Directing the Dolphin

I finally got started on a couple of easy projects yesterday after a couple of hours on the pickleball court in the morning. We had much cooler weather – the high temperature for the day was 67 degrees. That’s a drop of more than 20 degrees from the weekend. It stayed overcast and windy all afternoon and a few raindrops fell – not enough to wet the pavement though.

I went to Ace Hardware to pick up some 3/16″ rivets with long 1/2″ shanks. I wrote about my rivet repair in this post.  The rivets I used for that repair were a little short and didn’t hold well enough. I needed to replace them again. The longer shanks on the rivets I used this time should hold up fine.

I planned on buying some carabiner clips to secure the doors on the cabinets I installed in the trailer. The doors are set up for padlocks but I didn’t want to hassle with locks every time I wanted something in the cabinet. I thought a carabiner would work if I could find the right size. Donna had a different idea. She’s been working with Procter & Gamble’s PR firm. They sent her a package that included Tide PODS and a few gifts. One of the gifts is from a company called Munchkin – they make baby products. The product Donna received is a latch to secure cabinets, drawers and anything you wouldn’t want a toddler getting into. They’re called Munchkin Xtra Guard multi-use latches.

Munchkin Xtra Guard latch

Munchkin Xtra Guard latch

Donna received four latches – I used two on the cabinet doors and it looks like they’ll work perfectly. They’re easy to install – they have an adhesive backing that sticks to the door surface.

Xtra Guard latch on the trailer cabinet

Xtra Guard latch on the trailer cabinet

There’s a button on the top and bottom of the pads – holding these buttons in releases the latch. They should keep the doors closed while we roll down the road but it will still be easy to access the cabinets.

Latch released

Latch released

I decided to order two more of the Suncast cabinets to install in the trailer. I like the way they’re built and it will make it easier to store and access stuff.

I took a few measurements and installed D-rings to secure the Traeger wood pellet grill/smoker in the trailer. That was the extent of my projects for the day. Today I’ll add a few more D-rings to secure the ladders and a few other things.

Last week, I stopped at Seńor Taco and had the daily special – fish taco with rice, beans and soft drink for $5. Donna and I like fish tacos – we always have them when we’re in San Diego. Good fish tacos obviously need to be made with a good fish filet. Then it’s the sauce that makes them special. The Seńor Taco fish tacos are good.

Fish taco plate at Seńor Taco

Fish taco plate at Seńor Taco

On Monday afternoon, I rode the Spyder to the Sprouts store at Higley and Southern. Donna sent me there with a small shopping list. I bought two fresh tilapia filets, a lime, a jalapeńo pepper and an avocado. Donna already had the corn tortillas, cabbage and cilantro. She made blackened Baja fish tacos.

Donna's homemade fish taco plate

Donna’s homemade fish taco plate

She seasoned and pan fried the fish filets in a cast iron skillet. Her sauce was made from yogurt, jalapeńo pepper, lime juice and cilantro. Very tasty and we each had two big tacos for a total cost of about seven bucks!

Last night, Donna made a spring minestrone soup with chicken meatballs. The meatballs were made with ground chicken, panko bread crumbs, minced scallions and garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Another tasty treat. We had leftovers for lunch and it was even better the second time around.

Spring minestrone

Spring minestrone with chicken meatballs

This morning when I rode my bicycle home from pickleball, I found a motorhome blocking our street. It was a 34-foot National Dolphin. I carefully went around the front of it where there was about three feet of clearance. Once I went around it, I saw a woman sitting on the steps in the doorway of the coach smoking a cigarette. I stopped and she said, “I’m wedged in here.”

I looked back and saw what she meant. Apparently she was pulling out of her site and turning left. She didn’t account for the swingout of the rear and the last basement door on the right rear was hard against a palm tree.

After looking at it, I told her she needed to crank the steering wheel full left and slowly back up. She was afraid of causing more damage. I told her it will scrape at first, then swing away from the tree. She did as I said and was able to reverse back into her site. Then I had her go forward and angle to the right to pull into an empty site across the street from her. Once she pulled halfway into the site, I had her reverse again and crank the wheel to the left. I guided her back then told her to stop, crank the wheel right and come forward. She was in the street now heading in the opposite direction of the way she first tried to go. It didn’t matter – it’s a short street and either direction will take you to the park exit. With a wave and a thanks, she was on her way.

She was alone and driving a motorhome into or out of a tight space without guidance isn’t easy. Although her coach was only 34 feet long, the National Dolphin is gas powered and the chassis has a lot of rear overhang. The longer the distance from the rear axle to the rear of the coach, the greater the amount of swingout.

We should see a high temperature of about 70 degrees today with partly cloudy skies and a gentle breeze. Very comfortable. This evening we plan to meet up with my friend from high school, Andy King, and his wife Donna for sushi.


*Just so you know, if you follow one of my links to Amazon and decide to make a purchase, you pay the same price as usual and  I’ll earn a few pennies for the referral. It’ll go into the beer fund. Thanks!

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