Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time to make like a baby...

and head out. We're rolling out in a few minutes, see you in the dust!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Getting ready to Burn

Last year we had three virgin Burners on the trip with us. In order to help them prep we started sending daily mails with things to consider. I figured we should keep those, since the Angry Youth is going this year, and he needs the pointers too. Here we go:

Today’s topic: the weather
It will be hot, like 85-100 degrees hot. It will be cold, like 40 at night sometimes. It might rain, but probably not much and not for long. It will be windy as fuck. Make sure you plan for these extremes. In the evening, Sparky generally wears long pants when he heads out for the night. I have a long coat I tend to wear. You need a sleeping bag that goes to 32 degrees. Luckily they are cheap. We have some at the house, so don’t buy and bring, but be prepared to possibly have to buy one at Walmart on the way.
It’s a good thing to pack your clothes in plastic bags. I usually pack a bag of underwear, a bag of socks, a bag of shirts, etc. and then a bag with a single change of clothes for the trip home that I change into after we get to the hotel on Sunday night after the Burn. I always bring enough socks and underwear for every day we are gone + 2 extras. On shirts and shorts, not so much since I wind up wearing the same thing for several days.
Bring good socks and a pair of shoes or boots that you can comfortably wear 16-20 hours per day. Bring flip flops. Don’t bring anything you are super attached to, the playa tends to completely alter things, sometimes not for the better.
You also need a dust mask and goggles. GET SOMETHING COMFORTABLE. You may be wearing them all day long.
Pack like you are going camping. We know that everyone will have at least one large Rubbermaid container for their crap. We might be able to squeeze one more for each, but that's going to be it.  
I can attest to just how cold it gets at 4am.  It's amazing how much of a change it is from day to night.  Frankly, I don't understand how some of the girls stay in their miniscule costumes all night without freezing to death.  Costumes don't have to be as elaborate at night so long as you are lit.  No darkwads allowed!
I went in sneakers the first couple of years until I figured out that the mesh was letting in too much playa.  I've switched over to full leather combat boots and couldn't be happier with my footwear.  As he said, good socks as a little slice of heaven out there.  Fresh socks, bacon, and a pickleback are all you need.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014


After a lot of troubleshooting, a shot of ether into the intake seems to have fixed up Philip's woes. He fired right up, and has reliably started several times since then! Today we're going to do a test run on the highway.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It had to happen.

Philip has always been reliable. He's hauled us thousands of miles, tolerates being left in the backyard for 8 months a year, and starts up without a hitch each April or May. Until this year. To be fair, he started up just fine, and idled while the air compressor filled the tanks. Fast idle is about 1000-1100 RPM, so once the tanks are full, the idle drops to about 600 RPM. Not this year. Philip went from ~1100 to zero, and refused to start afterwards. Batteries are good and strong, air flow seems ok, so there's one other component: fuel. The negative (ground) wire on the fuel/water separator got REALLY hot (like smoking), and when I pulled out the filter and cranked the engine, I don't see fuel coming in. Time to troubleshoot fuel flow. First, I ordered a new filter (that's <$20, which is probably the least amount of money I'm going to get away with), and tomorrow I'm going to flush the whole separator. If the separator motor is shot, that's about $250 or so. Not cheap, but fairly easy to fix. If the problem is the injector pump, that's $900 and that would suck. I'm really hoping it's just a minor clog.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Yes, the bus still exists.

And yes, we will be driving it to the Burn this year, dog willing and the creek don't rise. We've gotten a passel of stickers that I'll be putting on soon, but we can always use more. The address is over there on the right. :)

This weekend I'm planning to start up Philip and drive him out of the backyard and start the process of getting him ready to party. This year, it starts with a powerwasher and a LOT of soap. We're going to try to keep the mods to a minimum this year. Last year we did a lot and I think we'd rather focus on maybe getting the shade structure working better (and on making it bigger).

Once I get Philip out, I'll post some new pictures. It's been a while.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New bus pictures...

Well, it's almost that time again. Here are a few pictures of the bus with the new AC on top, reconfigured inside (which looks packed but most of the containers are empty), stickers on the back, and a shot of some of the stickers to be added. (We can always use more, hint, hint!)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More changes...

We put a rooftop AC unit in this year. With more people on the bus, we needed something more efficient than the "whole room" household AC we were using. It took up space on a bunk, and was also just barely adequate when the temp went into the upper 90's.

Here's how we got the unit onto the roof:
Totally legit, right?

I'll skip the trials and tribulations. Here's a shot showing the AC installed, and the bus in it's "exploded" state, waiting to be repacked.