Thursday, March 15, 2007

3AM - So great having Mr. Datastorm back!
When Mr. Datastorm was not working, for almost a month I would go to the Internet Cafe here in the City of Constitución in order to publish our Blog. That meant going after work ended on MsTioga. By then I was tired, and often fell asleep in front of the computer! Also, I could not write to you spontaneously as I am doing now. I would think of something for the blog and make a note for later at the Internet Cafe.

The two Internet Cafes that I used have very slow internet connections. When I would upload a file, such as a pic, it would take sometimes minutes for each file. Once I received an email attachment from Motosat containing a manual for Mr. Datastorm's modem, and it took two hours to download! Wow!

Also, there are many things that are difficult to do at the Internet Cafe. Answer email for example, so my email replies got way behind. Putting up our Google Map location is not easy, because the Datastorm provides the GPS coordinates. That is why there have been no map links for the past month. Also, Readers Write column is just too hard to do at the Internet Cafe, so that column did not get published for several weeks.

The trip north on the ABC Bus to Tijuana.
I loved the trip on the bus. Talking to other passengers, and finding out about bus life!

Wow! Bus life is really something else. Using the bathroom is like trying to hit a moving target while trying to keep balanced as the bus moves every which way!

When I arrived at the bus station in Tijuana, I found that this station is located only a few blocks from the International Border. Within a minute of getting off the bus, a guy was asking me if I wanted a cab. The price to go from Tijuana to "RV Specialists" [where the modem was sent] was quoted at $85, which seemed just a bit high, but not out of line for cab fare, so I took that cab. In a little over one hour, I'd picked up the new 7000 modem and was back at the bus station in Tijuana!

On the trip north, I rode on a luxurious ABC bus, whose interior is like a modern jet liner. The ABC bus had wonderful air-conditioning, and a digital thermometer over the driver's head showed the temperature, which was very consistant and comfortable.

On the trip south, my ABC bus was cancelled and the next bus out [four hours later!] was an Aguila bus [Aguila means eagle in Spanish]. This Aguila bus had air-conditioning, but the heater did not work. During the nite, my feet got soooooo cold. I could not sleep with my feet so cold. Many passengers complained, but there was nothing to be done.

Caulking MsTioga's windows.
Reader Mike S., a very good friend of MsTioga and The Team, wrote an email suggesting that while MsTioga was "in-the-shop", it would be a good time to check and caulk MsTioga's windows [see Readers Write column].

The first window that we looked at was the one in MsTioga's rear wall. Sometimes when it rained, water would seep in near this window, and we never knew why.

Take a look at the pic below! Wow! This is a close-up view of the upper-left corner of the window from the inside with the inside frame section removed [before caulking].

When MsTioga's window was broken a couple years back, we went to a place called "The Glass Doctor" for the repair. As this pic shows, the window frame was NOT centered in the hole provided in the wall [or this hole was made too large by Fleetwood during manufacture]. The pic may not show this clearly, but I could look right passed the window frame's edge and see the outside!


I caulked the window, and replaced the window centered in the hole. The caulk oozed out from the edges of the window frame, showing a nice seal all around!
Do you see the gap to the outside and how the window is off-center?

4PM - Salvadore's painting progress.
The first thing that is done to a fiberglassed surface to prepare for painting, is to sand the surface with a rotary sanding machine. Getting the surface flat and in the same plane as the surrounding area is the goal. Then a Bondo type filler is applied, little by little. Then some bondo is removed with a scraper as the surface gets to the proper level.
Next comes sanding with finer grade paper.

When everything is right, a primer is applied. Sandpaper begins with 60 grit [very course], and ends with 600 grit [almost smooth].
In the pic below, Salvadore is applying a primer coat after sanding with wet 320 grit paper. After the primer coat, wet 600 grit is used.
Primer coat.


5PM - Jorge's favorite part of MsTioga's makeover.
It has got to be the fender skirt! Before, the skirt was a separate piece of molded plastic. Now, the fender skirt appears as part of the entire wall. A smooth blended surface has taken the place of the joint between the exterior wall.
The new fender skirt.


5:30PM - The strange "tojil" plant.
The electric overhead cables here in the City of Constitución, often have a strange plant growing. This plant is called the "tojil".

Nearly every morning here in Constitución, a wet mist drifts in and everything is very wet until the Sun evaporates the water. The "tojil" has adapted to this environment, and grows attached to the unlikely location of the overhead wire cable.

Seeds probably carried by birds and watered by the morning mist, grow on the cables.
MsTioga looks at the "tojils".


Tojil close up.




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