Geriatric Pathfinder A/C System

I began troubleshooting the A/C system on TWUCK.

Does the compressor turn by hand? Yep. That’s good.

Does it turn when commanded by the computer? No. That’s not good, but we can override it and see if the magnetic clutch engages. It does. That’s good. Just means that the sensor sees no pressure or too much pressure.

So… what’s the refrigerant pressure? 0 psig. Hmm… not good. Let’s give it some refrigerant…

It takes pressure… and promptly takes 25 psi of refrigerant. Also good. The pressure sensor detects pressure (also good), and the ECM triggers the pump (also good) and… pressure drops. Not good. Within a few minutes, it’s down to zero. That’s annoyingly bad but means there’s leakage in the lines, or condenser, or dryer, or the expansion valve, or the evaporator, or in the compressor*.

There is R134a refrigerant with a UV dye which is well-suited to tracking down A/C leaks. But I haven’t any. So it’ll be another trip out to the parts store to see if I can find a R134a UV dye penetrant. It’ll wait until another time.

Eventually, I’ll have TWUCK’s AC system fixed. Eventually.

Once fixed, in no particular order, it’s on to…

  • Shocks — front and rear
  • CV joints
  • Ball joints
  • Windshield
  • Weather stripping
  • Antenna
  • Stereo
  • Find a way to incorporate some cabin air filters

I’ll have to prioritize that list… and include anything else that I happen to stumble across.

Gosh, I mean, sure, some things need to be repaired from wear and breakage over time. But I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to set right everything neglected on a 23 year old automobile.

*Knowing that it’s been effectively stationary for a couple of years, I’d wager that the seals in the pump have deteriorated (most probable) and the pump will need to be replaced with an overhauled unit. About $200-ish. Easy enough to replace. Then another $50 in refrigerant. But I’m not going to start throwing parts at it and hope that maybe guesswork pays off and instead work through it somewhat methodically.

Tech Annoyance n+1

Have we have devolved technologically?


I’ve a base-model Apple Watch Series 3. Its primary function is to just tell the current time. Occasionally, register a heart rate. But for some inexplicable reason, it require a reboot every few days or weeks.

Each reboot will need about five minutes.

It’s almost like I have an ultra-lightweight, ultra-power-efficient, legacy Windows server strapped to my wrist.

What’s worse, is that I can’t use Scheduled Tasks or a cron job to just do a reboot once per week at 1AM or something.

So, yeah, I’m a bit annoyed — it might become a fixture in the “Some of the tech items I once had” drawer.

And now, back to our regular banter…

Replaced the front pads and front shocks on UPGRAYEDD today. 100℉ in the sun.

I did the rear shocks about five years ago during the RV-Life tour around the country. The rear shocks are simplistic enough to replace and only need about ten minutes… no need for a jack, either.

  1. Sit under the rear end.
  2. Loosen four pinch-bolts.
  3. Inflate the towing springs.
  4. Shocks effectively drop out.
  5. Reassembly is the reverse of removal.

Front end is a bit more drawn out.

Jack up one side. Add a jack-stand (two, because I’m working on sandy-soil).

Reposition the jack to lift the hub enough to extract the pinch-bolt.

Fiddle with the top end of the shock to remove its lock-nut.

And, hey, while you’re in there, go ahead and check the brake wear — do the front pads as well. Torque the caliper slide and bracket bolts.

Did I mention that it was in the sun? And 100℉?

Would’ve been a quick project, if I had a paved, covered area to work in.

Ah, it takes me back to the days when I had to overhaul the top end of an I-4 at an interstate rest stop in Kansas… in the summertime. At least Ellsworth, Kansas offered a bit of shade… and was paved.


Based on the amount of wear of the pads and rotors and in the typical driving I do, the existing rotors will likely last the rest of my lifetime. The new pads might as well.

I’d give my left two lug-nuts for an indoor shop (…between 55℉ and 85℉… with a paved floor… with shade… with no wind… and a vehicle lift) to expedite vehicle maintenance.

I’ll do the rear pads tomorrow and see about inspecting the parking brakes.

And Now for Something Completely Different

I’ll just leave this here for now.

No, wait.

Let’s do this.

For people who’ve said repeatedly lately that it’s just imagined or made-up or (insultingly? amusingly?) that it was “swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.”, I’d like to underscore a statement from early on in the Executive Summary:

“…a majority [of sightings] were registered across multiple sensors, to include radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers, and visual observation.”

Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

It’s probably overlooked, but an operative word there is “and” — all of them at the same time.

That said, of the 144 sightings they’ve captured between 2004 and 2021.

Of those 144 sightings they’ve collected, they have identified with conclusive certainty, the staggering total of…


And it was a weather balloon.

However, that still leaves 143 observations yet to be verified. And of those, there are 18 that appear to demonstrate advanced technology. Their words, not mine:

“In 18 incidents, described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics.”

Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Also, by “unusual”, what it means they move in a manner in which absolutely no known aircraft could possibly move within our understanding of physics: changing direction instantaneously; going from a few thousand feet to 80,000 feet in a few fractions of a second, not showing any indication of exhaust.

What the report doesn’t say, but I think clearly infers, is that there is no known or even classified technology that the US Government has or knows of that has any unusual UAP movement pattern capabilities.

This is, quite clearly, something that is only a glimpse of what will eventually be possible in the far distant future of humanity.

Go read the whole report. It’s only a few pages.

Vaccines? Bring it On…


Feels like really (really) bad tendonitis in my elbows and wrists. Strangely (to me) it feels similar to the painfully-bad reaction that I once had to Cirpo back in mid-2008. The Ciprofloxin regimen cleared the infection, but the tendons in my knees were extraordinarily painful just a day or two after I began the course. Had trouble standing and walking.

We found a few weeks later that the FDA issued a warning on the matter.

Well, that would explain the tendonitis that began without any change in physical exertion or activity.

And now **mumble-mumble**-years later, I seem to have some nearly disabling pain in my freaking arms — no change in physical exertion or activity. Is it possible that the nearly-debilitating tendonitis in my arms began just a few days after I had received the second dose of the Moderna Covid vaccine?

Certainly a curiosity.

Also, please don’t take this as some justification to forego any vaccines for whatever fabricated claims you may have — the side effects of any vaccine are far more agreeable than the illness it’s vaccinating against. If some illness can be blocked or mitigated through a vaccine, then effing sign me up. I have happily taken, and will continue to queue up and bear a shoulder or other appropriate muscular group to absorb any vaccine to mitigate illnesses because science:

I’m sure I’m overdue for a few boosters of some of those: DTaP comes to mind — or maybe they call it TDaP now. I dunno ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

*This mutates quickly and there are many different kinds of influenza. Immunologists make very educated guesses/predictions about which of its several variants is going to be most prevalent. Typically, you’ll need an influenza vaccination every year. I haven’t had one in a few years and am clearly overdue.

**I’ve had three Smallpox vaccines over the years. Yes, they stopped administering them en masse back in the early 1970s. But my first smallpox vaccine was when I was a child in 1976 perhaps, probably because they were concerned that I was immunocompromised. The second in 1989 when I joined the Army, because every trainee received it (along with several other vaccines). I had no reaction. The third time because the Army said, “Oh, no reaction? You must not have got a good stick… hold still…” Oh, look… no reaction that time either… a modern mystery that is. This also underscores that vaccines seem to work quite effectively, especially for viruses that are not prone to mutating.

***Typhoid isn’t a virus, per se, but a bacteria, Salmonella typhi. I no longer travel to locations where Typhoid is recurrent, plus it only has about a two-year effectiveness.


Edit: Interesting: Table 3, Arthralgia, Dose 2, Grade 3.