Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The cleanup continued this afternoon. I stopped on the way home to buy some tarps, then spent the rest of the afternoon bagging up old roofing scraps from the upper roof. Now I'm just hoping the weather will behave for one more day until I can get the tarps up. The forecast has a 30% chance of rain tomorrow, so I'm pulling for the 70% chance of no rain to prevail.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I dodged the weather bullet again today. Not a hint of moisture yet, and I finished cleaning off the upper roof. I got one tarp in place, but getting the rest of them up may drag on into Friday. The challenge is figuring out how to place them around the west chimney in a way that won't allow leaks during wet weather.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

To continue the metaphor, the bullet grazed my scalp but did no major damage. The rain started a little after midnight and lasted about fifteen minutes. Fortunately it wasn't very heavy. I was relieved when I looked at the radar and saw no other storms on the way. Water off the upper roof poured into the northwest room, but I was able to mop it up easily. This afternoon I got most of the other tarps up. One more tarp should complete the job.


Friday, September 4, 2009

That one more tarp went up sooner than I expected. While getting ready for work a few minutes before five, I looked at the weather forecast and found a 95% chance of rain at six. So I was up on the upper roof at five in the morning with a flashlight, spreading one more tarp and laying on boards to keep it in place. The rain arrived on schedule about six, while I was at work, but didn't last long. Friday is my short day, so I got home a little after ten. I checked upstairs and found everything dry, so the tarps worked in a short storm that wasn't very heavy. A more severe storm might be another story. With the tarp job done, I spent the day installing new brake shoes on the touring car's right rear wheel. I had to replace shoes that were worn out and broken after brief service because the wheel was too close to the backing plate. I cut a piece out of an old gallon can to make a shim which keeps the drum farther out so it won't hit the shoes. When I drove the car to town this afternoon for some shopping I heard some odd noises in back, so tomorrow I'll pull that wheel off again and see what's going on.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

This was a day for yard work. I collected branches that have littered the yard since weather brought them down, then I trimmed branches that were hanging low enough to be face grabbers, then I mowed. The mowing was overdue for the west lawn, which was getting pretty thick. Mowing with the Model B Alllis is good therapy.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

I spent a big chunk of the day cleaning four of the spark plugs I bought at the Iola Swap Meet in July. The Champion X was the plug used in Model T Fords during the late teens and the twenties. When I got into cleaning them and did some research online, I found that X plugs vary in their details depending on when they were made. I'll try these in the touring car and see how they do. After I finished with the plugs I got back to mowing. When I started mowing around trees and along edges with the Dixon, the old belt gave out and I finished the day with a trip to town to buy a new belt.


Monday, September 7, 2009

I started the day by doing my three miles in 30:23. Sometimes I manage to get it down to under thirty minutes, but more often it's between 30 and 31. I spent a lot of the morning researching and working on more of those spark plugs, then I got busy on the mower. Installing the new belt took over an hour because the one I bought yesterday was too short, so I had to take it back and get a longer one. Once the belt was on, I started up the mower and it ran for a few seconds and died. I spent almost two hours finding the electrical short that killed it. By the time I finally got it running again it was after three in the afternoon. With the new belt on it, the machine ran very nicely, and I got a lot of mowing done by five. There are two more areas I need to mow, then I'm going to get started on some long-overdue house cleaning.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

After grocery shopping, I finished most of the mowing. I skipped the roadsides to the east because I want to kill the Johnson grass there before I cut it down. With mowing out of the way I started cleaning up another six of those Champion X plugs.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This afternoon's project was a replacement rear brake drum I received yesterday for the touring car. A soaking in rust remover took off a lot of the rust and softened some of the old paint. I wire brushed off the rest of the paint and put the drum back in the rust remover to soak off the rust that had been covered by the old paint. I hope to paint the drum tomorrow and get it on the car this weekend.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today I spent an hour copying, filing, and deleting email I wanted to save. With the storage space almost full, I need to clear some room so I can send and receive more. I finished the afternoon getting the yard ready for grading, moving some things out of the way. I plan to put the blade on the WD tomorrow and start leveling some of the dirt piles left from last year's installation of new water lines.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Drat! This morning my tarp arrangement on the roof got a test and didn't do well. While I was at work the precipitation rained down in buckets, and when I got home I found that some of it had leaked in upstairs. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, and it didn't take long to mop up the puddles. I'll hope for the rain to stay away until I can rearrange the tarps. With things pretty wet outside, today I got started on house cleaning. There's a lot of picking up and putting away to do, so the job won't be finished soon.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

I took the day off for fun. I drove up to Ottawa for the Power of the Past show at Forest Park. In additon to the usual tractors and other equipment, this show features working farm horses. It was interesting to see horse powered feed grinding and hay baling. I shot a lot of video, so it will take some time to do the editing. I'll put a link here when I get it done.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Due to my trip yesterday, today was laundry day. After I got home and put away the clean clothes, I went up on top of the house to check out the roof. I was glad to find the reason for Friday's rain leakage was that the top tarp had blown out of position and let the water flow under the lower tarps. It was a simple job to put it back in place and fasten it down. It should stay there unless there's a major wind storm. With the leak fixed (I hope), I installed that new brake drum on the Ford, adjusted the brakes, and went for a test drive. The car ran OK, but I didn't get more than about a mile. I noticed that the speedometer wasn't working, so I stopped to adjust the sending unit. While the car was sitting there idling beside the road, the fan belt broke and fell out on the ground. I drove home and put the car away, then went to town in the Camry for groceries.


Monday, September 14, 2009

This afternoon I worked on installing another push button light switch upstairs. It requires a larger box than the previous switch, so I spent the afternoon with drill, hammer, and chisel, making a deeper hole for the box. I should be able to get the box and the switch in tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I got two jobs done this afternoon. First I installed a new fan belt on the touring car. Then I finished installing that old time pushbutton switch upstairs. That's the last one I have to do except for one two-way switch. Two-way pushbutton switches are hard to find, so that last one may not happen soon.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Mexican Independence Day and the 116th anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, I did a bit of mechanical research. I jacked the back of the touring car off the floor, started it up, and shot video of the turning rear wheels, then posted the pictures on line and asked experienced Model T guys for their opinions about the seriousness of the wheel wobble on both sides. The general opinion was that at Model T speeds it's not a big problem.




Thursday, September 17, 2009

After work today I did some clerical work, copying emails I wanted to save, then deleting them from the inbox.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Today's most important activity was getting ready to excavate the back yard. I hooked up the seven foot blade that I bought last month to the back of the WD and put some weights on it to help it dig in. Lifting the hunderd pound weight on top was no problem, but the two-hundred-pounder was another story. I could get it off the ground a little, but didn't have the muscle to lift it up and put it in place. The simple solution was to use a board for a ramp and roll the weight up to where I could tip it over on top of the other weight.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today I got a good start on grading the yard. I knocked down dirt piles and filled in low places in about half the back yard, and scraped the west drive. I was going to move the truck out of the way to do more, but couldn't get it started. I usually eat in town on Saturday, so this evening I stopped at a parts store and bought a condenser for the distributor. After a tasty meal at La Fiesta, I went to see Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie and Julia. I thought she was wonderful in the part, and the rest of the cast was very good too, in a very enjoyable movie.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

It turned out I didn't need to install that new condenser. Tightening the old one for a better connection got the truck running. With the truck out of the way I started more grading, but found the tractor suddenly hard to steer. The problem turned out to be a flat tire. With no place that could fix a flat open on Sunday, I spent the afternoon mowing instead.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

There's not much to report yesterday and today. I had a crown fall off a tooth recently, and after work yesterday I went to the dentist to have it reinstalled. This morning while I was eating breakfast it came loose again, so today I had to go back for another dose of glue. I was at the dentist's so long that all I had time to do when I got home was to put that repaired tire back on the tractor.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today I was going to get back to grading the back yard. I drove the WD to the barn and aired up the tires. Then I climbed on, turned the key, and pulled the starter handle. BANG! The top blew off the battery, sailed over my head, and landed inside the barn door behind me. So I spent the rest of the afternoon on a trip to town to get a new battery.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The rain Monday morning leaked into my bedroom, so today I got up on the roof to rearrange tarps. The roof project is on hold until after next week's family reunion, but I hope to make some progress on it in October.


Friday, September 25, 2009

I was going to do some more grading in the back yard today, so I installed the new battery in the WD. I got on, turned the key, and pulled the starter handle. The starter turned the engine over and over, but no start. I didn't want to take the time to figure out the wiring to see where the problem was, so I went in the house and spent the afternoon cleaning the bathroom. Maybe I'll get back to the tractor tomorrow.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

After doing laundry, I prepared for winter by repairing a broken wire on my electric blanket. Then I spent a couple of hours at the Last Run. The big annual car show in Paris Park usually draws over a thousand cars. Most of them are hot rods, but there are always a few nice antiques. After the car show I did some shopping. I went to the hardware store and bought a couple of plants. This is always a bit of a challenge. The fall plants, in this case rose of sharon, don't all sell. After a few weeks the "25% off" sign goes up. I don't buy then, because I know what's coming. In a week or so it becomes "50% off". At this point I have to decide whether I want to buy at half price or wait for 75% off. Some years it's even reached the point of snow blowing across the parking lot and the sign saying "free plants". The danger of waiting that long is that there won't be anyhting left that I want. So I bought a couple today while there were still some that I wanted. When I got home I got the tractor running and played in the dirt. First I used the loader to dig up the high spots, then I put the blade on the tractor to level the loosened dirt. The $100 blade was a good investment. I ended the day with a trip to Ponca City for dinner at a new Chinese buffet, a movie, and shopping for new overalls.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's a short and simple report today. I cleaned house.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Cleaning off my desk yesterday I found that I had forgotten to renew the registration on my car in July, so I drove up to the court house and took care of that this afternoon. Then I came home and did more house cleaning.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House cleaning continued. I finished in the living room.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When I got home from work this afternoon I found that brother Mike had arrived. He joined in the house cleaning, putting away old clothes upstairs while I worked on the kitchen. With the kitchen in disarray, we went to town and ate at La Fiesta.