Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vehilce Report

This is our tour chariot. A 1998 Volvo v70. It's parked outside a WalMart cuz we heard they allow overnight parking, and so we slept there and used their bathrooms on the way from Bloomington to Colombus. Mess Hall would call that surfing on surplus.

For the rest of the tour we'll be doing roughly weekly vehicle reports, with the vital statistics, load, and condition of this vehicle. We need to name it. Right now "motherfucking money sucker" is all that comes to mind, so maybe someone who is less angry at the thing could suggest a better name.

We departed with about 110200 miles on the odometer. It's supposed to get 20 mpg city and 28 highway. We're doing pretty well.

580 miles 21.876 gallons since Chicago (where we first filled up) means we're getting about 26.5 mpg.

We went to Joes for a full tune up, replaced the brakes, shoes, rotors, caliphers, battery, belts, etc before we left. They warned us the catalytic converter was fucked, so we got up early to spend a day in Urbana to getting that fixed. Now the "check engine" light is back on and it's noisy and smelly, but mechanics are closed for the three day weekend. Here's hoping we make it to Charleston on Tuesday.

We hastily packed Monday night while cleaning out our apartment for the new tenants. Everything was haphazardly thrown in there. Then delays at the DMV (my stupid fault) had us rushing to Chicago for our first show before we could re-pack it. It wasn't until we stopped in a suburban wallgreens parking lot Tuesday afternoon that we managed to rearrange everything and put the plates on. The car is currently holding the set, merch, our bedding and clothes, a 3 gallon water jug, silk screening supplies, paper, a cooler, a traveling library (suitcase full of books), extra penut butter and jelly, and bulk groceries from the co-op.

A quick note about these bulk groceries: the organic quick oats are amazing. Best oatmeal i've ever had. The almonds and the dates are loose packed in cardboard boxes, which means they are destined to spill all over the place at some point. The cases of soup and salsa are stuffed in the spare tire compartment. The glovebox is our kitchen, it's stuffed with utensils and napkins.

We plan to make the following modifications/additions to the chariot in the coming weeks:
  1. a dashboard oven. We look forward to cooking soup and heating up leftovers by the power of the sun!
  2. a solar generator. It is sometimes possible to get used low wattage solar panels on craigslist for $20. Plug one into a battery, add a volt meter, a DC output and a AC/DC adapter and we'll be boiling water, making coffee, charging up laptops and printing new programs/merch on the road, also by the power of the sun!
  3. a stereo. I can't figger out what is wrong with this one. All it will do is tell us that it's "OFF" when it's off, and take a CD in but not play it (or the radio) when it's "on". It also only half-ejects the CD sticking out just enough of it for you to see but not be able to get a hold of. So the fucking thing is basically taunting us. We've been listening to music on laptops plugged in through an adapter to the cigarette lighter, which means A. we're missing the low-end cuz laptop speakers are crappy. B. the laptops are fueled by the power of the car battery, which is charged by the power of the car, which is fueled by the power of gasoline, which is fueled by the power of the US military industrial complex's ultaviolent adventures overseas. Hurns!!! We gotta go biodiesel, or tour on bikes next time. I fucking hate owning a car.

1 comment:

  1. I hope its not disrespect to the name to suggest calling it "The Flaming Whale" This seems to mix gratitude and consternation.

    Cars do suck, but you got to take care of your horse!