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Old 12-20-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
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Riveting Tidbits about: Dave Park

Time for a new person, Dave Park. The idea of this is to ask questions of the designee if he/she okays participating. When there's no action on the thread for 48 hours, the designee can ask someone else to answer questions (it's voluntary), then start a new thread and on it goes. Janet started this, so her turn should come soon.

Here are some questions for Dave:

1. How long have you been an Airstreamer and how did it happen?

2. Has anyone taken you up on your offer to help with restorations?

3. What's the strangest thing that has happened to you?

Gene
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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1. I got an old junker SOB in 2006, and then saw a Tradewind that answered most of the problems I saw with the SOB and bought that in 2007. Unfortunately, it was in a pretty bad way, so I went through the systems and refitted/refurbished the systems one at a time, and replaced a corner panel. I updated the electrics. I wouldn't say that was when I became an airstreamer though.

The other event of 2007 was that my SO had a very severe car accident, and we were faced with the end of her intended career, and the loss of our savings to pay medical bills. Lots of large bills. Then I broke my leg. I had to sell Bubble (My trailer and TV were named "Bubble and Squeak.")

At this time, I decided to find out what I needed to do to get her ready to sell, and to get a value for her. I joined Airforums, and found this thriving community and just fell in love with the characters and positiveness and worldview of the people here. I never felt a true attachment to that Airstream, but I really get "Airstreaming" and what that is about.

So I would say joining Airforums was my formative event for becoming an "Airstreamer."

2. I have done a few inspections for free or cost of gas, sealed some windows, and repaired a Suburban furnace (sail switch was clogged up.) I have a few acceptances for things in the future: helping install an A/C, some cabinetmaking, that sort of thing. If anyone wants help and is within a reasonable distance of me, my time is yours!

3. Strangest thing ever was my car wreck in 1994, and the recovery from the coma. Strangest Airstreaming thing was sleeping in it in a Walmart parking lot, and hearing this scratching from under the floor. It sounded like a tiny critter trying to get in. Finally, it disturbed me enough that I grabbed a flashlight and took a look around - it was a walmart bag sat under the AS behind the steps, which had some basic food items in it: bread, beans, tinned sausages, peas, etc. I guess maybe someone thought I was living in the Walmart parking lot and thought I needed help?
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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1. I know you have a thread on this, but at any rate, what would your perfect A/S be?

2. Aside from mechanical/technical things, what other interests do you have?

3. How did you end up in Texas from England?
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Strangest thing? What about this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
My sale of my Airstream went south and I may have to consider it stolen. I have had a friend for a couple of years. His home recently burned down and I sold him my airstream, based on a low downpayment ($500) and him making 12 following payments ($600) for a grand total of $7700.

I bought the trailer on a bill of sale, and sold it the same way.

Well, he took the trailer on Tuesday. I got confirmation the cashier's check is fake. A really good fake. His number is no longer in service, and the people who know him all are surprised, but haven't seen him since Tuesday. He has departed.

The trailer is a carefully restored, unpolished Tradewind, 25ft, all original exterior and interior, twin bed, carrying serial number L25-D5J-2916 (or maybe 2918 - it was dented there). There is a gray-painted equalizer WD hitch installed, two 40lb aluminum tanks with modern fittings, and GYMs on new axles. It carried white, 2" numbers "TX-16" in the back window, bottom center.

I have photos on a CD around here somewhere. When I locate it, I will post photos.

This wouldn't be such a loss, but I broke my leg, was laid off for months, and to save money I cancelled the insurance since it was in storage anyway.

I do not know if it is reasonable to post the name of the buyer, so I will just say he said he was from Ruidoso, NM.

If you see this trailer serial for sail on eBay or craigslist anywhere in the country, please let me know? If you see it in person, please don't approach them but contact me with a location so I can inform the police.

Thank you.
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Dave: Did anything about this ever go anywhere. The whole thing seemed weird to me.

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Old 12-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by exthemius View Post
1. I know you have a thread on this, but at any rate, what would your perfect A/S be?
A 70s Airstream on a newly built 5" frame, new axles, floor, insulation, wiring, AC, furnace, etc.

As for the interior: A rear bedroom with a custom mattress that's about 6" smaller than a queen in length and width, along the back left side. Quite high on the frame, with drawers underneath. then coming further forward, a shower on the left side, half over the wheel arch. Head on the right. further back, a narrower kitchen up the left side to the door, about 4" more shallow than normally found, with a 2 burner stovetop, and a single sink at the ends and a wider counter top in between - I put a premium on counter space witch but not depth. Opposite that, on the right, a dinette for 4, then next in, a cabinet that goes floor to ceiling with a raised smaller refer. Below it, the space under the right dinette seat and the refer would be the furnace. A 20" or so TV on the side of the refer cabinet, with an Apple TV. The modern gaucho with two fold up tables. I'll be posting a drawing in a new thread in a few days.

The most enjoyable part of this for me would be taking the shell and building this from scratch.

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2. Aside from mechanical/technical things, what other interests do you have?
I like remodeling, building additions, built-ins, I read a lot of non-fiction, and road trip if/when I can even though trailerless right now. I'm a movie-buff and foodie. My sport of choice is Formula 1 - I did a lot of F1 engineering in the past.

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3. How did you end up in Texas from England?
I studied forensic anthropology with a minor in engineering but found I couldn't leave work at work, After a tour of duty in Northern Ireland, I started defense contracting, doing smaller precision engineering jobs, whilst cabinet-making as a (profitable) hobby. This brought me to the US. I met a girl while here in 1998 and we married. I moved to Houston. We divorced in 2006. After that I moved to Austin/Round Rock, which was much more laid back and fitted me better.

I like it here, but regret it is so far from everywhere else.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OB Bambi View Post
Did anything about this ever go anywhere. The whole thing seemed weird to me.
There haven't been any developments since then.

The whole thing was weird, and I don't blame people for thinking so.

For those not in the loop, I sold my Tradewind to an acquaintance of 18 months, and he vanished, his payment bounced, and he hasn't surfaced since. He took a few other people's property too. The trailer did surface at a scrap yard later, but it was unrecoverable.

I feel like I was very naive and I didn't listen to someone who did try to warn me. It was also a much bigger problem for me than just losing the AS. It really hurt family finances at a very bad time, and I took it very personally and emotionally. Looking back, I realize I really fell to pieces. Bad times.

Lesson learned.

My next AS will have a GPS tracker. Also, I expect it to be with me for a life, circumstances permitting.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:23 AM   #7
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Dave, you have taken on the roll of TAC news letter editor.

Do you enjoy that roll and what would you like to see the readers do to help you?

What has been the biggest positive surprise about Airstreamers and Airstreaming?

What has been your biggest disappointment you have discovered?
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
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Dave, you have taken on the roll of TAC news letter editor. Do you enjoy that roll and what would you like to see the readers do to help you?
Hehe. I offered to typeset the magazine, and ended up the editor.

I don't see much of a role for the magazine in the future, since most of the information it was designed to distribute can now be better handled by the website. I think it needs to go back to being a newsletter.

Beyond that, it would just be nice for people to get into the habit of submitting stories, information and photos. For it to become "automatic" when organizing an event to put together a little package and send it to the newsletter. Shortage of content is the biggest problem.

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What has been the biggest positive surprise about Airstreamers and Airstreaming?
The sharing and volunteering of information and time. Airstreamers look after each other. I've found myself volunteering to help someone who is in a tight spot move their Airstream, even though that meant a round trip of 4,500 miles.

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What has been your biggest disappointment you have discovered?
The company does so little to remedy longstanding flaws in their product. They knew what was happening to their floors in the 50s, and it's still happening with new products today? Ford and GM sat on their laurels like that well into the 90s and look where it almost got them...
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:46 AM   #9
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Dave,

1. I see you have a varied background with many interests. Are you working now and if so, doing what?

2. Although you come from England, I don't remember seeing British spelling in your posts—have I missed that, or have you adjusted to US spelling?

3. We share an interest in science fiction.
a. First some trivia (because every once in a while I try to remember this and can't) — two science fiction series showed up on US TV (probably PBS) several years ago. Both were far superior to anything made in this country. One had the number "7" in it and did not have a happy ending and the other had the hero being an Astronaut, but all the other characters were aliens. The cliffhanger final episode was not happy either and because the series was not picked up, we never have known what happened to the heroes. Both shared the plot construct that these were loners against an evil space empire. I think one may have been Australian, or both were British—not sure. I'm not talking about Dr. Who. What were the series' names?
b. What are your favorite science fiction authors?
c. Bonus: What recent Hugo award winner lives not far from me (I hope you know because I can't spell his name)? The name of the award winning book?

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #10
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1. I see you have a varied background with many interests. Are you working now and if so, doing what?
I was laid off after injuring my leg, and I haven't found regular work yet, but I have been getting by with the help of friends and odd-jobs here and there. I've recently helped a neighbor with construction of a large patio, replacing siding and soffits, and other small home improvements. I have also built a couple of sheds/barns.

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2. Although you come from England, I don't remember seeing British spelling in your posts—have I missed that, or have you adjusted to US spelling?
I have completely Americanized my spelling. It's funny - Brits are such snobs about "colour" and "flavour" and accuse Americans of dropping something. This is historically incorrect. We originally spelled them "color" and "flavor", and added the "u" in the late 1800s, because it looked cool. Theatre, mitre, centre etc. make less sense than theater, miter, center...

The crunch is "aluminum" - I mean, seriously, come on guys. Lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, francium, beryllium, magnesium, calcium, barium, radium, gallium, indium, thallium, ununtrium, ununquadium, ununpentium, ununhexium and scandium beg to differ.

Also, I am confused why over a hundred countries call it football, but you guys call it soccer. Soccer is a north British corruption of "association" as in "Association Football" and originates from a split of leagues and rules in the late 1800s.

A pint is NOT a pound, the world around. American pints are 4 fl oz smaller than everywhere else. Your gallons are smaller too: 3.785 gallons vs. 4.564 gallons.

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3. We share an interest in science fiction.
a. First some trivia (because every once in a while I try to remember this and can't) — two science fiction series showed up on US TV (probably PBS) several years ago. Both were far superior to anything made in this country. One had the number "7" in it and did not have a happy ending and the other had the hero being an Astronaut, but all the other characters were aliens. The cliffhanger final episode was not happy either and because the series was not picked up, we never have known what happened to the heroes. Both shared the plot construct that these were loners against an evil space empire. I think one may have been Australian, or both were British—not sure. I'm not talking about Dr. Who. What were the series' names?
b. What are your favorite science fiction authors?
c. Bonus: What recent Hugo award winner lives not far from me (I hope you know because I can't spell his name)? The name of the award winning book?
The first show was Blake's 7, This show was a gritty version of Star Trek for grown-ups.
The second, from your description, may have been Red Dwarf, which ran eight seasons. However, that was a comedy, and though it sometimes tackled hard content, it was quite light. For those not in the know: the ship's incompetent custodian is placed in suspended animation for two weeks as punishment for an accident. After being suspended, his accident kills everyone on the ship. As the ship floats through space, it wakes him 3 billion years later. At this time, his companions are a cool black guy (who had evolved from the ship's cat), a hologram of a snotty officer PITA, and an alien droid with no sense of humor. SPOILER: the signature episode for me was when they time travelled to Earth. They materialized in the Texas Book Depository, accidentally knocking Oswald's elbow. Kennedy survives. They flee, returning a few weeks later in time, and there's nobody left alive. It turns out Kennedy needed to die to save humanity for some obscure reason. So they go back to before the assassination and tell Kennedy. He realizes the importance of this and goes with them. Kennedy was the gunman on the grassy knoll.
The Australian sci-fi show was probably Farscape or Lexx.
I also adore the Dr Who reboot, until the current Doctor, who just seems... smug. It's given me competition for Tom Baker, who was my introductory Doctor, and I'm torn between him and David Tennant.
My favorite sci-fi books? I seem to have got stuck on Arthur C. Clarke and Asimov stories. Great imagination, and a good, solid science base to them. The only sci-fi writer I consistently can't enjoy is L Ron Hubbard.
For non-sci-fi, I have enjoyed writings by Bill Bryson, and my all time favorite: Tom Sharpe. He's a biting satirist, and truly enjoyable.
The only recent Hugo Award winner I can think of is Neal Stephenson, but I do not know where he lives. Too many books to choose a particular favorite, but Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon are good places to start. For names that are hard to spell, Paolo Bacigalupi is the most promising new author.
I recommend Firefly to everyone.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:50 PM   #11
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Dave: You are right about Blake's Seven. The other one I was thinking about was Farscape. I had forgotten about Lexx—that one was really weird. I've never seen Red Dwarf. I sometimes saw Dr. Who last season and didn't like the present one who may be the one you speak of. I like the old black and white Drs. Who—then the series was delightfully silly, but now that they have some production money, creativity has suffered. I remain concerned about Daleks. Paolo B. won for Windup Girl and he lives in Paonia, about 18 miles away from me. I used to know him years ago, but he appears to have forgotten me as has another local author, Craig Childs (but I know his mother). This seems to be a pattern—write some books and forget me. My wife, who does not normally like science fiction, liked it, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

I think you meant liters, not gallons, in your discussion of US gallons (4 quarts) vs. Imperial gallons.

Carry on—

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #12
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A couple of people have asked off-forum about the accident, so here's a link that explains how lucky my SO is - better than any words could:

Photobucket

(Some people may find a couple of the images upsetting, as they contain blood and mangled wreckage. If you are sensitive about this, please do not click.)
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:20 PM   #13
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1. How does life in Texas compared to life in England?
2. Do you miss driving on the wrong side of the road?
3. Do you feel closer to Canadians than Americans?
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:01 PM   #14
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1. How does life in Texas compared to life in England?
I've never tried to compare them. Whenever I am asked to compare the UK and the US it always ends up being about healthcare or politics or religion. These are three industries we do not have in England.

I was raised on a farm, and so Texas suits me well.

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2. Do you miss driving on the wrong side of the road?
I miss being surrounded by people who know how do drive, and who understand flow and momentum. Many people here do not get beyond operating a motor vehicle to ever truly appreciate the art and skill of driving.

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3. Do you feel closer to Canadians than Americans?
Not at all. The gulf between Brits and Canadians is far wider than Brits and Americans. I was raised on a diet of: Airwolf, The A Team, Knight Rider, CHiPs, Blue Thunder, Manimal, Six million dollar man, Wonder woman, Whiz Kids, The Incredible Hulk, The Rockford Files, and so many more. Growing up in England is like being an Army kid born abroad, I think, but without the privilege of citizenship
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