Yuma errand progress

Presently in Yuma doing a series of errands/pickups.

1/4 (complete) Amazon pickup

In this package

  1. a drill-powered water pump, which was sitting in the “hold for later” pile until the price dropped. The idea is to be able to yoink creek water if needed without doing a million tiny bucket scoops. I used one of these in a Sticks & Bricks with good effect. I was bailing out water from somewhere, maybe a clogged bathtub. Don’t remember, but it worked fine.
  2. SAE to MC4 adapter. I needed one of these recently for a temporary project but didn’t have it. Also could be used to pass external panel power through an SAE port in the van’s driver side. Still thinking about this.
  3. a stovetop toaster plate - I’ve used one before and it works well. Been using a naan pan (tawa?) though it’s difficult to do a few evenly at once. Once I had this version in my hands I realized it might be able to replace the beloved steel diffuser in trivet and heater/diffuser duties. Because of the position of the toast bails when retracted it will need to be inverted for trivet duties.

After the pickup I restocked on dog food and wood shavings for The Bucket.

2/4 (complete) routine bloodwork

The VA likes to run a ton of blood labs for each physical, and the dizzying array of results are directly viewable by the patient on the VA “myhealth” site. This is my first experience with outsourced bloodwork instead of VA in-house draws.

Typically at the VA you’d have to book weeks in advance then show up on time and sit for an hour or two for the draw. In Dallas, to pass the time you could listen to the inane yammering and grab-assing of the staff, people yelling to each other down hallways and through open doorways, making social plans, gossiping, etc. The VA hospital was located in an “impressively high murder rate” part of town and the worker bees reflected the local work culture. El Paso VA was not as slow (perhaps due to a smaller market) and was considerably less obnoxious. In both locations parking was a pain and required significant hikes to get to the building. Once in the building the signage was poorly designed and poorly placed.

In this case El Paso outsourced the labs to Sonora Quest. I made the appointment online, got good followup with instructions, a check-in barcode, and driving directions. Parking was close and easy. The correct office was easy to find. I got there a little early, was received competently, had the blood drawn gently, and was out the door finished five minutes before my scheduled appointment.

In short, the outsourced solution did every aspect better than the VA does natively. Not knocking the VA, as I am grateful for the care. I am suggesting the VA vs outsourced experience is a function of bureaucratic arthritis and the endemic lethargy of frontline govt employees.

When done in-house the physical is given a couple days after the blood work. Not holding my breath for ELP to issue a referral for that. As long as nothing deadly shows up on the blood work I’m not convinced I need to stand in front of a doctor. I guess they could check my weight (too much) and blood pressure (usually high-normal).

3/4 Home Depot panel pickup

The replacement panel was scheduled to be in today but no sign of impending arrival. We shall see.

4/4 pop-up shower/toilet tent

I’ve been thinking about one of these for a while and finally pulled the trigger. I’d been using a small popup to hold The Bucket and fighting with tarps to make a shower enclosure when there were Normals around. Away from offendable eyes I hang the shower bag and Git It Done in the open air.

This popup has a mesh top, a feature which holds no value for me and will just prevent me from standing straight. I will cut it away to allow the solar bag hose to hang down and provide access to the on/off spigot. Going to hang the bag off the roof rack when in the treeless desert. Luckily there is no bottom so shower water will drain out.

Since it has no bottom I suppose one could also use this for catholes; dig a series of holes (4-6 in a grid layout?) and place the tent over them. Use and fill. Repeat elsewhere as needed.

The issue here is they are too big for delivery to Amazon lockers. There are a couple “counters” (retail spaces0 where Amazon can drop off, but they were all marked full. I checked each morning to see if one would have a slot open and BAM! took the first available. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will make it by Friday (tomorrow). Again, we shall see.

extra credit 5/4 servo sensor

I haven’t done the homework yet to see if Tucson or Phoenix has the most RAM dealers so I can get this oil pressure pump servo sensor replaced. Getting close to the warranty miles limit so it needs to be done soon-ish.