A new hero

I think the only thing saving the Gators this year is the schedule. Glad it’s Kentucky next week and not Alabama. Tennessee is for sure an SEC team but they are in a bigger rebuilding mode than even the Gators. Still, they’re a big, strong team and it was good to see the Gators able to hang in nicely. I was most disappointed to see that after three games the center is still having trouble getting the ball to the quarterback. Seems like that’s the most fundamental part of the game. And too bad about losing another starter to the law. Not sure how it is that guys like that aren’t washed out in the recruiting process. Back when FSU was kickin’ butt, we used to call them the Criminoles. Maybe you have to have a few violent felons on the team to push it over the top.

One of my favorite garden tools gave it up today. I mentioned a while back that I had acquired a leaf mulching attachment for a Shop Vac and that did an awesome job of converting leaves into chopped up mulch. My driveway was loading with leaves again so I broke it out after letting it sit idle for the last 6 months. I did about four large batches when it nominally blew up – at least it sounded like it was coming apart at the seams. I got to the power switch within a few microseconds and removed the mulching top from the bucket where I saw a large, hard plastic part that was obviously part of the machine’s innards. I’m not generally a big fix-it guy but decided to take this one on and after an hour or so wrestling with it, I managed to get the motor removed and to the shattered impeller. It’s a 4 bladed. hard plastic impeller from which one of the four blades had broken off. I was amazed at how badly chewed up the remaining 3 blades were considering that the machine still did a good job sucking up and shredding leaves. I will admit that it’s seen it’s share of pebbles and twigs going along with the leaves so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a few dings but these blades were fairly mutilated. I had no trouble at all finding the spare part on line and was pleased to see the unit has a 2 year warranty but I give it slim odds that I actually have the proof of purchase that is likely required to exercise the warranty. I won’t give them much trouble in any event since I’m sure the designers had no intention of it grinding anything but leaves. I’m kind of hoping they have a stainless steel replacement as an option. If it’s not too expensive a part, I think I’ll buy a couple spares. Now that I know how to disassemble the unit, I can get to the impeller in about 5 minutes compared to the hour it took the first time – 4 screws to remove instead of the 15 or so I removed this time. It’ll take me about 10 minutes to get it back together when I get the new impeller. I shouldn’t need it until the end of the year when the maple starts shedding.

I have a new female hero. The gal in South Carolina who took on a huge Gator and won. She was actually hunting gators and came on to this 13′, 900 lb. monster. She caught it with a hook and line and got it close enough to dispatch it with a few gunshots. The report also said there was some stabbing in the final kill but I take that as media hype. Sounds a little gruesome but I’m ok with thinning out the gator population. The last time I was fishing in South Carolina, I did see some of the largest gators I had ever seen anywhere so it didn’t surprise me that such critters were indeed swimming around in SC. I think this sweet pea should tryout for a spot on the Gator cheerleading squad. A natural. When she did the Gator chomp, it would be the real thing.

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