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Friday, November 9, 2012


Welcome again to Bellingham - one of the most liveable communities in the world.

Returned on November 03 after an eventful drive from Gillette, Wyoming.  Twice, my transmission "locked up" in the cold morning startup process.  After a couple minutes, it "unlocked" and performed without problem...until my first morning in Bellingham, when it locked up again. 

Checking in at Barrett Transmission, a highly recommended company, left my MPV overnight; in the morning, it again locked up for the service man, Lee.  His diagnosis is ..." it until it fails; it will not get better; 260,000 miles on any transmission is unbelievable...".  So, am looking at another $1,500 to $2,500 expenditure - which I do not have. 

Have "started up" the transmission on the last four cold (34 F) mornings WITHOUT lockup.  My solution (interim) is to let the engine warm up five minutes or so before engaging the transmission.  Appears that there is a "leak" of transmission fluid within the TORQUE CONVERTER which is bolted directly to the engine flywheel.  The sectioned torque converter requires a measured amount of fluid in each chamber.  SEALS / DAMS between the chambers apparently are leaking fluid from/to each other.  Warming up the engine also warms up the fluid within the torque converter, which allows fluid expansion (from the heat) sufficient to properly engage the transmission.

This "leakage" problem may or may not require a costly fix.  I have decided, therefore to continue morning warm-up and see how many more miles my beloved MPV will take me. 

After initially engaging, the transmission functions perfectly until again left overnight to face cold-morning startup.

As promised, Les' yacht was ready and waiting my arrival.  I slept three nights aboard in supurb comfort and hot showers ($1.00) in the dock-side restroom.
In consideration of Les' desire to not use TRUMPTER (Les' yacht) while I am sleeping aboard, I opted to spend last night sleeping in my MPV.  Did so at the local WALMART.  Was, as always, comfy as the front seat lies back nearly flat; however, it became bitterly cold in early morning, waking me up after 8 hours uninterrupted sleep.  My toes, however, were nearly frostbit and painful.
Put a pillow "under" my shoes to insulate from the floor; after an hour or so, warmed up and slept another hour.

Am taking meals at MacDonalds:  two Egg McMuffins for b'fast and one Big Mac for din din ($10.00 a day).  Les and Lynn had me over for my second evening...Les is a great cook!

I have applied for a 2-bedroom apartment under a senior citizen program offered by the State of Washington; cost = $705/month, all utilities included. A one-bedroom is also available, at $575.00/month.

 Full disclosure of assets/income/education/work/prior addresses/and background check was required before my application was accepted.  Approval/disapproval will take 2 - 3 weeks.

Crazy, isn't it:  to obtain an apartment requires FULL lifetime disclosure.
TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, no such disclosures are required.

In the interim, Les offers TRUMPTER from time to time.  MPV will protect me on most nights.  If push comes to shove, a church group offers "emergency" (6:00 pm to 8:00am) matress on the floor in the sanctuary for street people.  Have I come so far ???

Social Security $$ alone are JUST adequate for stingy living.  I must obtain a part time position to become somewhat comfy again.

I have actively engaged in making work applications.  About 15 so far.  WALMART - Bellingham is hiring; not so many others.  Today I tackle the likes of SEARS, PENNY'S, MACY'S, etc.

My loaded trailer is, at the kindness of Kathy, apartment complex manager, parked in the tenet parking lot. 

My long-time ladyfriend with whom we co-habited over 12 years, has kindly offered items from "our" home, which I plan to pick up just as soon as the trailer is unloaded and moved into my new home.

All in all, my "home coming" has been pleasant (friend-wise), tolerant (job hunting), and optomistic (new "home" approval). 

What more can one ask ?!

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