Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First four-legged breakin attempt

I've been staying out in the rural coastal areas lately, whenever I get a chance. I love it. Quiet, fresh air, peaceful, beautiful.

Last night, however, I had my first break-in attempt by a four-legged creature. And, this will come as no surprise, at 4am.

I was in a dead sleep, and awoke for no particular reason, probably from hearingsome kind of unspecified noise. Then I heard a distinctive "thunk" that sounded like someone or something bumping into my floor vent, really hard, and a tiny screeching scream. And finally a double thump of an animal jumping down from somewhere and landing somewhere else. And then: silence.

My guess: a mouse was trying to get into my van through the floor vent, and was stopped abruptly by a cat who had been stalking it as it was scratching around trying to find its way in. Either the cat or the mouse must have banged into the vent, hard.

I have a window screen on that floor vent, otherwise the mouse or whatever would most surely have gotten in-- the vent louvres are big enough for a small mouse to fit through.

Having been a pet owner, I instinctively shouted "NO!" when I heard all this. Luckily no humans heard me or gave it much thought ("What, is someone walking their dog in the middle of the night?"). I got up and inspected the screen for damage, and didn't see any. Then looked at the clock: 3:58AM. Wow.

One of the things I love about more rural/suburban areas is how quiet and peaceful they are, and no hassles from two-legged folks (cops or robbers). But one of the biggest hassles of some of these areas is the four-legged creatures; most of time it is the local dogs take violent exception to my being here. The past few nights I've parked and had two or three separate neighborhood dogs at the same time start get very pissed off at me for being there. *sigh* Sometimes I just wait for them to get over it, other times I have to move.

The life of a vandweller is never boring.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wall of Voodoo

I'm very happy to report that I have finally put in the wall in the back of the truck! I left about 2 feet in the back as a storage area for my bicycle, tools, ladder, and some bulky/heavy gear I use for work and need to haul in and out of the roll-up door. I'm going to put shelves back there too.

I'm no longer tripping over or wrestling with sheets of insulation or breathing toxic insulation dust, and it's noticeably quieter. Should be cooler on hot days too, and warmer in winter.

The design was courtesy of a local fellow vandweller. I framed it out of 2x2's, sheetrocked the inside part of it, and put plywood on the other side for hanging tools and mounting shelves and such. There's a "movable" section which was works kind of like a trackless sliding door, but the sheetrock is so heavy that I'll probably just leave it in place most of the time. The movable part is cut with a 30-degree angle cut, so it fits in nicely, and slides out when I need to get back there. There's a long peice of 2x2 angle iron at the top, drilled into the box and the non-movable part of the wall, which provides a slot for the movable part to fit into.

I'll take pictures at some point and post them.

It took me a couple days to do, all together, maybe 18-20 hours of work. But I've never framed a wall before, never worked with angle iron or sheetrock, never even built much out of wood either, so it was a huge learning experience for me. I'm very grateful for the advice I got. Major project complete!