“Well! That was unpleasant.”

The boys and I just struggled back from Landlady’s ridge, on our daily visit to her chickens. It’s been unusually windy today, and by that I mean there’s basically no loose dirt left on the ridgetops. My little hollow doesn’t get the wind as bad, obviously, but that means it swirls around in a crazy and unpredictable manner, often dumping fistfuls of that dirt it got from the ridgetops right on me. Temp’s nice, though. I know I’ll pay for saying this, but winter acts like it’s basically over. In February? Yeah, I’ll pay for that. I should delete it.

I got the battery back in Ian’s tractor this morning before the wind got really bad, and after much cranking to clear air out of the fuel lines the engine started and ran as if there’d never been a problem.

I have no clue why it does this. Everything on the engine except the starter is mechanical. I can’t imagine how it can have an intermittent fuel problem, but it really does. The tank is clean, the filter is clear, and this morning it ran beautifully. I know nothing’s fixed, but if it behaves like it did the last two times it did this to me there will be a few hours of good running time. Which means it’s good to go for hole-digging around Ian’s place.

A couple of days ago I broke something I’ve carried with me for decades, and I still has a sad.motechIn the course of a long life I’ve gone through dozens of freebie coffee cups. When they break I ‘can’em, when they get in the way I ditch them. But I’ve had this one for almost thirty years. My two years at Motech, a long-defunct vocational school outside Detroit, was my ticket out of the dealership and I have always had a soft spot in my memory for it. This cup lasted as long as it did because for most of the intervening time I didn’t drink out of it, I used it as my shaving mug. But I moved out here and grew a beard, and needed shaving soap like that proverbial fish with its bicycle. It was only a matter of time, alas. RIP.

The incident got me thinking about how much stuff I’ve just dumped over the years. I own very few things that I’ve had for a very long time. In fact by far the winner is a particular lamp…lamp…and somehow or other I’ve kept this thing with me since I was in high school, for well over forty years. And it came my way in no particularly special manner. I did a summer job of yard work for this old lady for gas money, and after she paid me and just as I was leaving she pulled a fast one: She asked me to take a bunch of bags of trash to the dump. I looked inside and said “Sure!” with no intention of going anywhere near the dump. Several bags of hardback books, some in excellent condition. I lived with my older brother at the time. He and I went through them for what we wanted, and I took the rest to my favorite used book store. Made more on the books than I did on the yard work.

Anyway, there was some other junk and it did eventually find its way to the dump with our own trash, but in among the kibble was this cool old brass lamp with the cord cut off and the socket bashed in. Took me less than ten minutes to re-wire it, and somehow or other I’ve kept it with me all this time when I’ve ditched or given away literal tons of other stuff over the years. No explanation. The only other thing I have anywhere near as old is a walking stick I never use.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to “Well! That was unpleasant.”

  1. Tennessee Budd says:

    Joel, regarding Gulchendiggensmoothen: it’s what, in naval avionics, we called “FM”: fuckin’ magic. 2 days ago I came home to a sauna. The heat had apparently been cranking full-blast all day, & still wouldn’t shut off ’til I tripped the breaker. Tried all I knew to diagnose it with no luck, & I have a degree in electronics engineering. Kicked the breaker back on that night once it got cold, & it’s worked fine since. Did the same thing 4 or 5 years ago. FM, no other explanation. If it’s only twice a decade, I’ll ignore it & let it be.

  2. Bear says:

    Budd, if that thing has a mechanical relay, take a burnisher to it and polish the contacts. A little arcing, the contacts freeze and won’t come loose without a sharp rap to the case or until the temperature changes enough to for the contacts to contract and break loose. Used to be a regular problem with the shelter AC systems in my remote microwave sites until the company finally sprung for solid state relays.

  3. coloradohermit says:

    While we’re antagonizing Mr Murphy about the weather and possibility of spring I’ll jump in and add that bits of green(weeds) are peaking up in the garden plot and I saw the first mountain bluebird today. Either spring is at the door or the flurries predicted this weekend will be a true sh@t storm.

  4. Buck. says:

    Methinks you need a check valve in the fuel line inbound on that tractor. Sounds like the pump is back bleeding. Then again, the fuel tank is above the pump….isn’t it? Hmm…if so….FM at work.

  5. CMac says:

    Check your fuel tank vent, even a partial blockage can cause weird fuel issues as fuel pumps aren’t made to draw vacuums.

  6. Expat says:

    I had a mechanical fuel pump on a jeep that died intermittently until it died altogether. Turned out to be a worn cam that drove the rod that made the pump work.
    It’s March 8 when your post appeared and you mention it being Feb. Is it that delayed or have you gotten off on your dates?

To the stake with the heretic!