's, the distracted, the angry ones, impatient ones and clueless ones. No one wants to be behind a big vehicle so they whip out, stomp on the gas to pass and guess what is crossing the road?

I'm also an occupational therapy practitioner and have worked with many a people in your situation. You are lucky to have survived and doing apparently well.

Enjoy your travels!
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:12 AM   #14
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... No one wants to be behind a big vehicle so they whip out, stomp on the gas to pass and guess what is crossing the road?
...
O.M.G.

A huge buck deer.

Southbound US 97 in Oregon, around LaPine, I think. A group of six or eight motorcycles. Blessedly, they took the hint of my frantic arm-waving out the window and dropped back in behind me.

A moment later, when they saw the buck, I swear I could FEEL them all dropping their jaws inside their helmets, back there behind me.

Driving 18-wheelers is damned scary work.
No wonder I am a mental wreck in my old age.
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The "Black Death" of the 14th century killed half the population of Europe and Asia.

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Old 03-06-2021, 03:30 AM   #15
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Driving 18-wheelers is damned scary work.
No wonder I am a mental wreck in my old age.
Oh, to be sure. I have my own stories myself.

Number one:

Three months out of training, Parley's Summit, UT descending eastbound into WY. In the winter months, the air is so cold and thin there that the fog literally freezes in mid-air, settling to the road to be pounded into the crevices by rolling tires. It's not just black ice ON the road, it's black ice IN the road where it looks no different than the typical oil deposits, tar, or mirage of standing water occasionally seen at certain angles.

I geared down for the grade and turned the engine brake on, just like I'd been trained. The truck changed lanes by itself in 100 feet at 40 mph with a sleeping co-driver in the bunk and 41k on the trailer behind it. Turning the engine brake off arrested the skid, but I was now rolling down a 15-mile grade in icy conditions I was previously unaware of. What to do?

Engine brake probably wasn't the best idea at that point, but I felt sure that 15 miles of snub braking grossing 76k would surely light the brakes up like the Fourth of July. The only option I saw was to stab the brakes a few times, drop two more gears to 7th and hope it was slow enough for the engine brake to keep it under control without overheating the brakes. I don't know how, but it worked, and that hour or so descending at 15 mph was arguably the longest hour of my life. Believe it or not, my co-driver woke up at the WY port of entry and said he never woke up and didn't feel a thing.

Number two:

Eastbound on I-80 coming through Sparks, NV, doing about 60 in freezing weather grossing about 79,500 when I realize that the interstate has taken on that tell-tale spotty sheen of very thin patches of ice. No sooner do I start slowing down than about five or six knuckleheads go zipping by me at 70-75. About a half-mile later, an exit is coming up, but there's a car on my right and I know there's no place to park a semi there anyway.

And that's when all hell broke loose. A pickup starts doing 360s in the hammer lane, bounces off the Jersey barrier, and still spinning, slowly begins sliding into the center lane (my lane of travel, which would soon be the right lane). Somehow, three or four of the knuckleheads between us managed to stop before knocking them galley-west, while all I can do is start braking, use my right turn signal and hope like hell the car to my right gets the idea.

I don't know if they somehow saw what was happening ahead (unlikely, I was 13'6" high and 70' long) or if they simply freaked out when they saw my signal flashing, but fortunately, they were paying attention and I was able to overrun the ramp into the shoulder, maybe inches before I would have tagged the hapless Silverado straddling the right lane. I'd only been able to slow to 35 or 40, that was as hard as I dared to brake on ice without jackknifing. That pickup driver needed a lottery ticket and clean underwear after that, as you can imagine.

So did I, and I imagine the other driver on my right probably only realized what had happened after I just barely missed the pickup, and that they literally saved someone's life that would otherwise have been dead in a few seconds. Probably would have killed me too, because I'm pretty sure the steer axle would have been knocked out from under on impact, and that would more than likely have been a rollover.

Number three:

Climbing Snoqualmie Pass, WA in a low-visibility snowstorm (very little truck parking in that part of the state), and yes, I was loaded to about 78,000. Some yo-yo in a Nissan Maxima just can't stand riding behind me at 35 mph, they just HAVE to get around my slow-@$$ truck, right?

About halfway up the side of my trailer, they spun a quick and hard 90-degrees, doing a three-point turn off of a Jersey barrier. No sooner have I gotten off the phone with highway patrol to alert them, here comes the same idiot, faster this time, with their hazard flashers on (as if THAT'S going to help). I just started backing out of it to about 30.

Number four:

Same basic situation as #3, except this was on on a curvy two-lane. And this one went in the ditch hard at a 90-degree angle. They're lucky they didn't spin right, or they would have had a haircut and a quickie convertible conversion.

Sorry for the derail, OP, but people really need to realize two things... One, the only dime a bus or semi can stop on is the one in your pocket. And two, anyone on this site needs to be aware of what their rig can and can't do. Which is why I push safety inspections, and proper driving habits, such as driving a bit slower than traffic. And that includes being aware of your surroundings, and knowing what to do when things get hairy, it can be very much life-or-death, as OP's recent misfortune shows. I certainly don't think that no one else could have come through these situations without a problem, but how many really would?

And no offense to any ladies here, but "soccer mom" was without a doubt the worst contributor to my gray hairs. Driving 80 on cruise control, steering with their knees because they have a bran muffin in one hand, coffee in the other, phone cupped to their ear with their shoulder, yelling at the kids to be quiet as they cut off a 40-ton truck that needs 800 feet to stop at 65 mph, with maybe 20 feet between bumpers. But no one gets it until they get hurt, or worse, because everyone thinks they are the world's best driver.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:39 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Rear ended by a semi at 31yo, chronic pain ever since (33 years) and 5 years ago two artificial discs in my neck. I hope your injuries are not chronic and you live long and happy.

As a school bus driver, I see all sorts of crazy drivers. The make up in the mirror, the Mario Andretti's, the distracted, the angry ones, impatient ones and clueless ones. No one wants to be behind a big vehicle so they whip out, stomp on the gas to pass and guess what is crossing the road?

I'm also an occupational therapy practitioner and have worked with many a people in your situation. You are lucky to have survived and doing apparently well.

Enjoy your travels!
Oh I know it's like that. I used to drive LMTV's In NC and South Korea. So I will have a full set of roadcam record at all times to make sure I'm not liable in the stupidity (foward, rear, left, and right, as well as a always recording the inside of my skoolie)
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by John Taylor Arndt View Post
Oh I know it's like that. I used to drive LMTV's In NC and South Korea. So I will have a full set of roadcam record at all times to make sure I'm not liable in the stupidity (foward, rear, left, and right, as well as a always recording the inside of my skoolie)
Avoid Garmin dashcams, their mounts are a pain in the @$$ and mine has never recorded audio. I also just trashed a cheap Chinese Ebay special because it requires its own software to view and offload the footage, and it decided to act stupid at an inopportune moment. The footage was eventually retrieved, but it was out of my hands.

I am looking into a complete Alpine setup for m Camry. Expensive, but probably worth its weight in gold if / when something happens. They have their own 2-channel dashcam system that can link to and be controlled by certain Alpine receivers. I think local retail would be about $1000-$1800 before install, and then I might upgrade speakers as well.
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