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Mechanical failures...

Well, I've been managing repairs on Old Pueblo Trolley's 1960 General Motors transit coach (Old Pueblo Transit Company No. 135). Last weekend, the starter motor blew up on it. For some reason, the pinion gear failed to disengage from the ring gear after the motor started. That chewed up some teeth on the ring gear and sheared the gear off the pinion. It threw some debris into the starter housing, destroying it in the process.

Fortunately, we have a complete spare drivetrain for the coach and had a spare parts starter. We took the damaged one off on Monday and sent both units out for repair. We got the starters back on Friday and installed the complete one in the coach and tested it on Saturday. It worked all right, but we observed that the fuel pump was leaking motor oil from a relief vent. As the 135 was our backup coach for a event the next day, I could not work on it until the event was over. It wasn't a severe leak, but needed to be attended to at any rate. After the event, I removed the fuel pump and sealed all of the fuel lines and openings to keep foreign matter out. The pump has an oil seal which is probably the source of the leak. One of our other volunteers will fix it at his shop and probably have it back to us this weekend.

We also swapped out the head sign on the coach on Saturday. The head sign is the destination sign above the windshield. Some years ago, our volunteers made up a destination blind to go in the sign box so that there was something there. Next month, the City of South Tucson is celebrating its 75th anniversary and we received a request to have the 135 on display at the celebration. Old
Pueblo Transit was the bus company that served South Tucson. That being the case, we decided that since we have an original destination blind from Old Pueblo Transit, that blind should be on the bus. So I cleaned it up and repaired a couple of tears with tape. We removed the temporary blind from the head sign box and removed it from the rollers. Actually swapping the sign out took only a few minutes.


Answer for question 4475.

What were your biggest plans for 2015 when the year began? With the year over half gone now, how have your plans progressed and/or changed? If you could change one thing that has happened so far this year, what would it be and why?
My biggest plan was to buy a house. There were four conditions that it had to meet: 1) Be within walking distance of my office or a streetcar stop. 2) Have air conditioning. 3) Have washer and dryer. 4) Be larger than the apartment I was in.

I found a house that met all requirements and made a cash offer which was immediately accepted. Home inspection turned up a short list of minor items to be addressed. That was agreed upon and within a week we closed on the house and took possession immediately.

Change of residence....

Well, this is the big day. This morning, a coworker came up to the apartment and helped me move the bed and desk to the townhouse. All of the furniture save a few chairs are now moved and all I have left to move are a few boxes of items. The cable company will be at the townhouse tomorrow to connect the cable service, so I will only be offline a few hours. I'll actually have a desktop computer for the first time in years, in addition to my tablet pc.


Moving update....

Well, the move is progressing more rapidly now. I just made the order for Cox to install the Internet service, so that will be scheduled. Most of the furniture and small items have been moved or will be moved within the next few days. It's time now to start taking art off the walls and moving the pieces to the house. The last pieces of furniture to move will be the bed and desk. A friend from the office will be helping me with those on Saturday.

Work has been busy with various matters popping up. We had a situation where a process server was very unhappy with the way we filed a response she had been directed to file with the court regarding a complaint against her. She was directed to file the response no later than July 10. She filed it on that day, but it never got to the judge as the person who filed it in never gave it to me or told me it had been filed (I was out of the office that day). The court ordered that since no reponse had been received, a hearing would be held. I had to do some fence mending as a result of that. Then the clerk who handles the Domestic Violence desk had to deal with the probation office. Seems that they think that they should be able to serve Orders of Protection/Injunctions Against Harassment on defendants who are on probation. I pointed out that under Constitutional Law, only the sheriff has authority to serve legal process. Under Arizona law, that authority is extended to county Constables, Marshalls, certified private process servers and persons specially appointed by the court. If you are not one of these authorities, it is illegal to serve any document other than a subpoena. The matter has been brought to the attention of the Clerk of the Superior Court and she and I are adamant that the probation officers have no such authority.



Things are going well do far. I got the townhouse on the 8th and there were not many things on the repair list. The roofer replaced four broken tiles and did some resealing that was needed. The plumber tightened up some fixtures and the HVAC techs took care of the blower motor.

City of Tucson Environmental Services will deliver the garbage and recycling bins tomorrow and I will be changing internet service providers in a few days. I'm currently on Comcast and they do not offer service in that area.

As for household goods, so far I have moved almost all of my books and four bookcases. Tomorrow the dining room table will go, leaving only the bed and desk to be moved. The dresser, end tables and nightstand are still at the apartment but can be moved any day. I have decided to convert the downstairs bedroom into a home office and have moved most of the bookcases into there.

The cats are quite aware that something is up. They see the boxes and are pretty puzzled about what is going on.


Got a few things in the works here. I will be moving sometime in the near future-just in town. I made an offer on a townhouse that is within walking distance of the courthouse where I work. Just got word from the realtor that the offer was accepted by the seller. The realtor is getting the title search started and the inspection will be done this week. If everything looks good, we could close the first week in July.

This choice was a long time in coming. For the past ten years, I've commuted from Oro Valley to downtown Tucson. Most of what I do takes me downtown and with all of the improvements that have been made, renting an apartment out here no longer made sense. By moving downtown, I'll be able to walk or take public transit to most of the places I go. I'll be able to cut my automobile related expenses considerably. The streetcar line is a five minute walk from the townhouse and could be used for trips to the grocery as there are several markets on its route.


Overdue update

I know it's been a while since I last posted anything. I am still around, just very busy.

Work has been busy as we have just transitioned to mandatory electronic filing of documents for attorneys in civil lawsuits in our court. I am the primary clerk responsible for dealing with electronic filings and deal with all of the issues related to the electronic filing system. With few certain exceptions, attorneys are no longer permitted to file papers over the counter.

Another change is that passport applications are no longer accepted at our office. Effective last week, acceptance services were relocated to the Pima County Customer Service Center at 240 N. Stone Avenue. The Customer Service Center houses the Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts, Pima County Assessor's Office, Pima County Recorder's Office and Pima County Constable's Office. We staff the Passport Acceptance counter, but all phone inquiries are still handled at our office.

Work on Old Pueblo Transit Company bus No. 135 has continued and the repairs are now all complete. We spent several weekends replacing all of the wiring in the engine compartment and some of the wires running from the driver's cab. In the process of tracing the source of the failure of the right combination brake lamp/tail lamp, it was found that much of the original wiring was in poor condition as the cloth insulation was cracked or disintegrating in many places. All of the wiring was replaced with current SAE standard wiring and the wires placed inside cloth loom to provide additional protection from the heat generated by the gas engine. The bus has been run for several hours to test the repairs and they have held up. Driving the 135 is a blast-it gets attention wherever it goes. It also gives the driver a bit of a workout. While it does have an automatic transmission (GM Hydromatic), it doesn't have power steering.

Road Spikes in Tucson

Some lowlife decided that for some sport, they'd put large metallic spikes in the roadways about town. The spikes were apparently made from large steel bolts and designed to be set in the access holes in manhole covers. From the information the Sheriff's Department sent to the county snd city agencies, at least fifty vehicles have been damaged and the spikes are mostly popping up on the south side of town. The Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff's Department are actively looking for the vandals.

Moving Day...

Today was the day designated for our office to transition from our old workspace to the new office space. Eight of us were designated to move and spent the majority of the morning moving all of our stuff out of the old workstations and into the new workstations. The workstations are on the other side of the main office from the old workstations, so we didn't have to go that far. Moving the file cabinets and arranging them to maximize space was a bit of a trick as they had to be put in the cubicle (nothing allowed to protrude into the aisle), but it's large enough that I was able to pull it off-the new cubicles are larger than the old ones by a wide margin.

Most of the cubicles have windows facing front and the aisle. Mine only has windows to the aisle, as I deal with sensitive information and those windows are mostly blocked by a file cabinet. I am in the very back of the unit. That makes it nicer as no one comes past my cubicle unless they are looking for me.

We're all Specialist Ones in this area except the Support Specialist who assembles the new case files. He doesn't get a full cubicle but has the open work station by the copier room. The specialist who handles the restraining orders has the cubicle at the front of the unit and has a window that opens out to the main hall so that the people wanting to get restraining orders do not take up space in the waiting room. The next stage of construction will begin the removal of the old cubicles and reconfiguration of the filing counter and waiting room area. That will require the few people remaining in the old workspace to move to the cubicles that some of us Specialist Ones vacated temporarily, until the second phase of construction is completed. Then they will have to move into the new workspaces when they are completed.

A Decade of Cats

Hard to belive that this is the tenth anniversary of my getting Dale. He was a birthday gift from Mom and Dad and remains the best birthday gift ever. I got him less than a month before I got hired here at the Clerk's office, so it makes remembering how long we've been together easy. He meets me at the foot of the stairs every afternoon and loves attention.


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August 2015


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