MAY 2009

JULY 2009


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes folks, I'm still alive. I've been busy in the daytimes and too tired and/or lazy to blog at night. I'm about to hit the sack, so I'll have to fill you in later on whatever thrilling events I can remember from the past week or so.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OK, here we go. During the past three weeks, in no particular order, I've cut down and cut up face grabbers (branches in the way of mowing), mowed, finished most of my project to install old time pushbutton light switches in the house, spent a day at an auction where I bought a trailerload of good lumber and some costly tools dirt cheap, hauled away the dead honeysuckle vines from beside the house, drained the old oil from the Dixon mower, and hauled some dirt to fill holes in the west drive. One day I drove the touring car to Winfield to check the speedometer. The speedometer said I was going 30 mph and the radar sign said 29. That's perfect. It should keep me from getting any speeding tickets. I've also kept up the exercise, though occasionally I did skip the running in favor of another hour's sack time. This morning I did the three miles in 29:46, which is a passing score on the Marine fitness test for ages 40 to 45. And now, I'm going to go investigate my oven and see if I can figure out why it's quit working.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

That was an easy fix, I hope. When I pulled the stove away from the wall and opened up the back, I found that one of the wires to the oven heating element had burned loose from the connector. It was simple enough to put a new connector on the wire and reattach it to the element, but I wonder what made it burn off in the first place. When I turned on the oven it seemed to work normally, so we'll see how long it lasts.
This evening I drove the touring car to town for the weekly concert of the Arkansas City municipal band. Now in its 138th year, the band has been playing in the rotunda at Wilson Park since 1914. Funny, they don't look that old.


Friday, June 12, 2009

I was going to pull weeds today, but a good soaking in the morning made things pretty muddy, so I found other things to do. I put fresh oil in the Dixon mower and got it ready to mow when things dry out a little. I put oil in the touring car, then put the car up on jack stands and readjusted the rear brakes. I drove it to town for a little shopping. I spent some time adding a New Yorker story by E.B. White to my website. And I used the oven to heat some tamales. It worked as intended, so apparently the repair was successful.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I took a little time off my three miles this morning, finishing in 29:31. That's a bit better than the 29:46 I had a couple of days ago. On the Marine Fitness Test 29:00 is a passing score for ages 27 to 39, so I still have a way to go before I reach that goal. I put Zeke in the back of the Ford this morning and we took a drive to Winfield, where I did the laundry and then went to check out an auction. There was some very nice antique furniture, and I imagine there were some good buys, but there was nothing I needed. I stopped and gassed up the car, and when I figured up the mileage it came to 10.5 mpg. From what I've read, a Model T should get at least twice that, so something's amiss. I'll have to investigate and see what's the problem. The ground dried out enough to allow some weed pulling this afternoon. That's about a hundred down, and a few thousand to go.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another storm during the night made things pretty soggy outside, and the day was mostly overcast with occasional sprinkles, so it was a good day to do some indoor work. I reassembled the TT rear end and installed it on the truck. I think before long I'll have the wheels back on, then I'll go to work on the engine and transmission.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Didn't get much done today. I bought groceries after work, then spent way too much time reading an online discussion of why my old high school is such a mess. As with most such discussions, some comments were sensible and some were ridiculous twaddle. So what else is new?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coming home directly from work, I was here by 3:15. After checking email (mostly spam) I reinstalled the U-bolt that holds the bracket for the speedometer sending unit on the touring car, after having it off for painitng. Back in the house for a minute, I noticed a message on the answering machine: call Discover, Important! It seems my payment was past due. How come I never got the monthly email reminder before the due date? Dunno. Anyway, I authorised payment over the phone, then took a look at my statement online. I wondered why they hadn't stuck me with a late fee, then I figured out I was saved by crappy merchandise. When I bought and returned those three boom boxes that were all unsatisfactory (Memorex, Emerson, and RCA), each return for credit was counted as a payment. So all I'm out is the finance charge of $3 and change. Sometimes you get lucky. After I got all that sorted out, I had time for about a half hour of weed pulling. I cleared about a twenty foot square, which leaves plenty more to do.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today I attacked the trees from Hell again. I thought I had killed off all those little mystery trees in the front lawn last season, but they're back. I tried cutting them off and dosing the stumps with Tordon. They came back. I tried spraying them with brush and vine killer. They came back. So today I went around with a spray bottle and squirted each one with undiluted 2-4D. All I added was a little liquid dish soap to make it stick. I hope the combination of rain over the weekend and hot weather this week will get the stuff down to the roots PDQ and put a stop to these things.

Last Sunday was supposed to be the day for binding wheat for this year's tractor show in August, but the ground was too wet. The event was rescheduled for today, but last night a big storm dumped heavy rain on the Winfield area. Maybe Friday? We'll see.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

A day later those little trees seem to have suffered a major setback. The leaves that received the direct spray have turned brown and shriveled. The question is whether the poison will get the other leaves and also get down into the roots.

This afternoon I fired up the Model T and drove down to the corner and back, to see if the speedometer was working properly. After having the U-bolt off the bracket for painting, it seems I got it reinstalled correctly. The speedometer worked just as it should.


Friday, June 19, 2009

I should have got more done than I did today, but one of Arkansas City's commissioners had a letter to the editor in yesterday's Traveler that begged for a reply, so I spent over an hour writing and sending my screed in response. The gist of his message was that tobacco smoke is harmless and that information to the contrary is propaganda. He might as well have bent over with a "Kick me" sign on his bottom. Anyway, once I had that unexpected homework assignment out of the way I hit the back yard weeding project. A nice cloud cover ruined the forecast for hot weather and kept the temperature down in the eighties. I made good progress and pulled about two-thirds of the weed forest behind the house. A couple more sessions like that should clear the yard of weeds, then I'll get back to clearing and cutting up brush.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Drat! Last Sunday was supposed to be the day for wheat binding at Winfield, but rain put a stop to it. Wednesday was make-up day, but the area got a heavy soaking Tuesday night. Today was going to be it, but this morning I woke up to rain. Radar showed a large storm, eight counties long, drifting north out of Oklahoma. I don't know when we'll ever get that wheat in.

With the outside too soggy for any work, I took care of an indoor chore. The generator on my touring car became intermittent and then quit, so this morning I took it off and opened it up to investigate. The repair consisted of washing all the oil off the commutator and brushes. Now it charges so well I have to turn the lights on to keep it from overcharging. I don't want to adjust it down, because there's a broken brush plate insulator, so I'll drive with the lights on until I get around to buying a new insulator.

As I write this at 10:38PM the rain is pouring down again. The forecast is for an end to rain before midnight, and after that we're supposed to dry out. Maybe we can get that wheat binding done sometime during the next week.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy summer, everybody. Unless you're south of the equator, of course. All the recent moisture and heat has the vegetaton growing like crazy, so today was the day to mow before things got completely out of hand. I spent most of the afternoon on the tractor, then followed up by trimming the edges with the Dixon. This is the best time of year, when I bed down on the front porch swing in the evening and watch the lightning bugs glimmer in the yard.


Monday, June 22, 2009

This afternoon I took the generator off the touring car because it's quit charging again. Apparently there's more wrong with it than a dirty commutator. I'll have to open it up and see if I can find what the problem is.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This afternoon I opened up that generator and found that parts of both insulators on the brush plate were broken, with pieces missing. I have another generator which also doesn't work, so I'm going to look into it too. Then I'll order parts to fix both of them.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

After all the postponements due to weather, this afternoon and evening we did the wheat binding.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Thursday evening means another band concert in the park. Zeke and I went to town and sat in the shade and listened to the music.


Friday, June 26, 2009

After work this morning I worked on that Model T generator until around noon, then did some grocery shopping, then went back to the generator.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

I took advantage of the morning cool to burn trash, then went and did the laundry. After that I skipped a couple of auctions to spend the day on my generator project. It's not difficult work, but it's time consuming. Late this afternoon I finally got the thing back on the car and tried it out. Still no charge. I'll have to open it up again and see if I can figure out what I missed.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

I hoped that by the time I turned 68 I'd be able to do at least one pull-up from a hanging start, but I didn't quite make it. I tried one this morning, and got almost half way up. One of these days I'll get there. I spent a big part of the day working on that generator some more. I'm doing a lot of reading and studying about it, and eventually I'll figure it out. I finished the day driving the T down to Okieland to fill it up. If I buy gas at the casino at Chilocco and pay with a Shell card, it's 13¢ a gallon less than buying in town.


Monday, June 29, 2009

I finished editing video shots of last week's wheat binding and uploaded the results to YouTube. I think it was a pretty good first effort. BINDING VIDEO


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today I got back to that generator. The manual tells how to adjust and test it by putting a curent into it to see if it will operate as a motor. That worked, so it may at last be ready to use. I'll find out tomorrow.




MAY 2009

JULY 2009