MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: A Little More Than I Planned

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Little More Than I Planned

I'm beat, or I feel like I've been beaten!

I have recently started to eat better and am exercising a little to try and get over the up and down swings in my blood sugar.  It seems to be working.  I've resorted to a modified Atkins type regiment; basically more protein than carbohydrates.  Once you start getting the shakes from a low blood sugar of 40, or the weird feeling of a high of 180+, then you start paying attention!

The exercise is not a lot, just a fast mile on the treadmill, but it's more than I was getting!  Summer heat and humidity, plus old knees and legs, have curtailed my usual mountain hikes to anytime the thermometer is below 75 and above 25.  That's quite a range, actually, but in East Tennessee those are the few days it isn't raining, or at least threatening.

However, that isn't the reason I feel rough as I write this.  The reason began last night as I tossed and turned from 1AM to 7:30; thinking about all the things I wanted to accomplish today.

The first one was to load up my lawnmower and get it to the local John Deere dealer for some major work on the deck.  A support strut under the deck, right at the exit shoot, that had broken again and needed attention.  Naturally, as long as that had to be done, the mechanic might as well sharpen the blade, change the oil, squirt a little grease here and there, check the filters, and see if the front tires need tubes or replacements!  I can't get those front tires to hold air anymore.

In preparation of my busy day, I got up and ate a hardy steak and egg breakfast, had my second cup of coffee, and proceeded to getting the loading ramps out of the basement, and move the truck to the front hillside.
Loading is generally routine, as the above photo shows from past experience, but today there was a small hitch; the mower would not start!

Now, I don't fancy myself a mechanic.  I stopped working on cars about 1973, when you were no longer able to put at least one foot on the ground beside the engine.  Air conditioning and power steering, to name a couple of modern automobile enhancements took up all the roominess under the hood.  So, I proceeded to do what little I know about why an engine fails to fire.

I fumbled with the spark plug; finally removing it after loosening a couple of bolts from a protective housing, and reconnected it to the wire.  Luckily my battery was new, so it had the power to wait out the delay in starting until I resolved the problem.

I turned the engine over and saw that there was a good spark at the end of the plug.  Scrapping my knuckles again putting it back in and tightening it.

All the while it's 85 with high humidity, and my yellow "White Mule" t-shirt from the Downtown Grill and Brewery was getting soaked down to my waist.  

I haven't done well in heat and humidity since 1959, when I nearly died from sweating nearly all the sodium from my body.  You can read that story by CLICKING HERE.  My folks were surprised I didn't die in Vietnam, just from the loss of salt!  Me too!

I disconnected the gas line from the fuel filter and noticed that there was no flow of gas.  Therefore, it was safe to assume that was the reason the mower failed to fire.

I went back to the basement, that being my fourth trip, filled it up and hauled up my 10 gallon air compressor.  I had two flat tires anyway, and proceeded to blow air up the gas line.  I heard bubbling after a short pause, so I figured the blockage was gone, and sure enough, when I shut off the air flow gas gushed out on my leg!

Putting everything back together, I was confident that I had the issue repaired.  I did.  It cranked as soon as gas refilled the filter bubble; none to soon because the battery was finally beginning to weaken.  I could hear Judy cheer from the backdoor!

With tires inflated, I rolled the L110 onto the truck and we were off to Rockwood to leave the other issues to Bowman John Deere.

I was a dirty, greasy, sweating mess, but I was so relieved to have the mower running and delivered.

I was now looking forward to getting back home, showering, eating a Wendy's Grain Salad with chicken and pineapples, while we watched another episode of "Boardwalk Empire" (season 4).  My troubles would be behind me and I would once again be clean, full, and ready for my daily 6:30pm to 7 news time nap!

So, I go into my library to sit down and relax a couple of minutes before stepping into the shower, when I decided to take advantage of the delay and clip off a nail I had messed up at some point in my previous ordeal. 

I laid the clippers on the sink and reached for the file.  In the process I knocked the clippers down into the sink.  Grabbing at it, like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn, my hand knocked off the little filter screen I keep on the drain.  My heart sank and my temper rose as I realized the clippers slipped neatly, barely touch either side, and disappeared down into the trap!

Try as I might, I could not loosen the second trap joint nut!  Even my pipe wrench, which, I was surprised to find, was almost too heavy for me to hold steadily now, would not budge it.  I'm telling you, getting old is no fun!

So, I resorted to going to the dirty clothes hamper and getting out my cleanest dirty t-shirt for a halfway respectable trip to Lowe's!  I started humming "Sunday Morning Coming Down".

I drove the 8.3 miles (both ways) and located a "claw tool" to see if that would retrieve my clippers.

Back home, I found a way to kneel on a sofa pillow and hunker down under the sink again.  I've found my right leg will not bend all the way under me like it did just 1 year ago!  Age again!

I put the claw tool down into the trap and on the third try it came out with my clippers!  Yea!  Now I could shower, eat, and rest.

So, that was my day.  I had hoped last night that the mile on the treadmill would be all the exercise I would need for the day.  Nonetheless, greater powers decided I needed humpteen trips up and down the hill and stairs to basement. 

So, I didn't get the other items on my "do list" completed today, but...who's counting!

I am a little beat tonight, but it's no secret that I need a little extra each and every day, but God, can't I do that on cooler days?! 



FHB said...

I'm exhausted just reading this. Stay healthy by brutha.

BRUNO said...

Kinda like lookin' in a mirror, to me!☺

A broken-support. Easy 15-minute job! I'd do it by-feel!(Which is, indeed, how I've done more than once in the past year, since I am literally BLIND on my right-side, anyways!☺)

Flat tires. Yeah, either NEW tires, or just "tube" the originals, for half the price. FRONT-tires, no-prob. The REAR-ones, however, are a pain-in-the-ass. And, your solution to the no-gas flow sounds like somethin' I might do: Blow that mouse-nest back UP, into the tank for NEXT-season.

(I once found a "pickled"-tree frog in the bottom of the tank on my-little Allis-Chalmers. Haven't the slightest-idea of HOW it got in---but he sure was "rigor-mortised" from the fuel!☺)

As for the suddenly-heavy pipe wrench, and especially the non-bendable knee(s)? Tell-me about it, dude! Although, one can buy them with an-aluminum frame, IF you're willing to pay the difference, and besides---ya' STILL gotta pick the damned-thing up, and hold it there!

Those lil' grabbers are ass-savers, indeed. But they don't make good-ones like they did many years ago. You're lucky if those springy fingers at the end last you a half-dozen grips anymore---the old ones had teeth like a rattler on 'em.

I think we've begun to turn the corner on seasons now. I'm sure we'll still have hot days/December tornados yet---but the recent "cold-snap" here, though "achy all over" for me, is still a welcome change-of-pace.

The "cesspool-of-useless-bullshit-info is now(temporarily)empty...!☺

Paul Mashburn said...

You know...I still haven't gotten my mower back!

BRUNO said...

Heh, 'bout time to crawl up somebodys' ass! Hell, I'd dp a better job of screwin' you over than that---and, I'd make you feel GOOD-about lettin' me, afterwards!☺

Yeah, about another week, and it'll be full-blown Leaf-Season, here,

Full-Blown Leaf-Season. Hmmm. Gotta be a joke in there, somewhere...???☺

Paul Mashburn said...

If I have the grass cutting job, I would. However, my wife will not let me go back to full-time lawn mowing. I won't fight that!

BRUNO said...

Yeah, OK---I can see WHY, now.(How much you payin' that fella to keep it stored "for repairs" for the next 4-to-6 months?)☺

I look at it as a "harvest", of sorts. Although admittedly, it's not the thrill it once was. And, I like watchin' the wife run the thing, too. She enjoys the(dirty)air & sunshine---plus, she's a lot-easier on it's new cushion-ride seat than my three-ton ass is!

But most of the time I still enjoy crawlin' up on it for an-hour or so, just to listen to the rhythm of the engine, esp. when I hit a molehill, and the governor cracks that throttle full-open for one or two-seconds!

Some things even a level-7 pain can't keep me from enjoying, at least for a short-while.....!☺

Paul Mashburn said...

I understand...I know that in a couple of years I may not be able to get in and out of my Thunder Mule, but at least now I can hear and fear the thunder and fury of yesteryear!

The young bucks these days with their tin can exhaust have no clue what a real engine should sound like. Even lawnmowers back in the day sounded better than today's rice burners!

BRUNO said...

Yep---here we are, again, humming that song "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen, I think? LOL! (Even if he is a liberal! ☺)

Nah-h-h, when you get too-stiff to get in the "Thunder-Mule" by way of the door?

Modify it with a retractable-roof, an' we'll use an-engine hoist to "install" you in...!☺