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Part 1

I moved to Kelowna with my family in Aug 2002, the year before the Okanagan Mountain Park fire. If you are not from BC you may know little about that fire, and if from California you have seen far worse I'm sure. That fire burned through 239 homes and I could see it every day from my house slowly creeping closer. We were thankfully not in danger but we were cleaning off pieces of blackened tree leaves every day from the deck and off our cars and at one point the smoke was so thick I could barely see the stop sign at the end of our road two houses down. 2015 didn't claim nearly as many homes in BC thankfully, though our neighbors in Washington lots a lot of acreage to several extremely large forest fires. Keep in mind many of those in remote areas outside of municipal fire services can not get fire insurance on their buildings and tend to loose everything in these big fires. What we do here of in that phrase, "Human caused" attached to many of these large forest fires. What that means is 100% preventable. It takes very little to control these types of fires. We all love a campfire when we are camping. Its an easy thing to keep a couple pails of water close at hand, or two make sure a fire is completely out after a camping trip or obey camp fire bans when in effect. Fires do not need extreme dry temperatures to get out of hand. A fire works display during a camping trip a couple years ago in early summer with snow still in shady spots, had moss mats in a close by tree catch flame on us with just a few sparks. We just happened to have chain saws at hand, and the slight flare up went out quickly but it shows even in a little bit of fun like this at what we all presumed was a very safe time of year could become a problem if not equipped to deal with it. We all like to target smokers but there are many ways that a fire can get started and all are easy to prevent. If you ride, make sure your mufflers have spark arrestor baffles, if you're a wheeler, make sure sparks and hot exhaust isn't an issue in grass land areas, if you hike, or camp at all, make sure your fires are out and in times of fire bans, not on at all. And smokers please contain your buts to ashtrays, coffee cups or other containers year-round. It's our responsibility not anyone elses as outdoor enthusiests to make sure we have a place to go play and have fun for us and our kids well into the future.

Part 2

I have a friend that has a large sign in his shop cut out of metal and I think its three sided as well. It says "Do Not Assume" a note of course to his employee's. Seem harsh? He also carries a pair of ladies pink G-string panties in his golf bag, but that's another story from one of our Moab trip and where Rum, barn cats and large noisy turkeys involved. It's a pretty simple statement that "Do Not Assume" and its there to remind his staff to stop, think and ask questions before proceeding. It ties into something else he's been known to say and its simply "what did you do wrong"? I had a "Do Not Assume" and "what did you do wrong" combo take place recently. And both statements were correct, again. He's such a wise little Budda. First I "assumed" that my over heating issues couldn't possibly have anything to do with my radiator, a well known quality rad to start with, so no need to point fingers there. I had replaced it right at the same time as installing the V8 engine in my Jeep and heat issues started almost right away. I blamed fans, poor water circulation, not having a fan shroud, poor air circulation in the engine bay, winch in the way, just about everything while spending money at the same time. But it came down to "what did I do wrong" which in hind-sight I should have been the starting point. We all hate to blame ourselves for much of anything to be quite honest and rarely fess up or tell anyone about it afterwards, especially anyone we blamed along the way. Ask anyone who has had their company or a job they have done criticized and god help Internet flare-ups that seems to live a life of their own. So on the most recent lap around the Jeep to try and fix this endless issue, I drained the rad and completely removed it from the Jeep, first time doing this after buying a laser heat pointer to watch the heat in the rad as it was always pretty cold at the top. The plan was another rad mod... Then I stuck a light down inside the rad tanks, not an easy task on most rads these days, and I saw what looked like "stuff" in some of the tubes near the top. Wanting to go wheeling in a couple weeks, I turned to the internet and ordered a new rad from Summit Racing, a Griffin, not that the brand was the problem, a two core aluminum similar to my last rad but with 1.25 cores rather than 1 inch cores. After welding brackets on and adapting the fan shroud to fit my engine, it now runs almost cool, 180-190 on the last trip. So with this finally fixed I cut open the side tank of the old rad to really have a look and low and behold, Silicone. It turns out that during my build process at some point I got a little carried away with the good old "right stuff" making gaskets and over time it broke up and happily plugged up my rad. So, back to the top of this story for the Moral, do not "Assume" anything, as it was "probably you" in the first place.

E-mail Albert

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