Friday, May 4, 2007

Being Lazy is not Without It's Price

So I got that Sabre by John Deere tractor I mentioned a few weeks back, and it runs fine. I've been a fan of the Briggs & Stratton engines for a number of years, and this one hasn't done anything to change my opinion. I'm out today giving the lawn a haircut, since we're supposed to get some rain over the weekend and I want to have it done while I have time. Our ditch is extra soggy, as the heavy clay soil hasn't had any good time yet to dry out. As I'm mowing along the ditch, I notice the tractor start to slow down. It wasn't the engine bogging down, but the ass-end of the tractor starting to dig into the ground. It dug in enough that I couldn't proceed forward or backward, and I probably wasn't helping things by towing a lawn aerator at the time. Well, I'm incredibly strong so all I had to do was just pick the back end up and move it over. Seriously. I could have pressed it overhead and thrown it over the ditch if I so desired. That leads me to my issue-du-jour. The tires on the tractor suck. The guy I bought it from didn't have a shed or garage to keep it in, so he kept it under his deck. The tires are dry-rotted, weather-cracked, and provide very little traction due to how dried out they are. They're pretty much shot, and two of them have slow leaks meaning I have to fill 'em every time I want to use the tractor. Not a huge deal, but it is annoying none the less. Today I ordered new shoes for the tractor. A week from now I hope to have 'em installed. We'll see how that goes, since I'm doing the replacement myself. Just one more thing to do on a very long list.

The Wisconsin Chainsaw Massacre

I love chainsaws. The fact that they're ridiculously deadly, and are essentially an engine and a blade with lots of small, sharp teeth may have something to do with why I love them. From my movie-going experience I know that they not only take care of the typical tree problem, but are also your best friend when you're trying to find a way to dispose of extra body parts laying around the house. Hey, we've all been there.

This blog entry will deal with only legal activities surrounding chainsaw use. Sorry.

As of last weekend, I owned two chainsaws. Heck, who doesn't? Both were Homelite, and they were easily 20+ years old. Neither had been started for 10 years or longer, as they were my Grandpa's. Prior to this house, the largest tree in my yard could be taken down with a Sawzall - ask me how I know. The larger chainsaw had an 18" bar and the smaller a 10" bar. I have (well, had) three apple trees in the backyard which I wanted to remove, so I broke out the larger saw and tried for a half-hour to get it running. My guess is that the seals are shot and it needs a rebuild. Ain't no way it was going to start for me. Heck, the cost to get it running at a shop could cost $75, and a new saw is only $120 or so, so I picked up a new saw and gave tree #1 hell. #2 and #3 feel my wrath this weekend. There are a few other trees on my lot which will also get some saw-on-wood action soon.

I was trying to figure out what to do with the old saws - I don't have the knowledge to get 'em running myself. Luckily, I found a co-worker who does stump-grinding and tree removal as side work and made a deal with him. He gets the small saw running for me for the cost of parts and I give him the larger saw. Fine deal for me, as I was probably going to either give both saws away or throw them away if nobody wanted 'em. Two operating saws is good, but if I get a third one I can learn to juggle!

Chainsaw tip-o'-the-day: the chaps made specifically for use while using a chainsaw aren't as protective if you don't wear pants under 'em. Seriously - why would you want to protect your legs from the blade while letting your junk hang in the breeze? There wasn't a lumberjack in the Village People, was there? I remember something about those guys and chaps, but (luckily) forget what it is.

Special thanks go out to Officer Parkens, for only giving me a warning, which resulted in today's tip.