EPILOGUE – Licking my Wounds – 20080609

[NOTE: I am in the process of transcribing numerous paper notes from the trip. I hope to have the blog caught up before the coming weekend. I’d be caught up already, if not for several issues with my laptop and its broadband modem over the last week. *sigh*]

The morning SPC outlook maps looked like this:


1300Z Convective Outlook for 2008/06/09




  • 0700C – Wake up! On the second morning since my neck got so stiff that i was barely safe for driving the van, my neck pain has only subsided a little,
  • 0900C – Look over the weather models. No cause for excitement: the nearest area of even slight risk is either (a) about 4-5 hours south, along I-57 (in Illinois) or (b) 3-4 hours east (in Indiana). I decide to stay put and unpack, regroup, etc.
  • 1000C – I try to get my broadband modem working with a different laptop, a Toshiba Satellite M55-S139. No good! The broadband modem appears to be dead, perhaps a casualty of too much ‘road wear’ over the last year.
  • 1100C – Clean up the van. Since the guys I travel with are relatively neat and helpful, collecting the trash from the trip only takes about 30 minutes. I also do some sweeping to remove the road dust, including a strip of Kansas dust an inch deep around the seal of the rear hatch. Thanks goodness the door seals are great!
  • 1230C – At Scott’s suggestion, I try to rearange the seating a bit.  As it turns out, this is a major ordeal! The center console (full of radios and wiring and such) blocks the Stow-n-Go panels so completely that folding a seat into the floor is impossible. (Insert much waving of arms, cursing, etc. here Yell) After partially dismantling the radio setup, moving the from seats as far forward as they’ll go, and moving the back seats as far back as they’ll go, I can finally foce the right seat (in the second row) into the floor.  At one point it gets jammed against both the movable floor panel and the front row seat; I resort to using a garden shovel handle for leverage to pry it out of the seat well and try again. On the third try, I discover the secret:borow one of the legs of my laptop ‘table’ and use it to jack up the center console to create better clearance for the flor panel. A firm shove finally gets the seat into the floor. Over two hors after I’ve started, the job is done.
  • 1500C – Grab lunch at the Red Lobster.
  • 1600C – I visit the Sprint store to see what can be done about replacing my broadband modem. Fully expecting to shell out several hundred dollars, I quietly describe my observations about the device and all I’ve done to get it working.  The sales rep checks my account and gives me good news: I paid for insurance on the gadget! I’ll have to wait two days for the replacement to arrive, but I will not pay a dime for the trouble (and the storm pattern looks uncooperative for most of the next week, so I can afford to wait). Thank God I paid for that replacement plan insurance! (I usualy opt out of such coverage.)
  • 1650C – I call my Chrysler deal for an appointment to look at the fuel system issue we experienced on the trip. I get a Wednesday appointment, first thing in the morning. I return home, fingers crossed that the warranty covers the problem (i.e., that i do not face a big repair bill).
  • 1730C – I continue to empty stuff out of the van.  I find a metal plate just big enough to accommodate my antenna farm inside the van, so I put the antennas on the plate, in preparation for a visit to the car wash (to get the rest of the road dust off the van)
  • 2030C – I grab dinner. Man, am I tired!
  • 2200C – Turn in for a night’s sleep

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