The hard part is done.

Oh, I love that phrase – especially on the morning of what promises to be a quite rainy Sunday.

Yesterday Landlady and I spent several hours cleaning out Ian’s powershed, preparatory to mounting a door.

I hauled two full wheelbarrows of dirt, nesting material and rat turds out of that building. Killed one snake – unfortunately a bull snake, the light was quite bad. My bad, but it shouldn’t have coiled up and shaken its tail.

Went through all the stuff, got the good stuff under cover and made plans to haul the rest to the dump but decided we didn’t really want to do it yesterday.

What Landlady did want to do was hitch up the Jeep trailer and go to the big town about 50 miles away to buy a pre-hung door. I was forced to demur on the grounds that I could not guarantee the trailer’s tires would behave themselves for the whole of that trip. They are so worn and weather-checked I’m frankly always a little surprised to find them inflated from day to day.

It’s Landlady’s trailer, so she decided she’d pay for (the cheapest possible) tires if I’d get them mounted before her next visit. That made for some interesting logistics: I only go to town once a week, on Monday mornings. If I take the wheels to the one functioning shop in town tomorrow, I can pick them up next Monday and have the trailer in roadable condition by the following weekend. I’m not completely sure the taillights work either, but they did in April. Maybe I can even pack the bearings, I’m not all that busy right now.

That meant I needed to get the wheels off the trailer today, and right away because it’s supposed to rain hard all afternoon.

Two complications: To remove both wheels of a two-wheeled trailer, you have to prop up the whole trailer and I only have two jackstands. Fortunately we hauled out plenty of concrete blocks yesterday, so I backed the trailer up to Ian’s yard. Second: The wheels have not been removed in my memory, and I have lived here for twelve years. Did I really believe I was going to get all ten lug nuts off without trouble? I really didn’t.

Uncle Murphy smiled as nine out of ten lug nuts came loose without a lot of swearing. Naturally on the wheel with the worst tire, the one that totally had to come off or there was no point in the whole thing. Naturally by now it was raining.

I went home to get my penetrating oil and propane torch. Soaked the stud with oil, went off for morning chicken chores, then came back and heated the nut as much as I could with that wimpy little torch.

To my pleased surprise, that worked. I jacked up the back of the trailer, slid in my jackstands, and soon the one chore that had to be done today was done. Today.

Tomorrow I’ll take these to town to negotiate the cheapest possible replacement, and I think you’ll agree it’s not one moment too soon. 🙂

Also, private to the person who sent me that Carhartt hoodie: Yes, they are at least nominally water resistant as advertised. Hood got wet, head did not. Thanks!

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to The hard part is done.

  1. Mark Matis says:

    There ain’t nuthin’ wrong with them tires, dude. They’ve just got some extra sipes to help them perform better on wet roads!

  2. jed says:

    Meh. I’ll see your stuck lug nut and raise you two stuck brake rotors. 🙂 PB Catalytic penetrating wonder spray – 2 applications so far, heat, mallet … no luck. From speaking with a few mechanics, I gather the solution is to hit ’em harder. Possibly, a dead-blow hammer is in my future. But cool on getting new tires.

  3. Midwestmike says:

    Just wondering. Is the Landlady really your land lord or is she called that for some other reason?

  4. Ben says:

    If you are lucky enough to find any for sale, used tires would give you the most bang-for-the-buck for that low-wear situation. Usually utility trailer tires rot out long before they wear out.

  5. Joel says:

    She used to be my Landlady. That’s just sort of her blog name now, though in a convoluted and mostly unspoken way it is a sort of manorial system with me as the only villein. I’m the only person involved who’s not a property owner, but I’m also the only person here full time and available to help keep entropy at bay. So we need each other, but technically everybody here is my landlord.

  6. Ben says:

    Do you plan to pour a concrete sill/threshold for the new door?

  7. Joel says:

    Has one already, you just can’t see it for the dirt that blew down from the roof.

To the stake with the heretic!