Eugene, Oregon:  The techs came for our coach at 8 o’clock this morning, so we had to occupy ourselves all day away from the Magna Peregrinus. First things first – breakfast – where we ran into DT’s college coach (again) at a table-full of old track cronies enjoying pancakes.

Next stop was to drive-by the new Matt Knight Arena under construction on campus. This state-of-the-art basketball arena will replace the 85-year-ancient (yet historical) Mac Court. I have not seen the arena project for over four months and could not believe the progress.

The arena is scheduled to open in January for the first Pac-10 conference game. Across the street from the “Matt Court” is another new building – the Jaqua Center. The Jaqua Center houses the “academic center for student athletes”. (I guess mere-mortal students just have to go to the library to study???) See a really good slide-show of the Jaqua Center here.

The Jaqua Center

There are many changes on the campus at the University of Oregon. But, I am happy to report some things remain the same. (Besides the ancient dorms.)

I am referring to Historic Hayward Field… all prettied-up for the National Championships beginning tomorrow through Saturday.

I have my seat. Do you?

If you don’t… check out CBS on Saturday. CBS will show the final day in HD.

Ashton in HD should be awesome.

The rest of the morning was spent shopping, errands, and of course a visit to the NIKE store in Eugene.

This is the lobby of the new NIKE store in Eugene. It is a museum and a shop. The history of NIKE is so inter-twined with the history of University of Oregon Track & Field, I often get confused as to where one ends and the other begins. I just know it comes down to two things: love of the sport and love of the university.

We had wasted all the time we could, so headed back to Cummins Northwest. Maybe the lube-oil-filter was complete. Maybe the annual servicing on the Aqua Hot was finished. Maybe the annual generator check-up was over.

Our generator slides out from under the front of the bus

Yes and No.

Generator was great. We did get a little scolding that we do not use her enough. Only 75 hours in 19 months. Tech would have liked it be over 100 hours by now. Gonna get right on that! Aqua-Hot also checked-out fine… though we were told to use the diesel burner more often. 

We forget.

We prefer 50 amp campsites, so rarely need the diesel burner for the water heater/furnace thingy.

Everything went well with the lube-oil-filter portion of the servicing, but the tech found a mysterious fuel leak that would need further investigation. It was now nearly two o’clock and Cummins suggested we return in an hour or two.

Lunch!

So, you may recall I have been writing about how it has been raining buckets for days and days and days and days and days and days and days and days? Maybe by this photo you can see I was not kidding.

This is the Willamette River (which flows strangely north through the Willamette Valley) in Eugene at McMenamins North Bank Pub. We enjoyed our lunch on the lovely river-side patio with fabulous views over the river, to the Ferry Street Bridge and the occasional jogger/biker on the bike path. The Willamette River has now officially reached “flood stage”.

It is June, people.

June.

We did not run today and we feel really guilty. But, dang, if we didn’t enjoy our delicious cheese burgers. What could be better than deep-fried tater tots?

After lunch, we dropped by the Athletic Department and cruised through the Duck Shop. All things green and yellow are for sale. (If you need a Rose Bowl sweatshirt, you can find one here for next-to-nothing. 70% off.)

By now, we couldn’t think of another thing to do in Eugene, so we head back to Cummins Northwest.

Dave and I were given fluorescent orange vests to wear and the techs brought us out to the shop to show us the strange fuel leak. They had never seen a fuel leak like this fuel leak.

Cummins Northwest called-in the Cummins factory rep (in red, above) and he photographed the situation. To test that the fuel was not leaking from a faulty “O” ring, another was brought in and mounted. Nope. It still leaked.

The leak is in something (I have no idea!) that distributes the fuel to the engine and they finally determined the housing is cracked. The Magna Peregrinus is not perfect! She needs a new part. Luckily, this is completely covered under Cummins five-gazillion-mile warranty. Unluckily, they need our bus for one or two days to complete the repair. It isn’t an emergency. Our engine will not ignite, but we are wasting fuel and driving around with a cracked housing. 

The Cummins rep and Cummins Northwest will determine how best to acquire the part and we will figure out how to let them have our bus for a few days. In the meantime, we have a track meet to attend.

I leave you this evening with something totally random: Our daughter, The Lovely Lisa, owns a little home in Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles allows residents to water their lawns for 15 seconds every other Thursday (or something like that) and her front garden (full sun all day) was beginning to look like the Mojave Desert. The back lawn (full shade) looks great. The Lovely Lisa decided to have artificial lawn installed and the job was completed yesterday.

Photo by Lenny

I am not a lover of fake things, but I just love this fake grass. No watering. No mowing. Looks great. (Can’t wait to hear what our Grand Dawg thinks of his new front lawn.)

The Lovely Lisa’s (real) lawn – September 2008

Until my next update, I remain, your drippy correspondent.

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