I AM THE WALRUS

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jwhouk
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

---
The estate loomed large directly ahead of them – one rather long building, situated on a rise in the farmland. Yet another short rock wall separated it from what was a grazing area for the livestock. Ari noticed that there were sheep, but not much else in the fields.

The Discovery slowed to wend through the narrow gap between the wall, and the whole of the High Park estate came into view. The grass was a bit long in some spots, and it didn't appear that the trees in the front of the house had been pruned in some time.

"Dad's out in back," she explained with a wave as they passed the end of the main building. "The 130 should be back there with him."

The constable turned down an even lesser-marked set of ruts to run behind the house. Ahead of them stood the Defender 130, with the driver's side door open and the hood up.

A head peeked up as the Discovery pulled to a stop. Heather was quick to exit the vehicle, never bothering to buckle up as they drove up to the house.

"Dad, the buyer's here," she called out.

A dark haired older gentleman, in a wooly jumper and khaki pants, emerged from under the hood of the Defender. He waved at Heather, who walked up to him.

Ari just froze in the back seat.

"We're here, Wing," Whitemore nudged her back into reality as he disembarked. She shook her head for a moment, then stepped out of the Discovery.

Ari was a bit dazed as she walked up to the Defender with Whitmore and the constable. The gentleman hugged Heather, then waved politely at the constable.

"Allo, I'm Paul," he said, extending his hand to Ari.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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jwhouk
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

I had a little help with this next part. I think you can probably guess who assisted, if you've followed along enough. Thanks, Al!

---

Ari was dazed as Sir Paul McCartney shook her hand. She had come thousands of miles across the Atlantic to pick up a Land Rover Defender 130 for the shop back in Minneapolis, and not in a million years would she suspected…

She was brought back to reality when she heard Heather say something.

"What's wrong with the Walrus, Da?"

Sir Paul looked disgusted. "Same old damn problem. You let her sit, then bounce her about and she strangles. Three or four cranks and she'll restart, but run awfully for a few minutes. This time, though, she doesn't want to restart."

Ari was alarmed, and her expression showed it. Spotting her concern, Sir Paul said, "Don't worry – we'll get it right for you before you take it over. The old beast's done this on and off for years – you take her out and play in the rough and she'll bog and shut down. A bit of cranking gets her going again, but it's annoying."

Inside Ari's mind, the engineer stood to attention. This sounded very familiar. Al had had this problem with Clara after the Nova Scotia trip; bouncing her around in the fields at Alexander House had shown up the problem. Now, how did he fix it... she thought.

"So, does this happen often?" Ari asked. The thought of driving a dodgy vehicle all the way through the Scottish countryside to put it on the ship didn't fill her with a lot of confidence.

The rueful expression on Sir Paul's face confirmed her thoughts. "Yes, it does, but only in the rough. On the motorway or the like it's fine. It's only got this way since it's been sitting, and if it's used regularly it's not an issue. Once we get it running it'll get you to Liverpool in good order."

"Southampton," Ari said absently. She knew this problem… It just needed a minute…

"Oh, not Liverpool? I am disappointed," Sir Paul said, theatrically holding a hand over his heart.

Alarmed at the faux pas she'd committed, Ari stammered "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult… my boss has contacts that have a facility in Runnymede and they ship out of Southampton."

Laughing, Sir Paul held up his hands. "No insult taken, lass. I've just got a sentimental spot for Liverpool, as you might 'magine."

Sentimental… sedimental… SEDIMENTER!

"That's IT!" Ari exclaimed, snapping her fingers.

"That's what?" Whitmore said, confused at the sudden exclamation.

"The problem with the Rover."
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by Just Old Al »

Whaddya mean a little help? I wrote everything but the first two lines....

Geeze. NO respect. :)
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

Okay okay, sheesh. :P ;)

(Again - this one's on Al.)

---

Intrigued, Sir Paul looked at the young lady, as did his daughter. "What's the problem, then? Please do tell – and I'd like to know how you diagnosed it as ye did."

Blushing, Ari started to explain.

"My boss – Al Richer – owns a 110 Ambulance that used to have the 2.5Td in it – much the same as the 200 TDi you have here, especially in the fuel plumbing. He went off on a long trip – from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast of Canada and back.

"When he got back, the 110 kept doing what the Walrus is doing – if he took it out to the fields it would sputter and die. Drove him nuts – till he remembered that the silly thing had a sedimenter as well as a fuel filter on the bulkhead. Doggone thing would run beautifully on paved roads, but shake it up and it would die."

She took a quick peek under the rear fenders, confirming the whereabouts of the fuel lines and the filter.

"Drove my boss and the mechanics nuts – until my boss finally remembered the sedimenter. These trucks have a sedimenter – a debris and water separator – back on the chassis in the rear wheel well. No one ever cleans them, and if they fill up with garbage they can siphon it into the fuel at certain angles. This way you get a lump of garbage into the fuel, which makes the center well of the filter empty."

She looked around. "Have you got a set of spanners and maybe a pair of rubber gloves?"

Utterly captivated, Sir Paul and his daughter rummaged in the back of the truck, turning up a pair of rubber gloves, a ground cover and a well-used set of combination wrenches. Taking the wrenches and the ground cover and donning the gloves, she knelt by the wheel well on the left side of the vehicle. Selecting an 11 millimeter box wrench, she undid the bolt on the top of the sedimenter and removed the bowl.

"YUCK! Ewwww… gross. Yeah, that could do it."

The group looked into the sedimenter bowl. A thin layer of clear Diesel floated on the top, and below it was a milky, greenish mass of water, debris and assorted biologicals.

"Is there somewhere I can empty this safely, and wipe the inside clean?"

"Certainly. Come this way." In the barn behind the house, there was a small workshop area. Heather dug out an oil pan and set it on the bench, saying, "Dump it there, miss. I'll get one of the lads to run it through a shammy and clean the Diesel out of it so it can be dumped properly."

Ari dumped the contents, and both looked at it.

"EEEwwww. The poor Walrus was trying to drink through that? No wonder the old girl was unhappy." Heather handed Ari a rag or two, and Ari disassembled the interior partition of the sedimenter and wiped it clean.

"Any Diesel here?"

"Aye – right here." Between the two of them they refilled the sedimenter with clean fuel, and Ari carefully carried it out and bolted it back up. With that, she went back into the barn and with Heather's help rummaged up a tea tin.

"We need to drain the filter. Better to replace it, but we don't have one, so this will do." Back outside, Ari unscrewed the fuel filter, dropped it into the tea tin, then carried it into the barn and poured its contents into the pan with the sedimenter's mess.

While she was doing this, the constable, Whitmore and Sir Paul watched, utterly captivated by this young, beautiful woman who'd assumed command of the situation. Sir Paul turned to Whitemore, and asked "Who's her boss, then, with the Ambulance?"

"More the point, Sir, I should tell you who her boss's wife is. He's married to Lady Alexander of Alexander Harvesters. The gentleman in question is a decorated ex-member of 1 Para and is invaluable to us here at AHI UK for his insight on the market and US engineering in general. As a matter of fact her boss is here in Scotland visiting with a friend of his for a few weeks – which is why we've been graced with this young lady. She's his majordomo, and a damn fine engineer in her own right."

"Indeed."

Ari reinstalled the filter and primed the system, clearing any air in it by pumping the priming lever on the lift pump.

"Miss Heather, would you turn it over please? Let it crank – it's going to sputter a bit but it should start." Heather climbed into the driver's seat and turned the key. The Diesel cranked, fired a few times, cranked again then lit off in a smoky clearing of the muck in its cylinders.

"GOOD! Let it run – it needs to finish clearing the air from its fuel system." With that, heather hopped out of the driver's seat. Ari regarded the truck with satisfaction, enjoying the quiet tick-over of its well-maintained turbodiesel.

"Young lady, I must admit to being quite impressed. This is a problem that's plagued the old beast for years – sounds perfect, now." Paul beamed at Ari – he had a feeling that he'd indeed been lucky in who purchased the vehicle. The Walrus was going to go to a good home, indeed.

"Thank you, Sir," Ari replied with no sense of irony. "My boss taught me all about Land-Rovers – they're a specialty of our works in Minneapolis. The Walrus is going to be our shop truck – we've been using my boss' Series I 86-inch for it but it's just a bit too much to ask of a 60-odd year old truck."

"Quite a collection your boss has. Now that His Excellence The Walrus is running again, would you like to come up to the house for a cup of coffee and to exchange papers on him?"

"Yes, Sir. I kinda need to wash my hands, though… Would that be OK?"

Sir Paul laughed. "My dear, yes, we may be barbarians here in the north of Scotland but we do have washrooms. Climb in – we can pull it 'round front." With that, the five climbed into the Walrus before heading into the house.
Last edited by jwhouk on Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by FreeFlier »

Biocides are most useful in a diesel . . . especially one that doesn't get driven often.

You definitely don't want water getting into the injectors on a direct-injection diesel . . . you'd be doing an engine rebuild!

--FreeFlier
Last edited by FreeFlier on Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by Warrl »

FreeFlier wrote:Nearly Atsali-level obliviousness . . . Even I would recognize that one . . . I think.

Actually, it's not part of her culture, so why would she recognize it?

Does make me wonder who this is, though . . .

--FreeFlier
You don't know? Kids these days...

"Sir Paul"... Wings, and a band before that...

Now who, named Paul, was in a band named Wings? And once you have that, what was the band before that?

And if you're still struggling, this link goes to a picture of that most-famous crosswalk...

edit: this would fit better if I'd gotten it in before a few more story segments posted...
Last edited by Warrl on Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by FreeFlier »

Warrl wrote:
FreeFlier wrote:Nearly Atsali-level obliviousness . . . Even I would recognize that one . . . I think.

Actually, it's not part of her culture, so why would she recognize it?

Does make me wonder who this is, though . . .
You don't know? Kids these days...

"Sir Paul"... Wings, and a band before that...

Now who, named Paul, was in a band named Wings? And once you have that, what was the band before that?

And if you're still struggling, this link goes to a picture of that most-famous crosswalk...
The crosswalk on Abbey Road I knew about, but I didn't know who lived at number 3. (I'm not much into celebrities . . . if I recognize someone, they're a major Name.)

Wings I don't particularly recognize.

And I'm definitely not a kid . . . I suspect I'm one of the older ones on this board.

--FreeFlier
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

I thought people might put two and two together there... I mean, I just referred to his daughter (who, by the way, is actually his stepdaughter).

The next part I need a bit of clearance, Clarence, from Al before posting...
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by FreeFlier »

Oh, the clues were there, and I knew they were clues, but I didn't know what they meant.

But that's me.

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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by Just Old Al »

FreeFlier wrote:Biocides are most useful in a diesel . . . especially one that doesn't get driven often.

You definitely don't want water getting into the injectors on a direct-injection diesel . . . you'd be doing an engine rebuild!

--FreeFlier
Ohyeah. Nozzle erosion is a VERY bad thing, and there's not much room in yer average Diesel cylinder for squish of incompressible liquids.

Funny thing is that the exact problem happened to me wth my 110 (Clara's cousin). When I first bought it the DPO (dreaded previous owner) had obviously been tanking up at some very dodgy places. The inside of that sedimenter was a MESS.

While RE getting its hands on Sir Paul's 130 is a great thing, I have to say I would have preferred they find Helen Wheels (sadly long gone to rust).

And here she is...a Series I LR
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

And that girl in the front happens to be a very notable pottery maker - and looks amazingly like the lady sitting next to Paul on the front bumper. ;)

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Last edited by jwhouk on Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

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Last edited by jwhouk on Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by FreeFlier »

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Just Old Al wrote:
FreeFlier wrote:Biocides are most useful in a diesel . . . especially one that doesn't get driven often.

You definitely don't want water getting into the injectors on a direct-injection diesel . . . you'd be doing an engine rebuild!
Ohyeah. Nozzle erosion is a VERY bad thing, and there's not much room in yer average Diesel cylinder for squish of incompressible liquids.

Funny thing is that the exact problem happened to me wth my 110 (Clara's cousin). When I first bought it the DPO (dreaded previous owner) had obviously been tanking up at some very dodgy places. The inside of that sedimenter was a MESS. . . .
In some designs it will blow the tip off the injector, then the jet cuts through the crown of the piston . . . then you're talking full rebuild.

--FreeFlier
Last edited by FreeFlier on Fri May 13, 2022 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by lake_wrangler »

FreeFlier wrote:Oh, the clues were there, and I knew they were clues, but I didn't know what they meant.

But that's me.

--FreeFlier
You and me both... Never even heard of the band "Wings"... though I could easily figure out who "Sir Paul" was... But no idea about Abbey Rd, or the address of the studio...
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

Y'know, there's this thing called Google...

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Last edited by jwhouk on Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by FreeFlier »

jwhouk wrote:Y'know, there's this thing called Google... . . .
But that's no fun.


Unlike this story. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


And I did understand that there was a chance of it being a Beatle, and probably Sir Paul . . . I just wasn't sure of how we'd get there.

Not to mention that Googling it is likely to lead into Wikipedia . . . Last time I looked a place up in Wikipedia, I wound up reading about the origins and habits of an obscure flightless bird. Eventually.

--FreeFlier
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by Dave »

And here I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop, when we learned that the 130 had been equipped with an AI which answers to the name "Kukucachu".

But I suppose Glytch wouldn't have approved.

(I agree with FreeFlier: this story is very much fun indeed!)
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by jwhouk »

Actually, it's "Goo-goo ga joob.". ;)

---

The drive to Glasgow was a beautiful one, even as the sunset fell on the Irish Sea while they drove.

Eric had agreed to help her through the city, as she wasn't as familiar with the idiosyncrasies of UK traffic laws as she'd like.

An overnight at the Radisson Blu in downtown Glasgow was necessitated, as the original plans to put the Defender on a train were forgotten in favor of the drive down to Runnymede – with Eric's assistance, of course.

The run down to the M6 was a joy – they decided against a side trip to Liverpool, but driving at 65 through the UK countryside was ecstasy. And Walrus was up and ready for it.

They sped down the M42 and past Solihull, when Ari saluted out the window at the birthplace of Walrus and Clara. Then came the M40 and the straight shot down to greater London.

Once they got onto the Orbital, Whitemore guided her past the morass that was the Heathrow corridor to the A308 and Runnymede. The staff at Runnymede-on-Thames were more than willing to take in Ari for an unexpected two days – AHI routinely kept bigwigs and VIP customers at the hotel when they visited the UK R&D Centre.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

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---

The next morning, Ari went up the road to collect Eric, and the two decided to head up to Heathrow, where Ari would get her indoctrination to the London Tube. He handed her an Oyster Card, and – after securing the Walrus at Runnymede and taking the Jaguar to the Heathrow car park – he tapped out their planned journey on his iPhone 7.

"Right, the Piccadilly Line takes you out of Heathrow into London proper," he explained as they went over the map on the screen. "Says here we should get to Green Park in less than an hour. Notice the color on the map? All of the major tube lines are color coded. Now – once we get to Green Park, we have to transfer over to the Jubilee Line. Lot newer, lot more modern. And a bit more crowded."

"Will that be a problem?"

"No, we're not trying desperately to reach the northern parts of the city. We will need to watch our stations, though."

The trip was a lot more boring than Eric had made it. The switch at Green Park wasn't that terrible – the platforms were narrower, true. However, as they were heading north, most of the pedestrian traffic was heading to the southbound platform.

The train only took the advertised nine minutes through a few stations to get to St. John's Wood. As they headed up the escalator to ground level, Ari noticed the smell of coffee.

"Yes, there's a Beatles themed coffee shop up at street level. A bit touristy, but it does remind you that Paul and his companions used to frequent the area."

She insisted they stop in – and though she didn't purchase any of the knick-knacks, she did pick up a Café Americano for the walk over to Abbey Road.

Minutes later, they found themselves out in front of Abbey Road Studios – and, of course, Ari had to make the crossing. She'd been tempted to spread her wings as she did so, but she chickened out – knowing that she'd probably be skewered by Phix if she found out.

They did go in to Abbey Road Studios to pay their best wishes to Mark, who was all too obliged to get them both t-shirts with the studio logo on them.

Afterward, Ari and her guide did some of the more touristy things – the British Museum (that was at Al's insistence; he had texted her that she needed to see it), the London Eye, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street. All of these courtesy of London cabs, which while Ari found them quaint, she also found them very cramped.

After a swing past Buckingham Palace, they returned to Green Park tube station, and headed back to Heathrow and the Jaguar.

Ari was asleep ten seconds after she crawled into her bed at Runnymede on Thames.
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Re: I AM THE WALRUS

Post by lake_wrangler »

I'm enjoying this story, and I like seeing how Ari is turning out. I also liked how the other guy was understating to Al about whom they were about to visit...

I am curious, however: will we ever see Ari's sisters again? Will they ever rise above the morass they are currently in? If I recall correctly, they were trying to stealth camp, after having lost their apartment, on what turned out to be Alexander property, near where the elves were keeping watch... I forget if we saw how that turned out.
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