Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hick Is a Regular Ray of Sunshine for Those Solar Car Boys

Hick is never happier than when he has a project. No matter whether that project is vital to the operation of the homestead, or whether it is a Hick-devised project of questionable importance. Over the past two weeks, Hick has taken it upon himself to ready the grounds for the invasion of the Solar Car Team.

Genius had asked if we would mind hosting the team on their trek through Missouri. They spend most of their time camping out, with a few motel stays interspersed in their itinerary. We have no problem with 24 people pitching tents in our yard and field. Hick even cleaned out part of his BARn so some can rest comfortably on the concrete floor in the air conditioning. We are springing for BBQables, along with several cases of water, since the team is caffeine free. I plan to heat up some beans, and make a vat of my almost-famous potato salad, which is often shoved out of the culinary spotlight due to my delicious deviled eggs and world-famous Chex Mix. No time for those two treats, but potato salad I can do.

Hick has a working toilet in the loft of the BARn. He also has his outhouse down by the cabin. And as he says, "They're mostly guys. They can pee outside." You might think Hick is not a stickler for cleanliness, but you would be wrong. He set to work the day after Genius finalized the plans, to make an outdoor shower.

Here it is, in various stages:

This is how it began. A barrel on top of some skids.

Hick always knew it would be a two-barrel shower. Here he has them both in place, and the initial test shows that the shower does indeed work.

Since nobody wants to be exposed around here except Hick, he had me pick up a shower curtain at The Dollar Store. It cost more than a dollar. I was not trying to be all artsy-fartsy outterior-decoratory. The plain shower curtains were translucent. So this is the only pattern that you couldn't see through. I had planned to have The Pony pick one out at Walmart, but the more I imagined him looking at a selection of shower curtains and getting one that suited our needs...the more I knew I needed to cut that escapade short and take this one the day I found it.

Looks like Hick also decided to upgrade that shower to three barrels. I guess he thinks the guests might linger in the luxury of running water. Not sure what they're going to stand on yet. Hick will probably come up with some rubber mats from the BARn. Or one of his sheds. Or one of the freight containers.

The barrels have been filled with 55-degree well water for nigh on two weeks. The temperature should be compatible with life. And if somebody wants a COLD shower, he can just pick up the hose attached to the well spigot. In addition, we have Poolio to act as a big bathtub for those bashful bathers. As Genius said, though, "We planned on not having facilities on the nights we camp out."

But wait! We're not finished! Hick also rigged up a hand-washing station!

We are looking forward to the August 1 invasion. Things were dicey there for a while, what with some vital piece of equipment shorting out before scrutineering was over. Another team generously offered a replacement. Day 1 of the qualifying track race saw the Missouri S&T team making repairs to get the Solar Miner track-ready. No laps were under their belt at the finish of the first day of competition.

By Day 2 of the race, Missouri S&T had hit the track and was racking up laps to qualify for the road portion of the challenge. Until a tire blew out about three hours after the start! Not just a blowout, but a broken tie rod! They got it repaired trackside, without pitting. But then, something quit communicating with something else. A coding problem. The coders rigged a work-around so that the Solar Miner could get back on the track. However, they finished Day 2 with only 89 laps. A one-day lap total of 128 was needed to qualify. But don't count them out!

Today, Day 3, the last day of qualifying, the Solar Miner took the track needing 101 laps to meet the two-day total criteria. Three hours in, 50 of those 101 laps had been tallied. All systems were go--until a thunderstorm dumped heavy rains on our hopes. The main problem, according to scuttlebutt, was not traction, but the humidity fogging the driver's vision. But don't count them out!

News from the Solar Car Team front is that as of the close of the track competition this evening, the Solar Miner has qualified for the road race, which starts on Saturday in Brecksville, Ohio.



  1. I expect great things, I don't think Genius is used to losing.

    Hick is a man of many talents, but where does he get all those barrels? Those puppies would bring Jaws to the surface.

    1. FYI, this is the first time the solar car team has qualified for the road race since 2010. Genius is Team Leader, and started working his way up when he got to College University his freshman year of 2013-14. Their road qualification this year is already a win!

      I don't know where Hick gets his barrels. To ask would only encourage him. I can imagine those barrels supporting a dock on the lake. Hopefully, no docks were sunk in the making of this shower.

  2. When the apocalypse comes I'm heading to your place. At least I'll get a good shower.

    1. Ooh! Another moneymaking opportunity for Val. I can sell apocalypse plots (or apopadopalyspe plots, as Hick would say) from the counter of my proposed handbasket factory. I may even offer Go To the Front of the Shower Line passes...

      Hick is a big believer in barter. Perhaps you could trade your artistic talents in return for your plot and shower pass. You could paint ID portraits for official ID badges that will be required in our compound. Play your cards right, and Hick may even build you a special shed in Shackytown.

  3. Good luck to Genius & the rest of the crew: they should enjoy their stay at Hotel Hick!!

    1. They may have to listen to Hick tell them all about his outbuildings and treasures, but at least they'll have clean ears for it.

  4. I thought Hick was going to make a pool for Jack with a barrel... Does that poor puppy have a pool yet? If not, why not?

    1. Funny you should ask. I've been sitting on that subject for a few days. Look for it on Sunday. Because now, I must fake-publish this week's fake book...