These are the times…

Adam Klotz is a Fox News meteorologist. He’s also a football fan, and after midnight last Saturday he was returning from an NFL playoff game on the NYC Subway. He observed a group of juvenile thugs harassing an elderly man, and when they set the man’s hair on fire, he intervened.

Klotz got the shit beat out of him.

Three of the seven miscreants were apprehended and, naturally, released to their “parents.” They weren’t charged.

In an interview a couple of days after the attacks, Klotz said this:

“Where is [the mayor]? Where’s the city? Why am I doing this?

“Why is it up to me?”

Considering the beating he took — after doing the right thing, in my opinion — I understand his frustration. I also acknowledge that government has a “public safety” function. But his questions echo a widespread attitude of desperate dependence, reliance on government to protect us.

The Big Apple (don’t mind the maggots) has complicated lawful self-defense for decades by essentially banning the carry of firearms. In recent years prosecutors have gone soft (to put it mildly) on the kind of crime infecting the city, refusing to charge or detain perpetrators of even violent crimes.

“Why is it up to me?”

Because you were there, Mr. Klotz. You were in a position to defend the defenseless. Your actions were righteous and you paid the price — but you didn’t lose.

More to the point, it’s up to all of us. No one is coming to save us or the old man on the subway.

Of course, the more prepared we are for such a moment, the better the outcome. And we should seriously consider avoiding places like NYC, which encourage crime and criminalize acts of defense.

One of those cartoon light bulbs appeared over my head Wednesday morning when I saw that the overnight forecast was headed for a low of 20°F. Our heated fresh-water hose and the heat tape on the hydrant both were plugged into 20A outlets on the campsite’s pedestal, which still didn’t have power.

We waited as long as we could, on the off-chance that shore power would be restored. When it wasn’t, we connected both devices to a 120VAC outlet on the other side of the bus, where they could draw generator power from the coach — and that required me rolling around in the snow and mud to route the cord under the motorhome.

An unpleasant task, but it worked to keep water flowing.

Power still hadn’t been restored by Thursday morning. Ernie’s generator was doing its job, though I suspected we were getting close to the limit of available diesel fuel. And then, as if to to make life a little more interesting, a twist — we lost all 12V power.

(Didn’t see that comin’.)

The house batteries showed a full charge and tested fine, but something was preventing our ample supply of 12VDC from getting to the coach’s systems. And even though we had reliable 120VAC, everything from the HVAC to the fridge depends on low-voltage control circuitry.

So not a lot of stuff was working — practically speaking, Ernie was a 16-ton power strip. We plugged in a space heater while considering our options and waiting for shore power to be restored. That happened around 1:30pm.

We shut down the generator, which had been running for 40 hours straight.

Since Deb and I are sick (probably WuFlu, afflicting us like a bad winter cold), we couldn’t bring in a mobile RV tech. I did some Internet research, looked at the wiring diagrams and hatched my own theory about where the 12V problem might originate. We got in touch with our regular tech back in Ohio, who gladly agreed to do a phone consult.

After listening to us describe the symptoms and what I thought was the culprit, he validated my approach and offered useful advice.

Just inside the door of the motorhome is a bank of four switches, one of which is a “battery cut-off.” It’s commonly called the “salesman switch” — of little use to owners, coming into play only when it’s bumped accidentally, interrupting 12VDC power to the coach’s systems. And it’s common knowledge that it’s the first thing to check when low-voltage power suddenly goes out.

I fiddled with our salesman switch, without effect.

Digging into the wiring diagram, I saw that the switch actuates a solenoid located in the outside “run bay” directly beneath the driver’s seat. I removed the cover from the main power block, found the solenoid and noticed a 5A fuse peeking out from the top of its housing.

The fuse was blown — could it be that easy? — so I replaced it, went upstairs and thumbed the salesman switch. Nope. I came back down and pulled the new fuse, which had blown right away. The solenoid was defective.

A common fix — rather than buying and installing a new solenoid to restore a function that’s largely useless — is simply to bypass the solenoid entirely. Some owners do that even if it ain’t broke, just to take the annoying salesman switch out of the equation. It involves installing a jumper wire between the hot side of the solenoid and the cold side. That was the creative solution endorsed by our Ohio-based RV tech.

Ten bucks and a five-minute drive to O’Reilly got us a 4ga battery cable 12 inches long. I brought it inside the bus (where it was warmer than the 34°F outside) and shaped it the way I wanted, then went out to the battery bay and flipped the big, marine-grade cut-off switches to de-energize the panel.

Back in the run bay, installing the jumper took fifteen minutes only because I felt like shit and I didn’t have ideal tools.

As soon as I put power back to the panel, the furnaces whooshed to life, the fridge resumed chillin’ and the lights came on. Deb isn’t ashamed to admit that she bawled like a baby.

We won another one.

On this Friday, then, all is well — all, that is, except us. We’re both still pretty sick here, though we’re recovering slowly. Until Deb and I get past what ails us, we’ve put everything on hold — puppy training, meeting with the architect to review his foundation drawings, even traveling to The Mountain itself.

In short, we’re stayin’ put.

Today is bright and sunny, a good 20 degrees warmer than yesterday. Some of the snow will melt. We’ll bask in the glow, if not necessarily the warmth. It’ll be a good day for our attitude, I think.

Battling through the severe weather that hit us around Christmas was a stiff challenge, and we handled it. This week, despite illness, we did it again. We didn’t know how, but we figured it out. We didn’t know if we could, but we did — because we had to.

I read something yesterday that fits, from a guy who in his younger years trained for swift-water rescue. He recalled the lead instructor’s advice:

“The river doesn’t care that you’re tired.”

Sometimes we have no choice but to elevate our will to meet circumstances. Everything we need is within us.

When it’s over, it sure makes for a good story.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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