Friday, July 27, 2007

Since I had that attack of Bell's Palsy, I've had a problem with the eyesight on the bad side going in and out of focus. Nothing major, but I do find it more difficult to sight in on small type such as in medicine warnings, maps, etc., particularly when the light is bad. And when I start traveling around more, I do want to be able to read maps, even at night.
So when I bumped into a credit-card-sized 2x magnifying glass/cum 6x loupe inset that included an LED flashlight with an on-off switch at a local storage goods retailer, I decided to treat myself to the $9.95 gadget. It isn't anything fancy; in fact, it doesn't even have a name on it, just oriental country of origin.
The fact it's credit-card-sized doesn't mean much: this is eight or ten times the thickness of a card. Oh,there are such gadgets as The Owl I saw at Walgreen's that's much thinner, but that one doesn't have a replaceable battery, and this one does. The review I saw on said that one was "not worth buying" and I think this one is.
I noticed the same item at, but for double the price. At least, it looked similar, but used two batteries vs. the one in mine, and that promised a carrying case, where mine is nekkid.
It fits comfortably in a pocket, though, and if I find a little bag to carry it in it shouldn't get scratched. I like it.
I suppose you could also use it as a flashlight on your way back from the campground bathroom, or to read at night by. I am going to attach a strap to it, tho; it's awfully slippery. I was looking at it in the toilet and almost lost it to the ceramics. One wrong bounce...and splash. Lucky it bounced right.
Late addendum: I found a card holder and lanyard I'd been given at Giants Ridge golf course in Biwabik, MN. At 2-3/4"x4-1/2" for the heavy plastic card holder, the magnifier just slides inside, then the lanyard clips so it stays inside. It's transparent, so I can use the magnifier through it, and I can turn the light on with a little effort. It protects and gives me something to hang around my neck, hold onto or even wrap around maps or atlases. You may have something like this if you've ever gone to a trade show; or you may be able to buy one at an office supply dealer.
I had a bookmark magnifier that was handy before this one. It was a promotional item that fit inside a book to mark your place, and could be used to expand vision; it was small enough that it disappeared in my house. It'll turn up (getting ready for my trip to Montana a little later, it did); if something like that will work for you and you find one at a golf or RV show, keep your hands on it.
Either that, or tie it to your road atlas.

A map accessory was necessary for an upcoming trip. To use as an RV, I resurrected my old Chevy Beauville van, again: 215,000 miles, but I put a new battery in it, and it fired right up. It has a few problems, but I'm hoping there won't be a problem on my 2,000 mile trip.

There's a slow drain somewhere in the system, so the battery empties out if the vehicle sits. I bought a trickle charger last year, but it didn't seem to work.
This time, when I put the Diehard in, I made a couple of changes.
First, I inserted a post like the ones at left into the terminal I could get to. This just screwed into place, and I tightened it down with a wrench.

Next, I pulled the insulating cover off the terminal and put the bolt to a quick-connect battery connector, sort of like the one shown here.
Finally, I tightened the screw on the connector similar to the red one on the right here, so it would get good compression, slid the connector over the new post, and pushed the lever down. Bingo.
Now, when I don't expect to drive the truck for awhile, I can just flip the lever up and remove the connector from the battery terminal. No drain.
I also have some leaking around the roof, but there's a fix for that as well, I'm told. More on that later.
A lot of information is available on van options at vandwellers group on Yahoo, by the way. It may be worthwhile becoming a member, particularly if you're thinking of converting a van to travel in. Another site is on More on this next time, as well.

1 comment:

Oprah said...

People should read this.