Mower Deck

After an extensive green-gunk and lawn debris washing out, on my hands and knees there’s a pulley wheel that appears bent, so the belt pops off. I dunno. I guess the whole “deck” is an “attachment” can be dropped-down and freed from the mower and motor.
This is one weird diesel-dirtbike, it doesn’t even use pre-mix. Also I’d probably better not try and jump it if it breaks this easy…
UPDATE-UPDATE: This might help take a look-see. (If it doesn’t) Maybe I can sell it to my neighbor… Went together pretty quick and easy. It’s just a bottle jack with some heavy finger-pinching and toe bashing steel struts and leverage. A bit came loose un-packign, slamming down on my boot but I moved my foot and it only glanced off the toe-rubber, mostly.
some assembly required
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Internet on the Prairie

And satellite TV! For the first time in my life I am paying to be drenched in the TV hose/slime-bucket. At least the installation was without consequence or misadventure.
So far nothing much of any interest besides the incredible on-bike camerawork from the Isle of Man TT, on Velocity, and a bit of Archer. That is all. It’s a wasteland.

Tractor Bjork and Enduring Brightness

It was 102° on Friday with slightly lesser temps in the high 90’s on Saturday and today (Sunday) dawned bright and cool so I went out to mow.
Out in the middle of the tall grass the twin rotating blades ceased to rotate. Maybe it was the hidden stump I hit? But that was earlier, and I kept mowing – so I disengaged the deck and drove up to the wash-out point and hosed it down to get all the green crud off and have a look-see. Kinda dark in there and the bright sunlight hitting the other side – I can’t see much but one of the belts is not running on the pulley, and just seems a bit loose. Maybe I burnt a belt?
Without being able to take a closer view and understand the situation I’m stuck – and my big fat wheel-chocks are at the other house. Time to take a shower and have some breakfast.

Lights and Lamps: Down at Costco we picked up and installed seventeen on-sale 14-watt LED floods to replace the 65-watt incandescent ceiling heaters and PG&E cash-register ching-a-ching-ching lamps. And they’re fully dimmable and work in the existing can-lights with no extra mods. Bright but cool to touch, the lamp color is normal and not some ultra-white surface-of-the-moon effect. I have two, 2-way wall switches to replace the current flip-switches that are good for dimmable LED’s and that will help in the main open-concept space/room to bring down the brightness for when we don’t need surgical lighting.

Boris Loves his Red Tractor

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Famously (or not) in the Soviet version of “Boys Life,” called not very ingeniously, “Soviet Life” were stories of Boris or Ivan and his Red Tractor. No known link for that to International-Harvester’s Farmall line with the motto, “If it ain’t red, leave it in the shed!” but the “International” prefix might hint towards a willingness to sell to whatever or whomever may come, and as a lend-lease obligation by the communist-infiltrated US State Economics-Manager Roosevelt, I-H did produced 400 quad-machinegun mount M17 half-tracks in 1943 and 600 in 1944. ” All were provided to the Soviet Union in 1943 and 1944.” These made up to half of the Soviet air-defense, and later in the Koran War on the side of the Chinese… Always wanted a 50’s-era IHC M1 Garand…

Hot and Muggy

Yesterday a thin layer of moisture-laden haze hung everywhere and amplified the suns rays like a lens, making moving the gun-room a bigger chore – plus the AT&T guy had to search high and low for two undamaged wires that could connect to the handset and provide a dial-tone. Great guy with a lot of local knowledge since he’s from HERE and not Bangalore – or Massachusetts, or Florida – same as the Cable Guy who happens to be married to the cousin of our realtor’s husband. And the Fort Knox guy is just down the street.
IMGP2227x1000Apparently we live next to the old drive-in movie – which is where my neighbors pasture themselves. We also have wild turkeys who peck through the tall grass.
Do I really need a sweeper attachment for the mower, or should the cut grass (and weeds and other unidentifiable plant-a-zoidal fluffy crap) lay organically fallow? Is fallow the right word?

Memorial Day

Godspeed the Fallen, and since we are at war, Those who have yet to fall… IMGP2224x1000
UPDATE: Got two Stack-On steel boxes for “secure” ammo storage and bolted them up to the closet wall, they fit right in underneath the hanger-rod bracket. Now more stuff can start moving. Warm day with bright skies and fluffy clouds, you could smell the heard in the distance today.

El Niño on the Western Slope

Below average cool temps, “unseasonal” rain-showers, and snow up in the Sierras marks this year’s bit of El Niño — the wet baby. Last-year rain had ended mid-April and was not seen again until late September, while temps shot up into the low 90’s by May and into the 100’s in June.
This year after an early rise-and-spike we are experiencing a major drop and cooler temps, with rain events well into May. Old Sierra hands and barometer-watchers know that absolutely anything can happen anywhere in the High Country on a clear day.
Out of the blue there can be sudden localized temperature changes with clouds rushing-in to gather directly overhead, and in an half-hour an inch of snow will blanket you and you alone on your patch of mountain – while two-miles away people may frolic in mid-90’s temperatures, splashing in snow-melt streams to cool-off. It’s wicked-weird.

Out of the Bubble

Like the man said, “It aint drinkin’-all-day if you don’t start in the morning.” And up-country here the infrastructure in the sun-dappled and rain-trammeled pastureland means Outside-the-Bubble — which means outside La Zone de couverture.
Apparently the Bubble is supported not only by artificially inflated employment-rates and sky-high housing, but also by the pernicious web of local antennae that broadcast to the hive-mind Bubble-Dwellers (thus also the inflated sales of Reynolds Wrap to the savvy para-bubble-noid).
Meanwhile up here on the Low Granite Outcropping the free-TV reception is excellent if distant, and the channel choices abound abundantly.
Not so in the up-country gullylands and meadowlands and Landscaft where the bovines and equines frolic far from the frequency distributors – so does the happy-herdsman. Thus my cellphone has zero-bars and it turns out that I’d need better than a 60-foot mast to pick-up just a few to the Fernsehen-rays off a single southern source. Ben-bolt is no help there.
So at some point the Cable Guy will have to stop-by, thus finally ending a life-long freedom from recurring costs incurred by such a corporatist device. And also perhaps to a phone that functions by wires. Sheesh, a central strategy for Retirement was to avoid those devilish costs that compound into a snowball effect of financial ruin.
In contrast to the 3rdly developing world where wires get rolled-up and stolen overnight, the infrastructure here was assumed to be “normal.” Growing up on the Sub-Continent, the land-line service was fraught with bureaucratic regulation and delays, and to assist the human-henchmen, there was often and frequently a simple lack of electricity to power the conversation. Rolling blackouts became a system of distribution in itself. Power on in Muruganbadi at 10:30Am and off again an hour later where it magically appeared at the District Magistrates office for a two-hour span, the vanished to the Railways station… To make a call required the “help” of an Operator who spoke your language, to be awakened and brought into the Telephone Exchange Office at an hour convenient to them, and then to call you when the reception was made at the other end so you could come and make your conversation. With de-regulation and the soaring cost of copper (wires stolen in the night) meant that wireless cell-phone coverage and texting became available to the lowest and poorest person, buying minutes the way one might buy a single bidi or betel-nut leaf at the godown shop on the corner.
Suddenly the fisherman could find-out what the best price for his catch was at Madurai or if it was better at Dindigul, and then push his bicycle full of fish to one place or the other. That’s Infrastructure for ya!