Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Scientific Method

Cobscook State Park, Maine

I picked up another copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” back at a rural flea market in Vermont for 50 cents.

I got my first copy of ZMM in 1975 from a hitchhiker. I picked him up in Tallahassee on the way back to Tampa. I asked him if he minded making a short detour so my son and I could float down a spring fed river near Perry, Florida. I had an extra inner tube for the hitchhiker.

And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good?
Do we need to ask anyone to tell us these things?
...Robert M. Pursig

We are dry-camping in the Cobscook State Park in Maine, near the Canadian border. It has rained hard five of the six days we have been in Maine.
My blind psychic guide and spiritual leader, Chris Macleod, strongly advised that we explore the Canadian Maritime Provinces this year rather than return to Alaska, the West Coast and the American Southwest. Chris and his lovely wife, Helen, are with us on this trip in an purely ectoplasmic sense. As we progress, his wisdom will no doubt be revealed more waves...

Yesterday we explored the town of Eastport in Maine which is said to be the easternmost town in the continental U.S. Of course, the Aleutian chain in Alaska sits on the 180 meridian so Alaska really is both the eastern and westernmost State.

We found John 2.5 miles off US 1. He makes smoked salmon and we bought some salmon dip and smoked salmon popsicles from him.

Our house batteries (two big six volts wired in series) have been going quickly dead. This creates all kinds of problems in dry-camping: no cabin lights, no refrigerator, several fire and carbon monoxide alarms beeping and other nasty issues. We're getting up into the Bay of Fundy area with it's 20-30 foot tides and great seafood.

My first hypothesis was bad batteries, but as I checked the water levels in the two batteries I noticed that the nut holding down the attached cables to the negative terminal of one of the batteries had worked loose and fallen off.

I asked Princess Firecloud to reach her thin, graceful, delicate hand down into a cramped area to retrieve the fallen nut. My hypothesis has now changed. I think the batteries are ok, but we had a bad ground. I love the bulldozer of the scientific method.

The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called “yourself”.
...Robert M. Pursig
The batteries are back to normal function...some doofus at the factory failed to tighten a nut...I have complete faith in the bolt, but never the clown with the wrench.

Statement of Problem: one of the RV stabilizers has become slow to retract. My working hypothesis is that it needs a shot of lithium grease on the exterior of the shaft. Hypothesis two: look for the existence of a grease fitting.

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