I fought with the day, and the day won

March 6, 2013

patrick mcclellanRandomness. A blog by Patrick McClellan

Jan 24th 2013 blow-by-blow was:

08:30 Had a dental app at 9-10. Before I left I told the troops (AKA family) I wanted to tackle that 380 SFt sawmill job as soon as they got home from school (early due to tests). It was a great sunny warm (45º+) “January Thaw” kind of day.

10:30 Came home just in time to save the blade on the sawmill. There were some very dirty logs that needed cleaning. “Let’s just fire up the pressure washer” that had already been winterized. Instead of everyone watching me wash the logs off, I got the crew working on a big pile of brush/slash/logs/stumps that an arborist friend left me last fall. Something productive has gotta happen here!

11:00 The garden hose to the pressure washer had a frozen spot somewhere, so I laid it out in the sun with the hydrant handle up and decided to keep my eye on it when it blew clear.

11:30 Joan said pizza will be ready in about 20 min! Perfect! This was a good time to stop what I was doing to check on the troops to make sure they were not cutting the two gorgeous cherry saw-logs that were mixed in with the brush. I gave them a wonderful sermonette on how we can make (and hopefully sell) just one cherry log’s-worth of furniture and make enough money to buy a semi-load of oak! Of course no one paid any attention to the hypocrisy of this sermon because we never buy (probably never will buy) firewood. As my old saying goes “I get to burn my mistakes.”

11:45 Noted that the battery on the 20hp pressure washer was dead. Hose still clogged, so I hauled it into the kitchen (on the rug) lots of wet mud. Also noted the gas tank was empty.

11:50 Go out to find lots of extension cord and bat charger and discovered it doesn’t work!

12:00 I bring the bat charger in and blow a hair dryer on it for about 10 min while everyone ate pizza – but still no-worky. Joan was wise not to mention anything at this point.

I mention to my warm fed teen-aged boys that I can’t find any gasoline on the property! They all gave me the lost-puppy look. My bubble above my head had “children riding snowmobiles” in it, theirs had “them with snowplow tractor” and “dad with saw mill” in it. Maybe the neighbor could loan us some gas? I call him, and he drives over (just in time for pizza) to say he couldn’t find his gas can, but he knew if I come with him, we could find it under the snow somewhere. Somewhere!? As a diversion to that statement, I instinctively turn to the lawn tractor with a vinyl tube in my hand; this tube somehow got in my hand, I don’t remember how, perhaps an angel did this to keep me from going insane.

01:00 Got a gal of somewhat-fresh gas out of the lawn tractor and a mouthful of gas – burp!

01:30 Ahh, wait! I could jump the pressure washer! The neighbor’s truck! Big diesel, just sitting in my driveway all warm and ready to go! Now I just needed to find jumper cables. There they were just under the snow – Thank you LORD! Where else, surely an angel had laid them by the pressure washer battery.

The pressure washer motor was full of water (AKA ice) that had dripped in somehow. So I tried to round up a can of starter fluid; found carb cleaner (which is same thing during desperate situations). After lots of back-fires, spitting and spraying back out of the carb, I discovered that carb cleaner is a LOT more painful in the eyes than starter fluid, so I guess. Who needs to buy pepper-spray – WOW!

After lots of turning the key and huffs and puffs, it started!!! Then another discovery. The high pressure lines had two holes. They weren’t there before, hum? I guess the skid steer must have crunched it while plowing. The Bobcat always wins!

02:30 Joan said again, “Don’t you want to stop and eat something?” Maybe a bite of pizza would stop me from burping gas.

03:00 Neighbor, sensing my frustration, said he’d be glad to go into town and get gas. “Yes, please go get some gas. Burp! I need gas!” It didn’t matter now, why not? Besides, this would keep him from offering neighborly advice. How do I repair a 4000psi line?

04:30 “Fixed” the holes by disconnecting a 50 ft section of hose out of the total 100 feet. New discovery. The pressure washer is frozen to the ground 49 feet from the sawmill. Bobcat to the rescue!

05:30 As the sun was setting, I washed the log that was sitting on the sawmill and called it a day. Ahhh. Mission accomplished! What?!

Well, at least I got my teeth fixed.

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