23 November 2011
We’ve spent way too much time fussing with internet access including activating the 3G network on our iPads. The iPads are fine for many things, but it’s just not a direct substitute for our laptops. During those times we’re in Benson, we’ve acquiesced and are using the $30/mo WiFi service available to the park. It’s provided by a local company and signup is online via credit card for a day, a week, a month, or 6 months. No router permitted and you’re able to have unlimited internet access except they measure bandwidth and cut you off if they think you’re abusing their service. Hmmm… unlimited access but you can’t use it excessively? I’ll have to think about that.
I said earlier we have a problem with our Ford F-350 truck. The day we arrived in Benson it started running rough (feels like a misfire). Now it has greatly reduced power. Just to eliminate one possibility I wanted to remove the Banks tuner module in order to satisfy myself it wasn’t the culprit. In the process of unwinding the Banks-installed equipment I found the engine wiring harness is missing the back-shell, perhaps broken a long time ago, or possibly broken at Banks when they did the install. Dunno. But that back-shell is important for more than being a dust cover: it contains the cam surfaces needed to disconnect the engine wiring harness. I feared I would probably break the connector if I tried to pry it off so I put it in the too-hard-to-do pile and looked for help.
It was clear we needed to get someone involved with the right tools and the know-how to troubleshoot the engine and do the repair. I asked around and was warned away from the local (Benson) Ford dealer. But I wasn’t finding a reasonable alternative till Celia asked someone in her line dance class. They have a Freightliner and recommended the repair place they use in Willcox (30+ miles East). Unfortunately they turned out to have repair capability for only small trucks. Anything newer than a 2002 Ford exceeds what their test equipment can interpret (there are a lot of the older 7.3 Liter Ford trucks out there accumulating hundreds of thousands of miles each). We ended up calling the Ford dealer in Sierra Vista (30+ miles SW). It’s also a Lawley Ford dealer (same name as the dealer in Benson) and have a good reputation. And they didn’t seem to have an issue with having Banks equipment installed. So we dropped it off last Saturday.
When I picked it up Tuesday it ran perfectly… for about 15 miles. Then the same nasty P120F fault code raised its ugly head again. The tech found a problem with a Banks connector, plus they did the update & re-calibration of the PCM (a firmware change done as a recall; I’d put this off for several months). They were sure it was fixed and as I drove away I was equally convinced. Sadly it needed to go back and we did that today, the Wednesday before Turkey Day. From what I’ve been able to read on the internet, P120F doesn’t go away permanently till you replace the high pressure fuel pump, but that seems to be a step Ford is reluctant to take as part of warranty repairs. So we’ll have to see what happens next.
Last year we got into some bad eating habits during our stay in Benson. To the tune of almost 20 lbs. for me by the end of summer. We had way too many meals out with fried food and big desserts, then we continued to eat that way once we left Benson. We hope to not repeat that experience this year and will pass on the big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners they have here.(and Taco Night and Fish Fry Night and the Dessert Auction… sigh).
To get things going in the right direction we’ve started eating according to the Admiral’s favorite eating program: Weight Watchers. If we do everything right we can expect about 1 lb/wk weight loss and that’s what’s been happening. It’s a good start and we don’t want to get derailed with the large-group eat frenzy that goes on here during the winter. So instead of the big dinners at the Club House and the Leftovers Dinner the next day, we’ll be going to a restaurant instead. No doubt we’ll go over the daily limit, but we’ll be back on track the next day without the temptation of great tasting leftovers.
Anyway, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. And wish us enough luck to see the San Francisco game on Thursday. Go Niners!