16 May, 2015

It Just Goes To Show You

Nothing ever seems to work out quite the way that you think it might.

A week or so ago, the A/C on the Isuzu began to get, shall we say, warm. In other words, the A/C began to fail by degrees (pun intended). It got progressively warmer in the cockpit. At some point I decided it was no longer functioning, so I turned it off, relying only on the vent and fan.

The girls, Secret and Bela, normally love to go for rides with me. I'm convinced now that the only reason they want to go is so they can sit right in front of the A/C vents and suck up all that cool air. They both began to look at me suspiciously, as if I was purposly screwing up the air supply.

I wasn't, honest. It failed. That's all.

A couple weeks prior, Bruce had told me about a shop on the highway near his house, that recharged A/C units for a nominal fee. I tried to find it, but with the highway construction going on in that area, looking was severely hampered.

A couple of days ago, I called Bruce and asked if he would go with me to try and find this elusive A/C fixit joint. He said "Sure," so I hot-footed over to his place and we went to find it.

Well, it turns out there were a couple of other reasons why I couldn't find the place besides the construction... One, Bruce had told me to look for a white house with a chain link fence. Turns out the house is yellow and white. And two, There's no way to get to the house from the highway. You have to approach it from a side street. Sort of sneaking up on it in a way. Oh, and a third reason - No sign. Not that that's unusual by any means here in Belize. Many businesses have no outer indication that there might be a business at that location.

So, OK. Bruce's directions might have muddied the works a bit. We found the place all right and the proprietor (Nairobi is his name) came out with his gauges and stuff to check out the A/C. Right away, after I started the car, he broke out his stethescope (an old length of green garden hose), stuck one end on the A/C compressor and the other to his ear.

His quick diagnosis was that the bearing in the compressor was about to fail big-time. He gave me a card for a guy (Eustace Dawson, 501-610-2835) in Belize City who makes frequent trips to the states and returns with parts, new and used, for all sorts of vehicles. I don't know if he has a sign out front or not. My guess is... uh, no.

Anyway, I asked if he had a compressor for a '96 Isuzu Rodeo, 3.2 liter engine. He did. All I had to do was deposit the money to his bank account, and head over to BPMS (Belize Post and Mailing Service) sort of the UPS of Belize, pay for the COD freight and pick up my compressor. Which I did. Of course, in reality, that took about two days to complete all the transactions, but it got done.

So then, I went up to Rick's, my mechanic, to see if he could install the compressor for me. He could, and he gave me a ride back to Casa Winjama. Once again, we're without wheels.

In the mean time, while all this is going on, Carlos, our Caretaker, told me that Terrence Leslie, the small engine expert, was next door working on Mike's boat motor. I called Terrence and asked if he would stop by when he was done.

Our generator, a 6.5kW (or is it Kw? I looked it up on the Intertubes, and saw it both ways) wheeled affair, hadn't been started in a year or so (my laziness entirely) and the fuel in the tank was a good three years old.

Terrence and his son loaded the generator into the back of their SUV, and I said, since you're here, I think the pool pump needs new bearings too. He had replaced them about four years ago, so it was time. They took the pump as well. That was on Wednesday.

Friday morning, Terrence comes with the generator and the pump, both in primo condition. The generator fired up on the first pull. So, in that regard, we're ready for the coming hurricane season. I made myself a slew of promises that I would test it regularly, etc., etc.

We then took the pump to the pool pump house where I greased up the 'O'rings for the pump pipe unions and we hooked it up and turned it on. Nary a leak. I think that was a first. And Quiet. Wow! I remember, the first time Terrence replaced the bearings on the pump. Before he worked on it, the bearings were actually screaming. The racket was unbelievable.

Everything I had read about the pumps was that the bearings were very critical and had to be ordered specially from Hayward and all that. Total BS. They run fine on Chinese bearings. In fact, after Terrence replaced the bearings the first time, it ran quieter than it did when the pump was brand new. And now, this time was no different. Quiet. The only thing different was that I got it done before the old bearings could scream. They merely moaned.

Generator's taken care of. Check. Pool pump is taken care of. Check. Isuzu's taken care of. Almost.

Back to the Isuzu. At about the end of the Friday pool party, about 5:00 PM, Rick showed up at the gate with the Isuzu. He said it was a good thing I had bought the compressor. The old one was definitely on the verge of seizing up completely and would not have worked long at all. But, he had run out of time for Friday to charge the A/C system. I had asked him to bring the car back Friday afternoon so we would have wheels for the weekend.

Rick is a Seventh Day Adventist, so he's closed on Saturday, their Sabbath, but he said if I brought the Isuzu by on Sunday, he would be able to charge it for me. Everything is looking rosy.

Well, almost everything. My computer, hasn't been able to access the Intertubes for two or three days now. I've been trying to do everything through my iPod. What an exercise that has been.

This morning, I fired up my PC, wanting to extract my email configuration data, and, lo and behold, it's connected to the Intertubes! So, first thing I did was jump up and crank out this post.

I have no idea why the PC was unable to connect for so long. Everything else could do it easily. Dianna's laptop, her iPad, my iPod. Who knows?

So, it just goes to show you... what, I'm not sure, exactly, approximately, or even vaguely. You just have to be ready to respond and 'stay flexible, but don't go limp.'


Wilma said...

Very entertaining, Dave! Dennis has cultivated a relationship with an excellent electrical engineer employed by one of the nearby shrimpfarms who works on our big diesel generator. In fact, he is coming tomorrow (Sunday) to take a look at it. We need our generator more frequently than as an emergency hurricane power. The rainy season will be here soon, and that means that the little solar power system we currently have in place will run out of juice after about 2 days of heavy clouds, even we are are vigilant in our use. We are highly motivated to run our generator for 2 hours at least twice a month (if not once a week) for at least 2 hours to burn off moisture etc. and keep it ready run. I think you have it waaaay too easy with your fancy line current! ;-)

Dave Rider said...

I know. It's one of those modern conveniences that you just sort of get used to having around till it's gone. Then you realize how close to mother nature your existence really is. We still rough it here at Casa Winjama - we don't have town water, but we do have a well. Cisterns are on the list to get... 'Fancy line current', indeed. That's a hoot!