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My truck died this evening.
It’s been running fine. At least it has since the last time I had it towed in and repaired. That’s been a few weeks. I moved it so I could mow the driveway (yes, I mow my driveway) and when I went to move it back it started up, started to move then went completely dead. I mean big blue rock dead. Nothing at all, not even an idiot light lit up.
To make this short(ish) I fixed it. But what I found to be wrong is SO bizarre I have no idea how it got that way and was running at all.
It is running now. I told my boss that I do plan to be at work tomorrow after all. But if I don’t make it, check for reports of alien spacecraft sightings! Continue reading Weirdness
I’ve been working at the Humane Society in a neighboring county for about a month and a half. It’s hard work in a couple of ways. A large part of what I do is cleaning up after the animals. There is a lot of work to do and it has to be done before they open to the public, so it is fast paced work as well. It’s physically demanding and I come home tired.
It is also psychologically hard. I like working with the animals. I know I should not get attached because most of them will not be there long: they’ll be adopted or sent out on rescue. Keeping them around a long time is actually bad because this is (of necessity) a kill shelter, although they work hard to keep euthanasia to a bare minimum.
When I started working there, there was a little pit bull named “Freddie”. He was bright, and friendly, and even as a new employee he never objected to my coming into his pen to clean or work with him. He was obviously a favorite with all the staff. Everyone loved Freddie. He looked a bit like Gator, one of my foster dogs at the time.
We put Freddie down last week. Continue reading Tails of Woe
Last week there was a fence/gate repair job that needed doing at work. A co-worker, Bobby, and I were asked to take a look at it and see what we could do. The boss had some parts that might help. They even had a toolbox … of sorts.
Bobby had recently been assigned the task of cleaning out several junk drawers, finding all the tools and putting them into a donated toolbox, sorting through the rest: toss the detritus and sort the usable “stuff” into big plastic bags by category. So our task now was simpler.
However, the toolbox consisted of 3 hammers, a half-dozen badly abused screw drivers, and a pair of pliers. We decided to bring tools from home and do the job the next day. Bobby wasn’t there the next day, so I accomplished the job with the tools I brought. All I was missing was a set of deep sockets (which I didn’t have but Bobby did) and a ratchet. But I did the job with a crescent wrench. The sockets do the job faster and with fewer bloody smears on the fencing, but a crescent wrench will do in a pinch.
I wanted to double the hinge at the top of the gate (which is at least 8 feet wide, maybe more) to keep it from twisting the hinge again. I lacked one part and a couple of bolts to do that. I picked up the hardware on my day off. I also decided to assemble a usable toolbox.
My Toolbox History
Another article from my moldy-oldies file, but when originally published folks did find it entertaining, so I’ll pop in in here.
Yesterday I renewed a relationship that has for many (many) years been neglected. No, not neglected: avoided; stringently and purposefully avoided. I made a trip to a dentist.
You see when I was a wee lad, long (long) ago, my parents would take me to the dentist every year for a check-up. And it seems he would always find a cavity or two to drill out and fill. Early on they used Novocain and I don’t remember it as being particularly torturous – not fun by any means, but not like being stripped naked, covered with honey and tossed into a fire ant hill. Continue reading Adventures in Dentistry
This tale was written years ago, filed, lost, found, lost again, recovered again, and now posted here. For friends and relatives who often jump to conclusions, this is ancient history:
I am not sick.
The small pick-up truck hurled along the winding, bumpy mountain highway, the tighter turns and bumpiest spots elicited increased groaning from him. The driver looked away from the road just long enough to glance at him and ask, “Are you alright?”
He was curled up in the passenger seat clutching his belly. He reached over and gently patted her arm, “Just ignore the screaming and wailing from this side and get us there as quickly – and safely – as you can.”
Eyes back on the road she steered through another curve and retorted, “If it gets too bad, I’ll just turn up the radio to drown you out.”
“Good girl.” Continue reading For a Peek Inside
I killed a big Baldface hornet’s nest Wednesday evening. It was just inches outside our play yard fence in a forsythia bush and was hidden from view until I trimmed the branches out of the fencing. I deliberated on this killing. I don’t kill just to kill. They’d been there a while and have not been an issue … except once that I know of. Continue reading The Baldface Encounter
I took our pick-up truck to our mechanic shop yesterday morning because the check engine light has been coming on and the engine runs rough, especially in wet weather. It rained all last week, so it ran rough almost all the time.
I had them scan the computer: “multiple misfires”.
My pet theory has been that a spark plug wire was going bad. When it gets wet it arks to the block causing a misfire. What they said supported my suspicion. Continue reading Adventures in Mechanicland
A couple of years ago, maybe a little longer, a tree root grew under the water line that runs from our water well to the pressure tank under my workshop: 80-some-odd feet distant. As the root grew, it pushed upward on the water line. This would not have been an issue had it happened most anywhere along that 80-some-odd foot span (in fact it probably has happened several times) but because it happened right next to the well head, which does not flex at all, the PVC water pipe fractured.
We didn’t know that at first. The water line (and the well head for that matter) are underground. It had been raining a lot, and the ground gets wet when it rains a lot. But when the rains stopped and the ground refused to dry, I began to suspect something.
I hired a plumber who specialized in well work to come see what was what. The biggest problem was that I wasn’t even sure where our well head WAS. The fella who installed it (long ago) cut off the head pipe below ground and buried it. I had a rough idea, but that was all. The plumber watched the way the water moved and found some burbling that indicated pay dirt — or pay mud.
He cut out a piece of the PVC and installed a flexible metal line between the PVC run and the well head so the line could “give” as tree roots bullied it.