Just 99 miles to go

Friday, May 20, 2005

Regaining a little manliness 6 weeks PO

I’ve told the tale of my personal humiliation of watching my wife cut my grass with my lawn mower while I sat on the porch like a faithful St. Benard.

Not wanting to repeat that, I set to work on the trusty old lawn tractor. Its nothing fancy, 42" cut 15 Hp from lowes. I didn’t realize how old it was until I ordered replacement parts. Anyways its a ’96. An excellent year.

I picked a battery up one day last week.
Installed it.
Here goes.
Will it run.
Yes, it roars to life after 10 seconds of cranking. I AM THE MAN!

After letting it warm up for 2 minutes I plop my big butt down in the seat and try to engage the cutting blades.
Hmmm, WTF? They’re not working.
I ride it over to the driveway so I can take a look underneath on the relative comfort of asphalt. This beats the shit out of a gravely yard anyday.
I manage (after 5 minutes) to get down on the ground to look underneath. Remember I’m still working with a bum knee.
Oh, Ok. The belt just popped off. No problem. Slide it back up into position, bend the keeper over and I should be grass cutting.
Off the ground, big butt back in the saddle, engine running.
I push the lever expecting to hear the blades spin to life.
Instead I get smoke. I get a lot of smoke.
I get so much smoke I cut the engine off, almost kill myself getting off the tractor and hobble away from this death trap as quickly as possible.
I don’t think I’m cutting grass today.

I see smoke but no flames. After a minute the smoke clears. I hobble over, get back down on the ground and look. The belt I put on 5 minutes before had been barbequed. Oh, well . The grass will have to wait another day.

After searching 5 home improvement stores during the week I finally locate and purchase the CORRECT belt. It seems that everyone who bought the same tractor as me 9 years ago have all decided, this spring to change the belt (or have impromptu bar-b-ques),

So last night, instead of using my newly re-aquired ability of riding a bike. I decide to fix the tractor. With owners manual, new belt, and an 8 year daughter as an assistant I approach the beast. I’d like to elaborate on the fight it gave me, but in reality it was a snap. My current medical condition has caused me to "slow things down". This seems to work well in lawn equipment maintanence. That, and an 8 year old daughter who isn’t afraid of putting her hands under a dirty, greasy tractor and holding things.

Tractors fixed.
I cut the grass. (Evan pulled the blower out and cleaned the driveway)
Manhood restored.

On a side note. As I take a break from typing this. I’m surfring over to the Richmond MORE site. Whats the hot topic for today.
"Do You Shave Your Legs?"
No, not this clyde. Not yet.

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