Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mowers, Trimmers, Water Meters...Don't Worry, It All Works Out

So, I did something pretty dumb yesterday. I was mowing the lawn, and, in a fit of total zoned-outedness, I ran over a water meter in front of the house. It is made of metal. Hard metal. The mower blade hit the water meter. The mower blade goes really fast. Have you ever seen one spinning? Well, me neither, but I judge by the speed at which pieces of twig and such come shooting out of the discharge that that blade is spinning pretty quickly. Like, I bet you can't even see it if you tried to look. (NOTE: DO NOT TRY TO LOOK--only bad things can result.)
Anyway, fast moving blade made of metal vs. hard metal water meter, buried in the ground and linked into a city's worth of pipes large and small =water meter wins. My lawn mower's blade made a heinous noise and immediately stopped spinning at all. I had bent the blade on one side into almost a ninety degree angle.

Not a problem, since I went to the hardware store this morning and bought a replacement blade (and an air filter and some oil and a spark plug--I figured, you know, while I was taking the thing apart, I might as well tune it up). But I learned some things--as always, the hard way. First, always put WD-40 on rusted bolts first. It saves a lot of trouble pushing and pulling on a wrench, determining that the bolt is rusted in, and you need to apply WD-40 (which helps to remove the bolt like magic if you let it sit long enough). Second (and most important), do not tilt the lawn mower to either side. Tilt it back, leaving the spark plug (which you did disconnect or remove right?) facing up. Otherwise, oil and/or gas leaks out and runs all over everything. Luckily, I put a drop cloth on the garage floor, saving me a great deal of cleaning up and being mad at myself for getting oil all over the garage floor. However, the oil that gets everywhere, gets everywhere, and when you are finished putting on a new blade and putting in a new spark plug and installing a new air filter and putting in fresh oil, the mower shudders to a start, runs rough for a while, belches blue smoke all over the place, and vomits a streak of old oil out of the muffler. It's painful to watch, but, the mower gets over it.

I may already need a new air filter.

I also figured out what is wrong with the trimmer, which I haven't used all year. The fuel lines are all rotten and busted. I ordered some parts (nobody has them in stock), so, I hope to get that up and running before the end of the season.

I have just been on a small gas engine streak today. I smell like one, too. Don't light a match near me today!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there, DIY! You should have your own home repair reality type TV show. Very edudrama.

I would like to see a picture of the now-removed (thus no longer spinning) blade with the ninety-degree angle. After all, how often do you see something like that? (I mean the rest of us. You definitely got to see it.)

What will the next episode of DIY home repair reality TV edudrama bring? Stay tuned for "Reda retreads the stairs"? "Reda removes wasps' nests"?

On a completely different note, I'm having lots of opportunities (read: frustrations) in exploring my trappings in materialism as we're receiving on a daily basis many catalogs filled with chichi overpriced things that seem to have been the norm for the previous owner (who worked for Nordstrom's BTW). So far the catalog that has offered that most growthful learning has been the ironically and painfully titled Design Within Reach (which of course we all affectionately know as DWR). Am I coveting the $9000+ Noguchi sofa or the like? I admit I do have moments of some agita when I see these things, though I am eventually able to reach a greater perspective and clarity beyond these very seductive trappings. Other times when I'm not quite that self-actualized I just take a secret delight in how fantastically we out-negotiated the previous owner when we bought this place! Sometimes it's the small triumphs that get us through.

What's your favorite catalog as a new home owner?