Sometimes I get busy and don’t keep up with my posts. When I go back even as little as a week, as in this post, I find that many of the details are already lost in the continuous flow of daily living.
With the bus work in Williamston wrapped up, I turned my attention to figuring out what body panels and small parts I needed to order from Prevost to fix the damage I did to the passenger side of the bus leaving the campground in Townsend, TN. I spent a fair amount of time in the Prevost CatBase Viewer database. There were enough parts involved that I made an Excel spreadsheet. I called Prevost U.S. Parts and got Roger Anderson on the line. After discussing this for a while, we decided that it would be easiest for me to e-mail him the spreadsheet.
Next up was final preparations for the annual business meeting of our FMCA Freethinkers Associate Chapter (FTH), of which I am the vice-president and secretary. There are a surprising number of documents that are involved in a simple meeting of a small group: an agenda (from the president), minutes from last year’s meeting, financial statements (which Linda and I prepare based on data from the treasurer), proposed amendments to the bylaws, and an updated roster. All of these get converted to PDF files and uploaded to a folder in our Dropbox account. I have provided a link to that folder to all of our members.
We made our usual trip to South Lyon on Saturday morning for breakfast with members of the South Lyon Amateur Radio Club (SLAARC). Linda worked on recipes. I installed the WP-Recipes plug-in and she has started using it to capture and publish recipes for some of our favorite whole-food plant-based (WFPB) dishes. She is evening taking a photograph of the finished dish and adding it to the recipe page. (Click on the Food & Health Tab and then on Recipes in the dropdown menu.)
While Linda worked on recipes I worked on WordPress websites. Besides our own, I am working on websites for our FMCA Freethinkers Associate Chapter (FTH), our FMCA Great Lakes Converted Coaches Chapter (GLCC, of which Linda is the Treasurer), and our South Lyon Amateur Radio Club (SLAARC).
WordPress is constantly releasing updates and new versions. This generally a good thing, but they always strongly advise that you backup your site (folders/files/database) before installing an upgrade. I haven’t been doing that, so I decided on Saturday that I should. The GLCC website is an add-on domain for our primary/personal site, so I was able to back it up using the backup utilities in the QTH.com cPanel. The FTH website is hosted by iPower and the SLAARC website is hosted by GoDaddy, neither of which use cPanel nor appear to have built in backup utilities. There is some provision for backup built in to WordPress.
When I used the cPanel backup utility to backup our primary/personal site and the GLCC site it was about 1 GB. We only had 2.5 GB on our free Dropbox account, so I signed up for the 100 GB Dropbox plan. I then went on a search for a WordPress plug-in that would do the backups on a schedule. I selected WordPress Backup To Dropbox (WPB2D) and then installed and activated it on all four sites. I am going to test it for a couple of weeks and see how it works. I hope it works well as it is a very simple plug-in to use.
Our FTH meeting was scheduled as a conference call for 6:00 PM EDT on Sunday evening, October 27. We have 40 memberships in the chapter and needed 10 to make a quorum. 6:00 PM came and went and at 6:15 PM we only had 8 people on the line. The president polled the group and decided we would try again the next night; same time, same place.
Our SLAARC information net is held every Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. I was a regular participant up until we moved to the new house. Although I have our 2m/70cm base station antenna mounted on the old TV tower, I do not have the coax run to the ham shack in the basement. Hooking up the radio is inconvenient, especially in cold/dark/wet conditions, all of which we now have. I would like to have the ham shack set up and functioning, but it has not made it to the top of the list yet.
On Monday I drove the bus to W. W. Williams in Dearborn, Michigan to have them look at the auxiliary air system and the speedometer. They thought the constant cycling of the main engine air-compressor was either the governor or the air-dryer purge valve. Since the governor had just been replaced, I authorized replacing the purge valve. They thought the speedometer issue was the “tone wheel”, the sensor, or the gauge. The sensor was just replaced, so I authorized them to check that it was installed correctly and to pull the output shaft housing on the end of the transmission to check the tone wheel.
I called Roger back at Prevost U.S. Parts. He had filled in my spreadsheet and prepared a Prevost quote, so he e-mail those back to me. I decided to hold off ordering until Michele at Phoenix Paint has a chance to look at the damage and decide if she can fix it.
Linda and I had staked out the size/location of our planned bus barn and driveway. We adjusted the stakes slightly, moving the barn 5 feet farther from the road and squaring it up. It’s currently 32 ft. wide by 56 ft. long with a driveway that includes a spur for turning around. Phil from Precision Grading came by Monday evening, measured the area, and dug a couple of test holes to see what soil conditions we had. He said we had 13 inches of good top soil in that area. This will have to be removed and replaced with crushed concrete and 21AA road gravel, so we discussed possible locations on our property for the top soil. Some of it will go in a depressed area behind the proposed barn location. This area forms a lake whenever we get heavy/persistent rain. Some it will probably go on the west side of the main garage driveway, which currently drops off more than we would like, and somewhat unevenly. There are also low spots on the far west end of our property, and some of the topsoil will likely go there.
I spent the rest of this period working on the various websites. In particular, I finally figured out how to configure and use the WP-Members plug-in to restrict access to selected portions of a WordPress site based on a Username and Password. With that feature working, I focused on design (structure) and content for the FTH and GLCC sites. I got sidetracked on Halloween with the idea of installing a “slider” (automated slideshow) in place of the default graphic in the RESPONSIVE Theme I am using for the GLCC site. I selected and installed Meteor Slides based on its demonstration by the authors of RESPONSIVE. It had the appearance of being very simple to install and use, and it was/is once I figured it out. It took me 5 hours to do that, but I did. The site is not ready for viewing yet, but I will share the address when it is.