Friday, August 26, 2011

And we're off...

Here in a few minutes. Really. Just a few more things. We're almost there.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

OMG OMG OMG We leave tomorrow!

Hmmm...I thought we had another week to get ready. Seems I was mistaken. Turns out that this year will be a bit of repeat of last year in terms of frantically throwing the remaining crap into the bus and leaving in a cloud of diesel smoke. Oh well. Sometimes it's just better to get going. At least we see to be better prepared this year, with a much better shade structure. The bus is also not (yet) a disaster area, so that's something.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Man burns in 20 days, are you ready?

Well, no. Today was a good day for the bus. We got a lot done towards being ready, including getting the tires checked, filling up with diesel, getting new air horns installed (which is obviously critical), and starting to load the bus. The horns sound like an effeminate French car, though. FWIW, we're two weeks ahead on loading. We also got the shower fixture working and set up, so we can pretend to be clean on the playa. She Who Must Be Obeyed stopped by to give her Wisdom, which resulted in a change in shower setup plans (although it wasn't the idea she posited that we went with). The kids had a great time riding down the driveway in the bus, yelling and carrying on. I have to admit, their zest for life is contagious.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to pack for Burning Man, attempt #3

In 2008 (our first burn), we packed as if we were going camping on the surface of the sun. Lots of water (like 20 gallons too much), so much tonic water we literally couldn't give it away, and lots of items that seemed like a good idea here in Redmond (Earth) but were totally impractical and/or useless on the playa (the Sun). For example, all that tonic considering WE NEVER MADE GIN AND TONIC #1. Also, LONG PANTS. WTF was I thinking? Fat guy, long pants, desert, what? 

In 2010 (our second burn, 2009 was a bye), we packed as if we knew what we were doing. Ha. We did fine on the key stuff, but we didn't plan ahead and wound up throwing random stuff in the bus at the last minute (like additional ibuprofen from a free source on the way out of the parking lot). This caused lots of moop and made moving around the bus much like crawling through a dumpster being dragged at high speed through an obstacle course (yes, i have crawled through a dumpster. No, I'm not proud of it. Long distance was expensive in the 80's). Once we got to the playa and parked, not even throwing the vast majority of the shit out of the bus made it feel less crowded and disastrous. Now, I don't mind a mess (as my college roommates that never did the dishes will agree), but I found that the complete lack of order and inability to FIND MY SHIT damaged my calm at the Burn. I vowed to do better this year. 

This year, I have lists. I don't know if the Swordfish is making lists or not, but he better be. We've got storage built, and stuff has its place and will live there, dammit. Here is one of my lists (the food list. it was easier as an image):

Now, you will notice several things from this list: 
  1. We are not big on variety. At least, not food variety. 
  2. Location, location, location. Gotta know where shit is. 
  3. MRE generate "snacks". The scary quotes are to indicate that only those not in their right mind consider these snacks. However, under certain circumstances, they are tasty. 
  4. I like Poptarts. Mmmmmm...
The food list is the shortest one. Other lists include: the essentials, the kitchen box, liquor supplies (we have an embarrassing amount of horrible gin. maybe that's why we never had g&t's?), Other Equipment to be Packed, and the all-important To Do list. The strange thing about the To Do list is that it's never shorter. I keep marking stuff off and more stuff keeps appearing. Sigh. The Man burns in 23 days! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another productive day...

Unfortunately, no pictures today, but that was because I was so productive!! I let my latent OCD run wild and now I have lists of everything that will go on the bus with a handy "Where is it stowed?" column that will obviously be kept up to date. I hope. The A/C is put back together and no longer looking like a naked R2 unit. The bus is ready to head down to the spa on Tuesday, although I'm a little worried about my wallet making the trip. I definitely had the "oh crap, I'm out of time" feeling today. The Man burns in 26 days!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday was a productive day.

Today dawned bright and early (for me) at 9:00 am. The overall goal for the day was to get Philip ready to head down to his spa visit on Tuesday. I got most of the way there, but got distracted by multitasking too much. At one point I was doing laundry, dishes, mopping Philip, taking the air conditioner apart, and building sawhorses. This worked fine until I nearly brought a sawhorse in the house to wash it.
So, sawhorses done. Well, as long as the table narrows significantly at one end.

Air conditioner is still taken apart, it works great, but I want to make sure it dries out completely before I put it back in the bus. Really taking it apart and permanently installing in the bus is going to have to wait until next year. I think it looks a lot like a droid from Star Wars with the covers taken off. Hopefully it won't try to run off or anything.

In other news, the smoke detectors are in (Safety third!) and I've also got a filter secured over the roof vent to keep the majority of the dust out. I'll use blue tape to seal the edges, but I wanted to have metal hold downs so that it wouldn't sag.

Lastly, Philip is all mopped out now. As much as I love the smell of playa (and believe me you get a heady smack of it when you turn on an air conditioner that was run there. It's pretty much a mini dust storm), it's nice to have the bus smelling fresh. This will not last.

Tomorrow, it's all about getting the bus contents organized so it can be loaded next weekend.

Friday, August 5, 2011

OMFG! 28 days?!

Ok, this weekend things kick into high gear. Frankly, the sticker volume from the post office has been, well, nil. This makes me sad. I cried. However, lots of local folks have stepped up to offer stickers and we've got a lot of those on the bus. Plus, She Who Will Be Obeyed and I took a vacation to the Hot Places and brought back stickers from there (check out the post a couple down from here). Overall, Philip is in better shape than last year. He's going in for his yearly check up at the spa (aka the SPA) on Tuesday. Dave rocks, he knows old diesels in and out. If you are reading this from some far away place (like, past Centralia), take a look around for some local stickers, throw them in an envelope, and send them to us! Cover Our Bus, #303, 16625 Redmond Way STE M, Redmond, WA 98053. Think of it as economic stimulus for the Post Office!