Sunday, January 25, 2009

Christmas in January and obstacles to over come...

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a Vintage Airstream Podcast super fan. I have been honored with being on the show numerous times. I had a hard drive crash a few months ago and lost everything including the old shows on my I Tunes. Tim Shepard had to drop the first 50 shows from the server due to the tremendous band width it was taking up. So the first 50 episodes were lost to me. But now Tim, Rob, and Colin have put the first 30 on disc. There are 10 episodes per disc and each disc is a measly $10 donation. I suggest donating double per disc to mess up the whole system.

To get your own set go to Make a donation and they will come to you promptly. Like I said, buck the system and donate a double contribution per disc. Maybe Tim will be kind enough to release the next set sooner that way. He has put these out in super high sound quality, and they are actually better than the original podcasts were. Seriously folks, this is a must have item. You don't have to donate double(but should). Just make a donation and get your own.

Now for something totally different... A year ago there was a mountain of mulch between Anna and the road.

I had to spread it before any work could begin. Well this year here is the mountain.

Okay, okay, it is not a mountain, but it is about a cord of rock maple, and I spent the entire day yesterday cutting and splitting it. I have been splitting wood by hand like this for years. As a younger man I was able to produce three times this much in a day. This is a part of life most people down South have no concept of. Cutting, splitting, and stacking of firewood to keep warm. Between my house and shop, I burn about five cords per season. For those unfamiliar, a cord is 4 x 4 x 8. What you see here is very prime burning. It should keep us warm for about a month.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

She's back.....

Well after an aborted attempt to bring her home earlier in the week Anna has finally made it home after six weeks of being at the "annex". I waited a few days for the ground to get nice and hard. It has been very cold here, with highs ever day below freezing. It did not take long for the area that was mud to become rock hard. My friend Mike was sad to see her go and asked me to bring another over for him to look at. He requested that this time I not park in such a discrete location. He wants me to park one so he can see it when he wakes up. I think Michael is being converted to the Airstream way. I have been asked to find a "small one" for him. Anyone have a small one on a small budget looking for a good home? I promise Michael will treat her like she was intended to be used. He would make a great asset to the community. You folks out there help me out with this dream. Now back to Anna,

This was Anna's last ride on 46 year old axles. I placed the order with Colin Hyde at GSM for two Axis axles. They are going to be 75" hub face to hub face. 57 7/8" frame rail to frame rail. 3200 lbs down rated from 3700 lbs with 10" brakes. Powder coated, shock brackets welded on, and all the hardware needed. The total bill for this is $1160 to my door. In two weeks I will show everyone how I went about putting them on. Now to figure out what to do with the incredible savings. Anyway, I drove Anna home and backed her in next to the studio.

Through the gate and back where she belongs. All evening I looked out at my beautiful girl. Man am I looking forward to spending some time with her. She is so much easier on the eyes than that 5 panel 1966 was.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You can all thank Anna

Anna likes to give back to the community too. She has made a major contribution to many owners looking to make their name plates look new again. How did she contribute you ask? By going nameless for a few months. I drilled of the plate back in July and sent it off to Vintage Trailer Supply. Today her name plate was returned to me, along with an almost exact copy.

My favorite store has reproduced the Ohio built International Land Yacht name plates. Steve at Vintage Trailer Supply (the first source of parts and supplies that I use)now stocks them. Previously only California built plates were available. No self respecting Ohio built owner would want the wrong plates and now they can have the right one. Thank you Steve for providing us with them, and thank you Anna for being the model.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bon voyage and the aborted homecoming

This morning I hooked up the 66 Overlander and took her down to the Port of Baltimore. She went to a facility that deals almost totally in used vehicles. They were lined up bumper to bumper in mile long rows. Dozens and dozens of rows of used cars. There was also a great deal of heavy equipment. Excavators, graders, bull dozers, all used and waiting to be put on a boat.

I was escorted to an area with motor homes and many power boats on trailers. The escort told me to back in next to a fairly long cigarette boat and unhook. The bumper was literally five feet from the water. A million dollar view of the Baltimore Harbor. After I unhooked and took off my temporary tow lights I was handed a stamped paper and told she belonged to them now. So the only logical thing to do was to go fetch Anna. This is where things went drastically wrong.

I have been storing her at my good friend Micheal's house. I backed across the yard and hooked on. Checked all my lights, made sure everything was secure, and started forward. The truck went forward about four feet and lost traction. I put it in reverse and gently tried to go backward. I went about Three feet and lost traction again. I tried going forward and nothing. I unhooked and still no traction. I had my jack so I jacked up the entire side and set the wheels on boards. The boards were all wet and the tires slipped right off repeatedly. I did this three times and went into a rage. During that rage I floored it and out of the mud came the truck. I will try again on Wednesday when the ground will have frozen for a couple of days.

Sorry Anna, you have to spend a few more days away from home...

William Harold Jacobs

I am very sad right now, sad enough that I am writing this while crying. Yesterday I learned that a member of The Washington DC Unit passed on. Normally I do not blink an eye when someone dies. Death is part of life, why be saddened by it. Unfortunately this time around I am deeply affected. Bill was a big guy with a heart the size of the Appalachian mountain range. He was at every WDCU rally and very active in the Airstream community. He exhibited an unusual kindness to all the children, treating them as his own Grand children. This is actually a practice of all the unit members at the Grandparent stag of life, but Bill took it to another level. The freezer in his rig was too small to hold all the ice creams he would bring for the kids so he replaced his refrigerator with one that had a bigger freezer. Bill also put out huge bowls of M&M's and kept them full so the kids and adults could "get sugared up". He was always there, often with his brother Tom. Bill will be missed by many for years to come. I went back through my photos looking for pictures of Bill. Six months ago my hard drive crashed and all my photos were lost. I was only able to find three.

Bill can barely be made out in this photo taken at the Beachcomber Luau Rally. He is in the back row, toward the left, between Jerry and Peter. You can see his silver hair and horned rimmed glasses. Bill was never in the front. He was always there thought, participating in what ever was going on.

In this photo taken at our Installation Rally you see Bill's white pickup still hooked up to his rig. Bill had the honor of being the furthest tow at this rally. A clear sign of his dedication to the unit and the club as a whole. I believe he drove 485 miles to be there. Sorry folks this is very hard for me....

This picture is also at the Installation Rally. Bill loved to sit by the camp fire. Talking about anything under the sun, moon , and stars. There was very little he did not know about. When he spoke he said a lot with very few words. I think somehow it is fitting that this photo is in sepia. I think it is also fitting that Bill has his back to us.
Bill I will miss you. Godspeed.