JUNE 2014


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By the time I did my three miles, hit the shower, had breakfast, checked email, paid the water bill, and pulled weeds behind the house, the morning was spent. In the afternoon I took the Camry to town to have new rear suspension bushings installed. The labor was only $50, but the parts were $115. Ouch! But now the car doesn't go thumpity-bumpity in the back as I drive down the road. Grocery shopping finished the day. Maybe I can get more mowing done tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I do two kinds of mowing. One is sitting down on a riding mower or tractor. The other is on foot, shoving a push mower. Today I took advantage of the cool weather and did the second kind, mowing the north bank, which is too steep for the other kind. There are a lot of weeds, but I hope if I keep it mowed so they can't go to seed, eventually the grass will crowd them out. I also went to the eye doc for a check-up. He didn't find any problems, so apparently I'm not about to go blind. After my check-up and a bit of shopping, and mowing the north bank, I ended the day with the Dixon, mowing down the lane to the wood lot. I like yard work well enough, but it keeps me from other things that need to be done too.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A couple of years ago a big old hedge tree fell across one of my roads. I took advantage of today's cool weather and set about clearing the road. The tree kept enough roots in the ground to stay green, so I wanted to get it cut now to let the wood dry out this summer and fall and be ready to burn this winter. Good old Osage orange is really hard stuff, and makes great fence posts that last for decades, so I'll be saving some of the branches for that. I got most of this tree out of the way, but there are still some big cottonwood branches I have to cut too. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Uh-oh. My Dixon riding mower started making a strange noise, then suddenly stopped with a loud CLUNK! This would have to happen right in the middle of mowing season. I have an awful lot of grass to cut for just a push mower. I hope new parts are still available for this Briggs & Stratton engine that's almost thirty years old. I didn't need another repair project to eat up my time, but apparently I now have it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

As Bushytail Squirrel said when Santa brought him a sack full of nuts, "Oh, I am so happy!" After doing laundry I went to an auction at Caldwell and found two things that made it worth staying. One was a can of miscellaneous welding stuff which included a #3 tip. I had one and lost it years ago. Some jobs are too big for a #2 and too small for a #4, so I was delighted to find this. I paid $11 for the can. The other delightful find was a dog bone wheel puller. Again, this was something I had (and may have somewhere if I could find it). Pricing these online I found prices from $50 to over $100. This one cost me $3. I picked up a few other items, but those two made this time well spent.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I got out in the cool of the morning and started mowing. I kept at it even after the sun was up, thanks to a nice breeze that kept the work from being too steamy to bear. I kept at it until about eleven. I made a pretty good dent in all there is to do, but shoving a mower around by hand takes a lot longer than using a tractor. In the afternoon I went back to work on next fall's Model T tour, driving part of the route to write down distances from point to point. Part of the drive was right through this herd, so I got a good look at the critters.

Monday,  July 7, 2014

Another early start on mowing got me through a lot more of it before the heat of the day built up. One more session should finish all the mowing around the house. In the afternoon I took Daisy to the vet for her booster shots and a heart worm test. Unfortunately she tested positive, so curing that will make her a costly doggie.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Again starting early in the cool of the morning, I finished all the mowing except the back yard. That will have to wait until next week because I won't be here to do it. Tomorrow morning I'm off to Wisconsin for the Iola Swap Meet and a visit with family. So this morning after mowing I spent a couple of hours using my "new" laptop to update my website. I wanted to get it all set up for doing that little task while I'm on the road. This will be my first trip with the Mac laptop after ridding myself of the late unlamented HP atrocity that betrayed me too many times to count.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This was driving day. I'm off to Wisconsin to visit family and prowl the Iola swap meet. I started at 8:30 and drove to Kansas City where I stopped to visit with my cousin Ernie and his wife Ann
. After chewing the fat at with them I drove on to West Des Moines and spent a couple of hours filling my hollow leg at Buffet City. Then it was on to the top of Iowa, where I bedded down at my usual stopping place, the Mile 214 rest area. Tomorrow it's on to Wisconsin.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I was back under way at 5:00 AM and arrived in Whiting about 9:30. After a stop to gas up the car I drove on over to Iola and began my swap meet hike. I kept at it until about four, with a couple of breaks, and picked up a few goodies.

Today's purchases were a repairable Hayes clincher rim for $2, a six volt Battery Butler, $17; three coil box terminals & contacts with glazed insulators for $1; a non-sagging exhaust manifold, $5; thirteen figure eight shackles and a 5Z209 wrench, $50; a pile of coil box terminals, contacts, glazed insulators, and four bottom strips, $20; and two reflectors and a ball cap for $1 each. I consider some of those pretty good deals.

This guy was there too.

Friday, July11, 2014

It was another good day at the swap meet. I saw some interesting cars for sale, and was not in the least bit interested in buying any of them, as I'm out of space, time, and money for any more vehicles. A customer from many years ago when I owned the sign business had one of my signs hanging in his tent. He had it up for decoration, not for sale, but I've seen some of my signs for sale at swap meets for shocking prices I'd never pay. I continued my lavish spending as follows: a gorgeous Hayes felloe, almost like new, for $5; a repairable Hayes clincher rim, $5; three rear hubs and two front hubs, $1 each; another Model T screw jack, $5; over half a dozen good drag link caps and an Apco cap, $2.50; and nine valve stem covers, $1 each. But the best find of all was probably the guy who deals in old Dodge truck parts. He thinks he has a replacement rear axle shaft for my truck. After trying every source I could find online and coming up empty, it was quite a stroke of luck running into this fellow. I really want that truck running again so I can use it to haul away branches, pulled weeds, and other yard trash. Things have been piling up.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The big activity of the day was a visit to the Dells of the Eau Claire River, east of Wausau, with Elizabeth and the kids. Austin and Bella being high energy people, they had a grand time climbing over the rocks and playing in the water. Wisconsin in the summer is beautiful, with lots of green fields and forest and blue skies. We all used bug repellent, but I'm not sure we needed it. Even with all the water around, I didn't notice any mosquitoes.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I spent a leisurely morning online and doing the crossword and other puzzles in the paper. In the afternoon I helped Elizabeth clean out her garage to make room for some cabinets her friend Eric is getting rid of, and Eric's son Ethan came to help out.  Then we all went to  the old house that's going to be Eric's office and moved the cabinets out of the garage there and put them on a trailer to be moved to Elizabeth's place later. After all that it was chow time, so we went to dinner at Ranchito Perez and enjoyed some mariachi music with our meal. It's a delight to find real Mexican food deep in Anglo white bread country, and a bit of a surprise to find the live music to go with it.

Austin, Bella, Ethan, Elizabeth, Eric. It was a perfect day for dining on the patio.

The mariachis played Por Tu Maldito Amor and El Hombre Que Más Te Amó. The first was a great hit for Vicente Fernandez many years ago, and the second was a more recent hit of his.

Monday, July 14, 2014

On the road again. I spent the day driving from Wisconsin to Berg's Radiator in Bluford, Illinois, where I picked up a new radiator for my 1923 touring. I won't have to fight a leaky radiator that doesn't radiate any more. On the way I stopped off at Bob's in Rockford and picked up a couple of head gaskets because they were on sale. All my driving today has been with my window open because the electric window has failed and won't shut. The more automatic things are, the more likely they are to fail. I just checked the weather forecasts, and it appears I'll probably make it home without getting soaked. So here I go, signing off from Mount Vernon, IL. On to Saint Louis and points west.

Tuesday,  July 15, 2014

I stopped last night at a rest area west of Saint Louis, awoke at 3:30 AM. and hit the road again. I arrived home at 11:06. After catching up on SPAM deletion, I went to town to make an appointment at the doctor's office. It turned out that he had a cancellation and I was able to see him today. He froze a wart on my finger. I had ignored it until it started to hurt a little, and I decided to take care of it before it started to hurt a lot. After a couple of hours at the clinic I picked up the mail and did the grocery shopping, and the day was spent.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This morning I dug into  the driver's side front door on the Camry to find out why the window quit working. I found that the switch is good, but the motor has died.  The local salvage yard is closed for a couple of weeks, so I called the one in Winfield and was glad to hear that they can supply a replacement.  The Suburban has good old hand-cranked windows that shut, so I drove it in the rain to Winfield to get the replacement motor.
It was just the right kind of rainy day, with several hours of light, steady precipitation to soak the ground. It will help the plants so I don't have to water, and will make the ground right for some more weed pulling. Along with the rain has come some amazingly cool weather for July. At 5:00 PM today, the thermometer outside the kitchen window read 61º. I've been wearing a shop coat most of the day, and I'll need a blanket when I go to bed tonight. But in a few days we'll be back to highs in the low nineties.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rain continued off and on all day and into the night. It was more of the good kind, slow, gentle, and steady for long periods. A few more days like this may see us recovered from the drought. The unusual July cool weather continued, topping off around 63º this afternoon, and I wore a shop coat all day.  I even used a blanket last night. I spent a lot of time at the computer today. I'm sorry to say I wasted too much of it playing online, but I did get a little work done on a new website page too. I aim to have a some more pages of Model T information so that when recurring questions come up on the forums I can post a link to them. Today's work was on a page dealing with spark plugs. I looked up and copied some pictures to use, and put them in a special folder so they'll be handy when I lay out the page. I never went off the place today because I don't want to drive the Camry in the rain with its window open. Maybe tomorrow I can get the replacement window motor put in.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I did it. Installing the replacement window motor was less of a hassle than I expected. Now the window opens and shuts again, at least as long as this motor lasts. I also tried pulling the broken-off stub of axle shaft out of the Dodge with a magnet. No go. Unfortunately it's not going to be that easy. I'll have to get under there with the wrenches and open up the rear end. At least I have the benefit of not having to do it in freezing weather. Speaking of weather, the rain gauge had 2.18" in it this morning. That was over two inches of the best kind, slow and steady rain that soaks in. The plants will love it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

After doing laundry, I spent the day at an auction. There were enough items of interest to keep me there, but other people wanted most of them more than I did. I ended up buying just a few pieces of two inch pipe. They were too long to fit in a car, so I'll have to go get them with the Suburban tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Today I took advantage of the soft ground and did some more weed pulling. I also disconnected the gas line to my shop and applied some joint compound to the union joint, then reconnected it. It's been leaking enough for me to smell it, so I wanted to put a stop to that. I don't like leaking money. I also learned that the friend who has a replacement final drive for my mowing tractor can't get to Kansas for awhile, so I'm going to dig into the one I have and see exactly what it needs. I may get lucky and only have to order a new bearing or two.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I got to work on that tractor, rigging up a support to hold it off the ground while I use the engine hoist to hold the final drive when I pull it off. I got most of the unfastening done, and will continue in the cool of the morning tomorrow. We're getting into normal July weather now, and that barn gets pretty toasty in the afternoon. My other interesting activity today was giving Miss Daisy a haircut. Running around out in the weeds, she gets burs and seeds tangled and matted in her fur. I got the worst of it off. It's not a beautiful job of grooming, but it will do. Holding still for the clippers is not her greatest talent.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My morning work was getting that defunct final drive off the tractor and trying to get the thing apart. I don't have a shop manual, so I'm going by the illustrations in the parts book to figure out how to proceed. It turns out that I'm going to need at least one wrench that's bigger than any I have. I'll see what it costs at the farm supply, but it will probably be better to borrow or rent what I need until I can buy some used oversize wrenches at an auction. I hate to pay retail if I don't have to. I hate to pay retail even if I do have to. The afternoon was a bit too toasty for working in the barn, and I went grocery shopping and took a nap. While the temperatures above 95º persist, I want to do as much as I can early in the morning before the heat builds up, so I'm napping in the afternoon and evening so I can get up before the crack of dawn. A nice discovery today was a huge fallen branch that will make a lot of winter firewood.


Wednesday, July 23. 2014

What a nice surprise! It looked like the day was going to be a scorcher, but before noon it clouded over and the breeze came fom the north. I don't think we ever made 90º. I fired up the push mower, the only working mower I have right now, and made a path to the barn. Then I loaded that defunct final drive in the Suburban and took it to the Agco shop in Winfield. They have the proper tools to fix it and I don't, so I'll let them do the job. I need my mowing tractor running before the grass gets higher than the house.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today began with more plant slaughter. As soon as there was enough daylight I was out spraying Johnson grass and other weeds. I was just finishing up about ten when Ed Emerson arrived. We chewed the fat over our upcoming Model T tour and lots of other stuff. In the afternoon I went to the vet's to get Daisy after her heartworm treatment. I have to keep her away from physical exertion for six weeks, so she's not allowed to go across the road and run back and forth along the fence with the neighbor dog.  That will be diappointing for both of them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I spent most of the day at an auction in Wellington. There were lots of old tractors and other antique farm equipment, and a little dab of Model T stuff. I did a little bidding on 26-27 T chassis wagon
and a  TT truck chassis, but other guys wanted them more than I did.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I was back in Wellington for day two
of the auction, and this time I actually bought a few things. I paid $10 for a front axle assembly with several good parts on it, and $10 for a steering column, also containing some good parts. The buy of the day was a pair of Allis Chalmers Model B/C fuel tanks for $2. I needed one to replace a crunched one on my Model C. One of the tanks has rust holes in the bottom, but the other one looks excellent, and $2 was a great price for it. On the way home I stopped at another auction in Winfield and bought several quarts of motor oil at about half the store price. I love auctions. Yesterday and today were both scorchers, and tomorrow is supposed to be just a few degrees cooler. But beginning Monday the forecast is for highs in the mid-to-low eighties for the next week. That will make working outdoors a little more pleasant.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today's accomplishment was pulling the differential out of my defunct pickup to inspect the damage. It appears that all the bearings and gears are good, and all I need is to replace the broken axle shaft. That means I have to find the address of the guy who has replacement parts for sale. Just finding what I did with that may be the hardest part of fixing this truck.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Most of the day was devoted to paperwork. I sorted and filed receipts and other papers and cleared a lot of clutter on my desk and nearby chairs. I still need to find the address of the guy with parts for my old Dodge. I put it in a safe place where I'd be able to find it. Naturally, I don't remember where that is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today I had an email from a parts dealer saying he might have an axle shaft for my truck. I sent him measurements and pictures of what I need, so now I'm waiting to find out if he has the right one. Another chore I did was welding up the oil pan for my mowing tractor's final drive where the leaning drive gear had worn a cut in the side. I sure hope I can get that final drive back and get it on the tractor before the grass gets higher than the house.

Wednesday, July 30, 2013

What a great day! A couple of very nice things happened. One was the rain that started before eight and kept up all day and into the evening. It was the best kind, a steady gentle shower that was sometimes light and sometimes a little heavier, but never a cloudburst that runs off without soaking in. That will keep the desirable plants going without my having to water them, and it will make the ground soft for more weed pulling. The other delightful event was that I found the phone number and email address of the guy I met at Iola who deals in old Dodge trucks and parts. I sent him an email with pictures of what I need, and now I'm waiting for a reply. I haven't had any response from the other guy, but if they both have the right item and the cost isn't too outrageous, I may buy two just so I'll have a spare. I don't expect the part will ever get any easier to find. Another main activity of the day was sorting and filing receipts that have been piling up for most of the past two months. That reminds me of a mystery I may have solved. My electric bills this year have been higher than last year, with kilowatt hour usage sometimes double what it was a year earlier. This has had me stumped. I couldn't understand what I've been doing to use that much more power. Then one day recently I was sitting in the living room wondering about that and noticed the whine of the new cable TV tuner, which has a motor in it that runs 24-7. It dawned on me that maybe that's the vampire that's been sucking dollars out of me.  So since that day I've been switching on the power strip for the tuner and the TV only when I use them, which is  no more than a couple of hours most days, and some days not at all.  I won't know for sure until I get next month's bill, but  I expect it will be considerably better.

Thursday, July 31, 2013

The rain gauge had almost two inches in it, about 1.95". Nice. I put in a lot of computer time, all morning and into the afternoon: filing receipts,  researching photo editing programs, and trying to learn Gimp.  I did a bit of grocery shopping in the afternoon, and drove up to the court house to renew the registration on the Camry and pay the taxes on all the antiques. This evening I had an email from one of the dealers in old Dodge parts saying he has my axle shaft, so I'll send him the dough tomorrow. Maybe I'll have that truck ready to use in a few days.



JUNE 2014