15:29 15-Jan-01 Amarillo TeXas

So far so good. The bus had only two failures. A cross bridge of Wilbur's took off my CB aerial and the left front brake air hose blew a leak. That last cost four hours of screwing around with inept parts people until I worked my way through their stupidity and found a guy who knew his business.

The leak was first brought to my attention whilst making a hard left in the car park of a Radio Snack store. I was there looking for a new CB antenna to replace the one taken off by a low bridge over the Wilbur Cross Parkway. Now I understand why Wilbur was cross. I am too. Anyhow... Hard left and brake engendered a great whoosh of air. Investigation revealed that stress on the hose at the brake can had torn the hose at the fitting on the can.

There was a flybynight parts store next to the Radio Snack but they didn't even have a windscreen squeegee never mind an air hose. Nor did they know who did.

Back at the bus, a security guard stopped by when the alarum went off. I'd forgotten I'd set it... He suggested the parts store on the other side of the Radio Snack, not mentioned by the nerd in the one we went to and cleverly disguised as a family bakery. These folks had a windscreen squeegee and knew of a place that could make me an air hose. Even called ahead on my behalf to be sure.

So, off to that place. Well, to make a long tirade short, this truck repair place was one hard time after another but the guy was quite confident he could make up a hose so I crawled around in the mud (he wouldn't let me park on his nice warm dry pavement--didn't want a ugly old bus disabled on his front lot. But at least he got me a piece of cardboard.) and removed the hose. --Nope, caint make one of them, he said, dis years a hydrawllik fittin', he pointed to the end that went into an elbow at the frame. He told me about a hydraulic place three exits south.

So I left the bus, disabled in his back lot, and took the lifeboat. At Turner Hydraulics, my angel was named Mike tho he didn't show that at first. At least he knew his business and had the parts. Nevertheless, the hose was hydraulic; at least it has a hydraulic reverse flare fitting on the frame end. The can end is half inch pipe thread. Now the problem was that he could not make up a hydraulic hose for an air brake application.

--Why not?

--Different hose. We only do hydraulic hoses.

--How so? Hose is hose, I said, and if anything, air service would be less strenuous than hydraulic service.

I very nearly went off the deep end. More and more, I can appreciate why folks "go postal" these days. (At the Post Office in Franklin MAss, and at others I am sure, there are signs proclaiming "Parking for Postal Customers Only") There are so many stupid rules and such a lack of compassion. Nobody is responsible for anything.

Mike said --What you really want is a hydraulic hose, not an air hose. I looked deep into his eyes and said:

--Yes, make me a hydraulic hose please, with fittings just like this one, and make it two inches longer please.

Now at least I understand why Wilbur's cross bridge took off my CB aerial.

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