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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sam's Makeover

As the time of planned departure nears, my recent surgery is still not cooperating. Kinda interesting about the operation...Dr. Woo, using a exato-type knife, cuts three small holes into the knee around my kneecap. One hole receives a "pump" to inject (something?) into the knee cavity. The second hole receives a tube to regulate the inside knee pressure. The third hole is used to insert a camera/light gizmo with a "scalpel" to cut away the offending tissue.
I may not have it exactly, but since no one took the time to explain it to me, it's the best I can come up with, unless I Google it.

Holes # 1 and 2 are behaving very well - they are in front of the knee cap (at 10 & 12:00 o'clock) toward the lower leg. Hole #3 located above the knee cap (@ 5:00 o'clock) is fighting me. At the moment he is a bit infected...swollen and red and very sensitive...and I cannot bend my knee beyond a sitting position. On Wednesday I asked for - and received - some pain pills from my surgeon's nurse. Much more comfortable now. Hope Friday's visit to Dr. Woo will put end to this foolishness....I gotta get out on the road.

In the meantime, Sam's shoe brake hardware has arrived and tomorrow will be installed. Yippeee. Also, in the interest to cut down weight, I have eliminated all SAM's boat poles supporting my custom-built tent. I decided to try again to use the REI standard tent. With some radical trimming of extremities (boat poles: gone; light poles: gone; backup handle bar: lowered by 4 inches;) all this to allow SAM to fit INSIDE the REI tent; which she now does quite snugly, still allowing plenty of room for two to sleep along side SAM. No, I don't have plans for a #2, but just in case !!!

Sam also received a refit of electrical wiring. All wires are run thru auto-type wireways, labeled and color coded so I won't get confused what wire is for what feature. For example, SAM is now carrying two 36volt dc battery packs and a single 12volt dc battery (seven batteries in all). All wires for Battery Pack #1 are RED; all wiring for Battery Pack #2 are GREEN. When RED is powering SAM's drive motor, the solar panel(s) can be charging the GREEN battery pack...& viceversa...

All batteries can be charged using either or both of the solar panels (one more 20-watt panel has been added to the previous 90-watt panel); or they can both be charged from the two dedicated (hard-wired) 120volt chargers. In the event there are no handy 120 volt outlets in nearby trees along my walk route, I can borrow from any passing motorist willing to "sell" electricity from his battery to run SAM's 400-watt Inverter which creates ac electricity to power the two 120 volt chargers which can top off both RED and GREEN pack in about one hour. This is my ultimate battery-charging backup plan in case mother nature does not allow solar charging because of incessant rain or clouds or God forbid, snow.

After SAM's shoe brake assemblies are installed and tested, I will start configuration studies for where and how to pack my "creature comforts" (which, after all, is the reason for SAM's creation in the first place).

And, by the way, I have a new HD handicam on the way. Because of growing interest (a movie company shot, produced and entered into an international film festival, a documentary of SAM & me) I have decided that folks just might like to accompany us by way of a good quality video. I plan to mail/UPS the video chips to a movie production facility for processing. If anything good comes of our efforts, we can hopefully post it along with this blog.

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